Volume. XXI, No. 39
Sunday, 25 March 2007

From The Pastors Heart: Heart to Heart Talk

I have been writing many articles for the Lively Hope over the years.  Through those articles, I have discussed difficult theological issues, contemporary issues, or my missionary trips.  Though the title of this article is “from the pastor’s heart,” I have not written much about my personal thoughts and feelings about you and Hope church.  Maybe it is a good time for me to share some of my thoughts and feelings about the Hopefuls.  It will truly be a talk from my heart to your heart.


I am sure that you have your own feelings and impressions about me as your pastor.  I do not know all of them but some.  Now it is my turn to let you know my inner thoughts of you.  You may be wondering how pastors view their congregations.  I cannot say for other pastors, but for myself only.  Without any pretense, there are a few things I want to tell you.


First, it has been a blessing for me to be the pastor of Hope church, for I have grown up through and with you.  By no means am I a perfect man.  Though I have studied theology for more than 25 years so far, my knowledge is limited, and its applications in my life are far from mature. My character has many flaws, and I do admit that I have lots of shortcomings.  However, I can happily say that I have grown up spiritually since I met you in Adelaide.  Some of you are like my teachers, brothers and sisters, and friends.  I do thank you all.  You have been influencing me one way or another.  I am still growing because of you.  I have seen my weaknesses through you, and I am so glad that I am your pastor because I can learn from you.  Through my pastoral work, I have seen some things that I have not been able to see before.  My heart has grown to understand more and bigger things than before.  I trust that the Lord will continue to make us grow together.


Second, it has been a blessing for me to be the pastor of Hope church, for I have been loved by you.  Truly some of you have shown me what true Christian love is.  Some of you have opened your hearts so widely and shared your concerns with me and borne my burdens together with me.  I am not sure how many pastors can say as I say: “I am a happy man because of my congregation.”  You have made me a happy and contented pastor.  What I am saying is that you have shared your love with me in various ways.  I have seen and met many pastors struggling with their congregations.  Some times I had to listen to them and lend my shoulder for them to cry upon.  However, you have shown me your genuine concerns and love.  It seems that you have ministered to me, rather than I have ministered to you.  Thank you.


Third, it has been a blessing for me to be the pastor of Hope Church, for I have seen your maturity.  There are a few things I need to commend you about.  The first one is that you have been responsible for church ministries.  Many of you have been participating in various ministries, for which I am grateful.  Many churches depend on their pastors for all the work, but in Hope church I depend on you very much.  From Sunday school rooms to financial committee, everything has been done by you.  It shows the maturity you have.  Every Sunday a few families have done most of the preparations for lunch.  It is not easy to cook for 100 plus people, but they have been working hard and graciously.  Of course, others have brought dishes and deserts week after week.  There are people who have washed the dishes willingly and done sanctuary setups.  Stone Mansion has been maintained by faithful workers, and many of you have come out for working bees on the last Saturdays.  Our choir and music ministries cannot be missed out.  Week after week, choir members come to church for at least one and half hours before worship and practice so faithfully.  Ushers, welcomers, and singspiration leaders have done remarkable jobs.  One distinguished feature of your maturity is found in your taste of God’s Word.  You have been challenged by difficult theological topics and discussions but still desire to learn.  My teachings have not been easy to understand, but you have kept on learning.  When I see people learning, I am encouraged. 


Four, it has been a blessing for me to be the pastor of Hope Church, for I have known that you are with me by heart.  I am grateful that you are mission minded people.  You are one mind in my missionary endeavor.  You are one mind in helping people, for which I am grateful.  You have been the most gracious people I know of.  I have been away for so long last year, but you did not object to my trips with good understanding of the purpose of my frequent trips. 


Five, it has been a blessing for me to be the pastor of Hope church, for the session has been the most understanding and gracious work partners I know of.  I want to let you know that each Session member has been encouraging me to do the Lord’s work more.  They have been supportive and generous partners for the Lord’s work.  When I expressed my desire not to stand for the next election, they made such a generous offer for me to be able to stay in Adelaide.  I do not know of any other pastor who is more blessed than me.  I praise the Lord for the Session members and worshippers at Hope Church. 


Here is my pledge I give to you in return to your love and kindness.  I will be a more dedicated and committed pastor to you.  Instead of seeking my own gains, I will seek your edification and gains.  I will not leave you alone without a shepherd.  If you cannot find a pastor who may come after me near future, I will be with you as long as you need me.  I will not elaborate this point at the moment.  However, I want to assure you that I will be at your side when you need me.  I do not take it my right to be your pastor, but a privilege.  Thank you for having me as your pastor.  I am truly humbled and honored by being called as the pastor of Hope Church. 


Thank you all for your love and kindness to my family and me.  You are in my heart and thoughts.  May the Lord bless each and every one of you!



Your Pastor


More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question 89: How is the Word made effectual to salvation? The spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preaching of the Word, an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners, and of building them up in holiness and comfort, through faith, unto salvation.


Please pray for health & God’s healing: Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Clements, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, & Winston Selvanayagam; Mr Nicholas Lim; Sisters Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Aranka Rejtoe, Chrisanthi Selvanayagam, Juanita Tong, Susan Veradi, & Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; Auntie Oei & others in affliction. "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Pet 5:7).


Please pray for – a) Cambodia Missions - Khmer Students studying in FEBC; b) Laos Missions - Bro S Dhamarlingam; c) India & Pakistan Missions - Pastors & Believers; d) Sarawak (Kuching) Missions - Teo family; e) Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Bro H S Lim;  f) Journey Mercies - all those travelling this week; g) Easter Camp & Speaker: Dr Gary Cohen; h) Jobs: Sisters Gillian Ong, Juanita Tong & Mag Yu; i) Further surgery - Sis Sheila George.


Praise and Thank God for – a) AFG Bible Study; Joy & Maranatha Prayer & Bible Study; Ladies’ Fellowship Biblical Counselling Course; Wed Prayer Meeting & Bible Study; YAF Prayer & Share; b)Safe delivery of new baby - Grace, daughter of Bro Joseph & Sis Chrisanti Selvanayagam on Sat 17 Mar, and for Sis Chrisanthi’s quick recovery; c) Journey mercies - Ps Ki  (Adel); Sis Jan & Bro Daniel Volvricht (UK); Sis Min Yen Chia & Miss Ann Gie Ho (Adl); Sisters Gillian Ong (Melb) & Serene Wong (Adl); & all those who have arrived safely at their destinations; d) God’s healing & hospital discharge: Rev George van Buuren & Sis Sheila George.


Junior & Adult RPG for Apr-Jun QTR available. For Junior RPG, please see Sis Purdee Yeo. Donation $1 per copy.


Looking Ahead: a) Easter Family Bible Camp - 6-9 April 2007. Theme: “Occupy Till I Come”. b) Sunday School Teachers’ Training course starts after Easter.  




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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041