I have asked God to allow me to live as long a lifespan as John Wesley, that is 89 years old. This is because his life and well lived theology is such a great inspiration to me. Though he was not a perfect pastor and a disciple of Jesus, he was a great model of a pastor to me.
As I read his sermons, New Testaments and journals, he left a great impact on my life. I may not live as long as him or I may live longer than him. Especially he declared, “The world is my parish”. I believe God in the person of the Holy Spirit inspired him to believe as such. At least, I dare to say “Sarawak is my parish”. This far sighted vision has greatly impacted me in the way I serve Christ as a pastor. He must have believed in the great power of the gospel so much so that he declared, “The world is my parish”. In fact, in his life time, he did not reach all the continents of the world. However, the gospel has been taken by the Methodist movement (and the church) since his days in the 16th century to all the continents in the 21st century. It all began with him, and a group of like-minded “Methodists” who believed in holiness as the key to Christian discipleship. He and his contemporaries were greatly awakened by the great Holy Spirit whom my Lord Jesus Christ sent after His ascension.
The same Holy Spirit who had awakened John Wesley has greatly awakened me and the few fellow believers and disciples of Jesus Christ who are around me to the effect that holiness is very much at stake in the life of the church. His conviction of holiness in Christ must have sustained the spread of the gospel throughout all the continents on earth.
When holiness in Christ is lost, the church loses everything. When we do not take heed of Christ, when He said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”, we lose sight of the person of Christ (the word of God), evangelism, missions, social concerns and everything. How much do I deny myself and take up His Cross? How much do you? Following Jesus Christ, my Lord, as His disciple, therefore, is my only business in this world for the remaining years of my life. (I am now close to 52 years old, 22nd February, 2018)
For my remaining years of life on earth, I pray that a group of disciples of Jesus will serve together with me in seeing God’s kingdom come on earth in the following manner.
1. Disciple Making
I would like to develop a certain pastoral care lifestyle that focuses on discipleship where believers are transformed to become disciples of Jesus. It is certainly not just going through a course and one can become a disciple. I would like to look into a process that is geared towards producing disciples as described in Ephesians 4:11-13 “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
I find that as part of the process an important course like the 9 month red, green, purple and yellow disciple bible studies is crucial. It may not be the only good solution to train believers as disciples but it is so far one of the best courses available for available to focus on training a believer to be disciple of Jesus. For this reason, I am willing to give priority to it and offer the course in 3 languages (English, Chinese and Bahasa Malaysia) whenever I have a chance. I also would like to invest my life in translating the remaining yellow and purple disciples books into BM.
The red disciple book is already in Bahasa Indonesia (which is quite similar to BM) and the green disciple book is already in BM.
I would also like to write a book or two on pastoral care that focuses on discipleship and pass it on to the next generation. For now, as I do my ministry, I am most willing to coach young fellow pastors or lay people to practise this approach of pastoral care.
2. Producing Disciples Who are influential
Through all the pastoral care efforts, I hope to see directly or indirectly that our efforts will result in disciples who are holding top positions in the society, state wide and nationwide like prime minister, chief minister, heads of government departments, heads of private companies and institutions, leading figures in social, political and economic movements who transform people into great moral characters who will bring our nation into the century.
3. Setting up of BM Theological Department at MTS
The proposal has been approved by the board of directors of MTS. I hope to contribute to it by becoming part of the lecturers’ team devising courses ranging from the certificates, diploma, to the degree and even the masters. This will ensure more indigenous people who will be trained to become to be high calibre pastors, local missionaries, church leaders and full time workers who will become powerful agents of nation transformation. I hope to see at least 20 local missionaries emerging from our training. They can be made up of disciples of different races and ethnic groups.
4. Forming an Institution of Politicians which focus on Discipleship
It is a gathering of the present politicians and potential politicians for discipleship bibles studies so that we allow the word of God to transform our lives. It is an effort to mould politicians who will become good models for the rest of the nation to follow.
5. Touching 500 Longhouses throughout Sarawak
In the last 20 or so years I have been to only about 20 longhouses. I hope to go back to these houses and teach them the precious word of God and continue to touch as many as 500 longhouses. Longhouses are my parish. They are a huge mission field here in Sarawak. When you win a longhouse, you win many indigenous people for Christ. I will do my part in my lifetime to be a good example to reach out to the longhouses.
6. To See a Religious Platform Set Up in Sarawak
For Sarawak people and to a large extent for Malaysians to live harmoniously together, I strongly feel that people of different religions must be able to understand one another and commit to co-exist. This is especially important for Christians and Muslims. Followers of both sides must have the maturity to make that happen. Both sides must produce scholars who are mature and who must be seen to be able to sit down and engage in dialogue. This will give a good example to the next generation that we can live side by side with one another. Sarawak is in a good position to do thisas we have a good majority Christian population (42%).
7. To See My Children Grown Up to be Disciples of Christ
I would like to see them to finish their tertiary education, set up their own family and serve God as disciples of Jesus.
Dear readers, thank you for reading. If after reading my article, you feel that the Holy Spirit calls you to serve Jesus Christ along the same lines do let me know. I can be reached at 012-8770303 and email@example.com
May I end with this prayer and may you also pray the same.
“Heavenly Father, you have given
us a beautiful land with such
wonderful people of all races,
tribes and dialects; the air,
the land and the seas, and a huge wealth of resources. We truly thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We pray that you will raise a generation of leaders who will fear you more than anything. We will act in view of your great love and forgiveness to us through your son, Jesus Christ. We will act in view of you as just God who will judge our lives every now and then. Forgive us for there is so much pride, greed, selfishness, prejudice, hypocrisy, craftiness, oppression and injustice.
We pray that your Holy Spirit causes repentance in us, and grants us a spirit of great forgiveness, love and justice. We pray that we are willing to be responsible for our wrong attitudes, speeches and actions, and set good examples for the rest to follow. We pray that we are willing to pay the price for our wrongs so that others will not follow our bad examples; so that truths in view of you in all aspects of our lives will always be honored. We pray that as you see and judge us every day and every moment, your presence in our Sarawak society and Malaysia at large will be felt all the time. Almighty God in the person of Jesus Christ I submit my life to you and use me at your disposal. I will not regret to say this prayer to you.”