The Building of another Twenty Years

By Rev. John Kao

“Praise and thank the Lord Christ Jesus! He is the One to resurrect, as well as to change nothing into everything! And He is also the Head of the church who endures everything to completion! He has led our ACEM churches through the past score of years with bountiful grace. We are certain that He will continue to guide us into the 21st century by His faithfulness and power.

And let us focus again on the vision and mission of ACEM, in accordance with the consented priority. This exists so that we may freely dream and explore the goals we hope to realize.

1. A Community of Oneness and Love: This will remain our number one goal. To love both God and man is not only the all-encompassing statute of the Old Testament. It is also the explicit command conferred to us by the Lord Jesus in the New Testament. We shall all be immersed totally in the Lord Jesus in the Lord’s love; and enjoy the serenity, tranquillity and repose of being fully enwrapped by the Lord. We shall also entreat each other with brotherly love to enhance personal maturity and family harmony.

In years past, we had been advocating inter-church concord and cooperation, mutual covenant; all there maintained through human relations. Looking forward, we hope to protrude a common goal with a single faith, instilling a co-working spirit to advance our ministry. It is hoped that in the near future, our organization would be recognized be the Government whereby we ourselves may be empowered to ordain our pastors. Or maybe we will be able to uncover our own uniqueness with which to establish a sound tradition! Love constitutes power. May the Lord binds us all together with the cord of love!

2. A Community of Discipleship Training: This still is our important task! Taking examples from our Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles Peter and Paul, we adopt discipleship as our foremost task in fulfilling the great commission of “making disciples of all nations!”

When in 1975 ACEM was planting its first church, I was 40. And now, the ACEM Chairman and the pastors of our churches are all also in their forties, full of stamina and spiritual fervor. They are indeed made to be used mighty by God advance His kingdom. Back then, I was chief and there were not many Indians. But now, our churches are all on good and strong foundations. As long as we all commit to a disciplined lifestyle, it should be easy to build a corps of Christian soldiers ready to serve in church planting, pastoring and global evangelization. This shall be part of a believing response to the Lord’s remorse of “the harvest is plenty, but the workers are few.”

Apart from bringing up churches, it is our intent also to be stable for the Lord’s people excelling in sacred music and worship, Christian education, family counselling, literature missions, itinerant evangelism and theological education.

3. A Community of Church Planting and Growth: This will also be our high desire to achieve. The Lord does not want anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. He is a good shepherd, willing to give up His life for the flock. Back then, just one sheep out of a flock of a hundred went mission, He still unreservedly set out to find and save that one lost sheep. Today, in the church, pens are only five sheep, while there are ninety-five still lost and wandering outside of the pens. You can just imagine the urge in Him to save those lose sheep. Let’s pray that ACEM churches will all reach out in unity, keeping in the fore-front of our minds the urgency of bringing the saving gospel to the lost!

Every Christian should mature to reproduce one other Christian. By the same token, every church should also multiply to reproduce another church. In the spiritual realm, be obedient to the Father’s instruction to “be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.” In these 20 years, ACEM churches have been reproducing other churches. We hope that this tradition will not cease, ensuring the continuity of the gospel. We thank the Lord in blessing all our churches with rapid growth. Church construction and building expansion are both showing positive progress. But in continuing our philosophy, let it be reminded that construction must be placed in the proper priority order ahead of expansion. Otherwise, no one will launch out to do planting work. As a rule of thumb, a congregation of 200 or over should begin to think about church planting. Hope that in the not too distant future, we may develop our ministry into other cities and other provinces.

4. A Community of World Mission: This will still be our mission and emphasis. Lord Jesus has asked us be to His “witness in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” We thank the Lord that our church already has a sacrificial offering toward our mission fund. As well, we have quite a number of people involved in short-term training. Pray that we will be able to increase the number of ACEM missionaries; and at the same time devoting attention to unreached people groups. If Lord willing, we hope to be able to plant churches into other countries, too.

5. A Community of Local Concern: Will be our witness for the gospel of the whole person. Thank the Lord that our ACEM churches have an emphasis on “community churches”. We yearn to be able to be the light and salt of our individual parish community. We have to participate in community work not only as an individual Christian but also the church in a corporate sense. Our leaders dream that one day we may see ACEM schools, counselling centres and senior centres, etc. of course, we will open up these social service agencies for participate from other churches and denominations. But this is no easy job. However, long as we have ideals, faith, practical planning and action, with reliance on God’s grace and a united heart, we are confident that these will come to pass.

In closing, let us reminisce on that day of Pentecost, the apostle Peter had quoted the prophets, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “…. Your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams…” All the aprementioned may be the old man’s dreams, praying that by the faithful and gracious God, our group of young and vitality-field pastors and leaders will undertake to put these dreams into vision and action, such that the Lord’s saving name be glorified even more!

*translated by Albert Wai

Last modified on Monday, 01 April 2019 08:46


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