Report from the HTS President
HTS President, Dr. Maynard Koerner
It is no secret that there is a tremendous need for pastors. Not only does the RCUS have a number of vacancies, other NAPARC churches have the same issue. In addition to there not being enough pastors to fill current vacancies, the work of the ministry has become such that pastors with congregations need help. Many in ministry are struggling with being overworked and finding it increasingly difficult to deal with the emotional strain of the ministry. How to meet the need for more pastors and supporting pastors who find it difficult if not impossible to meet the demands of the job will be a real challenge for the church going forward. We find ourselves dealing with a culture and world around us which is becoming increasingly more pagan. The influence of various aspects of pagan lifestyles is having an impact within the church. It also means that when there are new converts coming into the church the pastoral work which they require has increased.
At the same time there is tremendous opportunity to minister the gospel to people who truly need it.That does underscore the fact that the church needs to pray and truly be committed to meeting the challenge. As the Scriptures tell us, we need to pray that the Lord of the harvest would send laborers for that harvest. Which means training them and sending them into the field to carry out the harvest.
All of the above reminds me of several passages in the New Testament which speak to this reality. When Peter gave His confession in Matthew 16, after Jesus asked who they would say that He was Jesus said this, “you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it”. It is a great reminder that though there are many attacks, it is actually the church which robs the kingdom of Satan and that kingdom will not be able to prevent it.
Paul also reminds us of an important reality in Ephesians 6 that living the Christian life is a wrestling match. In his encouragement to young Timothy in I Timothy 1: 18 he says “wage the good warfare”.
We are engaged in warfare. We know what the outcome will be. Christ has gained the victory and the Kingdom of Christ will have that victory. But there is much work to be done, simply beginning with the fact that we need to understand that we are at war. The task begins with training men for the ministry.
Here at Heidelberg Seminary we rejoice that we have been given an increased number of students to train for the ministry (warfare). We trust that as men receive training and serve the church as pastors, the Lord would continue to provide for His church.
We do ask you to pray for the professors and students as we do our part in the battle.
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