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Challenged to rekindle the flame of the gospel

The Spanish Brethren Assemblies held a national meeting in Madrid, with a strong call to be passionate about Jesus and his mission.

FUENTES Protestante Digital AUTOR 16/Daniel_Hofkamp,5/Evangelical_Focus MADRID 18 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2022 15:15 h
The closing of the Brethren Assemblies Meeting / Maite Guerrero, Coahes.

“Rekindling the flame of the Gospel” was the theme of the national gathering of the Brethren Assemblies of Spain, held in Madrid from 11 to 13 November, with the participation of over 270 attendees.



The gathering brought together evangelicals from many parts of the country, and of very different ages. Jointly organised by Coahes ( Coordinator of Brethren Assemblies in Spain), Fondeván (Fund for the support of evangelistic work in Spain) and the magazine Edificación Cristiana (Christian Edification).



An intensive programme with plenary sessions, worship, prayer and discussion groups, in an atmosphere that fostered the exchange of ideas and served to inspire and encourage one another in the challenge of living and preaching the gospel in Spain.



“There was an atmosphere of joy in meeting brothers from all over Spain with a concrete goal: to grow in communion by spreading the flame of the Gospel in all areas of our society”, said Felipe Redondo, president of the Coahes. “We feel that there is no time to lose”.





[photo_footer]  Timothy Glasscock was in charge of the introduction to the meeting, which had a participatory structure./ Maite Guerrero, Coahes[/photo_footer] 


 



Called to renew passion in the midst of decline



Pastor Timothy Glasscock opened the time of reflection on Friday, expressing his concern about the decline of the Brethren Assemblies movement in many parts of Europe and even in the UK, where it began in the mid-19th century.



He also presented the challenges he detected in Spain, which are not uncommon to other evangelical groups and have to do mainly with the lack of impact on society, the need for renewal, and the development of integral discipleship.



The Saturday plenaries addressed several aspects in which the flame of the gospel needs to be rekindled.



Julio Martínez, elder of the church in Suanzes (Madrid) emphasised the importance of the gospel message, not only as a need for outsiders but above all for believers, who need to rediscover that message and apply it to every sphere of their lives.



Jaime Ardiaca, pastor of the Amara church in San Sebastian talked about unity in diversity, stressing the work of service that should distinguish every Christian in society and in the church.





[photo_footer] The worship team led the worship times. Jaime Ardiaca was the second plenary speaker. / Maite Guerrero, Coahes[/photo_footer] 



Ardiaca encouraged to work together in the mission to walk in a visible unity, which is an effective testimony to the Spanish society.



Daniel Benítez, pastor of the New Light church in Malaga, spoke about the challenges of the mission and encouraged churches to see all their members as active agents in spreading the gospel and to break down barriers that may hinder its presentation.



Benítez strongly emphasised the need to invest in a discipleship that goes beyond intellectual training and is accompanied by life-giving example.



The final plenary, closing the programme, was given by Israel Montes, pastor of the church of the Brethren in Ponferrada (León). The youngest of the speakers focused on the need to live our faith with passion, so that nothing is placed above Jesus.



He called for a commitment that overcomes any goal, leisure or contemporary comfort, to carry out the mission of preaching the gospel.





[photo_footer] Israel Montes and Daniel Benítez.  / Maite Guerrero, Coahes[/photo_footer] 



 



 



Encouragement and action



During the meeting there was also time for prayer and meditation early in the morning. Pastors Walter Hofkamp and Benjamin Martin presented a short reflection on the Psalms, followed by times of individual and group prayer.



There was also a celebration of the Lord's Supper on Sunday, led by the worship team, followed by a time of free participation.



Several ministries were presented and there was a stand area where participants could find information on training and evangelistic initiatives, Bible translation and distribution, humanitarian organisations, seminaries, as well as a place to buy books.



In the free time, there was an atmosphere of conversation and friendship that many emphasised, this being the first face-to-face meeting of Brethren Assemblies after the pandemic, which created a special atmosphere of reunion.





[photo_footer] Group photo of gathering participants. / Maite Guerrero, Coahes[/photo_footer] 



For Felipe Redondo, the event was “a turning point for this Christian movement that the Holy Spirit promoted over a century and a half ago in Spain, to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord has given us some very insightful presentations, we have all been able to contribute in the reflection groups, and we have been able to worship God in a beautiful way”.



In the near future, the Coahes plans to continue organising general meetings, but also others for specific groups such as young people, “to fulfil the mission that the Lord has placed in our lives today”.



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