Why I Decided to Pursue Full-time Paid Ministry: Wei Kin
Posted on 7 May 2020 by Wei Kin Cheah
Who am I?
Hi there! My name is Wei Kin and I’ve signed up for CERC’s Church Ministers’ Apprenticeship (CMA) programme. Before I explain why I made this decision, let me tell you a little bit about my background.
I was born and bred in a Christian household and attended church activities – such as Sunday School, Youth Fellowship (YF) and also morning gatherings – since I was a young boy. Honestly, I cannot think of a time when I actually missed church (if my memory serves me right). Because of that, I slowly became more involved with the Word ministry ever since high school.
I was the Word ministry coordinator in my school’s Christian Fellowship (shout-out to SMKBB-ians reading this blogpost!) and I was asked to be the devotion leader, and eventually, a youth leader in church. However, even as I was holding these positions, I was often clueless about what to do and something didn’t quite sit right. It felt like I was going through the motions and was merely getting the job done, but the joy of serving our God was almost absent.
In hindsight, it was probably because I never really understood God’s glory, the gospel in its entirety, the seriousness of sin and the importance of Word ministry.
Despite that, there is something that I’m thankful for throughout the 20-over years that I was in church, which is the missionary mindset that they’ve instilled in me. There was always a focus on needing to do the mission of spreading God’s gospel to countries that are being persecuted and this is seen in having “mission months” every year. Ironically, my focus was China even though I did not know a single word of Mandarin! How absurd is that?! That is why this desire to do mission was somewhat sporadic and this went on for years until …
A lifechanging experience
My best friend ever since primary school, Jeremy Leng, invited me to a conference called Word Works (WW) in the year 2010, organised by the Gospel Growth Fellowship, where we spent 2 days studying the book of Deuteronomy in depth (to say the least!). This is where I met Pastor Robin and I can still remember him asking me a question that goes “If I were to ask you to write a Bible study on the book of Deuteronomy, will you be able to?” Naively, I said yes, not knowing how much effort and thought it takes to write a Bible study (which I will be doing a lot more in CMA by the way!)
From the header, you might have thought that this was the lifechanging experience that I had but… nope, it was not (sadly)! What’s worse is that I was indifferent about what I learned during WW! After WW, I returned to my normal routine and did not bother thinking and applying what I’ve learned and this continued for the subsequent conferences I attended.
Fast-forward 4 years later, I attended the Fellow Workers’ Conference (FWC) 2014 on The Gospel, The Reformation, and the Reformed.
This is where my life changed and my mind was reformed (pun intended).
During the conference, we learned about what the gospel was and what our forefathers, the reformers fought for and was martyred for (to say the least!). There were 2 readings that particular struck me: the New Dictionary of Theology definition of Reformed theology, Arminianism and Semi-Pelagianism and Carl Trueman’s article titled Christianity, Liberalism and New Evangelicalism.
The former woke me up from my slumber when it showed me that I actually did not know what my beliefs were even though I had been a Christian all my life. This made me question everything, which then resulted in me questioning my identity as a Christian, and made me desire to know more about the gospel. Through Carl Trueman’s article, I saw that I was a liberal – I conveniently defined God for myself, being indifferent to who God says He is from his word and that is ironic for someone who has been involved in Word ministry for most of his life.
At FWC, I saw the depth of my sin, my indifference towards God and how deserving of judgment I am for my attitude towards God. This was where I came to repentance and where I decided that I needed to change my life and start living for God and His glory. Thanks to the missionary mentality that I’ve had since I was young, after much consideration, I decided to do CMA.
Now that my eyes were opened, I realised that the state of Christianity in Malaysia mirrored my state back then. The gospel I knew was distorted. The preaching I heard was not the apostolic Gospel but a liberal one – which is no gospel at all (Gal 1:8). And worse still, I was happily becoming more and more liberal without even realising it! It saddens me to say that my experience was not unique, but in fact far too common, which speaks volumes about the state of Christianity in Malaysia. The words said by Jesus to His disciples in the book of Matthew Chapter 9, verse 27, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;” became very real to me.
I saw that God’s will was for His glory to be made manifest throughout all the earth in the proclamation of the gospel, and the people’s repentance of their sins, submitting their lives to His King, Jesus Christ, as His Kingdom people living lives that are holy and pleasing to Him.
There is no better way to do God’s will than to faithfully preach the gospel through Word ministry in a church where people are sanctified through the Word of God.
This is what I aspire to do and why I decided to do CMA, not only to test out whether I’m suitable to be a pastor but ultimately, to serve God with all my life, full-time. In the course of my CMA, I will be preaching at university campuses, leading Adult and Tertiary Growth Groups, doing more personal follow ups, organising conferences, etc. Do keep me in prayer, that I’ll be able to preach the gospel faithfully, evangelise non-Christians out there and edify the church through God’s Word.