Monday, May 4, 2009

To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone

Yes that would be the line from Star Trek. I felt last Sunday's sermon was like my inauguration speech. The first time I preached in FGC it was Easter, and I had to preach an Easter sermon, but now two months into my ministry in FGC I felt comfortable and ready enough to share a very general idea of what I would like to see happen in FGC. It was very much a sermon cum vision casting session... “Change we can believe in”?

Our church is very much like the Starship Enterprise. If you remember Jean Luc Picard who is the captain of the ship will lead the whole ship with the help of his commanders and lieutenants. The rest of the ship, whether they are in the engine room, or on the bridge, or in the sick bay, or wherever on the ship you trekkies can think of, will work together so that they can reach a common goal. Being stuck on the same ship means that whether they like it or not they have to bear with one another as they will share the same fate and same destination. They need to be united and protect their ship, to keep the ship moving along, or they will be sucked into the vacuum of space. And like Starship Enterprise, FGC will have to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Need to get myself better pix that I can post here...

Being in transition I felt it was appropriate to share the Israelites' and Joshua's experience of their transition. The text is Joshua 1:6-9. At this point in Israelite history, they too were experiencing a transition, they too had a change of leadership. The book of Deuteronomy ends with the death of Moses the greatest ever prophet, the humblest man on the face of the earth, a great leader, and an all round great dude. Joshua also begins with God telling Joshua "Moses my servant is dead". This was an indication of the end of an era, and the commencement of another. In order for the Israelites to enter the promised land the Moses generation had to die. Now was it was the next generation, it was the Joshua Generation.

Now as Joshua took over he was not naïve, or blur, or power hungry, or anything like that. Joshua for one would have felt the great burden of the insurmountable task before him because he knew what the Israelites really were like. He has been Moses' assistant all these time and have seen the way the Israelites grumbled and murmured, he also seen how fickle they were, as well as how rebellious they were. We can safely say that Joshua would have been petrified at the prospect of leading this bunch of misfits.

In the same way, I too felt overwhelmed at the prospect of leading an entire church. People looking to me for advice on life decisions, families looking to me to lead them and show them the way. Blows my mind. All these while I was readying myself for youth ministry or something like that, but taking on an entire church was one of the last things on my mind, but I believe I heard God's calling and I had to obey. The verses from Joshua 1:6-9 is a real encouragement to me, and I felt that what God has spoken to my heart from this passage would also apply to FGC.
So now that Moses is gone Joshua had to step up. Moses’ generation had their share of miracles, crossing of the red sea, manna from the sky, the pillar of cloud/fire, etc. Now Joshua’s generation would have their own experiences, they would have to experience their own crossing (River Jordan in high season), the walls of Jericho and various other victorious battles, etc. That would be what we had before our church as we move forward from where we are now.

Here’s the breakdown of the sermon:
Title: To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before ...(cue Star Trek sound track)
Text: Joshua 1:6-9
Divine Task (verse 6)
Divine Word (verse 7-8)
Divine Presence (verse 9)

For the FGC members who did not make it to service last week, you guys missed what I felt was the best service in FGC so far. I felt strongly for the sermon preached but apart from that Charis and the worship team did a great job during the worship session. It was also Holy Communion week and being able to partake of the Lord’s Supper together as a church on such a week was so meaningful. After lunch, there was also an outing with the group of students from MMU. Some of the former MMU students and the high school students joined in on the fun, but that would be a whole other post.

I am excited. I am looking forward to moving forward. There would be times where FGC would have to first take a step backwards before moving forward, if that is the case then we will go at that with all our hearts. I am anticipating God’s new work in our church and lives. Let’s keep our fingers firmly on the pulse of God and expect something new. Today is a new day, let’s leave the past behind and begin to dream God’s dreams. Let’s pray for God to show us his vision for FGC. God wants growth for his church, and FGC is his church, let’s build his church his way. Pray with me church, pray that we will be able to fulfill his will for our church. Greater days are ahead.


hoyden said...

i kinda missed it. :(
was upstairs with the kids church.
mannnnn..... we have to start recording sermons soon!!

Caryn said...

Great days are definitely ahead.. = )

Lemuel Yee Ngan Foong said...

Recording? I was thinking about doing it last week as it would be a pivotal week. But I figured it would make me real self conscious, most of all I was lazy and didn't want to get distracted... But perhaps one day we'll be there, when we NEED to record or do podcasts weekly =)

I pray I will be able to bring us to the next level. God help me, I'm feeling the heat.