From April 3 to 5 the annual Pastor’s conference for the Association of Evangelical Baptist Churches of Quebec ( Association Églises Baptistes Évangélique au Québec, AEBEQ, in French) took place in Bromont, Québec. For a few of us, it was our first time participating in this conference. What exactly is the goal of this pastors’ retreat? Here is what we took away from this first experience:
The themes of the conference were simple and clear: encouragement for leaders to persevere in their ministry to their families, in their church, and in their relationship with God. We were exhorted to approach the throne of grace with confidence in our times of need (Hebrews 4:14-16). At Église Baptiste Évangélique Terrebonne-Mascouche, we are extremely blessed to have a team of pastors and leaders who work very hard together to serve our Saviour and His Bride, the Church. Having this team that works together allows the members to encourage one another and lift each other up in prayer. However, it is not only the pastors of our AEBEQ family that have this opportunity to work together as a team, which brings me to my next point: family.
We often say that the church is the family of God. And it’s true! All the members of the body form one family and we have the opportunity to live this family life as a local church. One important element is that we don’t only have a family within our local church but also within the family of churches in our Association here in Quebec. We had the chance to see that our local church is not alone and that it is part of a movement of churches that are on a mission to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in our “Belle Province.” We also had the opportunity to meet with other leaders who are working elsewhere in Quebec. This allows us to make new relationships to encourage one another in our ministries but also to learn from different experiences in ministry in other parts of the province.
One key point presented at the conference was the succession and raising up of future ministry leaders. Sergei and I (David) had the opportunity to introduce ourselves in front of about 200 pastors and pastors’ wives present at the conference to briefly share what we are doing in our training at Église Baptiste Évangélique de Terrebonne-Mascouche. Many other pastors in training shared a little of their ministry as well. During the conference, we were also selling books from Publications Chrétiennes in order to raise funds for the ministry of Servants in Training of Terrebonne-Mascouche. It was evident that people were enthusiastic and excited to see young people who wanted to serve in ministry in Quebec and we were also very happy to receive their encouragement and prayers.
In closing, the Pastor’s conference 2017 was a very wonderful experience for our Servants in Training team from Terrebonne-Mascouche. We had good opportunities to meet many people participating in the conference and we were encouraged by the preaching as well as the joy that is in our church family. We were also able to share our ministry experiences here in Mascouche.
We want to thank Publications Chrétiennes for their donation through the selling of the books for the Servants in Training as well as our family of churches in AEBEQ for allowing us to experience an encouraging and edifying conference.
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God bless you all abundantly by His infinite grace!