Monday, September 26, 2011

Leadership and the Father's business

by Rev. James Wong

“The Father’s business” was a phrase coined by Jesus. When he was only twelve years old, Jesus told his parent, “I must be about my Father’s business” (Luke 2:49 NKJV). In other words, while the rest of the kids might be surfing the net with their iPads or watching cartoon programs Jesus was conscious of his mission of changing the world. It is fascinating to note that Jesus called his mission “my Father’s business.”

When the time came, he formally launched his ministry with a clear vision and a three-year strategic plan that included the selection and training of twelve disciples. His evangelism strategy moved first from Jerusalem, then Judea, then Samaria and then to the outmost parts of the world (Acts 1:8). His passion and commitment to the Father’s business brought him all the way to the cross. He was unflinching and serious about the Father’s business.

There is a price to be paid in doing the Father’s business. Just like any business, the Father’s business needs good leadership practices. Since Jesus had given us an example of sacrificial commitment to the Father’s business, I believe he expects church leaders to put their best efforts in building his church. Of course we are not alone in this. He has promised us his presence and providing us with spiritual gifts to accomplish the task. How to go about the Father’s business?

1.  Seriousness: We must be serious about the Father’s business. To be serious means to be concerned with the ministry that we are serving in and treat the matter as important. “If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously” (Rom 12:8 NLT). Seriousness is to get the responsibility done.

2.  Schedule: Doing the Father’s business takes time and energy. Availability is more important than talent. A person who is involved in the Father’s business, either serving in leadership position or in any church ministry, must have free-up time to do the tasks. We must schedule the Father’s business into our calendar.

3.  Sacrifice:  The idea of serving the Lord is a noble thought but it is always related to serving God’s people. Thus, the Father’s business could be a stressful one. It could turn into a time of testing of our patience and love. Paul said, “Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.” (2 Cor 11:24-26 NLT). The Father’s business is always associated with personal sacrifice. Let us all spur one another to be committed in the Father’s business in any way we can.

Keeping Your Passion for God

Rev. James Wong
37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'  38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'                                              ~Matt 22:37-40 (NIV)
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
                                                                                                                               ~Rom 12:11-12 (NIV)

Practical steps to keep your passion for God:

1.   Have a balance SCHEDULE 
“It is useless to work so hard for a living, getting up early and going to bed late.
For the Lord  provides for those he loves, while they are asleep.”
~Ps 127:2 (TEV)
2. Use your TALENTS   
“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” ~1 Peter 4:10 (NLT)

3. Live a life away from SIN
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” ~1 John 1:9 (NIV)

4. Resolve relationship CONFLICTS
“Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple.” ~Job 5:2 (NIV)
“You who tear yourself to pieces in your anger, …” ~Job 18:4 (NIV)

5. Mix with the right PEOPLE
"Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds. Let’s not give up meeting together and let us encourage one another."
~Hebrews 10:24 (NIV)

6. Live with a clear PURPOSE    
“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” ~Phil 3:14 (NLT)

· Worship
· Fellowship
· Discipleship
· Ministry
· Evangelism

What Do You Expect?

A Barrier to Trusting God

Pray For China And Japan

Sacrificial Love

Church Concerns

Church Activities For This Week

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Why Should We Praise God?

by Pr. Timothy Lo

Many people in this world are longing for fulfillment and they are searching desperately for it in all the wrong places. For Christians, they will find complete fulfillment in their innermost beings when they come into proper relationship with God through praise. The purpose of God in sending His Son to die for us is because God wanted very much for human beings to be reconciled with Him. Christians are God’s children and therefore it is fitting for us to praise God, our Father. Let me give you 3 reasons why we should praise God.

God is Worthy of Our Praise.
We praise God simply because God is worthy of our praise. “Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise” (Psalm 48:1). “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” God is our creator and we should praise our Maker.

Praise God for Saving Us.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy”(1 Peter 2:9-10). As Christians, we praise God because God provided a way for us to be saved from eternal death by sending to us, His one and only Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross for the penalty of our sins.

We Were Created to Praise God.
The Shorter Catechism expresses this, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever”. Isaiah 43:21 tells us, “The people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise”. As Christians, we must come back and learn to do again what we were created to do in the first place- praise God in the beauty of His holiness. Praise should not be a difficult task, but it should flow naturally from our lives, for it was an inherent tendency placed there purposely by our Creator

The Secret of Real Satisfaction

Matthew 5:3-12
Rev. Johnny Wong

I. Why are many people unsatisfied?
Look in the wrong places:-
1) Pleasure
 8 All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. ~ Ecclesiastes 1:8

2) Performance
23 All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.                    ~ Ecclesiastes 2:23

3) Possessions
10Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. ~ Ecclesiastes 5:10

II. How to experience real satisfaction?
4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. ~ Psalms 37:4

1) Recognize my real hunger
3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. ~ Deuteronomy 8:3

2) Look to Jesus
35 Then Jesus declared, I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. ~ John 6:35

51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live for ever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. ~ John 6:51

13 Jesus answered, Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.     Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. ~ John 4:13-14

Four ways to Break out of that Tiresome Rut

How To Be Content

The 'Secret' of Generous Giving

Carrots, Eggs & Coffee Beans

Church Concerns

Church Activities For This Week

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Leadership and reputation

by Rev. James Wong

How important is a good reputation for Christian leadership? This is what the Bible says about the importance of a good reputation.

