earthen vessels, East Africa, and the gospel
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The New Church Fellowship

In a recent prayer update I provided a few reasons that make revisions to the Tanzanian church constitutions is a big deal. Here, I’d like to emphasize the “big.” To clarify, the churches didn’t just update the language of their constitutions. They also chose to draft a governing document for their church fellowship at the same time. Up until now the churches have informally encouraged and helped one another. This could have continued indefinitely except for government policy that will require them to organize and register as a group of churches. For now we missionaries are satisfying those requirements on the churches’ behalf. Organizing the churches into any form of fellowship is a necessary step towards their maturity—hence my “big deal.”

Church Summit, May 2017
Church Summit, May 2017

At about 7:00 pm on May 4, the second of the two-day church summit for revising and writing these documents, there was a spontaneous celebration and a sigh of relief. We had worked through both documents and survived the intense discussion!

The Form of Fellowship

The churches have decided to work together for the following purposes:

  1. guard the doctrine and teaching among the churches
  2. start new churches and motivate evangelism
  3. help solve biblical conflicts between churches
  4. pray for one another
  5. care for God’s property (i.e., land and buildings)[1]
  6. help one another in times of disaster and danger

The Next Step

Pending the agreement of each congregation, the first ever meeting of the Fellowship of Grace Baptist Churches of Tanzania[2] will be 22 June. Please join us in praying for the success of these meetings.


  1. Some day this will involve paying property taxes and reporting all of fellowship finances to the government.  ↩
  2. Or, as they will be known in Swahili: Ushirika wa Makanisa ya Kibaptisti ya Neema Tanzania  ↩

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