In this series, those involved with CLC foreign missions profile one aspect of our overseas endeavors.
The West African CLC Pastoral Conference (WACLCPC) was held in Lomé, Togo on February 28 through March 2, 2023. Eight pastors and leaders came from Nigeria (NCLC), two pastors from Liberia (LCLC), six pastors and leaders from Togo and Ghana (EELCT), along with Missionaries Todd Ohlmann (USA) and Peter Evensen (Togo).
The theme of the conference was Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” In addition to morning and evening devotions and a communion worship service on Wednesday evening, the following six papers were presented:
- What God Reveals about His Kingdom
- What God Reveals about His Righteousness
- An Exegesis/Sermon Study of Matthew 6:19-34
- What God Really Promises in Matthew 6:19-34 (A Law and Gospel Study)
- The Blessings of Keeping God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness as Our First Priority
- Seeking God’s Kingdom vs. Seeking My Kingdom in the Pastoral Ministry.
This conference was a great blessing to all who attended. The leaders and pastors of our affiliated church bodies in West Africa had the opportunity to make or renew acquaintances with one another and to encourage one another with God’s word.
The focus on seeking first God’s kingdom and His righteousness is particularly important in Africa because so many other churches and pastors preach the false “prosperity gospel” that promises material blessings to those who are faithful (especially those who contribute to those churches). Africa is filled with billboards and church signs featuring the picture of the pastor (and often his wife). Many focus on establishing their ministry; that is, their own kingdom rather than God’s.
Jesus’ words are an important reminder that the churches and missions we serve belong to God. He has called us to shepherd His flock and faithfully proclaim His Word, His kingdom, and His righteousness—the righteousness of God that He gives to us through faith in Jesus Christ. Pray that all the pastors and leaders will take these things to heart as they return to the work in their respective countries, and that they will be able to share what they have learned with other pastors in order to encourage them also.
The next conference is scheduled for February 4-6, 2025, to be held in Nigeria. The tentative theme comes from 2 Timothy 4:2: “Preach the Word!”