Someone asked me about the Malawi Reformation Network the other day and referred to it as that ministry of University Reformed Church (URC, my church in East Lansing). I thought I would write something about that. While it is true that URC has fully embraced the work of MRN, we are by no means its only source of support. In fact, the kind of work we are asking the Lord to do will require the support of many faithful churches.
Our 20-year vision is the Re-Formation of the invisible church in Malawi into many faithful visible churches. We are praying for the bright lamp of God’s word to again burn in every city in Malawi. When we see a number of churches started and flourishing, we will prayerfully begin to form a new denomination in that country. It’s important to remember that this will not be the PCA/OPC/RCA/ARP/(enter your U.S. based denomination here) . . . Malawi chapter. This will be a Malawi Presbyterian denomination of churches.
And it should be this way. It is an unfortunate truth that the man-centered message of the so-called health and wealth gospel, although not unique to the United States, did likely arrive in Malawi by way of the American church. That is why our vision is for faithful, Reformed churches across America to join us in this work.
You may not know that on our Board of Directors we have members who attend the Presbyterian Church in America, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, the Reformed Church in America, and the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church denominations. Our supporters have been from all of these denominations and more. In April the Christian Reformed Church in Byron Center, MI is hosting a concert by Andrew Peterson and is donating the proceeds to MRN through the gracious gift of a person in that church who underwrote the entire event! In May, MRN will be presenting its vision to pastors and elders of the PCA, OPC, ARP, RCA, and CRC (others are welcome!) at a Saturday morning breakfast in Grand Rapids, MI. The examples go on and on.
Our hope is that MRN can be prayerfully and financially supported by 100 American reformed churches who are joining us to see the de-formation and then the re-formation of the church in Malawi, from the bankruptcy of man-centered theology to the life and hope-giving truth found in God’s word. A revival of truth and true forgiveness through commitment and sacrifice is the goal.
So, while we pray for the revival of a nation, let’s not leave out our own. We’re not better than our brothers and sisters in Malawi, we just have more financial means these days. We are still mere men and women – prone to the same wandering. Our Lord bids us all “come and die”. I wonder who will have a harder time answering that call. May God be clearer and bigger to us, and the things of earth smaller and dimmer.
If your church would like to hear more about the work of MRN, please contact us, we’d be happy to meet with you.
Chairman of the Board