It truly is amazing how New Life’s heart for the world missions has been cultivated over the past few years. Many of us are committed to missions in various ways. Some of us are preparing ourselves to go overseas as long-term missionaries. Others of us are planning to go on short-term mission trips to see and be exposed to what God would have us do with our lives. Still others are committing to missions as senders and intercessors as they are reading books related to world missions or taking the Perspectives course. Since we are right in the middle of everything that has been happening here, we may not feel or realize the missions temperature of New Life, but almost all the guest speakers and other outsiders have commented about the intensity and passion that New Life has for missions. This is something we need to thank and praise God for!
We cannot deny the fact that God has been very favorable to New Life and has been blessing us abundantly with people, talents and resources. However, God pours out His spiritual blessings on a particular group of people when He senses that they are ready and prepared to receive His blessings and do something that is honoring to Him. As the head pastor of New Life, I humbly believe that we have been striving to be right with God and be pleasing to Him the past six and a half years. And without the Missions Team leader like Phil Shin, our hearts for world missions would not be where they are right now. He has been very passionately and diligently serving the team and challenging New Life with the task of world evangelization while he has been working full-time as a computer programmer.
Both his ministry and his work have become more demanding for him, and recently, he came to a point where he needed to choose one. When the team leaders sensed his difficult situation, we approached him with the possibility of serving New Life as a full-time Missions Team leader for one year before he goes overseas for two years as a Journey Man Missionary through IMB (International Mission Board). After spending some time fasting and praying, Phil graciously accepted the offer and has decided to serve the church beginning February.
He has been working hard as the Missions Team leader but has not had time to organize the team’s structure and equip the leaders who would be responsible for different ministries of the team. In his new position, he will fully devote his time and energy to develop the structure and establish the leaders, as well as perform other pertinent responsibilities so that when he leaves to go overseas for two years, our Missions Team will have become self-sustaining.
Phil is taking a huge pay cut to do this, and I do not feel good about this. But he has been sharing with me and other team leaders that he is grateful for this opportunity because he gets to do what he truly wants to do with his life. For this, I am extremely glad. As New Life grows in number, we will need to add more paid staff who can devote their full-time attention to church. When this happens, I hope we can treat the church staff members well with not just our hearts and words but also with our financial resources.
“The pastors who do their work well should be paid well and should be highly appreciated, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching. For the Scriptures say, ‘Never tie up the mouth of an ox when it is treading out the grain ? let him eat as he goes along!’ And in another place, ‘Those who work deserve their pay!'” (1 Timothy 5: 17-18)
I am thrilled that servant-leaders are being born in our church. Let’s pray that more and more staff members will come out of our own as New Life grows both spiritually and numerically.
By the way, what should we call Phil? “Pastor Phil?” No! Just call him Phil!
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