Sunday, October 31, 2010

The S.E.R.V.I.C.E. Culture (2)

by James Wong

I shared that the final “C” of leadership is culture and together we need to build a church culture that is biblical and progressive using the acronym S.E.R.V.I.C.E. I have covered these: S=Serving Heart, E=Empower Others. For this week I would like to focus on ‘R’ which means, ‘Result-Orientated.’

R = Result Oriented. What does it mean?

Result-oriented culture begins with the end in mind. What do you want to see happening at the end? In management it is known as identifying the Key Result Areas. A country has clearly defined Key Result Areas (KRA). For our country, the Prime Minister announced the 6 key result areas for Malaysia on the 28 July 2009: (1) Reduction of crime rate (2) Combating corruption (3) Widening access to affordable and quality education (4) Raising the living standard of the Poor (5) Improving Infrastructure in rural areas (6) Improving public transport in the Medium term.

Our Key Result Areas refer to the results we want to see happening in this year in the church as a whole. The results that we want will determine our strategy and our focus. Our church programs will be tailored to the results that we want to achieve. By knowing the Key Result Areas we will be able to evaluate our progress. The following are the Key Result Areas we hope to achieve as a church and the details of the action plans are found on pages 6-7 in our Ministry Handbook.

(1) Alpha Outreach (2) Leadership Development (3) Tithing & Offerings (4) IT Networking and (5) Prayer meeting.

A result-oriented culture equates to high performance and achievement. To define performance and establish specific standards of performance in the church is not any easy task. Most people feel uncomfortable when we talk about high performance and high standards as a requirement for those who serve in the ministries of the church. I believe that the Key Result Areas is necessary because we are serving the King of kings and Lord of lords and we should naturally want to give our level best to the task entrusted to us. Taking a passive approach with a lackadaisical attitude can be the easiest and most comfortable approach to church life but in terms of result, it can be discouraging.

A result-oriented mindset always ask the questions, what kind of results we want to see at the end? Every week, we have printed the numerical goals of our church in the bulletin. We hope to see 160 people coming regularly for our Sunday service, 30 people coming for prayer meeting, 40 children in the Sunday School, 8 life groups, 150 members in the BB & GB ministry and 50 members in the G412. What can we do to achieve these goals? Commit to come for Sunday worship? Come to the prayer meeting? Invite someone to church? To achieve new results we need to have new inputs which could be a new strategy, a new habit, a new program, a new schedule or a new commitment. Let us achieve better results for the Lord.

We are not saved by service, but for service

Death Tolls in Indonesian tsunami and volcano tops 300

Dedication of the BCCM GUM GUM Church

Love Means Sacrifice, Not Selfishness

Church Concerns

Church Activities For This Week

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The S.E.R.V.I.C.E. Culture

by. Rev. James Wong
Last week I shared that the final “C” of leadership is culture and together we need to build a church culture that is biblical and progressive using the acronym S.E.R.V.I.C.E. For this week I would like to focus on ‘E’ which means, ‘Empower Others.’

E= Empower Others. What does it mean?

To empower is to give or delegate power or authority to another person. When Moses' father-in-law, Jethro, saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, "What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?" … “Why do you sit alone, while all the people stand around you from morning until evening? What you are doing is not good. You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people with you. For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.” (Ex 18:14-19 NLT). Moses was burn-out. One person could not accomplish much and the result is also discouraging.

1. Moses empowered the people. Moses’ style of leadership was totally ineffective. Jethro, the father-in-law, encouraged Moses to empower more people to do the job. He said to Moses, “Select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. ... Let the leaders decide the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. ..." (Ex 18:21-23 NLT). Moses took the advice and by empowering others to leadership he was able to achieve so much more.

2. Jesus empowered his disciples. Jesus did not do it alone. In his physical state he could accomplish little. Therefore he empowered his disciples to do the work. “He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.” (Matt 10:1 NIV). At another time he appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. (Luke 10:1-3 NIV). Jesus multiplied his leadership by giving away his authority to his disciples. He gave them authority and showed confidence in them. He allowed them to grow and flourish.

