The Church of the Nazarene in Malawi organized a two-day national holiness conference 13-14 November themed “Thriving for Holiness.” The main speakers for the conference were General Superintendent Carla Sunberg and Africa Regional Director Daniel Gomis.
The conference was held at Bangwe Church of the Nazarene, the first church organized by Malawi’s first Nazarene missionaries in the early 1950s. More than 250 people participated in the conference, including church members, pastors, ordained ministers, lecturers, district superintendents, and other guests. Representatives from all five districts in the country and staff from Nazarene Theological College of Central Africa were also present.
The conference featured times of worship through song, preaching, plenary discussions, and an ordination ceremony.
During her message, Sunberg stressed that preaching holiness and ministering to the poor is the purpose of the Church of the Nazarene, which is made effective when Christians have the same mind and heart as Jesus through sanctification and God’s prevenient grace.
"We are debtors to every man to give him the gospel in the same measure in which we have received it,” Sunberg said, quoting Phineas Bresee.
Gomis shared that all believers have a call to be authentic and holy. He challenged the people to no longer simply admire holiness, but to strive to become holy.
He then spoke on how holiness relates to the culture in Africa and how some cultural practices are more highly valued than holiness. Gomis encouraged attendees to live like Jesus did, in the culture but also above it. Gomis stressed that this is how Christians in Africa are supposed to live — to engage in the world around them without sacrificing a holy life.
The conference plenary discussions focused on how the church in Malawi can continue to advance the kingdom of God through breakout groups, question and answer times, and brainstorming sessions regarding current and future outreach initiatives.
The apex of the conference was the ordination service, where 25 ministers were ordained. Sunberg told the ordinates that they are called to serve and not to be served — that God has a purpose for their lives and that He wants to use them in very special ways.
As the conference came to an end, Field Strategy Coordinator Paul Mtambo thanked Sunberg and Gomis for taking their time to teach and preach holiness.
“This is the message and teaching that the church needs,” Mtambo said.
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