Meeting

Our youth pastor left after a year at church. From what the youth pastor said, the deacon/elder board basically said that layman will be in charge and lead ministry, not pastor, and it doesn’t want him to do too much outreaching.

It’s a bit strange and stupid really, to not let a pastor lead a ministry, especially the youth ministry. It’s stupid because the pastor is the professional and laymen are amateur really, especially our group of youth leaders.

Most of the youth leaders are younger than me but that’s not important, the worst thing is that most of them are quite immature both emotionally and spiritually. The youth ministry head is slightly younger than me, doesn’t devote himself to small group, actually is a bit isolated, don’t have much peer support in church. He’s a good guy and I like him, he’s one of the better ones but he’s still a bit immature. There are several people who shouldn’t even be leading.

There is a girl I am serving with and I don’t find her mature as well but she’s popular because of her looks. Several guys are chasing her. I know at least two and really she is good with the youth actually, but if you talk about Bible and biblical principles than she wouldn’t be the one. I don’t find her to be a spiritual person, but more of someone who is trying very hard to look good outwardly and try to hide her frauds. She often lies about being late, trying to cover things up. I was like, just tell me if you are going to be 5 minutes late, I don’t really care, I wouldn’t judge you for being late.

And I wanted to have a meeting with the youth pastor who left before the meeting to discuss about our small youth group meeting and she never understood why I wanted to have the meeting. She was telling me that the pastor left already, what’s the point of meeting with him? I told her that our group was reared by him. These are youths who he led and nurtured for years, we should get some insights and advice before going into our meeting. She kept on telling me that he left already and that he didn’t really make the decisions anyway.

I don’t why she was getting all upset. She was kind of rude to a point to ask so what if the pastor can give us advice and insights. He’s not the pastor anymore. Then she tried to be condescending to me by telling me she’s the official leader of the youth small group. I wouldn’t even do that if I was her. It doesn’t really matter that the pastor left. He can still give us information on the youth, advice, and insights. He’s still a resource.

I wanted to tell her about how it’s a common and wise practice for incoming and outgoing leaders would meet about the transition.

So far

Starting over and serving in a new church is not easy. In my first two years, going to small group was fine. They were led by mature leaders, people who were really adults.

First I had a couple who really loved all the small group members. And they were people we could really learn from, people we could really model ourselves after. Then we had another couple who were a little younger in their early 40s. They were really good as well.

After that, we had pastors as our group leaders and it kind of went downhill from there. At first, the youth ministry pastor was supposed to be our group leader and then she left the church so the temp. head pastor stepped in. And the problem was he just didn’t have time to minister to us. The seminary student intern became the acting group leader and the group kind of fell apart.

The temp head pastor took over and he basically used the seminary interns to help lead the small group for him but they leave after a year. There was never good pastoring. The temp head pastor never had the time.

A few others and I feel that the temp head pastor is the group leader to have us the young adults to fall in line after him. I found it selfish because we are not developed well under this program.

I am coming to the disappointment that I don’t find many leaders to model myself after. My small group leader is less mature than I. I am in youth ministry where people fight over details and criticize one another. I don’t see teamwork. I don’t see trust. I see a lot of surface politeness with nastiness and ungodliness going quite deep. Many people shouldn’t be in leadership position because of their characters and moral weaknesses. I am not saying they are bad people but that they still have a lot to work on before becoming leader and decision makers.

Quotes by Eleanor Roosevelt

I found a page of quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt which are very deep.

https://www.gwu.edu/~erpapers/abouteleanor/er-quotes/ inspiring and deep. 

Democracy requires both discipline and hard work. It is not easy for individuals to govern themselves. . . . It is one thing to gain freedom, but no one can give you the right to self-government. This you must earn for yourself by long discipline.

We must show by our behavior that we believe in equality and justice and that our religion teaches faith and love and charity to our fellow men. Here is where each of us has a job to do that must be done at home, because we can lose the battle on the soil of the United States just as surely as we can lose it in any one of the countries of the world

My greatest fear has always been that I would be afraid – afraid physically or mentally or morally and allow myself to be influenced by fear instead of by my honest convictions.

If You Ask Me (1946), 112.

The encouraging thing is that every time you meet a situation, though you may think at the time it is an impossibility and you go through the tortures of the damned, once you have met it and lived through it you find that forever after you are freer than you ever were before. If you can live through that you can live through anything. You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face.

You are able to say to yourself, `I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’

The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it. If you fail anywhere along the line, it will take away your confidence. You must make yourself succeed every time. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

It was a while back, 2013, when I felt called to serve youth and young adults at the annual Hong Kong and Kowloon Bible Conference. Reverend Stephen Lee 李思敬 was the speaker I remember and I was at the Shatin telecast spot at the Workman Seminary watching the conference as Lee delievered his message and asked if any of us are willing to serve the youth. The funny relation about Lee is that I actually know his parents. His dad was also a pastor and a great speaker. His mom was a very kind and warm lady everybody loved. At Doris’ funeral I also met Lee’s sister who looked like her mother and reminded me of her. I told her that and she told me that she had left after her father who had passed away last year.