3. A culture that empowers others. “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-12 NLT). The main task of pastors and teachers here is to equip others to serve God in the various ministries of the church. God wants every member to be involved in service. You empower others by delegating your responsibility and authority to others without the fear of losing control or credit. Give a word of appreciation, praise, encouragement, motivation and support to help someone rise up.

Unmatched Blessings

Deuteronomy 28:1-14
Rev. James Wong

1. The Promise of Blessings In Obedience
“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:” ~Deuteronomy 28:1-2 (NIV)

2. The Details of the Blessings (Deut 28:3-7 NIV)

God will bless you wherever you live
3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.

God will bless your family and business
4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock — the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

God will bless your finance
5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.

God will bless you with his protection
6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.
7 The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

3. Our spiritual blessing in Christ
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— ~Ephesians 1:3-5 (NIV)

4. Be thankful for your blessings
Don’t throw away your life just because some circumstances in life turn out to be unfavorable. Count your blessings and move on.

16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. ~1 Thess 5:16-18 (NIV)

What God told Jeremiah is also true for you

Be A Thermostat

Alpha Holy Spirit Week

M/V Hannah II Visitation

Church Concerns

Church Activities For This Week

Monday, October 11, 2010

The 4 Cs of Leadership (3)

by Rev. James Wong

Continuing with our series, the 1st “C” of leadership is Character and the 2nd “C” of leadership is competence. The 3rd “C” of leadership is Chemistry.

Chemistry here refers more to team chemistry, the working relationship issue in a team. Where there is good chemistry, every member of the team can relate well with each other. Everyone enjoys each other’s company and there is real synergy. A misfit is a problem.

There is a place for individuals who can only operate alone and do not like the crowd and teamwork but in the church environment where Christian leadership is concerned, the chemistry, which is the ability to mix around with people and make the connection with people in all levels, must be present. To have the chemistry is to have the necessary interpersonal skill to work with others and relationships determine the morale of an organization. When the morale is down, people feel frustrated and is not motivated to work or serve. Then we say the spiritual atmosphere of the church is down and we need a “revival” to set the hearts of the people on fire. What we actually need is to improve on the relationships, the chemistry, in the group.

Here are four powerful truths to help you create a better chemistry in the church, cell group, fellowship, home or office.

1. Maintain an attitude of acceptance. “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (Rom 15:7). You need to learn to accept each other’s differences. You should also be mindful of the fact that you should not make it difficult for others to work with you. Adopt the humble attitude of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 2:5-8 (NIV) has this to say: “5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!”

Humility attracts and arrogance repels. When you are humble you will find it easier to understand and accept other people’s differences. One effective way to maintain your humility is to often remind yourself that “I could be wrong.” This is the first step to ensure that you can have the chemistry to work with others while you are out there to look for others who have the right chemistry to work with you.

2. Be proactive in fulfilling your responsibilities. Everyone has a different role to play. Try to figure out how best you can achieve your work purposes and your functions in the group. You must identify your role and fulfil it. “6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” (Rom 12:6-8 NLT). You are to use your gifts to function as you should and focus in fulfilling your role where God has placed you.

In application this means, if your role is to serve others, serve them well. If your role is a teacher, then don’t simply teach but teach well like a skilful teacher. If your role is to encourage others, be encouraging whenever you are with the people and not create discouragement or discord. If you are a leader you take the responsibility seriously. Anything that collapses under your leadership is your responsibility. If your role is to show kindness to others, do it gladly and not reluctantly. Now, what is your role? Figure it out.

3. Use the art of encouragement. There is power in encouragement. Control your tongue. If something you say is going to destroy—stop it. Ephesians 4:29 (NLT) says, “Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” People are motivated by encouragement. “You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins.” (Jim Stovall).

Paul was totally upset with Mark, the young guy who left half way during his first missionary journey. During his second missionary journey Barnabas wanted to bring Mark along and that really infuriated Paul because Mark was not trustworthy. Barnabas and Paul had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas who was known as “the son of encouragement” took Mark with him but Paul chose Silas and left (Acts 15:39-41). Paul was proven wrong in his judgment and in his later years while he was in prison he wrote to Timothy saying “Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.” (2 Tim 4:11). Indeed Mark was useful. He wrote the Gospel of Mark. Without Barnabas I wonder if there will be a Mark!

