New Associate Pastor

Churches of our size usually have several assistant and associate pastors. Our Korean speaking congregation has been able to do without any because of our house churches. Shepherds have carried out care ministries usually reserved for ordained pastors in traditional churches, including visitation and counseling. Our deacons have also performed administrative duties usually done by professional ministers in traditional churches.

Brother Kwang Park has played a primary role in us being able to work without professional ministers. He performs many duties of an administrative minister without pay. He oversees the church office workers, hires cleaning crews, and takes care of building maintenance. Because so many lay people have volunteered to assume practically all ministerial responsibilities, we have enough left in the church budget to give the children’s and youth group staff large enough salaries for them to focus on ministry without having to worry too much about family finances.

Our tradition of considering lay people as “ministers” and giving them pastoral responsibilities will continue because it is Biblical (Eph. 4:11-12). My ministry goal is to help our lay ministers receive rewards equal to or larger than those received by traditional pastors in heaven.

However, we need at least one professional pastor because I must frequently vacate the pulpit to help other churches. Some of you may remember the remark a pastor participating in a house church seminar gave in his testimony during one Sunday service: “You should not monopolize your pastor but free him so that he can help other churches.”

One of our missions is to help other churches convert to house churches. As the result of our efforts, many seminars and conferences have sprung up. There are seminars and conferences for pastors and others for lay people. I also need to preach and lead special seminars for churches that have the potential to help advance the house church movement.

Of course, I can’t attend every meeting and accept every invitation. But there are some speaking engagements I can’t refuse, and the number of these is increasing. So I need someone to fill my shoes when I am gone. This can’t be done by lay people, because it involves preaching on Sunday.

So we will vote in two weeks to accept Brother Soo-Kwan Lee as my associate pastor. If approved, he will be appointed on the Sunday after his ordination, which will be held on June 11. As Associate Pastor, he will continue to perform all of his current duties, including leading the 3rd Sunday worship service, teaching the “New Life” Bible class, doing premarital counseling, and overseeing the house church for singles. In addition to these responsibilities, he will become a resource for shepherds for counseling and will preach when I am out of town.

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