Counting Our Blessings

By Rev. John Kao

Founding Pastor and Adviser of Association of Chinese Evangelical Ministries (Canada)

Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church.  The Lord is the Alpha; the Lord is the Omega.  He is the beginning and He is the end.  He is the Lord God Almighty who was, and is, and is to come.  ACEM was founded by Christ and is sustained by Him.  He will continue to lead us into the new millennium!  Hallelujah!

Each of the ACEM churches has its own history, site and a date for its anniversary celebration.  So, why do we have to come together and celebrate the anniversary of the ACEM family?  We can understand this better by reviewing our vision and our shared mission.

ACEM is a Community of Unity and Love

It is recorded in the Old Testament that God made His choice of a nation.  The Israelites are God’s chosen people.  All twelve tribes of Israel were given the Promised Land in Canaan.  While only Caleb and Joshua had had the experience of Passover in Egypt, all twelve tribes celebrated the Passover together.  What a jubilant day of salvation for the nation Israel!

“From whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name” (Eph. 3:15).  God has His divine purpose in choosing the ACEM family to be a united and loving community.  In the past 36 years, God has blessed the ACEM family with a good name.  Our cooperative spirit and our love for one another are gifts of the Holy Spirit, bearing good witness for Christ in the global Christian community.  These blessings are indeed worthy of our celebration!

ACEM is a Community of Discipleship Training

The pastors of several ACEM churches were once youthful students, worshipping the Lord in the ACEM church near Yonge & Lawrence.  It was through God’s grace that they accepted His calling, underwent pastoral training and internship, and became ordained.  Over time these pastors matured to become God’s useful instruments and leaders of the ACEM churches.

Also, many seminary graduates in recent years have fulfilled their pastoral internship in ACEM churches while additional pastors who share ACEM’s vision have been recruited to join ACEM.  As training becomes a part of the ACEM culture, many deacons in ACEM churches have sought discipleship training and have become even more effective leaders in their church.  Should we not give thanks to the Lord and celebrate for all that our leaders have received?

ACEM is a Community of Church Planting

Our Lord Jesus Christ placed the burden of church planting into the hearts of the leaders of the ACEM churches.  Since 1975, we have planted seven churches.  Sending our best people to establish churches in different communities may be a painful experience for the sending church.  Nevertheless, these leaders still worked diligently and committed themselves to the work of evangelism.  They earnestly desired to carry out the Great Commission of Jesus Christ.  The successful building of member churches and the corresponding growth in church membership are the fruits of these motivated Christians.  Should we not praise and thank God for their motivation and commitment?  Without the labour of church planters and evangelists before us, you and I may not have had the opportunity of being saved by Christ, receiving discipleship training and serving in the ACEM family!

ACEM is a Community of World Missions

Since 1975, ACEM churches have actively participated in world missions.  Some of us might recall that in 1975, TCCC allocated over $1,000 from our annual offering of about $7,000 to a missions fund.  Our resources might have been limited, but our church leaders have always directed much of our resources towards world missions.  In so doing, they have truly taken to heart Christ’s command, “To give is better than to receive.”  In year 2011, the annual giving to world missions for all ACEM churches combined exceeded $1,600,000.  Should we not celebrate for the united hearts and joint efforts in our missions endeavours?

ACEM is a Community of Social Concern

We are prepared to be the “light” and “salt” for Christ, being good witnesses for Him in our local communities.  Firstly, ACEM plants churches in different communities to witness for Christ.  Furthermore, we care about our neighbours and try to meet their needs.  We have opened a daycare centre for children and gyms for youths.  We have organized fellowships for different age groups and special activities for the seniors.  We have also held talks and seminars for families and collected donations for the poor.  Even today, we continue to work hard to provide more social services for those around us.

God has united all of us in the ACEM family in order that we may love one another, cooperate in discipleship training, plant churches, enter global missions and care for our society.  Therefore, let us all joyfully celebrate our anniversary together, giving thanks and praises to our Lord!  May God’s peace and joy be upon us – His people!  Amen!

Last modified on Monday, 01 April 2019 08:45


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