Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Between the City and the Village

I am a thoroughly urban person. I was born in a town once the capital of Sabah and have studied in cities of New Zealand and served in Singapore. Now my ministry is mainly located in the village and 80 percent of my speaking invitations are from the rural areas. I live in a village and teach my students in a village setting and most of them will be pastors of churches in the villages. Yet there is no denying that the demographics of the church are changing fast much like the trends of the modern world. In China now there are more than 700 million people living in cities more than half of the total population.
The growth of my denomination once a rural church is now concentrated in towns and cities. There is no denying that we need to train pastors who are equipped for urban ministry as well as interior ministry. The location of the Seminary is crucial because locality, the concept of space does influence one's thinking and practice. If one stays long enough with chickens even eagles will behave like chickens as one saying goes. But now my life and ministry are divided between the city and the village. I just got back from preaching in Sandakan my hometown or more correctly my birthplace since I consider my hometown at Kota Kinabalu, a city I had lived for almost 30 years apart from the 6 years in Singapore. Now and then I preach in cities but by next Tuesday I am going into one of the farthest outposts in Nabawan Pensiangan. I might stop in Keningau overnight before heading to the village, a further 2 hours away.

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