Building Project Q&A – Following in the Lord’s Steps – Pastor Donald Liu

Building Project Q&A – Following in the Lord’s Steps

with Pastor Donald Liu

Recently the Cantonese Congregation interviewed Pastor Donald Liu in regards to the building project. Below are notes from the interview. May this help the rest of us to understand God’s calling and leading of CBCSD in this project.

Q: Hi Pastor Donald. It’s been about a year since we started the church building project. We are also now experiencing economic crisis. Can you tell us how the church leaders and staff know that this is God’s will in light of such economic meltdown?

A: This is a very difficult question.  The surrounding condition and timing are usually  major factors in our decision making. But it’s no so with the Lord. God is the God over all. “ Jehovah Jireh” means “ God will have provision on the mountain top.” When we are considering the resources at hand, often time we are afraid to do what the Lord asks of us. It is not about our best timing, but God’s best timing. This is what faith is. Many brothers and sisters will wonder why we need to build a new church now? Why not wait until the economy has recovered? The root question however, is whether or not this is even something that God wants us to do?

After seeking the Lord, He has placed us in North County, and what does it mean for him to place us in this location? There has  been a huge influx of Chinese families in both Carmel Valley and 4S Ranch.  You can easily find 4-5 families on any given street. Many of our brothers and sisters are neighbors to each other. Needless to say there are many living in this area who do no know God. Central Campus has always needed more space. Then we discovered the Santa Luz land. Yet we realized it would be hard for Central Campus alone to start a building project, so we decided to combine forces with Main Campus.  After that we realized the land at Santa Luz is not from the Lord, subsequently the land at 4Gee emerged. This piece of land is situated in the middle of Central and Main campuses, and is close to 4S where a lot of outreach efforts are needed. It appears that God God wants to enlarge His kingdom here and reach more Chinese people. Through prayer, we determined that this land is most strategically located and is the land from the Lord, so we pursued it in faith. So regardless of the economic condition, we only have one question: Is this the land that God has given us?

CBCSD is very proactive in church planting, evangelism, etc. But in the past, we have always been lagging behind in regards to church planting. Even when we were seeking for the current main campus, we waited until the old church was about to be torn down to look for another location. Praise God, in a short amount of time He provided this location for main campus. With this church building project, although we are not jumping and leaping ahead, we are sure that God has given us the land and are pursuing it with faith. Pastor Hung-chieh Yu shared that during their church building process, the three main challenges were “lack of money, lack of manpower, and lack of the Spirit”.  This is also where our needs are in this church building process. God wants us to experience Him and be challenged to grow spiritually during this time.

Q: When we pray, often times we ask the Lord to close doors if it’s not His will. After we decided to proceed with the building project, we faced the issues with the strawberry farmers and the contention over the historical value of the building on the 4Gee land. Before we solved these issues, have we questioned whether or not this may not be God’s will that we should not continue with this project?

A: To be honest, of course these thoughts may have crossed our minds. But we need to emphasize: God’s will does not come without obstacles. On the contrary, sometimes we face more trouble and challenges when we seek His will. More importantly, we need to ask again: Is this according to God’s will? Hudson Taylor said” In God’s time, doing God’s work, with God’s ways, God will provide.” As we face the monstrous budget and need of the building project, we are like the Israelites entering Canaan, they see their enemies are giants, and themselves as grasshoppers. May the Lord grant us courage like Caleb and Joshua, that we not be afraid.  That our faith will grow in the face of our enemies, that we lean upon him in times of need.

The new building project is not a response to our own needs, it is responding to God’s will. He wants to make us into a center for evangelism.  We need a more solid and stronger fort to support this effort. God also wants us to be a center of the community, that our facilities will equip us to better outreach.  This will also be a training ground for the next generation, to prepare for the future – children’s ministry and youth ministry. The new church will also be a center for church planting. Our current church plants are confined in small neighborhoods, and we are unable to focus on the needs of areas like Chula Vist, UCSD, etc. Our main campus is a 15 minutes drive from Central campus. Central campus is only 15 minutes drive from West Campus.  Our close proximity will result in a more unified effort in outreach. God will be able to use us to cross cultural and geographical boundaries to achieve His purposes.

Q; Before we close, is there any specific burdens on your mind or challenges you want to share with the rest of us? Maybe some prayer requests?

A: We may face many more challenges ahead, but I don’t think difficulties worry me. What I’m worried about is whether everyone sees the purpose of our new church building. Our church is to be outward directed, not inward directed. I  hope we don’t have the mentality of “enjoying  the nice big church” and keeping it to ourselves. That would be a total waste of our efforts in building this new church. My prayer is that God gives us a “kingdom vision”. That we know the true purpose of this land – it’s for the expansion of God’s kingdom and fulfillment of His glory, not for self satisfaction.  May each one of us take ownership of this vision and may God’s will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.