Friday, November 2, 2012

The Spurgeon Fraternal - October 2012 - Pastor's Conferences are valuable, but Pastors Fraternals are invaluable!

Martin Holdt initiated the Spurgeon Fraternal in 1998
The Spurgeon  Fraternal began in 1998 under the leadership of Pastor Martin Holdt (now with the Lord)  in response to  a real need among  mainly Reformed Baptist Pastors.  
The Pastoral ministry is emotionally  taxing. 
It is very  easy to lose perspective in the  pastoral ministry.  Time and again men  come to a fraternal with experiences of burnout, symptoms of stress  and  physical illness. The Spurgeon fraternal is  a  sympathetic  forum for  prayer  and fellowship under the Word of God.  

The Spurgeon fraternal   happens twice a year -   one in  May, in  the Western Cape  and the other in  Gauteng  at the end of October.   I have been involved in this wonderful forum since its inception, and can testify to the  great value  that this fraternal  has been to my  own soul. The fellowship of  these pastors  is unequalled. I am in the midst of  my brothers.

Roland Eskinazi ( Goodwood Baptist Church) ; Nico van der Walt
Boyce  , Otto , Pumedzi  and Paul   at the Cape  Fraternal
I  have just returned  from   such a  Spurgeon fraternal,  held at the “University of Johannesburg Island“  in the middle of the Vaal Dam. 30 men gathered  from lunchtime on Monday  until lunch on Wednesday. 

Our sessions are structured. This time we focussed  on  a few chapters from Spurgeon’s  “Lectures to my Students”, as well as  thinking through  the impact  of the “new Calvinism“.  Dr Kevin Roy   shared  his insights in to the Zionist movement  in Southern Africa , and Brian Stone led us in a study on the use of Confessions, with particular application  to what the 1689 Baptist Confession  teaches on   “Civil Government” (Chapter 24).

The sessions are generally followed by  sharing and prayer. Meals are enjoyed together. Talking continues until  late into the night – particularly among  the younger men!  Burdens are shared. Spontaneous prayer happens. The older pastors counsel the younger pastors. Problems are not always solved, but generally men go away  ‘having  been heard’. A burden shared is literally a burden halved!  

Jason Labuschagne ( Plumstead Baptist Church  )

Gus Pritchard ( Emmanuel  Baptist  Church, Johannesburg )

Errol  Wagner ( George Baptist Church)  & Peter Sammons ( Germiston Baptist Church)

Spurgeon Fraternal in Gauteng - October 2007
Thank  God for  a place where  pastors can go to  be ministered to!  Pastors Conferences are valuable, but Pastors Fraternals are invaluable!

No comments:

How Shall We Best Communicate In This Social Media Driven Age?

In reading through the second and third letters of John, I    was struck   by   his   closing statements: 2 John v.12 :   Though I h...