a young man committed suicide last week. his mother goes to our church. as a result, i spoke to a lot of people concerning this matter of suicide. as a father, i would think it is probably by far, one of the toughest things to deal with in life. watching the older generation passing is heart wrenching, but seeing your own child? i don't understand the pain, nor do i dare to take a sip of that cup. but after speak with so many, the lingering thought is "why can't we do something about this?" i know it is too late for this young man, but the prevailing sentiment i get from most people is that it is hopeless and helpless. most people don't believe we can do anything about it. it just happens! even as a church. in their prayers, they ask for mercy, but they don't believe they can intervene. why not? aren't you the church, ones given the authority of heaven and earth? our insular culture, respecting the privacy and freedom of individuals has calloused our sense of community, humanity, even human worth. why don't we risk the facade of peace and breakdown walls so that they'll hate us in the name of love? why don't we trust in the goodness of God and risk our pride, shame, so that truth in its naked-gory form can be exposed? instead of saving-face, we can be saving-lives. Jesus risked the facade of peace when he tore down the religiosity of the pharisees and sadducees, while he tore the temple veil in two. the Father also risked pride and shame, when he hung his son on the cross so bare and brutal, so that the world may see. sometimes, i am angry with God for not withholding the cup from Jesus as a Father. but without it, our human existence is fatal, so i'm grateful.
here's the long awaited post: (there's more, if I get feedback! LOL)
church leaders, this is how to build a smaller and narrower church?
1. calling: choose a church name that is ethnic, gender, age, language, political, socio-economic specific
2. finance: make sure there are no freeloaders by taking offering in the parking lot, and make sure they pay for lunch
3. grace: tell all the sinners outside that they don't belong and the church people that God is gracious
4. ministry: keep every member busy doing all the church events, so they don't have time to make friends anywhere
5. word: creating vocabularies that is uncommon to the rest of the world, so that every word has at least 5 words in its definition
6. holy: tell your kids not to listen, watch or participate in anything that did not have the word Christian in it
7. unity: make sure there is unity in the body by segregating those that are different from you, we don't want their kind
8. peace: harmony is the most important value in your church, so kick out those that disagree with you
9. respect: make sure you respect the hierarchy, especially key leaders and their family. it's a family business
10. protect: guard the door well, because the world is a scary place, full of bad people, they're going to overtake the church
11. division: never do evaluation, Satan will use it to cause division in the church, so everything is good
12. stewardship: do not trust anyone with money. they will always spend more than you. so, control every cent
we had a good turn out last night, a total of 36 people came. they were from all different ages and stages of life. i presented some philosophies as the fundamentals for this new ministry in Cerritos. this is the basic outline of what i presented last night.
What are we doing?
Revitalize an aging Chinese Immigrant church here in Cerritos
Initiate a English speaking Multi-Asian, Multi-Ethnic ministry
Why are we doing this?
The Local Church is the ONLY hope for the World
A Transforming Community will change a CITY, a NATION and the WORLD
How will this church be different?
Missional: Being and Making Glocal Disciples of Jesus; Focusing on Life and Lifestyle Transformation
Organic: Developing Life Group that will impact the Home, Work place and Everywhere; Changing Lives, Families in any Community
Relevant: Engaging Internal & External Culture to Build the Church; Serving the Poor, the Disadvantaged, and the Marginal in the City
Weekly Bible Study: the foundation for Christ’s Mission begins with the Word of God. Every disciple loves the Lord and desires to obey His commands. That is why every disciple who serves in the body learns to be a diligent student of the Word
Discipleship Training: the disciple of Jesus is a doer of the Word not a hearer only. So, discipleship training will require lifestyle alteration, making room for God to rule (God’s Kingdom). Also, a disciple learns to bring others along to follow Jesus
Vision Capture: the Kingdom of God is the rule and reign of Christ in the lives of the believer. This Kingdom will grow and extend into the family, the marketplace and the city. A disciple of Jesus learns to wait for God’s vision through prayer
Global Mission: the goal of the church is to transform the world through discipleship. The church participates in the movement of God locally and globally. Every missional effort is of God and nothing will come apart from Him
Natural Habitat: the church begins in the midst of the most basic unit of human relations, namely, marriage and family; it then moves beyond into friendship, hobbies, workplace, and beyond. There is no limit to God's reachThe Ministry Call: the church do not need to separate professing from profession; every disciple is called to serve a community, whether in the ghetto part of town or downtown high-rise. Ministry is not limited to "the church"
Life (cell) Group: every disciple is a member of a life group serving the need of a community; the community can be in any context that has the potential for growth and development. Accountability and support is what connects life groups together
Metamorphosis: the goal is community transformation, restoring the rule of Christ or Kingdom Culture; once the target community attains desired outcome, it becomes a hub to generate and regenerate more life groups
Fasted Lifestyle: a Disciple of Jesus lives a Life that is Solely Devoted to God; Battling against sin and sinful lifestyle; Fulfilling the call to be set apart; Observing Sabbath and winning souls for Jesus; not out of duty but of love.
Primacy of Family: the most fundamental unit of the Church is marriage and family; Holding each disciple accountable to his or her marriage and family is the call of the church; Ministering cross-generationally to preserve culture and to advance the Kingdom.
Cultural/Ethnic Diversity: the Church must embrace the manifold expressions of faith through celebrating diversity; Acknowledging God’s gifting through the nations; Examining each culture through Biblical lens; Embracing a Kingdom Culture of diversity
Leading through Change: the world is changing in an unprecedented rate. Instead of reacting to the changes, the Church must take lead in shaping the future, with God’s timeless truth; Mastering biblical leadership and management; Shaping marketplace leaders
it's been two weeks. the media continues to feed us the videos, the reports, and the endless stories of pain, devastation, and fear. it's hard not to ask at time like this the difficult questions, like "where is God in all this?" the easiest thing is to treat it like an endless drama of sort or a distant history of a people far far away, but the reality is we all have people in our midst that is intimately affected by all these things, if you care to look. at first i resisted. i didn't want to watch any of those reports on the net, because i don't want to know. i don't want to be overtaken by its reality. i don't even want to be moved in my heart by the reality of pain. it is too painful to imagine and because i don't believe as a christian we can just be a by-stander and watch as people suffer and die. so, i didn't want to watch, lest i'd be responsible. but i think God wants us to watch, because He is watching. He has his eyes on humanity since the day of our creation and our subsequent fall. since then he continues to bleed and cry for a people that lives in pain and refusal for his love and salvation. therefore, we must see as He sees, a people in need of love and salvation. we must show them hope where there is none in this world. God is good and we must prove His goodness with the good He brings through his Church. Amen...
© 2014 by Community Christian Center