4. Supporting the leadership. Make it a joy for your superior to work with you. Hebrews 13:17 says, "Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you." Wrong assumption of people can get you into trouble. In Christian leadership you should start off with a positive assumption that people in leadership are God loving people who are willing to sacrifice their time and energy to live their faith and serve Christ in a practical way. Support the leadership of the church and make their work a joy and not a burden.

The City of Refuge

Joshua 29:1-9
Rev. James Wong

People naturally move to cities or countries of safety and opportunities

1. Migrants moving to Sabah
“It is estimated that Sabah has 1.7 million illegal immigrants”

2. Malaysians migrated to other countries
2007 : 139,696 migrated
2008—2009 : 300,000 migrated
March—August 2010 : 304,358 migrated (630 leave the country everyday)
( and


1. The Purpose of the City of Refuge
The Cities of Refuge were not places to escape justice, but rather places that saw justice was done.

Then the LORD said to Joshua: 2 "Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, 3 so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood. ~Josh 20:1-3 (NIV)

The death of the high priest brings atonement for wrongs done
And he must continue to live in that city until the death of the high priest who was in office at the time of the accident. After that, he is free to return to his own home in the town from which he fled." ~Josh 20:6 (NLT)

2. Our City of refuge is God
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” ~Ps 46:1

18 So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. 19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary. 20 Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek. ~Heb 6:18-20 (NLT)

3. The Church as a City of Refuge
Together, we provide a place where people can experience salvation, friendship, healing, faith, hope and love.
“… Faith without actions is dead” ~James 2:26 (TEV)

NEWS UPDATES from the English General Council (EGC)

Introducing M/V Hannah II

Keeping The Connection

Church Concerns

Church Activities For This Week

Monday, October 4, 2010

The 4 Cs of Leadership (3)

by Rev. James Wong
Continuing from last week, the 2nd “C” of leadership is competence.
Competence is having the quality of being adequately or well qualified to do tasks that is expected of him/her.

Simply, as a leader you must be able to perform your duties—deliver the results. A fisherman must know how to catch fish. In the church a youth worker must know how to do the overall planning for the group and lead the team. A pastor must know how to preach and do the pastoral work. When you come to the success of your life, no matter what you are doing, you must have the competence for the job. Here is how you can become competent.

1. You must develop the necessary skill-set.
Your greatest asset in an employment is your skill –the ability to do what is required. An unskilled worker is cheap whereas a skilled worker is expensive because he/she can help the company to profit. To be successful in your work or in any ministry, you must develop your skill consistently. “If the axe is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success.” (Eccl 10:10 (NIV). Your skill is the axe.

David says: “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.” (Ps 33:3 NIV). David played the harp skillfully. There is a world of difference between a skillful musician and a mediocre musician. David was so skillful that he could use his music to help calm down King Saul’s depression and cast out the demonic spirit (1 Sam 16:15-23).

2. You must know what needs to be done.
This is the knowledge part of the job. In every job there are things you need to get done. You must know the scope of your work and your responsibilities. Paul said that in the work he did for God, his work was to lay a foundation. “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.” (1 Cor 3:10-11 NIV). His role in the Corinthian church was very clear. He did the planting part (laying the foundation) and Apollos did the watering and God would do his part in giving the growth. (1 Cor 3:6 NIV).

3. You must strive to be an expert in what you do.
This is your attitude towards your job. The workmanship of an amateur carpenter and that of an expert is obvious. One just gets the job done whereas an expert gets the job done well. Paul’s role was to lay a foundation but he laid that foundation as an expert builder not an amateur builder. “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.” (1 Cor 3:10-11 NIV).

Attitude is more important than skill. Attitude without skill is insufficient. Skill without knowledge is incomplete. To be competent you must have the A.S.K. = Attitude, Skill and Knowledge. May God bless your leadership. (to be continued next week)

Growing Together

1. Affirming one another
A. Acceptance
7Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. ~Romans 15:7

B. Care & love

2. Praying for one another
9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. ~Philippians 1:9 - 11

A. grow in love

B. make wise choices

C. do the right thing

D. live for God’s glory

3. Encouraging one another

NEWS UPDATES from the English General Council (EGC)

2nd BB & GB Officers Retreat

Bless Your Children

Church Concerns

Church Activities For This Week