12 May Central Georgia Presbytery Report
Dear HLPC family,
Yesterday I attended a meeting of Central Georgia Presbytery at Northgate Presbyterian Church in Albany. What’s a Presbytery? Presbyterians believe in being connectional. We believe that as a church we are connected to other churches and even connected as a body of churches known as the Presbyterian Church in America (PCΑ). The Presbytery is the regional gathering of Teaching Elders (pastors) and Ruling Elder representatives. As you can tell from the name of our Presbytery, we are a body of about 18-19 churches in middle Georgia. When the church gathers as a whole, we call it the General Assembly. The PCA General Assembly will take place this year in St. Louis the last week of June. Due to COVID, the General Assembly did not meet in 2020.
One of the chief responsibilities of Presbyteries is to approve pastors who are being called to serve in member churches. Yesterday two young men acquitted themselves quite well in their examinations before the Presbytery. To be clear, individual churches call their own pastors. Pastors are not appointed. As part of this approval process, which often involves ordaining men to the gospel ministry, we examine them in areas of their character, Bible, Theology, Church government, Church history, as well as the sacraments. It’s intended to be a rigorous exam. Lord willing, this is a safeguard for doctrinal and ministry soundness.
Ι’m a believer in denominations such as the PCA. I think they serve to unite churches and provide a means to pool resources for ministry. Of course, in heaven, denominations will cease to exist. We will all possess perfect understanding, and any misconceptions or misapplications of Scripture will be erased. Until then we can join together in ministry, appreciate our distinctives, and turn from sectarianism- a belief that the PCA, or any other denomination, is the only true church. We need to rejoice and pray for any and all churches that are faithful to God’s Word.
I’m thankful for the encouragement and accountability a Presbytery provides. Let’s be praying for not only HLPC and other faithful churches, but also for the health of the PCA. May God keep us true to His Word in all things.