Friday, December 16, 2022

Fellow Pastors

One of the things that I do is to maintain friendship with my fellow pastors. To show to them Christ's love and to act with humility be it to seniors or juniors. All of us are equal in God's sight, His beloved children though our gifts may differ and our ministries too are varied according to God's calling. So today I spent more than 2 hours with three of my fellow pastors over lunch at A & W. The joint has closed for more than two decades but reopened a few weeks ago, not far from my home. I remember queuing up at Changi Airport for more than 30 minutes to get my order fulfilled. Likewise today it took about 40 minutes before my two friends who stood in the queue got our food and drinks. While waiting I read a book which I brought with me. We chatted over many things, our personal walk with God, our ministry, the future especially all the three pastors are under 40, in their mid-30s. They are not young but still working their way up in their respective churches.

Nowadays it is tough to be appointed senior pastor unless you are at least 45 years old. I was already senior pastor of my home church before I turned 39 years old and I was more than 10 years younger than most of my elders, in their 50s and even one elder close to 70 years old at that time. 

We talked about our recent AGM and one pastor commented that he suspected why my appointment was delayed as this prevented me for standing for the election. I shared with them how I came to attend the last session of the AGM by chance really because the schedule was shortened last minute and when I went to listen to the Treasurer-General's report, the nominations were still opened and two District's delegates approached me. The first one I actually told him to pray about it first and he came back with the form duly filled and signed by him as proposer and seconder. 

In about half an hour, another delegate from another District came up to the observers' deck on the first floor as the only the delegates were allowed in the main hall, perhaps to make it harder for them to nominate a non-delegate. Again, I asked whether they were sure in nominating me and his answer was that  his District had a meeting and we decided to nominate only one person for the top post and that person was you, as he pointed to me. 

But ultimately, what my friend told me came true that my nomination was rejected. At first it was comical as the two Districts were told that my name was not in the roll. What! After 28 years of full-time service, my name is nowhere to be found. Apparently, the Election committee was instructed to reject my nomination and that was it. So we reflected on what is happening within our Church that things had gotten to such a state. At least previously, I was allowed to compete and now every trick in the book is thrown at me to disqualify me. 

My brother in the flesh told me some 6 months ago that I must be doing something right and important to have such opposition. But out of it all, I wrote a commentary and another pastor commented that even the foreword itself was uplifting to him and he was in the process of reading it. Why am I writing this? So that it will be remembered for posterity. As Scripture says, the righteous suffers many afflictions. but the Lord delivers him out of it all. Just before we parted ways, I told my three fellow pastors not to worry about me and I still serve whenever I am invited and in my previous career that I was my own boss before turning 25 years old and now at 58 years old, I am free again, no longer under any man but subject to Christ in order that I can serve all. "Rejoice what men cast you out and speak all manner of evil against you on account of Me as did their forefathers did to the prophets. Rejoice as your reward is great in heaven!" "Time will come when they will kick you out of the synagogues and they will kill you thinking that they are doing a service to God" (John 16:1-2). "Before the time comes, there will be a great apostasy and the man of lawlessness will be revealed." Now apostasy is happening right in front of our eyes. 

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