On February 10-11 RCCEF Conference for pastors and leaders of Volga Federal District, which has already become traditional, took place in the capital of the Udmurt Republic. Guests from dozens of towns and villages of Volga district were welcomed in the building of “Philadelphia” church in Izhevsk. About 550 pastors and ministers from churches of Volga district took part in the conference.

An inspiring word from senior pastor of “Philadelphia” church, bishop Pavel Zhelnovakov opened the conference, and Head Bishop of the RCCEF Eduard Grabovenko shared a word of teaching on the first day.  

In his sermon he said that faith is not a “what if” full of doubts and fears, but rather confidence that having made a step into unknown you will not fall but God will lead you. Using examples from the Gospel and his own life experience, he emphasized that God already gave us everything necessary for ministering Him. We only need to use the little that we have and God will multiply it , like He did with 5 loafs of bread and 2 fish with which 5000 men where fed, and we do not even know how many women and children were there.

Sometimes we give up on some people around us and do not expect anything good from them, but God is able to raise even those people, it is important that we do not eliminate them from our life but keep praying for them. Sometimes we give up on ourselves thinking that God will not change anything in us any more or lay aside our calling. Eduard Anatolievich called to turn to God and to return to the place, where you went astray, and to let Him guide you.

Maltsev offered to look at the image of ministry of prophet Jonah and a specific role that was played in his life by the big fish and to find some lessons from that story for us. God sends believers, just like He sent Jonah to preach the Gospel. And it is not necessarily a faraway town or country. Someone’s “Nineveh” could be their neighbors to whom they do not want to go and testify about Jesus.

Pastors who obey God’s will are kind of “big fish” who devote themselves completely to ministering God. They immediately react to God’s calling, they hear Him and obey Him. The big fish “served” Jonah so that he would reject his own desires and fulfill the will of the Lord. Vadim Maltsev called upon ministers to listen to God and to hear God.

Bishop Pavel Zhelnovakov reminded a well-known truth that light makes darkness go away, and that light in the world is Christ’s disciples who bring the Good News. It is important to understand this calling and to have a heart faithful to the Lord. God supports such people and leads them. With our life and ministry we are to prepare way to the Lord to the hearts of non-believers, yet it is not easy to get to their hearts sometimes.

Our life either closes God to people or leads them to Him – it is important to understand this and to let God work on our hearts.

Round tables on the most relevant topics for church ministers were a part of the conference. Pastor from Orenburg Vitaliy Bushter talked about effective ways of teaching adults in church, pastor from Krasnokamsk Vladimir Neprozvanov – about ways of church development, bishop Pavel Zhelnovakov – about church finances, and a lawyer from Izhevsk Ilias Mukhametdinov conducted a seminar on the topic “Gospel and law”. Main points of discussion from the round tables were then announced to all conference participants.

In conclusion pastors and ministers prayed for churches, for positive changes in hearts and minds and for salvation of our people. 



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