I have neither been instructed nor felt like it was my duty as a church employee to write this post; this is a completely voluntary and perhaps even purgatory entry as a result of my day-long dialogue with the Spirit about ABM.
On my way to school after the ABM dry run and briefing in GII, I recalled what it was like for me to attend ABM as a fresh-from-baptism-first-year-church-member. I anticipated it with excitement – partly due to novelty as a first-timer but mostly because I was acutely interested in the deeper workings of the church… It was after all, my church – the place I grew up in.
And this beginning conviction was something I needed to be reminded about today.
But truth be told. While I could only recognise 10% of the potential board members whom I had to vote for and was never a fan of the mandatory (and boring) graphs and numbers in the annual report, I did recognise the importance of my choices and acknowledged that I was indeed a big fan of my church.
I was intrigued by how their operations; I felt special knowing exclusive information before the everyone else did; I stopped nodding off when someone fires the occasional tough question; and of course, I get amused by how the pastors and board members attempt to reply, albeit awkwardly and sometimes even embarrassingly. The hot topic consistently seems to be how the church remunerates its pastors – somehow there’ll always be someone asking that question.
Well, for most of the youths (and especially those who are very young, new to the church or attending ABM for the first time), I honestly think this is how they will vote:
- Do I know him?
- Do I like his face?
- Do I know his children?
- Has he attended youth service before?
- Will he favour the youth ministry?
Maybe you’re a serious voter – good for you! – but that’s about as frank as it gets for me. At least that was how I voted the first time. Those board members with the 欠打 face or those who looked too serious never received my votes. Yes, I did pray before I cast my votes but it’s more of a “God, I hope this fella is the right chap!” than a “Oh Lord, open the skies and reveal Your choice to me!” Today of course, I know more than 50% of the board members, but come on, who was I kidding back then?
Nonetheless, whether I was an informed or ill-informed voter, I was still present and my vote made as big an impact as the gentleman who has been attending the church before I was born. With my votes, I represented my generation, my ministry and my personal convictions. I thank God that He knows the final verdict for every decision contested and I also thank God that I know I played a part in His plan. Without me, things might just turn out differently – not for the better or worse, just different.
If I may, I will make a sweeping statement here – I conclude that there were generally two types of church members: those who cared about their church and those who don’t. You can’t be in between. You can’t have conditions. Either you do, or you don’t. And how do I see the commitment in your heart? Very simple – by observing the choices that you have made.
This entry by the way, is not meant to prick your conscience. No, it’s an outcry of how the Spirit convicted my heart today. It was a necessary reminder of my role in the constitution of the church. Perhaps, just perhaps, you may be able to identify with me.
Let’s get excited about the direction of our beloved place of worship. Let’s get enthusiastic about making decisions that will shape our next generation. Let’s get energised about our church – after all, Jesus overcame death to build the church (Matthew 16:18)!
See you later at the 50th Annual Business Meeting – I can’t wait!