1. Reputation matters. Good reputation does not come to us automatically. We need to consciously choose to pursue it. Proverbs 22:1 says: “Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold” (NLT). It is more important that we are respected by others than to have great wealth. In fact, when we have a good reputation others would like to give us their businesses. Solomon said “a good reputation is more valuable than a costly perfume” (Eccl 7:1).

In Christian leadership, whether we are poor or rich, matters very little to others but our reputation is a concern to all especially among those who deal with us.  Leadership is influence. Without a good reputation people will not listen to us, thus, we lost our influence and we end up being a leader without followers.

2. Building reputation. It takes solid character to build a good reputation. Proverbs 3:3-4 says: “Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation”(NLT). “loyalty and kindness” is also translated as “love and faithfulness” in the NIV. Loyalty, kindness, love and faithfulness speak of the way we relate to others and it tells a lot about the kind of person we are. God and people are attracted to such a person.

In the church context, often it is not a matter of right or wrong but the way people are being treated. You can be 100% right in every aspect of the rule and tradition but you are shunned by everyone else due to the way you carry yourself and argue your case. The Pharisees were always right in the point of law but very useless in the point of grace. Relationships, grace, mercy, love, kindness and faithfulness towards each other are the unseen forces that governs the church of Christ. Even church disciplines are based on love not revenge.

3. Good reputation is a requirement for Christian leadership. Leaders “must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap” (1 Tim 3:7 NIV). Bad reputation can get us into the devils camp when we fall into disgrace. Countries choose their best to be their ambassador. We are Christ’s ambassador  (2 Cor 5:20). The King of kings and Lord of Lords must be represented by an ambassador worthy of a good reputation. It is a necessity to keep a good reputation when we are in leadership position.

In Your Arms Daddy

Why We Need A Worship Life-Style

The Hot Water Bottle

Church Concerns

Church Activities For This Week

Monday, September 5, 2011

Leadership for problem solving

by Rev. James Wong

I left you in Crete, so that you could put in order the things that still needed doing and appoint church elders in every town. Remember my instructions:” (Titus 1:5 TEV).

There were problems in the church in Crete. The apostle Paul called upon Titus to organize the chaos and establish leaders in that church. In another incident, when conflict arose between the Corinthian church and Paul, Titus took the initiative and worked with the church until he achieved peace (see 2 Cor 7:5-7). Thus, he prevented a possible church split. Titus was the man with problem-solving skills.

Problem solving is one of the key skills of leadership. In fact, every profession exists to solve specific problems. A doctor exists to solve health problems. A lawyer exists to solves legal problems. Church leadership exists to solve church problems. An effective leader is a good problem solver.

How can we improve our problem-solving skills? Here are four basic steps in the problem solving process.

1. Defining the problem. We need to pin point exactly what the problem is. We need to ask, what is the real issue, not its symptoms. For example, the work in the office is substandard. We may think that the problem lies with the individual but if we look deeper, the real problem might be a lack of training and unclear expectation. Often, a single problem may turn out to be a series of problems.

2. Generating alternatives. This is the brainstorming stage where possible solutions to the problems are being discovered and discussed. Coming back to the example of the substandard work in the office, some possible solutions include retrenching, issuing warning letters, face to face confrontation, retraining, spell out clear expectations, redeploying and etc.

3. Selecting alternatives. In this stage all the possible solutions and their consequences are being evaluated. The best alternatives are being chosen to solve the real problem at hand.

4. Implementing the solutions. This is the action stage where the solutions are put into effect. The implementation of the solutions may be in stages to achieve the desired result. Not just talk; an action worth a thousand pictures.

“Problem solving is the fastest way to gain leadership…. When someone steps forward with solutions, he or she catches the attention of others” (John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible, p.1518). Leadership is not just about leading, it is more about problem-solving. Let us see ourselves in this role.

Lessons on Authority

CFM Media Statement Merdeka Day And Malaysia Day 2011

Should You Stop Tithing to Pay off Debt?

J. C. Penny: Starting Over

Church Concerns

Church Activities For This Week