My ministry here at New Life has been fulfilling and joyful. There were no major issues or problems that were detrimental to me or to the church the past ten plus years. And even if there were, God has been very gracious to me and has protected New Life from all of them. As I look back, however, I realize there is a group of people that has worried me and drained energy out of me. They are those who have grown up in church ever since they were young or who used to attend and serve at different churches for some time before joining New Life, but for one reason or another are not growing spiritually.
How do I know who these people are? They talk more than they serve. They don’t appreciate or embrace what New Life has to offer, especially house church ministry. They frequently make statements that start with “Well, in my old church….” They “know” more than the pastor about church and they think the pastor should do this or that to make New Life better. They say they don’t get much out of the pastor’s message and hence, regularly listen to other pastors’ messages and talk to others about how great they are. They have a hard time submitting to their house church shepherds because they think they are more mature than them. They come across to people as knowing a lot about the Bible and they try to impress them with theological words or hard-to-understand doctrines.
There is nothing more precious than seeing older Christians grow continuously and serve God humbly in His church. However, they can be a pastor’s worst nightmare if they don’t grow or serve with a sweet spirit.
Therefore, if you happen to be one of those who either grew up in church ever since you were little or came from different churches, I would like for you to do these two things for your own sake and for the sake of New Life. First, be fully committed to house church. New Life is made up of 37 house churches as of now. This means, if you are not part of a house church, then you really are not and cannot be part of New Life because there is no New Life without house church ministry. House churches come together and make up New Life just like parts of your body come together and make up you.
There is no house church that is perfect. Therefore, stop complaining about your house church or house church shepherd. Instead, change your heart and behavior and ask what you can do to make your house church an attractive place where you can invite your unbelieving friends and family.
Second, take Living Life Bible Study this coming September. We just finished the fourth round and there are more than 120 who took and graduated from the class so far. There is no prerequisite for this class so anyone can take it whether you are a member of New Life or not. But if you are a member, then you must take it all the more because every member will be expected to take the class. If you take this class you will obtain three things. First, you will receive the assurance of salvation. Second, you will be equipped with skills in reading the Bible and understanding it. And third, you will get some of your questions answered in regards to your faith.
I have heard some people saying that Living Life Bible Study is such a basic class that they don’t need it. This class is designed by Pastor Chai and some of the seminary professors from Korea who teach systematic theology are raving about it. This class material is being published in book form and there are more than 500 churches all over the world that use this class to teach and equip their members. I have a master’s degree in theology but I find this class extremely helpful and beneficial. Again, those who say that this class is too basic for them to take may have the potential of becoming a pastor’s worst nightmare!
Jesus’ life can be summarized in two words: servanthood and submission. This means if we want to be more like Jesus we have no other way but to serve and submit. Therefore, serve in a ministry or two in your house church and in New Life and submit to those authorities that God has placed over you. If you do these two well, others will see the image of Christ more clearly from you and God will lift you up and use you greatly for His kingdom purpose!
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