“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes . . .” (Romans 1:16)
The verse quoted in the above banner for Reformation Gospel Ministries (“RGM”) is a strong reminder to that we are to stand strong in the Lord as we proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to a world that sits in darkness, dead in its trespasses and sins. There is no hope for the sinner. He is powerless to save himself from his ungodly state and under the condemnation of sin, sentenced to eternity in the place reserved for such (Hell). The sinner is unable to come to the Light and receive the forgiveness of sins and embrace the hope of eternal.
God, the Father sent the Son, Jesus Christ who redeemed and saved the elect sinner from his hopeless state and helpless condition by His one atoning death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. God not only redeemed and saved all who come to Him by true faith and in repentance of their sin; He also gave us His means He to bring the sinners to Himself. It is through the preaching of the Gospel. It is in this way God brings the purchased sinner to Himself, making Him alive (“born again”) by the power of the Holy Spirit, giving him the gift of faith, and granting him a repentant heart.
The importance of speaking and living a consistent testimony to the goodness and grace of God through Christ Jesus our Lord cannot be overstated. It is “the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes,” without exception. It is in this power the believer is commanded to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). This is the primary mission of the church of Jesus Christ. He uses saved sinners to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is with this in view, RGM has been established for the purpose of helping churches fulfill their primary mission. This purpose of RGM is described in the “Mission” and “Vision” statements (see Appendix ‘A’ and ‘B,’ respectively).
Last year marked the beginning of RGM as a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. It was a beginning point as we looked to Lord by faith in moving toward realizing our Mission and Vision. It was to a large extent a year where we found ourselves laying the ground work, if you will, for the future of this Gospel ministry.
Part of that ground work was to form a Board of Directors, consisting of three ministers and 3 elders of local congregations. It held its first meeting on July 13th. Two other meetings were held; one in August and the other in October. The next meeting is scheduled for February 15th, 2018. Reformation Gospel Ministries also came under the spiritual oversight of the Spiritual Council of Rehoboth Reformed Church, Cerritos, California. It gives a monthly report through Rev. Richard Stetler, who is also serving on the Spiritual Council as an elder.
During 2017, RGM sought out ways to spread the good news of Jesus Christ through various means: • A website was setup, http://www.reformationgospelministries.org (by Levi Tinoco, the son-in-law of Mike Krabbendam, a member of the Board of Directors of RGM) • We are also on FaceBook and Twitter, where we post updates for those who are following. We have 57 likes on FaceBook – Twitter was actually set up at the beginning of January of this year and has only begun to “tweet.” • Several tracts have been published and made available as a free download on the website. These include:
o “The Comfort of the Gospel”
o “Are You Saved?”
o Reformation Day Gospel Tract, emphasizing the “Five Solas” of the Reformation and the Reformed faith
o “What Next” – a tract to guide the new believer in getting started in walk of faith in Christ
• A gospel packet was put together with a two-fold purpose: first and foremost, as a means to provide for their spiritual needs, and then for their material or temporal needs. Many of these have been distributed, mostly by the brethren in California; and have been well received. The packet includes:
o A complete New King James Bible – inside the front cover is a label informing the recipient that it is a gift from RGM with a Scripture quote
o An “Are You Saved” or “The Comfort of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” Gospel tract
o The “What Next” tract
o A bottle of water with a label on the outside of it containing a Scripture quote and information about RGM
o Two one dollar bills to help go towards buying food
o The outside of the bag has a label attached to it informing the recipient that the packet is a gift from RGM with a Scripture quote
• A Reformation Day candy bag was also put together for distribution on October 31 for Reformation Day celebrations, Harvest Day celebration, or for children coming to the door for “trick or treats.” The bag is a snack sized zip lock bag consisting of:
o A Reformation day gospel tract
o A label explaining salvation through Jesus Christ using the “Five Solas” and informing the recipient that RGM is co-sponsor of the bag (candy provided by the user of the bag)
• RGM published a caroling booklet containing popular Christmas carol from the Trinity Hymnal – no secular carols are included, except at the end where the song “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” is found (available on the website as a free download)
• A Bible study was started at the Californian RV Resort for anyone to attend, both those staying at the resort and from the Acton community (permission was given by the Grace Reformed Church, Lancaster) – this is an on-going effort being conducted by brothers in Christ, who volunteer their time to continue this work and is under the supervision of Rev. Stetler, who receives a weekly report from James Dolinski (verbal or by text)
• A chapel service is also conducted under the sponsorship and supervision of RGM – This effort was also granted permission by Grace Reformed Church (an elder from the church conducts a service once a month) – This is also an on-going effort at the RV resort
In all of these activities, Rehoboth Reformed Church, Cerritos, California provided oversight to RGM.
