20th Anniversary of ACEM

By Rev. John Kao

“We all come on stage, to show to the whole world and to the angels.” God is indeed our scriptwriter and director, who has orchestrated the destiny of the Chinese Community Church (ACEM) in the past two decades. While we have been participating in the show, we keep on marveling at the Lord’s directorship at the backstage.

In the early days of ACEM, the congregation was mostly comprised of young students. In twenty years, they have started families and careers, matured in spirit, assumed the leadership roles in church; some have become ministers who lead and unite all member churches to advance the gospel. For these people we rejoice and give thanks!

Someone sows, another waters; but only God would make the church grow. The original Chinese Community Church had slightly over thirty people. It was a dual language congregation, composed of Cantonese and Mandarin. In two decades, the church has grown into five locations. Every Sunday, the 2000+ congregation maintains seven Cantonese services, two Mandarin services, as well as three English worship sessions. Over a hundred were baptized and had since returned to Hong Kong and South East Asia.

Being a non-denominational church, the ACEM looks upon the Lord for support. God had manifested his provisions in the church building effort. We thank God who provides us with all the strategic sites: from Agincourt to Richmond Hill, to Milliken and the Markham Church. They are all centrally located among the Chinese populations.

The almighty God has provided us with people skilled in planning and financial management. He also prepares brothers and sisters that are willing to tithe sacrificially. Through these blessings, we are able to accomplish huge and difficult projects. He has turned us into lamp stand to shine among our communities. Praise the Lord!

Although we are investing much resources into the church building efforts in the home front, the Lord reminds us of the Great Commission in world evangelism. The first year of the Community Church was willing to give fifteen percent of operating budget to South East Asia and Latin America, in spite of dire financial needs. In 1994, the mission funds of all ACEM churches amounted to more than half a million Canadian dollars. We are learning to send our own missionaries and to expedite short term missions. We believe that the torch of worldwide evangelism being passed to us would be glowing all the more!

The grace of our all-powerful God is fathomless. On the other hand, we all have our weakness. Therefore in the season of celebration, we need more reflections on our shortcomings. We have to look upon the grace of God through our frailties. We need to prioritize the future outlooks of the ACEM churches.

1. To be a community of love and unity: Thanks the Lord! The ACEM churches have been focusing on cell groups ministry, through which the disciples practice unity, caring, spiritual maturity and gospel outreach. But many cell groups remain on a superficial level, failing to develop a deeper relationship among members. We have to struggle for improvement in the cell group ministry so that the saints of ACEM may become a family of love and unity.

2. To be a community for discipleship training: We thank the Lord that the young people of the early ACEM days have matured into leaders and ministers in the church. We also admit that there is a lack of discipleship training program that is systematic, consistent and effective. Let us learn humbly from the Lord Jesus, His disciples Peter and Paul and others. Discipleship training is our foremost endeavor to fulfill the Great Commission of making disciples of all nations.

3. To be a community of growth and church planting: We thank God that the Agincourt Church has been advancing sacrificially in the area of church planting. Although other member churches have been growing fruitfully, they have indeed the desire for church planting but have not come up with a concrete plan. In the past year, the ACEM held a strategic planning workshop. All ministers and leaders set out a goal of having ten member churches by the year 2,000. O Lord, this is our wish. May the Lord of harvest calls His workers to reap the plentiful field!

4. To be a community of world mission: Praise the Lord! The ACEM churches have been faithful in supporting world mission financially. We have launched numerous short term mission and training. However there are not many home-grown missionaries. May the Lord grant us love, patience, faith and courage to carry out a bold mission. Let us grow into a community for world mission.

5. To be a community of social caring: We praise the Lord that “Community” is our given name. We are longing to serve the neighborhood. We have set up a Day Care Center, visit senior homes; donate money to various community cause, set up workshops or services. Yet the overall commitment and impact are like drops in the bucket. The leadership of ACEM has a dream that on a day we shall open a Christian school, a counseling center, a senior service center. Yes, these are gigantic tasks. The dream will come true if we have the honorable desire, the faith, a realistic planning and an united action. With the grace of the omnipotent God, it will eventually succeed.

The Lord said, “You have to open your mouth, I shall fill you.” May all the saints of ACEM churches open our mouths, call to the faithful Lord who has showered us abundantly in the last twenty years. We believe He will continue to grant us the blessings and accomplish great things among us. We shall bring God much glory in the name of our Savior!

*translated by Newton Mou

Last modified on Monday, 01 April 2019 08:45


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