So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith. — Ephesians 4: 11 – 13
One of the main responsibilities of the body of Christ is to strive to live in unity. Therefore unity among the churches, as representatives of the body of Christ, is really important.
Love Pretoria East (LPE) is a successful church leadership network which aims to promote unity among church leaders.
A large group of church leaders in the city, from various denominations, gather seven times a year, to touch base with each other at LPE gatherings.
Gateway News interviewed Pastor John Roebert, the lead pastor of Choose Life church in Moreleta Park, who is one of the driving forces behind the organisation.
“Our main goal is to create a platform for pastors and ministers to build relationships,” he said.
“We understand that the schedules of church leaders are demanding, so we decided to limit our gatherings to seven times a year, making it easier for our leaders to set time aside for this.
“It makes a realistic demand on their time and is a feasible commitment.”
He is positive about the organisation. “God is doing a great thing with this project and we are blessed.”
Church leaders needed each other’s support and friendship, he said. “This gathering is not a conference where we discuss church policies and doctrines. It is a two-hour event, with a keynote speaker and lots of time to get to know others in the community, over a breakfast.”
He said he thought the attendance of LPE gatherings is uniquely successful because church leaders needed an informal, relaxed setting where they could make a connection.
“I’m proud to say this meeting is unique as it is rare for a broad representation of church leaders across denominations and cultures to get together for the strengthening of relationships.
“This is not a platform where we dictate to anyone how to run their church. I believe strongly relationships are the beginning of working partnerships for the benefit of the communities we serve and the broader city we live in.”
According to him, attendees find it uplifting. “We are in the business of ministering to the communities we serve. These meetings are an opportunity for us to be ministered to, and be blessed by our fellow church leaders. We all need more of that!”
When there is a need to pray for pressing issues in the country, LPE will make time for it. “Last year November we did pray for the pressing leadership problems in our country, and it was a powerful time of prayer indeed.”
He said international keynote speakers who attended the event were often impressed by what they witnessed. “They are astounded at seeing such an array of church leaders at the event and it inspires them to try our model in their communities, and cities.”
Roebert said he believed that church leaders did not only have an important role to play in their communities, but also had a spiritual mandate,. LPE was not the only vehicle to help church leaders fulfil their role.
“LPE serves under the Tshwane Church Leaders Forum. There are organisations such as ours in different sectors of the city.”
He said he was thankful for the Lord’s blessing over their meetings. “Since the establishment of the organisation 20 years ago, we’ve grown slowly. But I think this year, is the year we will truly gain momentum.” For more information on upcoming events, go to LPE’s Facebook page where updates are shared regularly.
“We are grateful to God for the positive developments in our country! This is no doubt due to the fervent prayers of countless believers in South Africa.
“The church must not stop praying now. We should continue to keep the intercession levels high as we trust God to establish effective governance and well-being in our nation.
‘These are exciting times. Let’s see God’s purposes prevail,’ he said.