Contributions for 2017 were better than expected for the first year of ministry work. Through the generous and gracious giving of many people, either by check, or cash through the chapel services, or electronically through PayPal, RGM received a total of $5,470 – Praise the Lord!
Reformation Gospel Ministries gives thanks to the Lord for His gracious provision through the many who have prayed for this ministry, and/or given of their time in service to the Lord through this work; and the many who have contributed financially to this ministry during its initial year. We rejoice in the Lord and give glory to our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, for His blessings that He has graciously poured out on RGM during 2017. RGM looks with great anticipation toward God’s hand of blessing on this ministry during 2018, as we seek to expand this work to Iowa and to accomplish more and more in fulfilling our “Mission” and “Vision.” We look to Him alone for His strength, guidance and wisdom as we pursue the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the glory of God.
LOOKING FORWARD IN 2018:
As we look forward to serving the Lord in 2018, planning must always be done bathed in prayer with a humble heart and in a submissive spirit, delighting in His will and way (Psalm 37:23; Jeremiah 10:23). We must always keep in mind that God is Sovereign over all things and He is ultimately the One that will determine (or rather has determined) the direction for RGM. We are reminded of this fact from Proverbs 16: 9, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”
In light of that we press forward in that spirit seeking the LORD to open up opportunities to spread the Gospel message of Jesus Christ working with churches to co-sponsor evangelism events from a Reformed perspective in pursuit of fulfilling the “Mission” and “Vision” of RGM. The following are some thoughts of possible opportunities that may bring us closer to fulfilling these goals for RGM:
• Continue to publishing tracts and other helps for distribution, including gospel packets put together in 2017. Proposed for literature projects:
o Develop the “Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ” method for presentation to churches for use in witnessing Christ within their community – a non-confrontational approach to witnessing Christ to other that is simple, Biblical leaving the result to Lord to work grace in a person’s by the Holy Spirit
o Develop a New Believer’s Bible study, or series of studies focusing on the covenantal relationship between the believer and God through Jesus Christ. Lord willing, it will introduce the Three Forms of Unity, work through the 5 “Solas,” the role of the church in the believer’s walk in the Lord, covenantal baptism, and basic doctrinal and life issues, such as reassurance, prayer, obedience from a thankful heart out of love for God and others, including confessing and witnessing Christ to others – all to the glory of God
o Put together a personal devotional journal, as help to promote the personal devotional time of believers (it is planned to be published for download from the website and in a book format with spiral binding)
• Begin an in-home outreach Bible study in Sioux Center, IA (under the oversight of the Sioux Center United Reformed Church – subject to being approved and finalized)
• Coordinate under co-sponsorship with Reformed churches Creation Conferences, tapping from resources such as Creation Ministries, International
• Coordinate under co-sponsorship with Reformed churches community Evangelism and outreach events
• Look for opportunities to distribute free tracts & literature (either published by RGM, or by others within the Reformed community) at community events in Sioux Center, Iowa and the surrounding areas
• Open air preaching
• Come under the oversight of a Reformed church for the work in Sioux Center and the mid-west
• Continue the Bible study and chapel services in Acton, CA (under the oversight of Rehoboth Reformed Church and supervision of Rev. Stetler)
• Look for opportunities to distribute free tracts & literature at community events in the Acton/Santa Clarita/Antelope Valley area in California – i.e., GraceFest, “Thunder on the Lot,” AV Fair, 4th of July events, etc. (Personal note: would desire to coordinate efforts under the oversight of a local Reformed Church in the area)
PROJECTED BUDGET FOR 2018:
• $12,000.00 or $1,000.00 per month
• Praise to the Lord for His gracious provision throughout the initial year of RGM
• Praise to the Lord for the generous gifts given to this work whether it was the giving of time, skills, materials, and/or financial support
• Pray that the Lord will by His grace grant wisdom, direction and strength as we seek to spread the gospel message
• Pray that the Lord will bless this work to His glory – that He will look with favor on RGM in the pursuit of its Mission and Vision
• Pray the Lord will bring Reformed churches to RGM that will provide oversight and co-sponsor gospel events
• Pray that the Lord will help us to effectively communicate to churches the Vision and Mission of RGM – that churches and their leaders will understand that RGM is not in competition with them but seeks to be in partnership with them for the spreading of the gospel and a means for church growth
• Finally, please pray the Lord will be pleased to increase this work with increased support by believers who have a desire to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ from a Reformed perspective, supporting this work by laboring with us in prayer, in joining us at community gospel events, and/or supporting this work with the much needed financial contributions, without which we will not be able to fulfill our Mission and see our Vision realized – and we know that as God is pleased to do so, He will provide for our every need according to riches of His glory through Jesus Christ our Lord (Philippians 4:19)
Respectfully submitted in Christ’s love and for His glory,
Rev. Richard Stetler
Chairman of the Board
Soli Deo Gloria!
