Saved to serve. This is my story.
Posted on 17 Jun 2019 by CERC
I’m Emma, a Christian, and a member of Christ Evangelical Reformed Church.
I started attending CERC since 2012 during the “This is CERC” series when I first came to KL for my studies. I still remember the first topic on “the Million dollar question- what is a true church”, which was so relevant to me. I was looking for a church when I first landed in KL, and God was so kind to me that he gave me this opportunity to discern faithful churches based on his Word, and after a year, I committed myself to this local church to serve God and his people.
After my studies, I started work as a paediatric speech and language therapist, serving in children’s ministry, and the music ministry in church. Now, I’m sure from my job and my service in children’s ministry, you may have figured out that I’m really fond of children! I love interacting with them and I’m pretty good at that. (guess what, I can make friends with a child in less than 10 minutes!)
But…why do BMT? Isn’t the weekly service to church enough?
Well, BMT has been in my mind ever since the church did the book of Romans.
In Romans 6:22-23 it says:
“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
These verses state clearly that God saved us from being slaves of sin to become slaves of God! After working for more than a year, I’ve come to realise that I need to really think about how I am to serve God in this world’s context, and how to be slaves of God, not just in church but also in my workplace, in my home.
While teaching sunday school in church, I also realised that I needed more training to be a better sunday school teacher, to serve the church better and more effectively, raise future evangelists, because this country is really in need of the Gospel. Another reason to join BMT, is that I wanted to have a glimpse of a minister’s life, so that I know what to prepare and to support my fiance’s future training to be a full time minister (I married Joel recently and he’s considering joining the Church Minister’s Apprenticeship program this year).
Considering my giftings and past ministry experiences, I was assigned by Pastor Robin to lead SOLIDD campus ministry in my alma mater – National University of Malaysia (UKM), Sunday School and Youth.
As I lead the university group consisting of future doctors in our weekly bible studies, I’ve seen the work of the Holy Spirit in transforming the students from their idolatry of studies to submitting their lives to God. Their hearts are turned to God, and now they no longer see their lives as merely medical officers saving lives but also workers of God in saving souls to eternal life in God. That was the greatest joy in my BMT experience. Seeing medical students actively evangelising and holding fast to God’s Word has encouraged and challenged me to re-examine my priorities in life and just like them, I too, was challenged to not just think about how to help my children achieve their greatest potential through therapy, but how also to save their souls by giving them the greatest gift of all – the Gospel!
Let’s talk about something that’s really close to my heart – Children’s Ministry.
I’ve always taken children ministry for granted, working with children and having fun with them is super duper easy for me! It wasn’t until I was assigned to write a series based on the book of Ephesians for CERC Camp Sunday School. That was the hardest challenge for me in BMT, and I took a whole 2 to 3 weeks to come out with a 4-lesson plan for the children in camp. It was a really humbling experience, because I’ve always thought that teaching children couldn’t be that hard. My pride and confidence came tumbling down when I realised just how hard it was to bring God’s Word down to the children’s level, while not compromising on the Gospel message. What should I leave behind, what illustration should I use? All these challenged me to check my own understanding of the book of Ephesians again.
It opened my eyes to the difficulty of handling the truth faithfully.
Thank God for Vanessa, our seminarian currently studying in Moore Theological College, who gave really insightful comments and asked helpful questions to encourage me to just keep holding on, never giving up, and to keep refining and improving the syllabus again and again. And how I wished we had more theologically trained staff to guide us in running faithful children ministry! So I urge you to support Sunday School ministry by giving to the Theological Fund to raise future pastors to oversee children ministry faithfully.
Some encouraging stories from Sunday school:
I’ve seen so much potential in children, who are so raw in their expression and thoughts. One 3 year old girl asked her mother “If Jesus is the King, why doesn’t he just run away from the cross?”, another said to me “I have never knew that we are Gentiles whom God has graciously saved to be his children!”(after learning from the book of Ephesians). Some children would be really bare and honest saying “My Bumblebee transformer is stronger than Jesus, he won’t die.”, “I don’t want to follow Jesus”.
As their teacher, I need to be constantly reminded that like any human being in the world, the children need the Gospel, the children need a faithful teacher of the Word to feed them the God’s Word so that they can grow up to be faithful Christians who love God and his Word, to hold tight to it and be an awesome servant to serve the church. It’s not just about having fun with these little ones, but to explore God with them, in their daily conversation, in class, during craft and lunch. When the children speak their bare thoughts to us, it is an opportunity to evangelise to them. When the children ask theological and thought-provoking questions, it is our opportunity to think it through with them. Never belittle their young minds, they can really understand big truths more than you can ever imagine.
What I learnt from BMT:
A short 6 months period of time gave me a glimpse of the life of full time staffs, practically trained me to put to death my sins and live my life for Christ as a slave of God. I truly enjoyed the life of thinking about God and his church when I open my eyes in the morning, and tidying up the sunday school area (which is just in my living room) even when I was tired coming back from another ministry. Life was tough in BMT, but life was filled with thanksgiving to God for my church, for Pastor Robin who sacrificially led and pastored the church, for ministry opportunities, and for another day that I can serve God.
BMT changed my mindset and view of ministry: as a Christian, God saved me from sin to be His slave. Ministry means service to God. Ministry is my life, not just a part of my life.
Now going back to work as a speech and language therapist, getting used to my new role as a wife to Joel while continuing to serve the church in children ministry, what I learnt in BMT will continue to fix my eyes on Jesus, to serve God in this world.