At the heart of CERBI’s life is evangelism

On the 21st October 2006 the Company of Elders of the Evangelical Reformed Baptist Churches in Italy (CERBI) met in a constructive and joyful atmosphere at Vicenza. Besides the pastors from the seven associated churches, there were various other observers who came from churches with similar interests. The sessions  began with a time of prayer and meditation on the Word of God which was preached by Luigi Dalla Pozza from Ephesians  Efesini 4,1-16. This was followed by a review of the first months of CERBI’s life since its constitution in Bologna, 25th April 2006. It’s with thanks to the Lord that the entire project of CERBI has met with such interest both in Italy and  the numerous like-minded churches with whom we are in contact in other countries.

The attention was then turned to a consideration of what kind of service the association should dedicate to the progress of the Gospel. Not wanting to duplicate or repeat what is already being undertaken by other evangelical organisations which are already promoting church unity, formation and culture, or Church – State relations, the Company sought to agree on a precise vocation which it can pursue both in the short and long term. From the various proposals which were considered, it was the  theme of evangelisation which became the choice and decisions have already been made to republish the brochure Documentazione Evangelica (a panoramic view of the evangelical scene in Italy), as well as a series of evangelistic booklets. There is also the plan to develop partnerships with churches abroad with a view to founding  new churches and supporting evangelistic projects which are already underway.

Next year’s annual fellowship meeting in Bologna on the 25th April 2007 will have evangelisation as its central theme. These are all important opportunities for us to develop a practical approach to evangelisation which fully reflects the Gospel’s message and its meaning.

It is worthy of note that there is an increasing awareness of the need for Italy to have a Church Body like CERBI which takes seriously the both the reformed identity (in this case that expressed in the Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689) and the evangelical heritage. This marks a new phase in the development of  Italy’s evangelical churches.