Being refreshed in how to preach Christ’s gospel

By Rev Dr Pahala Jannen Simanjuntak

I am a Lutheran Pastor who was ordained since 1996 from a Protestant church in Indonesia. An Old Testament Lecturer at a Theological Seminary in Pematangsiantar belonging to our church. I completed the Doctoral program from Silliman University Dumaguete City, Philippinnes 2017. My church name is Huria Kristen Batak Protestant (HKBP) established since 1861 through […]

I am a Lutheran Pastor who was ordained since 1996 from a Protestant church in Indonesia. An Old Testament Lecturer at a Theological Seminary in Pematangsiantar belonging to our church. I completed the Doctoral program from Silliman University Dumaguete City, Philippinnes 2017. My church name is Huria Kristen Batak Protestant (HKBP) established since 1861 through the evangelization of a German Missionary, Dr I. L. Nommensen.

Our headquarters are in Pearaja Tarutung, North Tapanuli, North Sumatera. The HKBP Church has 5 million members of the congregation spread throughout Indonesia. In addition to Indonesia, our congregations have also been established in America, Singapore and Malaysia even in small numbers of congregations. We have 1,500 pastors serving in local, regional, seminary and synod churches also serving in evangelism agencies and in government agencies. In addition our church is also served by Teacher Preachers, Biblewomen, Deaconesses, Evangelists and elders. They are also ordained for the post and perform their duties as regulated in the Rules of the HKBP church. Every minister in HKBP is given an ordination understanding which he/she receives to carry out the task.

I am grateful for the invitation from the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) International Mission through the Reconciliation Ministry Program to attend the Reconciliation Training course in Adelaide. I was sent by my Seminary and church leaders through Rev. Basa R. Hutabarat as head of the National Commitie Lutheran World Federation (KN-LWF) in Indonesia.

Together with Indonesian friends from BNKP’s church in Nias Island Rev. Fotani Ziliwu will follow this activity May 20 to June 30, 2018 in Adelaide. We are very happy to participate in this activity because it is very useful for our service in Indonesia. Christians in our country are very few (minority) when compared with the majority of Muslims. But as Christians we thank God that we can worship every Sunday and listen to God’s word as joyful news.

During these 6 weeks we will be mentored by Rev. Paul Kerber who is Assistant to the Bishop- Reconciliation Ministry and Mr. Nevin Nitschke, Program Officer for LCA International Mission to receive training on how to properly preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. For the core of our Christianity is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone. And that is the word of God written in the scriptures of both the Old Testament and the New Testament books.

Personally, I really appreciate this activity because it is very useful for my ministry as a pastor and also as a lecturer in seminary in Indonesia. First, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ is Jesus’ message to the disciples and to us today. This work is almost ignored by some churches in Indonesia even in this world. Even in sermons in the church also hardly touches about Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. Some churches only teach the law to do good deeds. It is as if ignoring the preaching of Christ as the center of human salvation through the death and resurrection of Christ.

Secondly, I am very interested in following this activity because it reminds me of the importance of evangelism as it happened to my church hundreds of years ago. The HKBP church originally started from evangelism when missionaries came from Germany to proclaim the Gospel of Christ as the message of salvation. As a result of this evangelisation the number of people who believe in Christ is increasing. And then stand up the church in the ‘Batak Land’ which became the basis of Christianity in North Sumatera. Missionaries hold personal evangelism through interpersonal conversations to unbelievers to Christ. This is the growth of my church initially beginning with a conversation with people who have not yet received the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Some important agenda we will follow during this training is Biblical reconciliation, understanding and responses to the conflict, peacemaking and reconciliation ministry to others inside and outside the church. The whole point of all this training is to bring everyone to believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the Son of God who came into the world to save sinners and be free from God’s judgment.

In addition to receiving training in our classes will also be brought to several cities in Australia such as Tasmania, Melbourne, Brisbane and Launceston also to attend the workshop and training of Reconciliation Ministry. Together with pastors, our elders and teachers will join this activity with joy and will add our insights into the ministry of Reconciliation.

So proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ we must keep doing so that the number of believers in Jesus Christ will increase. With the increase of people who believe in Jesus Christ will certainly bring the growth of Christianity around the world. On the contrary our Christianity will not experience the decline as it does in some countries in the world today and the number of people who believe in Jesus will increase significantly. This work is very difficult to do if we depend our thoughts and abilities. But to do this work we must receive the power of the Holy Spirit to lead us. For it is by the power of the Holy Spirit living in the believers that enable every one to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Again, I thank the Lord the King of the Church for being able to follow this precious program. Thanks to LCA International Mission for inviting us to join this training course to preach the gospel more seriously. Everyone is called to reveal the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the Reconciliation Ministry. So congregations can grow and thrive throughout the world through evangelism and private conversation.

We arrived with joy in Adelaide and were welcomed by Rev. Paul as the person in charge of the program. We feel the warmth of friendship with staff at the LCA office and also students and lecturers at Australian Lutheran College (ALC) North Adelaide. During this activity we were at the Archer Street guest house on ALC’s campus. And all of our accommodation and travel costs are financed by LCA International Mission itself.

The beauty of the city and the hospitality of the Adelaide people that we have felt since arriving in this city will make us feel comfortable staying following this program. After the end of this program we will return to our country in Indonesia with a valuable lesson in the Reconciliation Ministry.

Of course after this activity we are expected to do like this to our congregation, such as to the leaders of the church, pastors, and also elders. So they were refreshed how to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ through training like this. But even more precious is receiving Jesus Christ as the Savior through his death and resurrection. So that we have the forgiveness of sins and salvation through Baptism and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to the eternal life that Jesus has provided in heaven. Blessed be the Lord through this Reconciliation Ministry Training Course.


If you would like to know more about opportunities to personally support a scholarship recipient in your congregation during their stay in Australia, or ways in which you can financially and prayerfully support LCA International Mission’s scholarship program, you are invited to phone Nevin on (08) 8267 7300 or email nevin.nitschke@lca.org.au

Read more stories about LCA International Mission scholarships at http://www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/scholarships/

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About the Author : Erin Kerber


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