The question that has been asked many times of me is, “What are you supposed to do?”
What is the work of your new home missionary? What am I doing? What do I hope to do?
The home missionary is a preacher. The Reformed faith should always emphasize the great urgency of the preaching of the Word.asks, “How shall they hear without a preacher?” Christ gathers His church through the preaching. And that preacher must be sent. On September 17 I was installed in Byron Center PRC as a preacher who is sent by my calling church to go and preach. This follows that biblical principle of the church in Antioch sending out the missionaries Barnabas and Paul according to ff.
So, where do I preach? To whom does the missionary preach? The answer to those questions is: wherever the Lord opens up a door. Therefore, I have preached in various of our churches that needed pulpit supply, and in that preaching promoted one of the tasks of the church, that the church may be faithful and zealous in the work of evangelism. My wife and I have gone to Franklin, Pennsylvania to preach to the Franklin Reformed Fellowship. The Domestic Mission Committee (DMC) tries to fill the pulpit for them at least once a month. These trips are not only to fill the need for lively preaching but also to gauge the interest and the viability of the group, as well as to make contacts with interested parties in the area. The work of missions includes both the gathering of those who have gone astray and the calling of those who have never really heard the gospel. This means that the work of missions includes gathering the remnant of God’s saints out of the apostatizing church and preaching the gospel to the unsaved in our own land.
The home missionary has and will continue to be available to work with area churches who have questions regarding setting up Bible Studies in their chosen locals. Where will we seek to begin a Bible study? Whom are we targeting? Who will lead the studies? What approach will we use: a book of the Bible, chapter by chapter, or a systematic approach of what the Bible teaches concerning our need for Jesus and our salvation? The local churches are responsible for the cost and the labors of these Bible studies. If and when these local Bible studies have progressed in size and interest to desire to organize as a congregation, the calling church and the DMC will send the home missionary to begin Sunday worship services and give instruction to those interested. Currently, your home missionary is leading a Bible study in Wayland, Michigan for the Byron Center PRC, and in December, the Lord willing, will lead it in Dorr, Michigan.
The home missionary has received from our Trinity PRC Evangelism committee a list of contacts that they have put together from their own and other of our churches, compiled of people that have responded to the Standard Bearer, Reformed Witness Hour broadcasts, or interest in tracts or sermons from our churches. The home missionary plans to review this list from different locales and seek to make contact with those on this list to determine interest in a work in their area.
I have received material that has been put together by others of various decisions of our synod and DMC, so that in time with the DMC we can put together a manual for doing home missions in the PRC.
I also hope to begin writing tracts or short pamphlets on a third to fifth-grade level that will explain biblical teachings for those who do not come from a strong church or Christian background. As Pastor J. Kortering wrote, “All we need do is survey the material available and learn how unsuitable it is for reaching the non-Christian. We have many pamphlets and books on important subjects concerning Christian faithfulness, but none other to my knowledge on how one may become a Christian in the first place” (Standard Bearer, vol. 74, No. 9; Feb. 1998, pp. 212-213).
Because Byron Center PRC is the calling church for the denomination that sends forth the missionary, I will be writing monthly reports for the Byron Center Council and the DMC so that they may supervise my work and assist me with their judgment on the work that we are called to do, just as the apostle Paul and Barnabas reported back to the Antioch Church of their labors after their missionary journeys.
With the good news that Byron Center’s call to Rev. Andy Laning has been accepted, it is time that we vacate the parsonage of Byron. We have found another house nearby Byron that we will rent for six months. This will enable us to be near our calling church and labor closely with them. Our new address is 7758 Burlingame Ave, Byron Center, MI 49315.
The work of the home missionary and our denomination will only succeed with the Lord’s blessing. Therefore, we always stand in need of prayer. So my request of you is this: pray for my wife and me. Pray for open doors. Pray as the apostle Paul requested of the churches: “that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel” ().
Your home missionary, Pastor Aud Spriensma