AS each one received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God – 1 Peter 4:10
A good week and a half ago, our Overseer of churches and mission in Asia and Oceana (WIN-Singapore) came to visit us here in Ireland – that so called Emerald Isle. It was the height of summer and we were blessed that Pastor Butch Yu, Pastor Manju and their children Nissiel, Jirel and Haniel came to visit our WIN Ireland Church here in Dublin. They had brought God’s message all the way from many travels that spanned Asia and across Europe. God has so much blessed us from Pastor’s trip that he had planned to tour Ireland but God has made into a mission of family transformation (Romans 12:1-2) and discipleship of leaders.
Blessed not just our own Pastor Vic of seeing the Yu family and how God’s grace has transformed their family to one that we can endear but we are equally blessed that even with the few hours we have spent with them inside the church sanctuary and outside that we have rekindled the strong spiritual family ties. We’ve seen all their pictures in their travels and now they have arrived here and what moments can they capture now.
Pastor Manju had given us a Children Ministry talks last Sat 5 June to minister to our teachers and equip them further as we unfold our Children Ministry programs. Pastor Butch was going to be our Speaker during our Sunday Worship Service last 7 June – most had known him from 2 years ago when he and Pastor Manju came to our Family Camp. Now it was different. They had brought the whole brood with them. I was impressed of the pictures that camera wielding Nissiel has taken and Haniel’s drumming skills that amazed our Praise and Worship team. Jirel had been very involved with our own youth and easily created his own “troop”.
My wife Bing and I were especially blessed to have heard God’s message with the catch Phrase “Home is the primary place to nurture faith”. As parents of teenagers ourselves (Edmund, 16 and Rox 14) and an 8 year old – We learned that we should be primary influencers of faith to our children and to not “pass the buck to the Church”. In Deuteronomy 6:6-9, we learned that we should impress upon our children by modeling the faith at home and that faith must be something caught than taught. It was a message not only was directed to the parents but also to our church leadership and how important it is to be equipped as parents and leaders to disciple the brethren.
As family under God, we look upon our Pastor and church leaders similar to mentoring parents who are equipped and continually needs to be equipped. Though they are in the church not at home, they are to be partners with us in nurturing the faith and reinforcing it with our children at home.
As part of the church leadership here in WIN Ireland, we have an important calling to serve but also as important is to be servant leaders who among other things need to be equipped to help keep the church healthy. As Pastor Butch said, “Numbers don’t indicate good health”. If the church doesn’t have families that are strong in faith at home (not just faith on Sundays), then a church with many members would easily divide. If we are a church that places importance to being equipped (2 Timothy 3:16-17) where our leadership focuses on bringing up future leaders and making sure that ministry doesn’t take precedence over family. Pastor Butch suggested that leaders should only be involved in one Major and one Minor ministry to be a healthy Christian.
Finally, our church leadership held our meeting after the Sunday Service where Pastor Butch gave as a talk about what we need to do as a primary goal: Discipleship. Any program in the church must always lead to the goal of discipleship of the brethren – be it with the members or with its leaders. Though my wife and I are just barely two years serving as leaders, we have greatly appreciated the message that we need to continue to strive for excellence as Christians and those we should continue to be equipped to serve.
We thank Pastor Butch Yu and Pastor Manju and their children for sharing a good portion of their vacation with us here in Ireland. As bible says, good stewards look for opportunities to pass along to others what we they have received from the Lord.
Bro Ian and Bing Ramirez
7 June 2010 (reposted from WIN Singapore website)