The seasons of the Christian church change, and the challenges change as well. Yet decade after decade, century after century, our faithful Lord raises up pastors, teachers, evangelists, and missionaries—just as He promised He would (Eph. 4:11). Tabletalk readers might recall the words of the great Puritan John Owen before his death: "I am leaving the ship of the church in a storm, but while the great Pilot is in it the loss of a poor under-rower will be inconsiderable. Live and pray and hope and wait patiently and do not despair; the promise stands invincible that he will never leave thee nor forsake thee."
While sober-minded about the challenges the church faces both within and without, Ligonier is optimistic about the days ahead. In our service to the church, we yearn for a faithful and fruitful outreach in obedience to the Great Commission. Since 1971, Ligonier has embraced its calling by joining careful ministry planning to vigorous outreach. Therefore, the leadership team under Dr. Sproul regularly assesses the resources entrusted to us, identifies the areas where we can uniquely contribute as a teaching ministry, and moves forward with prayers to the Lord for blessing as disciples are renewed, refreshed, and encouraged for the journey ahead.
We seek to be faithful in our generation for the sake of future generations, for the glory of Christ and the good of His church
We approach 2015 with eagerness. I would surely tax your reading patience if I outlined all of our ministry plans, but let me note a few, even as we ask you to pray for us and these endeavors.
The extensive update for The Reformation Study Bible continues to move forward. Under Dr. Sproul's leadership as general editor, every page of the original study Bible has been reconsidered by a "dream team" of Reformed pastors and theologians to provide an unparalleled reading and discipleship experience faithful to the latest biblical scholarship that anticipates the doctrinal issues facing this generation. We aim to head to production in just a few weeks, in time for a spring 2015 release of the English Standard Version edition, while working toward a fall release of the New King James Version edition.
Dr. Sproul has been writing with an award-winning composer to produce a landmark work of new hymns. It is important not only to teach truth, goodness, and beauty, but also to demonstrate it as well. That is what this project, we pray, will do. Over the summer, recording took place in Seattle, Phoenix, Orlando, and even in London and Canterbury, England. We can't wait for you to hear this project when it is released at a debut concert preceding the 2015 National Conference. The space-limited concert will be held at St. Andrew's Chapel on February 18. It will release to iTunes and other music stores on February 24.
The 2015 National Conference will be February 19–21, and for the first time it will be held at a resort at Walt Disney World here in Orlando. (Our normal location is undergoing renovations and is unavailable until 2016.) The topic is timely: "After Darkness, Light." The speakers and the venue are outstanding. This is a conference for the entire church and families are encouraged to come as children 17 and under are free to attend. We hope to see you there.
After much prayer, study, and consideration, we have launched the next phase for communicating our future funding needs. "Here We Stand: The Campaign for Ligonier Ministries" presents Dr. Sproul's vision and scope for what we need to accomplish on our campus in order to reach as many people as possible worldwide. We forecast the need to raise more than $11.6 million in designated capital campaign gifts and pledges before October 31, 2017. This includes the construction of a new multipurpose Student Learning Center to house classrooms, a library, faculty offices, study space, and a student commons gathering area. Furthermore, if by God's grace we hit this goal, Ligonier Ministries will be debt free.
After a successful outreach during the World Cup in Brazil, we are moving forward to multiply our efforts to reach even more people during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Interest in Dr. Sproul's ministry and materials continues to grow throughout the Portuguese-speaking world, and it is in partnership with visionary donors that we are able to uniquely serve growing Christians around the world with faithful Reformed literature and media.
We are partnering with Dr. John MacArthur to promote a focus on biblical inerrancy in 2015. In addition to the all-new Reformation Study Bible, Reformation Trust will be publishing a compelling new book by Dr. Steven J. Lawson that considers the life and ministry of William Tyndale. Several of our teaching fellows will be participating in the summit on Scripture held at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Calif., in March, and also in a regional event in January here in Central Florida, convened by Dr. Stephen J. Nichols for pastors and church leaders.
These are just the highlights. Thank you for your prayers and support. We seek to be faithful in our generation for the sake of future generations, for the glory of Christ and the good of His church. To better inform your prayers for us, please stay in touch through email, Facebook or Twitter. If there is anything we can do to serve you or your church, feel free to give one of our Resource Consultants a call Monday thru Friday at 800-435-4343.