As I wrote last week, Pastor Barnabas Choi’s sudden departure placed me in a quandary. Not only is there a disruption in the Family Youth Program, but also there is no pastor who can share the burden of preaching. Even though we do not have an associate pastor, we need a pastor who can preach once a month and who can lead the service when I am out of town.
However, it is not that we urgently need an associate pastor because the Family Youth Program is still in the development stage and all that is needed is someone who can preach once a month. After I spent some time to think about who would be the right person, I thought of Deacon Jae Dong Lee and recommended him to go to Seminary. Deacon Lee is known to have a gift of teaching and preaching and I thought it is a good idea to train a part- time ministry worker specialized in preaching.
According to the plan, Deacon Lee will keep his current job and attend seminary on a part time basis and study mainly about preaching. When he is ready, he will be a part-time evangelist and share in giving sermons. He will be working on a Master of Divinity degree but since this is on a part time basis, it is uncertain how long it will take for him to graduate and so for now we won’t think about the plan beyond that.
Of course if it is God’s will, he could be ordained and be a full time minister, but for now, it is in God’s hands and the current goal is to be a lay evangelist who keeps his secular job and works with me by sharing in preaching. I proposed this idea and Deacon Lee accepted it. Maybe it is because he already had the idea of being an evangelist someday.
The reason to consider Deacon Lee for this position is primarily because of his gift of teaching. He has taught New Life Bible Study for years with great results and received tremendous praises from many visiting pastors who attended his class. He grew up in a Buddhist home and received Jesus at SBC in his early thirties and he had many beautiful testimonies about his experiences with God through his Life.
He has two children who are grown up. (The eldest is a junior in college and the second will graduate high school next year.) Previously, he was very involved in Youth ministry and worked with Pastor Sam Oh. Therefore, once he gets used to study while working, he may be able to work in family youth ministry in addition to preaching.
If he starts seminary in the spring of next year, he may be able to retire from the deacon position and become an evangelist by the later part of next year. Until then, I will try to minimize business trips. Once Deacon Lee becomes an evangelist, he can lead the service and preach during my absence.
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