I have been made aware that some of you, especially those who have children in our youth group or whose children will eventually be in it, are currently talking about our relationship with the KSC. You are wondering why we are staying and doing youth ministry together with them when we have the means and resources to do it separately. Since New Life began about 20 years ago with just about 20 plus people but now has more than 400 members, it’s good to review the history and remind ourselves of the goals and values that are important to us.
Let me share with you several reasons from less important to more important as to why we are staying and doing ministry with the KSC.
One, we have come out from them with much love and support and therefore, we want to show them our gratitude by remaining together with them fulfilling some very important purposes as one church. One of Pastor Chai’s desires was to see the KSC and the ESC staying together in unity helping and serving one another. I would like to respect his desire on this.
Two, we are being an example to many ethnic immigrant churches, including Laotian, Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean, that are struggling to stay together and help each other out. Many of these ethnic churches don’t know how to support their next generation so that they can fulfill the Great Commission found in Matthew 28 by reaching out to all nations. The natural outcome or byproduct of fulfilling the Great Commission is a multiethnic congregation especially in a city like Houston which is extremely diverse ethnically. Unfortunately, many ethnic immigrant churches either fail or refuse to obey this command and remain as a single or mono ethnic group. My prayer and desire is to see more ethnic churches supporting their next generation as our KSC had done for New Life so that there will be more churches like New Life here in Houston as well as all over the US.
Three, we want to demonstrate to the world the unity in diversity so that they will see the reality of Christ. If we go separate ways, our KSC will eventually have to build another “New Life” from scratch. Therefore, it is neither loving nor wise to be independent of each other. Rather, we want to be interdependent on one another loving and supporting each other.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
Four, we need them in order to become a resource church to those pastors and church leaders that are serious about building their churches in the spirit of the New Testament through house church ministry. Our KSC is the one that has started this house church movement the way we know and practice it. They have much more knowledge and experience with house church ministry and they pray for and want New Life to do for English speaking world what they are doing for Korean speaking churches as well as those churches in mission field speaking various different languages.
Therefore, before we talk about going separate ways, we must start by asking these questions: “Who are we as a church?” “What has God called New Life to do as a church for His kingdom?”
We started out from the KSC. Your pastor is a Korean-American who is absolutely committed to do what the Bible clearly tells us to do. God respects and uses people’s unique identity shaped by their experiences, language and culture. That’s why God had Peter go to the Jews and Paul to the Greek-speaking Gentiles to minister to them fully utilizing their unique identities. Therefore, we will always welcome and reach out to all kinds of people, but for now, I believe New Life will remain as a predominantly pan-Asian church that is effective in reaching out to many Asians in our city. Just like you can’t fault a white or black church in a predominantly white or black neighborhood, there is a reason and room for New Life to be predominantly pan-Asian at least for now.
Furthermore, God has called us to be a resource church in helping other churches to learn and build their churches in the spirit of the New Testament through house church. This is who we are and what we do as a church.
As New Life grows older in age and more in number so that our youth group size becomes more comparable to the KSC’s, many of the issues that New Life parents are concerned with at the present moment will either be taken care of or won’t even be issues at all. Therefore, open dialogues between the two congregations and patience and understanding towards each other are what are needed now.
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