217. Looking Back

House Church conference for pastors ended on Thursday. About 130 pastors gathered online to learn more about house church through presentations, bible studies and sharing. I was asked to share a presentation about how we’ve established house church ministry in our English Speaking Congregation (ESC) at Mokmin. It was well-received, and many pastors have shared that our growth story has encouraged and inspired them. My one main prayer request was that the presentation would be “helpful” to pastors and I think God answered my prayer.

To prepare the presentation, I had to go over the entire history of ESC, which started with about ten youth in 2008. Going over the last 12 years of ministry encouraged me. At every tough seasons, key moments and tipping points, I was richly reminded by how faithful God has been. He provided our church with everything we needed so we can grow into a church his can use.

But I was also reminded that it was the right people that made all the difference. What brought change wasn’t a new idea, but new people or people who became renewed in their mind to serve God differently. God often brings change through people. I thought about four staff who have helped us build our youth group from the ground up. (It was called “Exit”) I thought about the members who served faithfully to help us build our adult congregation when we were few in numbers. (It was called “LWF”). I also got to appreciate the members who attended our house church faithfully every week when few were attending regularly, eventually resulting in multiplication.

Preparing this presentation helped me appreciate the faithfulness of our members. One pastor said this: “We overestimate what we can accomplish in a year. But we underestimate what we can accomplish with a lifetime of faithfulness to God.” I didn’t expect to see what I see now in our ministry 12 years ago. Through this conference, I became more excited about what we can accomplish together in the next 12 years of faithfulness to God. We don’t need to grow fast. But we must expect to grow for a long time, if we want God to use us continuously and in greater measure.