Monday, July 28, 2014

Mentoring Young Leaders

It is not often that I received two messages from Sabah at the same time. Both are from young pastors. One is preaching tonight in the biggest event of my homechurch, 5000 youths gathered for the Annual SIB Youth Conference. It must be the 34th or 35th edition. I must congratulate my denominational leaders for giving local talent a chance, a young man in his early 40s but with about 20 years of pastoral experience. I got to know this pastor in 1996 when I was the Executive pastor of SIB and when we visited our partner churches in West Malaysia he was one of the 2 pastors we took with the team. I am proud of him, obviously being given this huge honour to speak in this major event where normally big-time Indonesian preachers are invited. But we broke the tradition of relying on foreign talent in 1998 where the government refused to issue visa for foreign preachers during the Anwar Ibrahim saga.
I was one of the speakers then and broke the glass ceiling that local preachers were thought to be not as good as the foreign ones. The other pastor who wrote to me was my youth pastor and we continued to be good friends when I left the KK pastorate for Singapore. I am thrilled to see these two pastors who are gifted preachers given the recognition they deserved. When your mentees have great responsibilities and doing well, two things come to mind. A disciple trained will be like his teacher. Second, I am reminded that I am no longer the young man I was 15 or 18 years when I first got to know my pastor friends. It is time to work for Christ even as the years and months pass by and in our years we quickly fly away for it is only brief and full of toil and trouble.

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