The final day of the conference “Church Affecting Society”

The final day of the conference “Church Affecting Society”

On October 24-26, 2019, the conference “The Church Affecting Society” was held in St. Petersburg, Russia. Many speakers, messages and Q&A sessions were given to stress the reality that the church has a role and voice to influence the world around us for good, and how to do it well. This is the report of the culmination day, Oct. 26, 2019.

After an opening song, by Boris Berezhnoy, a sermon was delivered by Viktor Zaitsev, regional head of UECB in the Far East. He emphasized that good healthy relationships between believers is one of the factors that the Church can influence their communities. Love and good relations in the church are a powerful tool for influencing society.

After this, historian and teacher Vladimir Popov spoke, identifying several principles in the ministry of Ivan Prokhanov in his message entitled, “God’s Call to Prokhanov”:

  1. Dedicating of life to Jesus Christ.
  2. Take from the treasury of Christ and distribute to the Russian people.
  3. The main calling of the minister of God is prophetic ministry, proclaiming gospel truth in major public venues.
  4. The minister’s calling is the advocacy of evangelical believers.
  5. An active social position should aim at the spiritual transformation of Russian society.
  6. I.S. Prokhanov turned the gospel churches toward the society, to its needs and problems.

Michael Johnson, President of the Slavic Gospel Association, spoke on the history of SGA and the ministry today. In 1934, Slavic Gospel Society began with a young Soviet immigrant to the United States, Peter Deyneka, who became a follower of Christ through the mission of Dwight Moody. The basic principle of his ministry was: Much prayer – Much power.

Today, CEO has several areas of service:

  1. Sharing the gospel.
  2. Serving the gospel churches.
  3. Helping the needy and the forgotten.

A message was given from Moscow’s Russian Bible Church pastor, Eugene Bakhmutsky entitled, "Christians in front of society." In it, he expounded on the prophet Daniel’s example, identifying three principles of the life of a Christian, so he can influence society:

  1. We must pray for the society in which we live, asking for God's shalom (peace for him).
  2. We must proclaim the gospel truth to this world.
  3. God works through His Church in this world to build His kingdom.

After Bakhmutsky’s message, a Q&A time was held to discuss a few questions. The panel included Peter Mitskevich, Eugene Bakhmutsky and Igor Kuznetsov. The following questions were raised:

  1. How to serve society, when there may be wariness or negative attitudes towards the church?
  2. How to proclaim the gospel in the language of modern man and modern culture?
  3. How can we take example from the ministry of Ivan Prokhanov today?
  4. What can the church do to eradicate the evil around us?
  5. Does a Christian need to take responsibility for influencing society through social networks or should he refrain from social networks?

In one of the closing messages, UECB Vice President, Viktor Ignatenkov, highlighted some  important aspects of serving the church in modern society:

  1. The creation of the Church was the embodiment of Christ's plan
  2. The church receives all the riches of Christ, who then send it on to this world
  3. The church can influence society only when each person meets God there.

The conference ended with a seminar especially for sisters “How a Christian woman can influence society.” The head of the UECB Youth Department, Vitaly Zanin also held a round table discussion on youth work, where youth leaders discussed several relevant ministry issues:

  1. What barriers do unbelieving youth have keeping them from coming to church?
  2. How can Christian youth be relevant among today's youth?
  3. Why do young people leave UECB churches?

As a side  note, everyone had the opportunity to take part in an excursion to the Levashov  Memorial Cemetery to see the monument erected to evangelical Baptist Christians who died during the years of mass repression, which was conducted by Alexei Sinichkin.

The final day of the conference “Church Affecting Society” The final day of the conference “Church Affecting Society” The final day of the conference “Church Affecting Society” The final day of the conference “Church Affecting Society” The final day of the conference “Church Affecting Society” The final day of the conference “Church Affecting Society”
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