There is a popular African adage that goes: “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far go together.” The wise king, Solomon, also offered similar advice: “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their toil” (Eccl. 4:9). The importance of unity—especially among God’s people—can not be overemphasized. This is why our Lord Jesus Christ prayed earnestly that believers would be one just as the Father and the Son are one (John 17:20-21).
This is also our desire here at Malawi Reformation Network. We seek to be used by God to unite like-minded churches in preaching the gospel and grounding believers in Christ and his word in Malawi. To accomplish this vision we have two main programs: internship and what I would just call fellowship.
Through our internship program we are mentoring, training, and preparing men who are responding to God’s call to ministry. After completing their internship training, we intend to disperse them to plant confessional Presbyterian churches across Malawi and even beyond. These churches will eventually unite through the formation of Presbyteries and eventually a denomination. It’s a big dream! But why not? Our God is even bigger and able to do more than we think or imagine (Eph. 3:20).
The internship program is already in full swing and it’s my privilege to personally be mentoring three full-time interns at our church plant, Christ Presbyterian Church, Blantyre (CPC). A fourth (part-time) intern is being guided by a like-minded church, Christ Presbyterian Church in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi led by Bentry Mhango and Rev. Tom van Maanen. As we are mentoring these interns we are focusing more on unity that comes from the truth because this is the only unity that lasts.
The truth of the gospel and God’s word summarized in the Reformed Confessions including the Westminster Standards is what we are seeking. These interns will plant churches according to their God-given abilities and calling. Those churches might not look exactly like our CPC in Blantyre. However, their doctrine and philosophy of ministry will align closely with ours. Please join us in prayer that the Lord will enable us to fulfill this vision.
The second type of unity we are praying and working toward is fellowship. This is the unity among churches. These churches are not necessarily confessional Presbyterian but are convinced of the importance of preaching the true gospel and seeking to ground believers in Christ and His Word.
Our Reformed Pastor’s Conference in Lilongwe last year was the beginning of accomplishing this vision. Through the conference, we connected with like-minded brothers. Some are what I would call reforming brothers or churches who have come to the conviction that the Reformed faith is the true representation of biblical doctrine and are in the process of becoming reformed themselves.
At our last conference, two of our speakers were Reformed Baptist pastors, Kondwani Nyanda and Newton Chilingulo. It was a blessing for us to come together in unity based on a shared understanding of Biblical truth. It was also a great demonstration of unity in diversity. We pray that we will see more and more of this in Malawi.
I am thankful to the Lord, our supporters, and churches like Antioch Baptist Church and Blantyre Community Church (both in Blantyre) and Christ Presbyterian Church, Grace Bible Church and Reformation Bible Church (all in Lilongwe) who are partnering with MRN in a number of ways to promote the true gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ in Malawi. This is surely the kind of unity that Christ prayed for. Through the power of His Spirit, I am certain that we will go far.
Rev. Confex Makhalira
Founder and Board Member of MRN