Ministry Among South Asians
- By Wilson Matthews
- Published 01/31/2008
Wilson is the youth leader at International Punjabi Masihi Church in Vancouver, Canada. Everyone loves this radical preacher's passion for Christ and His Church. Wilson helped organize the South Asian Global Convention (SAGC 2004) under the leadership of Pastor Pritam Singh. He is as "hairy-as-a-yak," "spits-like-a-camel," and is a F.A.T. (Faithful, Available, and Teachable) Christian. Wilson, a Malayalee Christian holds a BA in Biblical Studies from Trinity Western University and his mission is to make Scripture relevant to today's generation. Famous quote: "Knock it off!"
I just had a wonderful conversation with a man of God from India. He noticed that same demands on his senior pastor as with ours. We both are involved in ministry among south asians and noticed some similarities you won't find as much among some North American congregations.
We noticed that senior pastors ministering among 'our' people are always called on to do home visitation. The congregation love to have the pastor come and bless their homes. With most North American senior pastors (but not all) there are the occasional home visitations but most of the time the congregation members must book an appointment and meet the pastor at his office.
We also noticed another thing. When ministering, 'our' people much prefer to take prayer from the Senior Pastor and not so much from the altar team or lay ministers. Why this is so? I'm am not sure. It is interesting.
These are just observations we have made about our own circle of ministry. It isn't indicative of the whole or based on any kind of research mind you. But it is interesting how we run into each other and seem to see the same thing even though we are from different parts of the world.
If only our people could be more mindful of a truer promise:
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will." (Romans 8:26-27)
I recently met another G-Man! A man of God that is. He has done ministry in all parts of the world from Africa, Singapore, New Zealand, India and beyond. He said some profound words that really stuck with me. He mentioned about great moves of God and how they were birthed in tears. So often we try to replicate a move of God by using ideas, strategies, or techniques of 'successful' ministries and find little results.
The problem comes when we replicate the wrong thing. The move of God was backed by allot of tears. It was birthed out of desperation and whole hearted dependence on the hand of God himself. God revealed his will and out came the ministry. We should be doing the same thing first by coming on our knees in heartfelt repentance, seeking the very face of God. Than the Spirit will move he says.
"You number my wanderings;Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?"
"Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy." (Psalm 126:5)
"Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unploughed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you."
"But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul." (Deuteronomy 4:29)