Have you ever experienced a deep despair because your loved ones are so far behind in life that they can’t seem to catch up? About six years ago, before my mother passed away, I was made aware that my second sister was struggling with a huge credit card debt that she just couldn’t get out of on her own. One of my mother’s last words to me was to help my sister who was in a dire situation. Therefore, out of love and respect for my dying mother and care and concern for my sister, I committed myself to help her get out of the big mess that she got herself in. I got her enrolled in a debt settlement program and, because her English is not good, I basically did everything for her except for making payments. I had to spend many hours reading documents that came my way, asking questions to those from the debt settlement program, talking to my sister regularly and at times even begging and pleading with those creditors who were hard to work with. Several times, I felt like giving up because it was very stressful, time consuming and frustrating. Each time I felt this way, I remembered the voice of my mother urging me to help my sister. So, I stayed put and persevered. It took four full years to help her get out of debt. When my sister made the last payment and her last debt was settled, both of us rejoiced.
This is exactly how I feel these days in regards to churches that I am being exposed to or hear about from others. Without having any sense of pride or judgmental spirit in me, I feel like other typical churches are so far behind us that I don’t know where to start in helping them to build their churches based on the spirit of the New Testament. And I have deep love for God’s churches.
As I share with you regularly, I am very happy and thankful to serve as a New Life pastor because there is no church like New Life here on this earth. When I see 56 house churches and shepherds doing their best to reach out to their VIP’s, it brings me great joy. When I hear testimonies that are being shared by house church members, how house church has saved their lives and marriages, how house church accepts them just the way they are and how house church members are real and not superficial, I get thrilled. When house church shepherds bring their VIP’s to Receiving Jesus Meeting where I get to share the gospel and when I witness with my very own eyes the VIPs opening their hearts and receiving Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, I get amazed. When I baptize them, I experience God’s pleasure all over me. When I see people growing and changing to become more devoted followers of Jesus Christ, I say to myself, “I can’t believe what I am seeing here!” And when I see people who used to be far away from Christ just a few years ago now serving as team leaders or village leaders and when they and their spouses are in the same room with me and Lynette having so much fun and laughter as we are having a meeting, I simply ask God, “What have I done to deserve this?”
Unfortunately, not every pastor is experiencing what I am experiencing and not every church is enjoying what New Life is enjoying. A vast majority of churches are not clear about what the ultimate purpose of church is. And if some churches understand the purpose, then they don’t have the infrastructure that will allow them to fulfill the purpose.
The ultimate purpose of the church’s existence is to save the lost and make them disciples of Christ. So here at New Life, we help our VIPs to come to know Christ through our house church and Receiving Jesus Meeting. When they are saved, then we minister to their emotions through our weekly house church meeting, to their intellect through our weekday Bible studies and to their will through Sunday corporate worship. We call this the “Three Axes.” Often, churches will have one or two of these axes but it is very rare to find a church that has all three.
What have we done to deserve this wonderful blessing of having and enjoying a healthy church that is modeled after the New Testament church? We are not any better than others. We have simply been shown grace by God. And to whom much is given, much is required.
Another House Church Seminar for Lay Leaders is coming up this Friday. About 20 lay leaders from all over the US and Australia will be here with us from Friday to Sunday to learn about our house church. They are from those churches that are not too far behind us and they are wanting to learn from us. We have been asking God to use us to help them. Now, we need to be humble before God and pray fervently and serve sacrificially so we can be a caring and loving resource church to them.
God is looking for a church to use for His kingdom purpose. Let us arise and be that church!
Ps If you would like to help out during the seminar, you can contact
Yen Liaw (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
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