"How come you ain't like this when I was at MCAC?"
This was Pastor Nelson's reference a few years ago when we went to visit him. He was my former pastor. He was in my church when I first went to MCAC. He said that after he realized how much we have grown.
There were many great times and tough times. He baptised me. I led fellowship and was asking him for help when the fellowship fell apart. He nominated me to become a deacon and join the English Ministry Committee. A position which looking back I was wholly unprepared for. Despite being a new Christian, he invested his time and energy into me. Not just me, he gave generously in discipling others in my church.
If you know Pastor Nelson, you will know he has a way of saying things.
The reference I just made he said it in a funny and sarcastic way. Yet he is very wise as the statement has profound wisdom in it.
Earlier this year, we had a split with the previous English Pastor. He was dismissed. A bunch of people left the church and started a new church. Some left the church and go to another church. I hope no one stop following Christ because of this.
Right now, it is still a painful and sensitive matter. I have no doubt that no one really win from this situation. Satan is clearly the winner. [Hindsight: I mean to add that Satan might won the battle...but he won't win the war.] Everyone's relationship is change, hurt, damange in one way or another.
By God's Grace, we hired a new English pastor in the recent months. This new pastor reminded me a lot about Pastor Nelson.
I am still serving as a deacon in my church. Through the past few years, there were many ups and downs. Those moments where I wanted to quit and leave the church. It will be so much easier..isn't it. When things go south, I throw up my hands and go. So easy.
Yet I stay. I stayed because from what I read the Bible, the church is a spiritual family. We are all children of God. I am a sinner as much as the brother next to me. Even if they hurt me or wrong me, I still have to extend forgiveness and grace (because this is the same forgiveness and grace God has bestowed upon me!).
I don't leave my own flesh and blood family. I don't abandon my spiritual family. God called me to stay and so I stay.
As I reminisce about what Pastor Nelson said, I feel like right now this is a second time around. The first time I was too new and not serious enough to know what I was doing. I really didn't care that much. I sometimes do feel bad. Because Pastor Nelson is almost heading this ministry by himself. A one man army.
After serving and overseeing a congregation, it is tough. It is tough because there are so many needs. It is tough because I realize I have so much limitations.
But this doesn't matter.
Now I want to give more and pour more into the church. This is my second time around. This time I will make it worth it. We should try, try again.
I was sharing with a brother tonight that when I was training for Ironman, it ain't about whether I worried about training too much. Rather I prioritize my life to train as much as possible.
Ministry is just like that. Sometimes we might talk about, 'oh I spend too much time in the church.' Now it is more like, 'how can I pour more time and effort into the church.'
Side note: This ain't a workaholic mentally. I valued rest just as much!
I alway say that a passionate person is not balance to the norm. They are always off balance.
Right now I see the ministries I am involved in ain't just some mundane programs that needed to be run. They are an opportunity to create more disciples and to encourage one another to strive for Christ. There is hope and joy in serving even despite the most 'unfortunate' times.
When the church was at a low point earlier this year, I make a promise that this will be a pinnacle point where I can grow from. So some day when I look back I can see this situation as an opportunity to strengthen my faith, not weaken it.
On my Facebook description..I wrote...
On my Facebook description..I wrote...
Let's pour on the fire...