At the time I was thinking about the youths and young adults at my old church who were finishing college and starting their young working lives.

So it’s Hong Kong Bible Conference time of the year again at the beginning of August. And so it’s been 3 years since. I talked to my old youth pastor at my old church but I really don’t want to talk to him about it because he was a traitor. I am calling him a traitor because he alighned himself to the powerful bad people at church who were being manipulative with the Scripture, they were using the Scripture to promote themselves and their agenda and this pastor knew it but out of fear he joined them and helped them oust the head pastor, my father. And he wasn’t keen with me, he was a slimmy kind of guy, he wants to be friend with everyone but he was all for himself in reality.

There was one time when he publicly criticized a pastor on his blog with names and everything. And he put his wife into the mix as well, saying she left in the middle of the sermon. The only thing I knew was that many people thought that that pastor was the one to replace my father as the head pastor so I am guessing that he was jealous. Most people liked that pastor because he spoke the Word with power  and he was truthful. I like that pastor as well. Some deacons were trying to buy him by offering several thousands dollars for speaking a sermon but he wisely donated all of it back to the church. What happened was he told my father and the deacon board that he was willing to help the church for free as a missionary but the deacon wanted to have him replace my dad as head pastor and he would have none of that so he left but he would visit and speak sometimes and help us with missions.

So anyway, despite the call to serve the youth and young adults I haven’t really done anything official. Yes, I hung out with the youth at my old church and keep in touch with them. I mentor my peers but nothing in a mininstry because I was basically tagged enemy number 1 with some of the leaders at my church not because of anything I do, but because they opposed my father. Which I still don’t understand. I find it harder to understand how the congregation allow these people to become deacon.

 

 

 

How can I know if I have received a call to ministry?

http://www.gotquestions.org/call-to-ministry.html

Am I called to Ministry

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/am-i-called-to-the-ministry

What are different spiritual gifts?

http://mintools.com/gifts-list.htm#giving

5 Questions to Ask Before You Take a Ministry Job

http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2015/08/10/5-questions-ask-ministry-job/37577

 

Small Group

Many of the small group members I have been going to small group have stopped going to small group and Sunday worship all together. It is disheartening because they are motivated individuals.

I think there is a lack of ministering and nurturing. First we had a pastor who was suppose to be our small group leader leaving. Then the temp head pastor and seminary student intern kind of became our group leader. It was okay then but when the head pastor officially became our group leader people started be less motivated.

The first thing is lack of pastoring, caring and nurturing. Usually in a small group the small group leader is the one who lead by caring and nurturing group members,  being the big brother or sister, the uncle or auntie by having “fellowship” with the members. Fellowship doesn’t just mean going to small group and having Bible studies together but to share lives, “live” together. It’s not happening. I think the temp head pastor is too busy, that was what the seminary intern told me. He doesn’t have time even though I think we could totally have lunch together with his family once every month. That would be doable.

The other thing is there is little caring. The temp head pastor would spend time with you if you make an appointment with him but he’s not going to initiate anything.

And one big thing that I found out that at least one person got turned off is because the temp head pastor pushed his agenda in the small group. He started running the Alpha Course in small group without discussing and planning it with the small group members. It wasn’t a group decision, it was something he wanted to do and he pushed it and he has two seminary interns from his alma mater to help him run the small group.

Personally, I feel that it is the wrong time to run the Alpha Course when people are not even caring about others in the small group, when there isn’t really a community.

It is not something the people signed up for when they decided to join small group. They didn’t sign up for an Alpha Course, they signed up for small group.

One of the seminary intern brought four of her friends and they come regularly but at least three, four regular stopped coming.

I find that the small group is no longer ministering the small group members but is becoming an evangelizing ministry. It’s not wrong but it’s not small group. We didn’t get to decide what we wanted to do as usual. We used to plan our small group activities and schedule together, now there is no schedule and pastor just tell people to serve as worship leader. I don’t know where it is heading. Pastor is just picking people to serve who is available.

I feel like it’s a bit messed up. It is just disheartening.

I am disappointed that the temp head pastor is putting his own agenda ahead for what’s best for the small group. We are his flock. It should always be catered to the people.

I am guessing that he wants to run Alpha Course at church and he is using the small group as a testing ground. Alpha Course is good for evangelizing and increasing attendance, but it shouldn’t be run as small group program and some people are voting with their feet by not coming.

I find it tough because the people who I had started to bond with are stopping to come and discouraged. I don’t blame them.

I asked the pastor again and again if I could serve with the youth ministry and he told me several times that I have to be a member but I find it hard to be a member when I don’t even feel comfortable in small group least the sense of belonging which I don’t really have. I told him that I can’t get plucked in with not serving with others whatsoever. It’s just not working.

I don’t know if he understand that. I think he does, he is not stupid and he told me that I shouldn’t be without any service or I will just have a lost of identity but if the condition is become a member, then I find it kind of wrong and unnatural. It is unhealthy.

