In the last “From the Pastor’s Desk” I had shared with you that we are changing our Sunday worship time to 3:30PM beginning May 15. It was because the KSC (Korean Speaking Congregation) would need the gym for two or three Sundays while they are going through their worship center remodeling project. Moreover, they were planning to break the ground behind the trailer house to begin their youth center building project. This was going to take away about 80 parking spaces on the gravel parking lot which would cause not a small parking problem for the entire church.
As I thought and prayed about the whole situation for several weeks, it became clear to me that if New Life would change our worship time to 3:30PM on Sunday until we build our own parking on our property, it would solve all the problems. God helped me to remember Isaac who didn’t complain or quarrel with the herdsmen who took away the wells he dug out. Instead, he kept moving away from them and digging the new ones. I felt that it was a right thing for us to yield the gym and the parking space to the KSC who have been overly kind and generous to New Life instead of insisting on having our worship at 11AM creating traffic and congestion on our church campus making everyone’s Sunday worship experience miserable and unpleasant.
God, then, appeared to me at the eleventh hour and showed me an idea that truly excited my heart. He whispered into my ears, “Hey, why not build the youth building on the second floor of New Life instead of building it behind the trailer house? In that way, you could create more parking space for everyone, help the KSC save money on building and also on operating cost in the future to maintain a huge youth center, and make the ministries between the KSC and the ESC more intertwined. You could also have Pastor Paul near you so you could watch over him and mentor him.”
From New Life’s perspective, humanly speaking, we lose more than we gain if we take this advice that I received from God. As youth students go in and out of the building, there will be more noise and wear and tear. We will also experience certain conflicts with them because when two groups live right next to each other conflicts are inevitable. But from the whole church perspective, as God whispered into my ears, we gain more than we lose. And this will be a powerful testimony to the world. People in the world want to see and experience love and unity in their life but they just can’t because of their self-centeredness. God’s churches should be the ones that demonstrate this love and unity, but the reality is people don’t see that inside the church as well. We have heard of so many church splits amongst the same group of people whether they are white or black, Hispanics or Asians. That’s why when people see us, the ESC and the KSC, doing ministry in love and unity in a very intertwined way, they will be impressed and become curious as to what is causing us to have and experience what they don’t have.
After I received the idea from God I wanted to see what others would say about it. And I needed to do it quickly because the KSC’s building project team manager was about to tell the steel manufacturer to start making the frames for the youth center! So, I talked with the KSC’s Building Committee members and they were thrilled about the idea. I also talked with Pastor Paul and he was fine with it as long as his office doesn’t have to be right next to mine! 🙂 And then I talked with Pastor Chai who just came back from Korea on Friday after leading house church conferences at various churches for three weeks. He said that he would be fine with it if Pastor Paul is okay with it. It was very apparent that this idea was from God! But this was also possible because the KSC is very flexible and quick to listen to God’s voice. They respect the policies and decisions they have made in the past but they also have the flexibility to change them and do things in a drastically different way if they are certain about God’s direction and guidance. One of their famous phrases is “We do and decide on things case by case!” This is something that New Life could learn from our KSC.
A couple of weeks ago, Leadership Team members, Building Committee members and Finance Team members had gathered together and decided to form New Life Building Project Management Team (PMT) that will be responsible for the completion of our building project. Through prayer and sharing we sensed and realized that God has been placing a burden on Jonathan Ha’ heart to lead the PMT. On Sunday, 5/15, Jonathan will share with us what the team will look like and what kind of team members he is looking for. Let’s, however, remember that it is not going to be Jonathan or the PMT that will bring the project to fruition. Instead, it will take all of us to complete the building and dedicate it to our Heavenly Father for His purpose!
Those of you who are already concerned about the increase of our construction budget due to the youth space being built on the second floor of New Life’s, please know that the KSC will pay for that portion. The byproduct of implementing this idea is that we don’t have to change our worship time since we could continue to use the gravel parking, and also our youth children being and worshiping in the same building as we are. All the team leaders, please continue to carry on the ministries with this in mind. And shepherds, please convey this information to all your members.
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