Learning from the Good Old Days

By Stephen Tan

Last year the church planning meeting ended with a new goal for the year 2020. Our elder Steven Chan challenged all of us to win 50 new souls to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Klang Church of Christ. And we welcomed the year 2020 at the year-end gathering with the theme called VISION 50 to help us set the right mindset.

When I heard the goal, I said to myself, “It will be a new record high for Klang Church of Christ. But is it possible?” I have been doubting this goal for many days until I visited brother Wan Cheong during the Chinese New Year visitation. I asked him about his past, and how the Klang Church of Christ grew so fast in the past and even set up new congregations. His answer was back then we were not as distracted by the many entertainment and luxuries that we have today. Staying at home was boring! Asking friends to join church activities was much easier.

I nodded and agreed with him sadly, which made me realize the reason for my doubt. He looked at me and suddenly said that we can’t limit the power of the word of God. We can’t give excuses that the word of God is not working today. It was an Aha! moment for me when he said that. Yes, indeed the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb 4:12) and it will never pass away (Matt 24:35).

The word of God is so powerful that the Bible recorded in Acts 4:4 “However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. ” Five thousand souls in a day compared to our goal of 50 a year, this shows our goal is possible. However, God’s word will not spread itself, it requires people to share it. Hence, Jesus Christ commanded us in Mark 16:15: “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’” We need to preach the word rather than just asking people to join our events.

The success formula of winning 50 souls a year is simple: every one of us ought to preach and not just the full-time preachers. If five members are preaching the word compared to 150 members preaching it, I think we all know the answer to this statistical question; the probability of winning 50 souls with 150 members compared to 5 members is way, way higher!

The next question is, are we willing to preach the word or are we going to give excuses why we can’t preach. If the goal changed to something that we really desire such as earning RM500,000 a year, I don’t think we will continue to give excuses but focus on doing the things to earn RM500,000. Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Therefore, my beloved brethren, stop laying treasures on earth but start focusing on saving souls that can accompany us to heaven. Stop the excuses but look into ways to acquire the skill and knowledge of preaching. And based on my sales experience, mistakes are inevitable, in fact, the more mistakes you make, the more you learn. Hence, don’t focus on success but progress! My prayer is that we all share the same desire to win souls together and live in heaven happily ever after.