Monday, April 5, 2010

Message From An Overseas Malaysian Pastor

This was Comment posted in CT on April 2, 2010 5:41 AM in the article "Calvary Church Makes The News Again".


A Malaysian pastor serving overseas said...

I am a Malaysian pastor who has been serving abroad for 3 years now. I have been following the Calvary church crisis for a long time and it saddens me that it has reached this stage.

My prayers are with CC and NECF as well as they seem to have been dragged into this by their association with PG as Advisor.

I do hope and pray that those affected are documenting everything meticulously so that lessons learned the hard way here do not have to be relearned in the future.

Money and power seems to be the two big issues here. Whatever happens I do hope that checks and balances in these two areas are strongly established.

Perhaps my 2 cents on my personal experience may be of help since entering my new pastorate.But please note that I am not presuming to tell anyone what they should follow. It is just my experience and personal convictions. I am now in my 20th year of full time ministry.

I for one have a policy where as pastor, I am not being allowed to sign any church checks (am not a signatory) or make any financial decisions except for those specifically stipulated that relate to my ministry expenses budget (which has a strict limit and and stated criteria). And even that has to be vetted by the church treasurer and church board. I pay first and make my claims later. If not approved, then I do not get reimbursed (though this has never happened .

Also my salary is not excessive and is in fact an average salary (it is lower than that of my wife who is a "professional" who holds an equivalent to a diploma). For the record I have a Bachelors degree and 2 Masters degrees (all earned the hard way) but I do not think that this should mean that in the church I should be paid according to secular systems of remuneration. It has to be a fair wage of course so that as a pastor I do not have to worry about the needs of my children and I have the means to financially help the poor and set an example in my tithing and giving, hospitality etc.

In terms of "power" I am the pastor and therefore on equal terms with members of the board / elders. And in some areas due to the practical aspects of ministry a "first among equals". However authority needs to be a shared one, so all major decisions and directions need to be a consultative decision making process where unanimity is sought, if not consensus.

Also the added principle is that as a pastor, I need to realize that though I lead the church it is Christ's church not mine and I am also a paid employee. God may call me to move on and the church needs to (in fact it will) survive and thrive without me. Hence whatever vision I have as a pastor needs to be owned by the church board and the members, if not major problems will occur if I should be called to leave, fall sick, fall into a major sin and disqualify myself for ministry - may God give me grace that this does not happen, or even be called home to be with the LORD!

Just two areas that has helped me not just keep sane in ministry but enjoy ministry.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A good testimony of a humble Pastor following his call of duty! Syabas !