Partnership with First Baptist Church of Bandung
One of our aspirations as a church is to establish gospel partnerships with fellow like-minded Christians for the advance of the gospel. In 2022, we had the opportunity to explore and establish some partnerships with local churches in Singapore.
Our Missions Committee has also been exploring similar opportunities with churches and organisations overseas. Representatives from the team have been visiting these potential partners to understand the nature of their work, and prayerfully consider if these are areas we could pursue as a church.
One such visit was to First Baptist Church of Bandung over the weekend of January 2023 by Thomas and Elder Jonathan. Our GBC team was encouraged by the time they spent with brothers and sisters in First Baptist Church that weekend. Like us, they also hold to a high view of Scripture and preach expository sermons. The church completed a sermon series in Colossians recently, and are working through Romans this year.
A sermon at First Baptist Church of Bandung
First Baptist Bandung (Gereja Baptist Pertama Bandung) was planted in 1952 and was truly the first Baptist church in all of Indonesia.They are a mid-sized church with worship congregations in both Indonesian and English. They are also an intergenerational church that has been active in planting other churches throughout their history. Currently, they are recovering from a strict long-term closure of their building during the pandemic.
Like GBC, First Baptist Church also desires to disciple and train up leaders not just in their local church, but also hopes to partner with other churches. One particular area of partnership with other churches is in the area of raising local missionaries. First Baptist Church has been actively doing this for many years with a particular heart to reach the edges of lostness in Indonesia by focusing their efforts on Unreached, Unengaged People Groups (UUPGs). These UUPGs are distinct ethno-linguistic groups that currently have no church in their language and have no gospel witness among them. There are currently 38 UUPGs remaining in Indonesia alone.
Baptisms at First Baptist Church of Bandung
First Baptist Bandung partners with the Baptist seminary in Bandung (Sekolah Tingggi Teologi Baptis Bandung) and hosts students doing their field education who are from diverse backgrounds throughout Indonesia. Some of these students, along with members from the church, have grown in their desire to make disciples and plant churches among the least reached of Indonesia. When the church affirms their desire and calling, these members are sent for four months of training in cross-cultural disciple making. Upon completion, they are sent out as teams to these challenging places.
The team from GBC was encouraged to see how First Baptist Bandung was supporting these efforts. While they are a smaller church than GBC, they have embraced their mission to plant other churches, both in their nearby areas and throughout Indonesia. The church has dedicated significant support for this effort through prayer, sacrificial giving, logistical support, member care encouragement, and the sending of their own members.
Elder Jonathan shared with the rest of the Elders after this trip, and we are now looking at ways we can work more closely with First Baptist Church in future. We have begun a financial partnership with First Baptist Bandung, enabling them to send out greater numbers of missionaries on their teams. While there are no concrete plans at the moment, they are excited about this opportunity and also seek the church’s partnership in prayer. As a church, we can join them in prayer for the following areas:
- Pray for 5 single young adults who were sent out this month to form a team on the island of Sumatra. Pray that they would abide in Jesus and be faithful ambassadors of Him as they go. Ask the Father to keep them by His Spirit, leading them in dependence and trust in His goodness and their mission.
- Pray as well for First Baptist Church of Bandung as they seek to deepen partnerships with the other Baptist churches in their city and province. Please pray for unity of mission and that the churches can partner together for the sake of furthering the gospel in Indonesia and beyond.
- Ask the Father to send out more labourers into His harvest—from First Baptist Church of Bandung, from other churches with whom they partner, and from GBC.
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