Reformation Gospel Ministries
A Gospel Evangelism Ministry
“Preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ . . . the Power of God to Salvation” (Romans 1:16)
• To assist and equip the Spiritual Leaders of the church, in their God-given responsibility to preach the Gospel within their communities and throughout the world and to help enabled them to promote membership in a church that preaches the true Word of God and promotes the Reformed Confessions.
• To actively pursue and engage in evangelistic outreach efforts through public access points and events in conjunction with local reformed congregations
• To provide Christian religious education based on the Word of God through the coordination and / or conducting of various conferences and seminars related to the Reformed Faith.
• To produce and promote the distribution of gospel tracts and literature.
By the power of the Holy Spirit Reformation Gospel Ministries (“RGM”) will witness to Christ’s sacrificial work of salvation locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally calling to repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ all people everywhere who are sitting darkness, living in bondage to sin without hope and helpless to save themselves from their sin and misery (Luke 1:79; Hebrews 2:15; Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 3:10-18). This message that is brought is a message of compassion, kindness, grace, hope, and life that we will strive to deliver in the same love, compassion and grace that Jesus had and has taught us in His word. One of the most important aspects of this ministry work is prayer. Only as we go and proclaim the gospel message in the power of the Holy Spirit will we have the courage and strength to withstand any adversary. And we must pray knowing that without God causing ears to hear and hearts to believe the message no man will come to Christ by faith and be saved (Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Corinthians 4:6). Therefore, this ministry must be bathed in prayer, praying that by our words and conduct those we witness Jesus Christ to will not be with “persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power that [their] faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).
This vision will be executed, Lord willing and by the grace of God, through the preaching of the good news of the salvation that is from God through Jesus Christ and His one sacrifice of Himself on the cross on behalf of all who have been given to Him by the Father and belong to Him by God’s eternal decree and everlasting love for them no matter where they are, nor their standing in this world from the homeless, drunkard, and drug addict to the very wealthy and socially powerful to our friends and to our enemies – for we do not know who God will save and who will be left under the condemnation of their sin (John 3:18; 2 Corinthians 2:14-17).
Those who thirst and hunger to know the Lord and grow in the gift of faith from the Holy Spirit will be taught God’s word through neighborhood and in-home Bible studies, where the truth will be faithfully taught from Scriptures and the whole counsel of God declared (Acts 20:27) with the purpose of raising up others who would be able to go and do likewise (2 Timothy 2:2).
We will also distribute at no cost to the recipient gospel tracts and literature that faithfully explain the gospel message and the other doctrines of the Biblical faith as they are taught in the inerrant Word of God and expressed in the creeds and confessions of the Reformed Faith.
Further, Lord willing, we will coordinate and conduct various conferences and seminars related to various topics and subject matters to help others in defending the Faith and being able to give a reason for the hope that in us with “fear and trembling” (1 Peter 3:15).
RGM will seek to encourage those who come to Christ by faith and in repentance to sin to attend a local Orthodox Presbyterian and Reformed church body.
RGM is a donation driven work and realizing this vision will need the support from volunteers who will contribute their valuable resources both of time and money. But more than anything else much prayer is needed as we strive in the power of the Holy Spirit to obey our Savior’s command from a desire to serve Him with love in our hearts for lost souls and in thankfulness to Him for saving us and redeeming us from our own sin and misery.
RGM is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization.
(Beginning of Report)