A year has past since I had made my decision to transplant myself to another church.
It has been a humbling one-year period but yet spiritually enriching.
But I would be lying if I said that it has been all plain sailing for me. Cos it hasn’t.
What I Have Missed
Two things I missed most and have had to come to terms with:
First was the close ties that I shared with people in Hope, especially my cell group/care group.
Second was the loss of ‘privileges’ that I had as a pastoral leader where I was in a position to disciple others towards loving God and fulfilling their God-given destinies as Christians.
Now at where I am, I have to re-establish ties with a new group of people from scratch and re-build the trust as well in earning the ‘privileges’ to disciple.
However, through this period of ’stepping back’, I’ve gained a paradigm shift in how the church is commonly perceived and about servant leadership.
True Kingdom Living
For instance, too often we quote “seek first His kingdom and righteousness” from Matthew 6:33 with the emphasis on prioritising church-related activities as “seeking His kingdom”. In my opinion, this is unbalanced and flawed.
The kingdom of God does not equate to the church. The kingdom of God encompasses not only the church but also beyond the four walls of the church. God is not only alive in the church but in our world that we live in.
As He dwells in us, the kingdom of God can only cover as much as we allow it; in our family or community, at our workplace or campus, and with our finances or health.
Though this shift towards kingdom living might seem to appear obvious or insignificant, but if so then it ought to drastically change the way we live our lives in representing Christ accurately.
Right Living for Right Fruits
To further explain my point, let me share a brief testimony from a local pastor.
He shared how he and his wife had struggled to decide whether she should resign from her job after they discovered she was pregnanted with their second child.
What made the decision a challenge was because the wife was a long-serving personal assistant to the senior pastor of their church. Hence, her role was considered important to the leader and the church.
But with faith rooted in kingdom-living, they were convicted of their intentions in desiring to fulfill their role as godly parents and believed that having more time with their children would be the right thing for them to do for the kingdom’s sake (and not the church’s sake).
Obviously, they had their senior pastor’s support and blessings, and today they have four happy children.
I can’t imagine how things would have turned out if they had adopted the unbalanced ”seek first His kingdom” approach in making their decision.
As another famous local preacher said, “The right believing will produce the right living.”
Question to ask ourselves: “Is our walk and faith based on kingdom-living or church-living?”
Let’s pray that we will be able to differiente one from the other.