I’m still intrigued, amazed and grateful that I managed to survive serving in a number of ecclesiastical positions in my tribe (i.e. denomination: The Lutheran Church in Malaysia & Singapore) the last 10 years.
The two main portfolios I held as the Education Committee Chairman, and the Dean of the Kuala Lumpur district. I’ve also participated in a number of committees from convening the ordination process committee to contributing to the constitution review committee.
There were many glimpses of God’s grace at different occasions, but there were equally hard-hitting experiences of human frailty, sinfulness and even good old fashioned evil.
The Church is such a mixed bag of well meaning intentions gone awry as well as fumbled start-ups which got redeemed for the better, sincere people mixed with opportunist, firm leadership and weak ministry, and the list goes on.
I’m still amazed that God manages to weave his purposes forward in spite of us!
There’s always disappointments to put it mildly. What greatly troubles me is when pastors or church leaders operate under the cloud of some super spiritual aura but strip it all away is plain brute power or career mindedness, and in some cases (not so bad but still sad), denial and insecurities. I better stop here before this becomes "wikileaks" (Sivin Kit Version).
But like in all things even then it comes to an Institutional Church, some of the most encouraging signs I’ve seen come from the least expected places. In recent years, the young people especially in the Northern district as well as smaller towns like Rawang have warmed my heart.
The Orang Asli brothers and sisters are also special to me. To see them gradually form a team of leaders, and getting themselves empowered to not just get organized but set into place stepping stones to progress forward is a great delight!
The new pastors who’ve been responding to the call to serve in the congregations give me much hope for the future. I see humility, potential, authenticity and a real capacity to grow from their existing gifts.
And in some cases, where more senior pastors who have had set backs in the past, somehow blossom in new contexts, that’s worth celebrating.
God is not finished with us yet.