Thank you for allowing me to attend my ordained national denominational meeting, the General Assembly (GA). The GA of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) is the church’s highest court and the most significant family gathering of the year. I had the privilege of sitting among many Teaching and Ruling Elders, over 2300 of us. They represent their local churches (a few times more than the number of registered churches in Singapore!). The largest attendance in the history of PCA GA. I heard reports, voted on motions, etc., but the highlights of the week were the worship services as I received the Word and Sacrament, catching up with old friends, and being counseled and encouraged by pastors and ruling elders as I shared the ups and downs of ministry and family.
It was an eye-opener. I was blessed in many ways. I am thankful to have attended two workshops on growing a healthy church. I am grateful for the many connections and new relationships made or renewed with my appeal to send help to our churches in Singapore.
While it was a hot week in Birmingham, it was a good week for meeting-ups. I scheduled all my breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with people who may be able to help the Church in Singapore. They were filled with personal, ministry, and gospel conversations.
I had conversations with the staff of seminaries, Mission to North America, Mission to the World, Reformed University Fellowship, Ligonier, Third Millennium, and Open Kingdom ministry. They left me with the impression that God is doing great gospel work in America and the world.
God willing, they would send help to the churches in Singapore and work with our church to bring the light of the gospel to dispel the darkness of our time. One of the outcomes of the conversations is Ligonier has locked in its resources and dates (Sept 6 and 7, 2024) to have a national conference in Singapore. It may evolve into a regional conference welcoming our brothers and sisters in Christ from the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
On the floor of the GA, debate on crucial motions, voices were heard, and decisive votes were cast. One of the tipping points was O Palmer Robertson, who returned from the field in Africa to utter the word of God! It tipped a minority report in favor of calling out and ring-fence those apparent ‘super-apostles’ (theology and life derailing from the gospel of Jesus) trying to infiltrate the PCA. Roberson was like Paul speaking plainly to the church of Corinth. It was like observing and participating in the assembly of gospel ministers jumping out of the pages of the bible.
It was amazing! Reformed and Presbyterian work! It has a few rough spots, but on the whole, it works!
Beyond that, many families came to connect and cheer us on. In the worship services and exhibition hall, I saw many covenant babies in strollers, children, and grandparents of PCA! I had many heart-warming and convicting moments, and God worked in me through those moments. One of them was a grey-haired legend of PCA, sitting with his wife behind me, helping me to put on my jacket when I felt cold.
The gospel culture was thick in the air; the transparency with facts (even unpleasant truths substantiated), the boldness, the meekness, and gentleness, the call for repentance and forgiveness in the GA. I am inspired and incredibly encouraged. So again, thank you for making it possible for me to attend the PCA General Assembly. I came back refreshed and encouraged!