The Pattern has changed
Dear Church Family and Friends
Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlors thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat; and the pattern of all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the Lord and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God and of the treasuries of the dedicated things; 1 Chronicles 28: 10-12
When David changed a new structure and arrangements, he introduced the concept of building a Temple, made of concrete to replace the Tabernacle, which was made mainly of tent. However the purpose remains important and was unchanged: worship.
Life’s Pattern based on the Word of God will remain. That is, we follow the core, basic, same Purpose. There are times, plans and procedures will change, but purpose remains. Preaching and Teaching styles may change as we embrace On-Line Platforms and Technology. Practices and Methods will change but the Message will not.
Technology may change lifestyle, behavior and habits. The values remain. The New Normal will not wipe out our need for God, our relationship with Him, our dependence on Him. The need to keep our heart of love, pure and unwavering, is constant and continuous. In changing times, we make progress not regress. . As a matter of fact, we find new forms of expression, communion and practicing our faith. We use our crisis as an opportunity to expand our influence and effectiveness in proclaiming the gospel to overseas churches, other local churches and believers wanting to tune in our On-Line sermons and to prison. Our presence in social media, live streaming and On-Line platforms, has strengthen our influence, as salt and light of this world.
When churches are closed, we can take the time to deepen our devotional lives in private worship. We learn how to be quiet before Him, clear our distractions, meditate on His goodness and build our own altar for Him. We can have family devotion, pray together and strengthen family bond spiritually. Crisis becomes an opportunity to grow, unite and strengthen our faith.
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1, 2.
Yes, we continue to offer our sacrifice of praise, live out our faith and remains accountable to God. Some patterns should not and must not change. Some patterns will. Be mindful of what will be proper worship, what the will of the Lord is and what will help us keep exercising and practicing our faith.
We are doing our best to keep church governance and functions as normal as possible. What we do now will definitely consider present context and future developments. It is important that I am free to function and serve as smoothly as possible in a crisis, in this dark and difficult period.
In view of this, we are planning and doing the following:
· Examine the layout of the three units for better facilities and movements
· Doing a Church seating plan for 50 persons to authorities
· Change aged electric installation, wiring, switches, water pipes and lights
· Use of automation devices as much as possible, for convenience and efficiency
· Strengthen the communication system to ensure fellowship current
· Writing letters and sending out, up-to-date announcements, to relevant parties
· Acquiring basic tools and software to enhance On-Line Services, live streaming and recording of Services
· Conducting On-Line Services and collaboration with worship teams, speakers and volunteers
· Conduct Chinese Service. Prayer Meeting, Board and other meetings, Bible classes, Community Ministry and DC Kids lessons, with Zoom. Using Breakout rooms and White Board functions for better communication
· Planning sessions, materials and dynamics of small groups
· Continue pastoral care with constant personal touch and social media
· Digitalization of data, songs, musical scores and, records
· Giving through PayNow or other mobile giving or conventional methods (by cheques or cash)
· Communicating renovation plans and giving through conferencing and On-Line giving
· Physical small group gathering or in-person private worship of 5 when allowed
· Reschedule of coming events and planning for them
· Planning a possible Zoom AGM and distribution of reports by e-mail
· Plan leadership renewal at all levels, with view of change and succession
· Roster staff working from office and homes
· Depending on feedback and minutes of meetings to understand plans and implementation issues, without creating more problems
Many of our plans, so carefully and prayerfully made, at last Leaders Advance, are now in shreds. The Church as a gathered body has been redefined. While the long-term impact of this pandemic is still uncertain, we are headed into a new and challenging season, maybe even some financial challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world as we know it. While looking at an uncertain future with an uncertain budget, we need to lays out the steps and revise our schedule, to help our church navigate 2020 and beyond.
Thank you for your faithful support, participation and giving. May God bless you abundantly.
Yours in His Favour