I started to attend church at age 31. Since I seek God desperately, I quickly had encounter with God in a dramatic way. Within 6 months, pastor of my church suggested me to apply to a seminary. At that time, I rather wanted to be a theology professor than a pastor, but I decided to go a seminary anyway and prayed to God to open the door for me. However, God did not open the door for seminary. Instead, He opened a door for work opportunity. I was convinced of God’s direction and gave up of attending seminary.
Once in a while, I think how my life would be like if I went to seminary then. I am sure that it was not very fulfilling. At that time, I only had strong desire for God just like first love, but did not have maturity or experience as a Christian. Therefore, it must had been too much for me to overcome the inner and outer stress of studying theology.
The primary issue is what kind of pastor I had made. When I finished seminary, just like everybody, I probably learned ministry work from the pastor of the church which I attended. The pastor’s major focus, as I saw it, was to grow church. To achieve it, there were programs and attempt to get people involved, but there was no effort toward evangelizing unbelievers or making disciples.
One leading focus was building. The pastor was convinced that there is no ministry without a proper building. The building also needed to be in an affluent neighborhood. Because of that, the church moved 3 times, and was involved in construction project although it was a meager scale. However, he was not happy with his work. He was frustrated and troubled because of the lack of growth in church.
It is possible that I could have struggled with similar issues. Then, I may happen to hear about house church ministry after so many trial and error or waste of time and could have attended pastor’s seminar. At the seminar, after rediscovering the true nature of ministry, I may have cried a lot.
This time, we have 120 pastors who participate the seminar. Every person must have their own story. Some pastors may have learned traditional ministry and achieved growth in number only and disappointed at its one-dimensional growth. Some pastors may have succeeded in construction of church building, but frustrated because they could not set up the true church. Some could not achieve growth in quantity and did not even know what to do about it. All these are the stories of seminar attendees.
It is our responsibility to provide the picture of new testament church to those weary pastors so that they will rediscover their first love and return with the clear direction for their ministry. All of these depend on our actions and behaviors. Church members work in various places to smooth the operation of the seminar. Some members come earlier to house church to help. Members attend house church meeting with eagerness and share earnestly… God can achieve tremendous changes through our small actions such as these.
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