After AGM today

At the AGM today, we found out that it was very difficult to rebuild the church building with some new regulations and judge decision in 2013. Property price is expensive and church’s treasury is at one of its weakest state. I was talking with a former deacon and I told him that God provided for us and that we missed out of chances to purchase a new church building before.

He told me not to misuse the name of God.

I was a bit taken back.

About 6-7 years back, another former deacon of the church somehow found a site suitable for our church and he got really excited and called my dad the head pastor, the head deacon which was him at the time and a few others to look at the site.

A man who worked for developer looked at it and wrote a report on why it is such as good place. The deacon board looked at it but never said anything about it.

Now I found out what the reason was. He told me that it wasn’t the right time because we had no spiritual leader.

I was taken back, my dad was the head pastor and he was an experienced pastor who founded kindergarten, built churches up with a good record.

The former deacon revealed further that it was because there was fighting and arguing inside the church. It wasn’t the right time and that was why my dad had to leave.

I told him that there was fight because one of the deacons, let’s call him Wang, was attacking the head pastor. Wang had a personal revenge agenda to oust the head pastor because he blamed the head pastor for his cousin resignation as the pastor at the church.

What happened was, an old lady past away and as part of her dying wish, she wanted the group to say hymns to wear choir uniform in her funeral . Her daughter told her mother’s wish to choir head at the time if that was okay. The choir head then asked the head pastor if it was alright and the head pastor told the choir head to use the old choir uniform.

However, when one pastor found out, let’s call her, Pastor Ho, she marched into the head pastor office and demanded that the decision be reversed, and that only the choir can wear the choir uniform and that it is unbiblical and wrong. The head pastor disagreed and asked her if she could find a passage in the Bible to prove her point. She couldn’t.

The night before the funeral, Pastor Ho called the daughter of the sister who passed away angrily. The sister felt abused and wrote a letter to the deacon board about the ordeal.

For some strange reason, Pastor Ho along with another pastor then said that they would resign. And they did.

To me it seems to be a problem that was blown out of proportion. Well, anyway, now Pastor Ho is the cousin of Wang and he got an earful from Pastor Ho. Wang got angry and decided to make it his personal revenge mission to oust the head pastor, my dad.

So Wang is an influential guy because he is a second generation at this church. He started talking behind the pastor, influencing others to oust the pastors.

And ever since, for about 6 years, Wang had a campaign against the head pastor because he blamed the pastor for his cousin resigning the church.

Now the former head deacon told me that it was best that the head pastor left. Then I realized the tragedy of this old fool. He still hasn’t learn from his mistakes. It wasn’t the head pastor that was the problem, it was Wang. Why wasn’t Wang disciplined? Why wasn’t he confronted for attacking the pastor. He was visiting people and I knew from another deacon that he went to her house and tried to convince her to oust the head pastor.

Wang shouldn’t be a deacon in the first place. And one time the whole clergy staff

 

Back for Baptism

I went back to my old church the past Sunday for a baptism ceremony because a youth that I watched growing up was getting baptised.

I knew him for a decade now and first knew him when we played basketball together as part of our basketball ministry.

He matured and in some ways I must say is more matured than I am. It took him a long time to finally baptise. I knew that he believed for a long time already.

Going back there  gave me a lot of flashbacks and thoughts. Not much people from my fellowship went. There were Her, Kant, Shir because she is a deacon, WK and Pig because their family member, Vic and LH, Queen and …I actually forgot one of their names.

It was good to see some of the youths I haven’t seen in a while since our basketball days a few years back and they have all graduated since then and are now working.

It was a bit awkward because some of the people kind of avoid me. It hurt because we should be better than this. We were brothers and sisters. I still think we are but not them.

It’s the youths who acted more normal like human beings, friends and as brothers and sisters.

It’s a bit ridiculous because you would think older people act more mature. No.

Queen asked me why I am back and I told her that I watched M grow up. Queen was probably one of the few people who made attempt to reach me but she is a bit brainwashed. We used to be tight, we came to this church at around the same time, went to the same small group. I somewhat regret that I welcomed her to this church.

As I was leaving, Shir talked to me about my trip in Japan. We small talked a bit about traveling in Japan. It’s weird because she is a deacon now and I wonder how much she knows about all the nasty things that is happening. She is the recorder of AGM and deacon meetings, and at the last AGM a brother and I raised problem with vague record of the past AGM on how the printed record doesn’t say what the former head deacon state about what were the offences of MS.

I think some people care and they are checking on me on Facebook but they don’t show it. It’s almost like a guilt to show care or interest in me.

I feel sad when I think about this, we had such a great group of brothers and sisters in Christ. And I get angry because some stupid selfish people with nothing better to do decided to take advantage and use others to get power and control others and destroyed this community, this fellowship we had.

I wasn’t sure what happened since last time but the new head pastor this time seemed like he was trying to avoid contact with me. It was a very different gesture from the last time we met when he actually came over and shook my hand.

I am guessing that somebody told himself or had him aware of something.