Pondering the new building project according to the Lord’s Prayer – Derek Wong, Council Member – 2010-07

Pondering the new building project according to the Lord’s Prayer

Derek Wong, Council Member

Whenever we talk about the new building project, I’m reminded of our Lord’s Prayer. I am able to gain a deeper understanding of God’s will from this passage of scripture, and I’m also able to see how the pastors and leaders of our church unite in prayer through this project – to build God’s kingdom, and to build up His people.

1. Our God in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

A healthy church is one that discerns God’s will, one that works tirelessly to spread the Good News to lead others to Christ. This is a church that will fulfill the great commandment of “making disciples of all nations”.  Therefore it is natural for a vibrant church to experience multiple expansions. I remember when we first started Chinese Bible Church 23 years ago, how we had to start a building fund around the same time. I believe many of us share my memory of how the Lord performed miracles and showed grace towards us when we had our first church building experience just 13 years ago.  Not only was the church built, but our faith was strengthened as well.

2. Thy kingdom come.

CBCSD continued to plant several sister campuses after establishing our main campus location. In the past 13 years, God has graciously added to our numbers as He grew his kingdom. We started the English congregation, CBCSD West Campus, Cantonese congregation, CBC Central Campus, Temecula Campus, North Campus, etc. This is a testimony to God’s work in our church. We ought to share this with others so He may be glorified.

3. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven

During CBCSD 20th anniversary celebration, Pastor Lam and Dr. Scorgie both quoted Isaiah 54:2 “ Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.” They were calling the church to heed God’s guidance for the next 10 years. The entire congregation was greatly encouraged by this message. Starting in January 2007, God put on the hearts of many leaders and pastors of our church the vision of “church expansion”.  2 years later, the pastors of main campus, west campus, and central campus gathered with the deacons and council members to seek through prayer a church building plan.  The new building committee (consisting of 12 members with representation by pastors or leaders from the various campuses ) had their first meeting on March 15th, 2009.  Its single goal was to fulfill the calling from God of “ enlarging your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.”

4. Give us this day our daily bread

God has already started his work in the past 12 years, such that when we were planting the various sister campuses, we were still able to save around $200,000 each year. This enabled us to make preparations for the expansion of His kingdom.  Praise God that he has also led many brothers and sisters to make special donations to the church building fund, that the congregation understands the distinct use and need of funds for running the current church and for building a new one.  May each person continue to pray and be involved in helping to meet the need of both of these ministries.

5. Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors

The Lord’s Prayer is to us like the commandments that God gave are to the Israelites back in old testament times. The first 3 verses teach us about the proper attitude, motivation and principles behind our prayers, they concern our relationship with the Lord. The last 3 verses utilizes how God establishes covenants with the Israelites to show us how we should live Christ centered lives on earth. They concern relationships between people. Therefore to “forgive our debts, as we forgive our debtors” is God’s expectations of us, not ours of God.  We need to learn humbleness, and not insist on pursuing our own opinions all the time. This is a good lesson for those that serve faithfully on the new building committee. Since the establishment of the committee a year and half ago, we’ve held around 50 or so meetings, and have made many important decisions. God has used this process to teach us humbleness and obedience, to help us pray in unity to seek His will and direction. We praise and thank God for this lesson.

6. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil

In the next few years, especially from now until early 2011, there will be many important tasks to complete that involve the building project. We ask that the congregation pray together in unity, asking God to grant us wisdom to tackle the challenges ahead. May the Lord be with us as we accomplish His will and calling. All dominion, authority, glory be to our God!