“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” ~ Eph. 5:15-16 (ESV)
Q: What is the Russian Baptist strategy for 2020?
Peter: The Russian Baptists are grateful for his grace and mercy. We pray for new open doors to proclaim the gospel in Russia. 2020 is about ministry; Service to the Lord, through many different avenues. Jesus’ commandments boil down to two things: Love the Lord and love others. How do we do this? By serving them. This is our focus: Family, church, city, and nation. We are planning several big mission conferences regarding practical ministry to implement these principles for real life. Along these lines, we will focus on training missionaries, not only professionally, but in the workplace, like we are all called to be. We don’t want our people to only be listeners of God’s word but to be doers of God’s word, demonstrating His heart for others. Also, we are trying to develop a better internet presence this year.
Q: What is the latest news on the possible closure of Moscow Theological Seminary?
Peter: Because of the seminary was made to be officially closed for a season last January, we were only allowed to reopen our doors to hold “seminars” and not formal seminary classes. So the seminary exists, but is handcuffed. There will be a court case decision Jan 21st to decide if the seminary license will be permanently eliminated, so we are preparing to start a new seminary if necessary, at the same location, to replace the one that will most-likely be removed.
Q: What should people in the west be praying for?
Peter: First, we are trying to build a law team that will help us with court cases facing different churches throughout Russia. Every week, pastors are meeting with lawyers to develop ministry in the right ways, so as to abide by laws, that seem to change constantly.
Second, not only is Moscow Seminary facing closure, but also other Baptist seminaries are being “inspected” by the government, which can cause further disruption among our denomination. We need wisdom in how to godly respond to the sometimes unfair and petty accusations that are brought to us. We live with more spiritual battles than physical or monetary ones. The evil one would love to divide and separate the brotherhood of believers, so we need to work toward continued unity. Pray that God prepares the soil of people’s hearts.
Third, we have held thousands of evangelistic events all over the country this Christmas season (December 25 – Jan 7). Pray for those who heard the gospel at an outreach event, and that children who have come will bring their parents and other family to church, and put their hope and trust in our Savior Jesus Christ.