Friday, 14 October 2011 10:33

CCOWE Reflection

Written by  Rev. Ho Ming Tsui
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CCOWE Reflection

Rev. Dr. Ho Ming Tsui
English Pastor of Richmond Hill Christian Community Church

When I was asked to attend the 8th Chinese Congress on World Evangelization?(CCOWE), I wasn't sure what to think. Admittedly, traveling to Bali, Indonesia sounded great, but attending yet another conference on yet another topic did not. Ultimately, with the blessing of my incredibly organized and tough wife, I embarked on September 11th at 1:40 am after officiating my first wedding and serving as a groomsman for another wedding in the span of 36 hours. I've been asked to share about my thoughts for my denomination's monthly publication, so here we go:

I arrived in beautiful Bali, Indonesia on September 12th after 24 hours on the road, along with 2132 other pastors and church leaders from 37 countries. About 65% are international visitors like myself while the rest are from Indonesia itself.?


Each day we had two plenary sessions, one workshop, one panel discussion, one joint revival meeting, one lunch, one dinner, 2 hours of free time, and corporate worship and prayer. It was exhausting, & sometimes overwhelming, but I was glad to be there to absorb as much as possible. Here are three important lessons I've learned:

1. The importance of raising younger leaders. CCOWE stressed the pivotal ministry of identifying, praying for and ultimately training young leaders for gospel ministry. Pastors need to devote ample energy, resources and time to doing this well. One of the key issues raised was how we often neglect this important ministry until it is too late. More-often-than-not, we wait until a person from the church decides - on his own accord - to enter seminary. After several years of formal theological education, we interview this person, and then - if they are deemed 'suitable; - hire him as a pastor.' There are several problems with this line of thinking, however. First, an individual may not be suitable for pastoral work. How can we tell if one will make a good pastor? One of the ways is through the unified voice of the local church. Any prospective pastor's character and competency should be first tested in his church before he decides to enter formal theological training. Does this person exhibit Christ-like qualities? Is he able to lead and care for people well? Does he understand the Scriptures and is able to speak from them clearly and passionately? Does he depend on God in prayer and find his joy in the Lord first ?and not his ministry? I don't want to belabour the obvious, but the authority of the local church and the calling of the individual work together. CCOWE stressed this point: We must be in the ministry of constantly training leaders and from among the best -?identify prospective pastors, mentor them by ministering together in a local church and then send them into seminary to train. The gospel is, after all, passed on from one generation to the next (2 Timothy 2:1-7).?

2. The importance of endurance and faithfulness in ministry. I've attended to many conferences (especially ones that focus on youth and young adult ministry), but one thing that makes CCOWE stand out is the respect for elders and their wisdom and experience. Many of the speakers were well into their 60s - if not 70-80s. Our discussion panel on the first day - in fact - consisted of three leaders with combined ministry experience of 155 years. Each leader spoke about the challenges of ministry - how tough it is to endure, but also how gracious God has been to them each step of the way. Could you learn these lessons from a 30 or 40 year old? Certainly. But with age and experience comes more credibility and wisdom. There is something almost magical about listening to someone who has been faithful to the ministry to which he or she was called for over 50 years. I was incredibly moved especially by how these leaders revealed many of their weaknesses, challenged us to learn from their mistakes and called us to endure faithfully for the gospel.?

3. The importance of unity in gospel ministry. I literally met people from all across the world - from the big city of Hong Kong to one of the most remote locations in the world - La Reunion - a little French-speaking island off the coast of Madagascar, Africa.?During the conference, I witnessed three people on stage: one interviewer; one interviewee and one translator.?The interviewer was an Australian-born Chinese man. He asked the questions in English.?The interviewee was a Norwegian-born Chinese man. He responded in Norwegian.?The translator was a Norwegian-born Norwegian man. He responded ... In Cantonese.?It was a bizarre moment, but one that showed me how interwoven, mobile and connected our global society is now today. It also showed me how Christians from all across the planet must be work together to fulfill the Great Commission. Everyone has to take part - not only a select few. Everyone must be unified on mission for God in preaching and living out the Gospel as the dynamic for renewal and redemption.?

Gratefully in Jesus,?


Last modified on Tuesday, 14 April 2020 11:31

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