PLANTING NEW CHURCHES THROUGH OUTREACH
by Steven Chan
On 1 May 2014 at the 13th Annual Evangelism Seminar in Subang Jaya, bro Richard Lim outlined the effort of the Klang brethren to reach out to a new community in Klang.
Bro Charlie Chan of the Subang congregation urged that we follow the example of the early Christians such as the apostle Paul in planting congregations in the various geographic locations as recorded in the book of Acts.
There is a great need to plant new congregations. Bro Charlie Chan in his opening remarks highlighted that there are still many places in both East and West Malaysia where the gospel has yet to be preached. He also pointed out that the Asia Pacific is home to about 2 billion people and they too need the gospel.
The Klang congregation has continued to plant new congregations – with some success although there have also been lack of success in certain locations. Our earliest effort was to send about 25 members to start the work in Pandamaran, near Port Klang but that effort was not a success.
Our effort in trying to plant a new congregation in Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur was also not successful – and some of the members there joined the Damansara Utama congregation (now known as the Section 17 congregation)
In spite of these lack of success, we were challenged to plant the new congregation in Subang Jaya and the Lord blessed this effort with great success.
Over many years, we also tried to set up the Kota Kemuning congregation, meeting weekly in the home of bro Eng Kim Leng. In the course of time, more brethren moved to stay in Kota Kemuning (such as bro Lim Chan Khoon from Melaka, bro Allen Lee also from Melaka, bro Sam Tan, a deacon from Klang, and bro Lawrence Chong from Klang) and these, together with the Tee family from Subang, formed the nucleus of the new congregation in Kota Kemuning. Today it has its own elders and deacons.
Bro Charlie Chan quoted from I Cor 3:5-11 to emphasize that the work of God requires team effort together with one another and with God: “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. “(I Corinthians 3:5-11 NKJV)
Richard Lim in presenting the work in Setia Alam mentioned that the Vision of the Klang Church of Christ is to be a growing & God-glorifying church – a vision that was formulated in a meeting at Port Dickson about 20 years ago and today we have the Subang & Kota Kemuning congregations as a result of that vision.
It is our desire to carry out the Great Commission:
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV)
Bro Richard Lim encouraged us to follow the example of church planting as given in the book of Acts and he quoted from Acts 17:1-4:
“Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas. (Acts 17:1-4 NKJV)
Bro Richard Lim highlighted the following four points about planting new congregations:-
1. Paul went to the people: he did not wait for the people to come: he went to synagogues, market place, etc. often-times, we only wait for people to come to visit our churches. We do not go to them! If all we do is wait then no new congregations would be planted. In Luke 19:10 Jesus came to seek and to save the lost.
2. Paul taught effectively: he reasoned with them from the scriptures. He thoroughly discussed the scriptures with them. Acts 17:17: “Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there.” (Acts 17:17 NKJV). “Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.” (Acts 24:25 NKJV). Explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas. (Acts 17:3, 4 NKJV). Paul explained and demonstrated the fact of the resurrection.
3. Paul preached Jesus. Christ was the focus. Acts 2 focused on Christ. “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him”. (Acts 8:35 NKJV)
4. Paul was patient: “Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,” (Acts 17:2 NKJV). It takes time.
The Setia Alam effort started in Aug 2011. We have been there for almost three years now. We now meet on the 1st floor on the Cambridge English for Life centre above CIMB. We are thankful to the owners of the Centre (i.e. bro Allen Tan and Sis Lydia) for offering the premises for us to use.
There are about 200,000 people in Setia Alam with 50,000 households and there are many big townships nearby.
Bro Richard Lim shared his Plan of Action under the acronym of SEARCH:
Shaping our minds for evangelism
Establishing good & friendly relationships
Applying scripture to real life more effectively
Reminding each other the need to evangelize
Comforting those in crisis & hurting
Helping each other to set up personal bible studies with friends & loved ones.
He said that the support needed is as follow:-
1. Join our efforts by your attendance
2. Introduce your friends who live in that area, and
3. Pray for us.
May the Lord bless our efforts.
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