On April 30 and May 1, 2018, TGCi (The Gospel Coalition Italia) held its first annual conference. The conference, titled Guard the Good Deposit of the Gospel (2 Tim. 1:14), was held in Tuscany at the Santa Chiara Hotel in Chianciano Terme. The speakers were four TGCi council members: Gian Paolo Aranzulla, Pietro Ciavarella, Stefano Mariotti and Mark Oden.
Each of them expounded a chapter of 2 Timothy. About 90 adults and 20 children were in attendance. They represented 15 churches from Italian cities between Reggio Emilia in the north and Naples in the south. One family came from a church in Nottingham, England. TGCi is in its infancy and its website went online just a few days before the conference. The conference was organized completely by volunteers, with some of the council members’ wives doing the heavy lifting.
A small sliver of Italy’s population is evangelical and of that only a tiny sliver is Reformed. Expository preaching is virtually unknown to most Italian evangelicals. The TGCi council believes the attendees felt very edified by the clear exposition of 2 Timothy. The times of worship and prayer provided opportunities for public expressions of praise, intercession, and thanksgiving. During meals and informal walks, conversations strengthened existing friendships and forged new ones. There was a strong sense of spiritual communion and excitement about what God may want to do through TGCi.
As TGCi looks to the future, here are some things you can pray for.
- That God would be pleased to use TGCi to strengthen the Italian church.
- That council members would grow in godliness.
- That more and more people would be blessed by the new web site.
- That more and more Italian preachers see the importance of expository preaching.
- That TGCi would exercise wisdom in adding members to its council, which currently has 7 members.
- That 2019’s conference on April 12–14, with Don Carson as its main speaker, would be used greatly by God.