Free Evening Lectures

Thursday, January 16. 8pm. 

"Preaching the Gospel in Lands Beyond You":
Paul's Vision for World Mission
By Dr. Arjan de Visser

Work Undone and Fields Unwon:
Why Global Missions Needs to be More of a
Priority for Us All
By Rev. Ryan deJonge

Friday, January 17. 8pm. 

Louis Bourgeois or Luiz Gonzaga:
Contextualizing Worship in Foreign Mission
By Rev. Jim Witteveen

No registration required for the evening lectures.

Session 1:

"Preaching the Gospel in Lands Beyond You”: Paul’s Vision for World Mission
By Dr. Arjan de Visser

The apostle Paul worked tirelessly among the churches he had planted but he never lost his zeal to take the gospel to new areas where Christ had not been proclaimed (2 Cor. 10:16). At the beginning of a conference on world mission it will be good to reflect on Paul’s missionary approach. We will focus especially on the balance he maintained between planting churches in new areas and nurturing the churches he had already planted.

Work Undone and Fields Unwon: Why Global Missions
 Needs to be More of a Priority for All of Us
By Rev. Ryan deJonge

If you talk about the need global missions in Canada today, someone will inevitably share the popular perspective that significant investment of money and time into supporting foreign missionaries is no longer necessary because the nations are now on our doorstep and in our neighbourhoods. In this talk, I hope to expose the fallacy of this line of thinking, and demonstrate that global missions must in fact be more of a priority for us. To do this, I will survey the state of Christianity and missions around the world, share what other conservative, Reformed churches are doing to fulfil the Great Commission, and consider the state of "foreign mission mindedness" among our churches. Throughout, I will draw on my experiences as a pastor in Canada and as a missionary in Papua New Guinea.

Session 2:
Reformed Faith Confronting Witchcraft in Africa
By Jeremiah Mhlanga

Witchcraft beliefs and practices are still widespread in Africa and have a detrimental effect on the well-being of its people. It is a huge factor in hindering development and it has kept many in the bondage of Satan’s grip. The hope and freedom for Africa rests with the Reformed faith. How? Come and hear!

Session 3:
Exposing Worldviews: How the Challenges of Preaching in PNG are Surprisingly Relevant Everywhere
By Rev. Ryan deJonge

The process of leaving my ministry in my home culture and learning to minister and preach in another, very different one has been like learning how to crawl again. I have had to rethink the impact that culture, cultural assumptions, and worldview play in proclaiming the gospel of Christ, and I constantly experience how much these things matter. In this talk I want to share some of those experiences, and how the much neglected discipline of Elenctics, coined and promoted by the great Reformed missiologist, J.H. Bavinck, has been invaluably useful. But I think that a greater sensitivity to the impact of worldview and the use of Elenctics is not only valuable for foreign missions, it is valuable for all preaching everywhere.

Session 4:
A Lesson in Humility: The Challenge of Training Christ-Exulting Leaders in Foreign Mission
By Rev. Ian Wildeboer

The great need for well-trained, Christ-exulting leaders in the global and local church cannot be overstated. Having witnessed the fallouts of poorly trained pastors, for example, lessons have been learned that are worth sharing. I will expose some of the inherent struggles in leadership training that we faced in Papua New Guinea - whether with pastors or lay-leaders -- and I will argue for an effective triad of learning between the local church, the local seminary, and post-seminary mentorship.

Break-out Sessions (choose one):
Option 1: Mission in Latin America with Rev. Richard Bout
Option 2: Mission in Africa and the Pacific with Rev. Henry Versteeg

Session 5:
In the Footsteps of Guido
By Rev. Frank VanDongen

In the footsteps of Guido de Bres there is much to learn about the persecution of the Christian church, also in our own time.  

Session 6:
Mission Among Immigrant Communities in Canada
By Rev. Matthew VanLuik and Rev. Tony Zekveld

At a conference that focuses on world mission, we cannot ignore the fact that in many ways the world is coming to Canada. Each year more than 250,000 people from other countries receive permanent resident status in Canada. This has led to the establishment of many immigrant communities (and new mission fields!) in and around Canadian cities. Revs. Tony Zekveld and Matthew Vanluik have been involved in efforts to reach these “new Canadians” with the gospel, Rev. Zekveld by way of planting a South Asian congregation in Mississauga, Rev. VanLuik by way of integrating immigrants in an existing church in Brampton. In their presentations they reflect on their respective missionary methods.

Session 7:
Louis Bourgeois or Luiz Gonzaga: Contextualizing Worship in Foreign Mission
By Rev. Jim Witteveen

Travel involves baggage. We take a lot of stuff with us when we go overseas, especially if we’re going for an extended period of time. The same is true for foreign mission, but the “baggage” that we bring is far less tangible and far more important. We bring ourselves, with our ethnic and social background, with our personal opinions and prejudices, shared experiences and expectations. So with these things in mind, I will be discussing Reformed worship and the “baggage” we bring with us, from my own Canadian-Brazilian perspective. Does our Reformed worship “work” in a foreign mission setting, or is Reformed worship too “euro-centric”? To what extent can or should it be contextualized? 

Session 8:
URCNA Missions: Learning from our Past
By Rev. Richard Bout

Synod Wheaton 2018 of the URCNA mandated its Missions Committee to investigate various models of missionary oversight and serve the churches with recommendations as to how the churches could improve the way they go about sending and supervising missionaries in various parts of the world. As the URCNA’s missions coordinator, Rev. Richard Bout has been very much involved in the work of the committee. In his speech he will review the developments and present some reflections regarding structures for missionary supervision.

Session 9:
Mission Organization of the CanRC: Time to revamp the model?
By Dr. Arjan de Visser

When the Canadian Reformed Churches launched their first foreign mission projects in the late 1950s, they decided that the work of foreign mission should not be organized by a central mission board (appointed by general synod) but rather through the initiative of local churches. Ever since, CanRC foreign mission projects have been initiated and supervised by "sending churches" such as Toronto, Hamilton and Surrey.  In this presentation we will raise the question whether the time has come to revamp the model and move to a more centralized approach. Advantages and pitfalls of both approaches will be discussed.