Reformation of the Church in the 21st Century

Former Ren Cis Chief Officer, Venerable Ming Yi

Just last month, another charity organisation- Ren Ci had came under the scrutiny over irregularities in its books. Their now former chief, Venerable Ming Yi had since been suspended and is awaiting charges.

From everyday reports of sex and money laundering scandals that seem to plague politicians and religious leaders including pastors and priests, to the NKF to Youth Challenge discrepancies.

Once again, such news has further dampened the publics’ confidence and trust in religious or humanitarian and charitable causes.

But even without such endless controversies, today’s donors are much more well-informed bunch than before in this Digital and Information Age and also demand more involvement as a stakeholder.

Bridging the rift of mistrust

Now, any fund-raising projects or donation drives will not escape the scrutiny or skepticism from the public including corporate organisations. Hence, with the diminishing of trust, there is a need to re-invent or to re-create the approach of garnering support towards humanitarian and charitable causes.

And in my opinon, a better and ideal approach or model is to move towards being “social business” or also commonly known as “social enterprise”.

This model moves the traditional charity organisations from one that is passive to one that is pro-active. It no longer just reaches out its “hand” when funds are depleting, but it learns to “fish” and feed itself.

In other words, charity organisations become self-financing. When that happens, the used of funds become more “flexible” as a social business is not reliant on public giving. This also attracts more stakeholders to support its causes because  it serves as an asset in adding value to society in terms of humanitarian and economic contributions.

Bridging the Church to the lost

In my personal observation, the Church also somewhat shares similar issues with in terms of gaining credibility and being relevant. Hence, we need to tackle these in order that the gospel can be made easily available and receptive to people.

From a secular viewpoint, the Church is a merely a religious institution. Though there’s nothing wrong with that statement, but in truth, God’s true intent for His Church is MUCH MORE than being a religious institution who’s only role is to preach the gospel.

His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 3:10-11

The Church’s mandate and capability (with God’s omnipotence) should not be confined just to preaching the gospel, but being in touch of our world by being an asset in championing humanitarian causes and even further adding value with economic contributions by creating businesses and employment.

Somehow, we need to break the perception of the world (even Christians) that God only works within the “four walls” of the Church.

The Church is and should be relevant because our God is a BIG God with a big heart that cares for every aspect of our lives and not just the spiritual aspect. And His wisdom is given for every aspect of our lives too.