The OPC Timothy Conference, which began in 2008, is a relatively new addition to the work of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Yet in its first six years, the OPC Timothy Conference has introduced about one hundred young men, professing members of OP congregations, to the privileges and responsibilities of the gospel ministry. Several of these men have already entered seminary in hope of pursuing ordination in the OPC. With another OPC Timothy Conference a few months away, the Committee on Christian Education is thrilled to continue to support and promote this program.
Near the end of his life, Paul exhorted Timothy, a young pastor: “What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2). It is noteworthy that Paul requires the church to be proactive in seeking out and training future ministers. This means, in part, that the OPC as a whole, and especially its pastors and elders, should be on the lookout for godly, mature, and intelligent young people within our churches who may be precisely these “faithful men” of whom Paul speaks—faithful men who may receive special training for the ministry and may in turn be able to instruct many others.
Most OP ministers did not grow up in the OPC. We thank God for bringing so many faithful men from outside our ranks to serve us, and we pray that he will continue to provide such servants in the future. Yet we also acknowledge our responsibility, even as we seek to train all of our youth in the fear of the Lord, to identify those sons of our churches with potential for the gospel ministry, to encourage them to consider the Lord’s calling, and to support those who pursue training toward this end. What a blessing from God it is when he uses those baptized and catechized in OP churches to baptize and catechize the next generation of believers in our congregations.
In order to continue assisting the church as a whole with this great task, the Committee on Christian Education is now planning the 2014 Timothy Conference, scheduled for April 9–12. The OPC Timothy Conference has been held at different locations across the United States, and this coming year it will meet in the Southeast. Matthews OPC, near Charlotte, North Carolina, has graciously agreed to be our host. Three OPC pastors—Nathan Trice, Boyd Miller, and Stephen Oharek—as well as Danny Olinger, John Muether, and David VanDrunen from the Committee on Christian Education, will give lectures on a variety of topics, including the office of the minister, the call to the ministry, the nature and purpose of seminary education, the process toward ordination in the OPC, and how the participants can begin preparing for the ministry even now. The participants will also make a trip down to Greenville, South Carolina, where they will have the opportunity to attend a couple of classes at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in order to get a small taste of what seminary studies involve. In addition to these formal events, the OPC Timothy Conference also provides wonderful opportunities for informal fellowship among the participants and conference speakers.
Offerings to Worldwide Outreach of the OPC support the Timothy Conference, so there are no costs for those who attend.
All sessions in the OPC are encouraged to consider whether there is a young man (ordinarily between the ages of 16 and 21) in their congregation who is a good candidate to participate in this year’s conference. For more information on the OPC Timothy Conference and instructions for nominating a young man, see the Christian Education page on the OPC website, www.OPC.org.
Please pray for this year’s OPC Timothy Conference. Ask the Lord to raise up good candidates to attend and even to use some of these young men one day to serve his church in the gospel ministry.