Protestant Reformed Young People’s Convention 2018

As summer starts to draw towards a close, many of us young people look forward to the convention that is going to take place. This is an exciting time for us all, and we must see the beauty in this event. The convention is such a blessing as it draws together hundreds of like-minded individuals of one faith.

With that in mind let us consider the beauty of the unity we share, and our duty to God as young believers.

In this convention, we see the unity of the church. Hundreds of young people can gather together in harmony, despite sometimes having never met one another before. It is as the church after the outpouring of the Spirit, “And all that believed were together, and had all things common;” (Acts 2:44). As the verse states, we are gathered because we believe together. We gather together and sing praises to God, learn about God’s word under the speeches, and learn about one another through discussion groups. Through these events we share all things in common. Through talking and getting to know one another, we share who we are and how as separate individuals we all fit and have our place in the body of the church (1 Cor 12:12).

In connection to the unity of the church we should strive to make acquaintances with others. I encourage everyone to meet new people at this convention even if you feel you already have plenty of good friends. Making new acquaintances at convention is a great way to experience the blessings of the church universal, and perhaps you are the friend that God plans to provide for someone without many friends or someone going through a trial.

During this convention, when we gather together as the body of the church, we must keep in mind our duty towards God. We must remember it is more than a young people’s convention, but that it is the Protestant Reformed young people’s convention. As children of God alike, together we must be diligent in fulfilling our created purpose. This purpose which we have already talked about (Adultery is Near! 1) always finds its way to come before us again. This responsibility comes to us on a personal level, and it comes as the duty of the whole church body. As we gather together may all our actions, words, and thoughts to and with one another bring honor and glory to God’s name for that is our calling.  Let us treat one another well and “be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;” (Rom. 12. 10-11) and most importantly may we together, “give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name,” “in the midst of the congregation prais[ing] [him],” (1 Chr. 16.29; Ps. 22:22).

Let us heed special attention to the third commandment which we find in Exodus 20:7, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain…” Often we make the application of this commandment to our speech, and indeed this is a good application, but I would like to go further. As Christians, we all bear God’s name. We are children of God, or God’s people. However, you put it we are CHRISTians and we must represent and defend God amongst the world. Therefore, in all that we do, we must be good representatives of God. Even though the world may not be watching us as we gather together at convention, we must bear this in mind. It should not be the world’s eyes that motivate us to bear God’s name rightly, but it should be our love for God that makes us strive to honor Him.

May we all enjoy the convention. Thanks be to God for such a blessing and much gratitude to the many people who labored for such an event. I pray God grant traveling blessings to the many conventioneers and chaperones who come from all around for this wonderful gathering. I look forward to meeting many of you! By the power of the Holy Ghost working in us may we unite in one mind before God and praise Him with all our works.

Luke Christian Potjer

 

The Simplicity of the PRC

This past Sunday, my fiancé had to usher at our church (Doon PRC). So, I rode to church with him, per usual, and sat down really early near the back of church. This gave me an opportunity I don’t get very often. I got to sit and watch as our little Doon church filled up with people, from back to front. Those of you who know Doon know that we’re a pretty small congregation, but it got me thinking a bit. Many of the Protestant Reformed churches are actually bursting at the seams! Although we are a small denomination, there are quite a few churches that are at or even over their capacities!

So, I started thinking about why. Why is this little, unknown denomination growing and thriving so much? Here’s my thought process. It’s pretty simple, and it’ll only take a short article to explain it to you.

This past Sunday was Resurrection Sunday. Most of you probably call it Easter. So, as is expected, many of the people in church had on bright, beautiful colors to celebrate our Lord’s resurrection. Although everyone was dressed up and looked nice, I noticed that the style remained fairly simple. That’s pretty common in the PRC, modest and simple clothing. So, obviously, it isn’t our flashy clothes and stylish dresses that attract people to the PRC.

Next I got thinking about our building. Doon is a very simple building; in fact, we didn’t even have lilies decorating the front of church! Although many PR churches do decorate with flowers, the buildings are typically somewhat simple. We don’t use large sound systems or expensive décor to attract people to our denomination either.

Then, the organ started playing. Although it was beautiful, I realized that again, compared to the disco, loud, attention-grabbing music and lights the mega-churches use, our music is quite simple.  It usually consists of just an organ or piano playing Psalter numbers or hymns to help people focus on the upcoming church service.

After thinking through those few things I realized the word “simple” had come to mind quite a bit, and I suppose that’s how many people would see the PRC. Although there is a time and a place for more extravagant clothes, buildings and music, the Protestant Reformed Churches have made and effort to keep these things simple in the church settings. This is because we recognize the most important thing in our service is the gospel itself!

The reason for the growth of the PRC is because we teach good, sound doctrine (NOT to say we are the only ones who do!).  The simplicity of the PRC is that we are doctrine based. At the heart of our denomination is a focus on the Lord and His work in our lives. As long as we continue to do that, the world will never drown us out. They may continue to outnumber us, and sometimes seem to drown our voices out, but God will richly bless the churches that take pride in doctrine. Church is about the gospel of our Lord, not us! That means although pretty clothes, well-kept buildings and beautiful music is great, our focus is to remain on Him. It’s that simple, really.

Suzie Kuiper