2015. Conference of the Association of “Philadelphia” church for leaders and pastors held in Izhevsk

Making conclusions and planning for the future are important parts of any church’s life. It helps to evaluate its condition and direction it takes. That was exactly what the pastors and ministers of the Association of “Philadelphia” church gathered for in the House of Prayer of “Philadelphia” church, Izhevsk, on December 19. About 300 pastors and ministers from different towns and localities of Udmurtia came to the conference.

In the beginning Bishop and Senior Pastor of the church in Izhevsk Pavel Zhelnovakov took stock of the outgoing year which was full of events, conferences, and meetings. However, that didn’t, alas, help the churches to progress a lot. There are local churches and groups that haven’t grown a lot for the past year. What is the reason? Why doesn’t the Kingdom of Heaven spread as rapidly as it used to do in the Age of the Apostles when hundreds and thousands of people penanced and were converted? Why don’t we see this happening today if God hasn’t changed?

This was the main subject of the pastor’s discourse. Different conferences and seminars are devoted to the problem of churches’ growth. They advise certain methods, which can hardly be considered efficient, or offer the means, which were up-to-date in the 90s but are absolutely out-of-date nowadays. But none of the methods will be useful unless the Holy Spirit reveals His power in our ministry. Sometimes we forget of the importance of cooperation with this Person of the Trinity. We can’t regulate or plan the work of the Holy Spirit. All we can do is obey Him and follow His instructions. “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit” it is said in the Bible (Zech. 4:6).  

Yet we can experience the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and ministry if we are filled with Him.

If we are obedient to the Holy Spirit, He will certainly draw our attention to the Gospel. We must bring it to the world as Jesus commanded us to do. Pavel Zhelnovakov especially emphasized this problem. Being filled with the Spirit can be expressed in different ways. Frequently it is accompanied by speaking in tongues. This gift is very important but the fact that someone doesn’t speak in tongues doesn’t mean that this person is not baptized in the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul specified a variety of spiritual gifts that God can give to a believer. The Bishop appealed for spiritual renewal of the churches so that they could work for the Lord even better next year.

The Holy Spirit made His adjustments for the conference course. The prayer for the people that must have taken 40 minutes actually took an hour more. The ministers came up to the Senior pastor and asked him to pray. During the prayer many of them received important answers for their situations. The Lord has made a start, so we must not quench the Holy Spirit but let Him guide us and our ministry. 


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