Melbourne Chinese Christian Church English Service 2012 – A recap
Dear all, whether you have followed this blog since its revamp or you just stumbled across it today, thank you all for taking the time to read the entries! I hope this website has been informative and sheds some insight on what Melbourne Chinese Christian Church believes, how God has been working, and how you can find out more about us.
As the year draws to an end, this is an entry to recap on the year and look at the grace and mercies that the Lord has lavished upon the church and the congregation. Enjoy — this is going to be a long one!
The theme for this year’s pulpit teaching was “The Living Church of Christ”. Week after week, The Lord provided speakers who not only expounded God’s Word to us, but also encouraged, challenged and edified the congregation. Indeed, in 2012 we witnessed how the church has been built up as a living Body of Christ through the power of His Word that transforms lives and renews minds. We praise God for the wonderful grace and mercy He has poured out upon us as seen in the congregation, the various events, and ministries.
English Service anniversary
This March, the English Service celebrated its 26th Anniversary, and we remembered God for His provisions over the years by hosting a special luncheon. In true MCCC fashion, we ate fruit and cream sponge cake while sharing as a group about how God has been working in members’ spiritual journeys and as a congregation. We look forward to the growing of His Kingdom in the following years.
This year, by the grace of God, 6 young men publically declared their testimonies of faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour by going through the waters of baptism. May they continue to grow in His likeness and love His Word more and more every day!
More recently, we held our Christmas Celebration Night Service on the theme of ‘What’s so Amazing about Grace?’ The night turned out to be a big success, with over 60 friends and visitors. Many thanks to Reverend Justin Tan for taking the time to deliver a compelling message from God to the congregation. We also enjoyed the skit which featured the Parable of the Vineyard, as well as the choir items of ‘At Christmas Time’ and ‘Away in a Manger’. Praise God for the great turnout and the fellowship!
It has been an encouraging year for the Sunday Youth Program as well as the Youth and Young Adults ministry. The Sunday Youth Program studied the book of 1 & 2 Samuel this year, exploring the theme of Kingship. Thanks be to God that new leaders stepped up and took the challenge of teaching the year 7-10 high school students.
Youth and Young Adults Ministry (YYA)
The YYA Friday Night Bible Studies looked at 1 & 2 Thessalonians this year, where we learnt about the model church, practical Christian living, and the return of Jesus. The university and working adult groups also introduced student/young adult Bible study leaders in order to provide greater ministry opportunity and experience. Prayer meetings were held on a monthly basis to commit all aspects of the ministry into the hand of the Lord.
YYA was not limited to Friday night Bible studies, but also hosted events that encouraged fellowship such as rock climbing in March, Trivia Night in June, and Guys & Girls night out in August. The events created opportunities to bond and have meaningful conversations with one another, as well as introduced the idea of outreach by inviting friends along.
The Winter Freeze program was held during the school holidays on 5-6th of July. Once again, it served to teach the year 7-11 students with Bible teaching through the “Four Spiritual Laws” (evangelism resource) in an engaging and interactive manner. This year, we invited the year 12’s as facilitators to run the program and praise God for how He has grown them over the year. Overall, there were 31 people attending over the 2 days, with 2 attendees from the Chinese School.
Perhaps the highlight of the year was Coffee Night which was held in September. Members from the congregation used their musical talents to praise God, testifying their faith to friends, family and many visitors in the very-packed-almost-overflowing-hall. The funds that were raised on the night will go to City Bible Forum – a ministry that exists to support city workers to share the gospel. The night concluded with hot drinks, desserts, and great fellowship until almost midnight! Praise God again for using different avenues to make Himself known!
SOYA – an acronym coined spelling ‘Slightly Older Young Adults’ – continues to meet up on a regular basis for fellowship and Bible studies. This provides a great way for working adults to meet up and encourage one another by sharing happenings in their lives. Attendees are encouraged to bring a dish for dinner, enabling them to not only share their mind, but also share recipes and cooking tips!
External Training Opportunities
This year, a number of members participated in Connect Ministry’s Day Conference, which explored apologetics, different ways to evangelise to individuals, and how to follow them up. This provided a training ground for future outreach events. Some members also attended the annual Connect Training Conference which provided skills in various areas of ministry. May the Lord enable this training to be brought back to Melbourne Chinese Christian Church to equip the rest of the congregation.
Accountability groups & Follow up
2012 also saw the beginning of the Roots Ministry. This ministry focuses on the follow-up of newcomers, and on building accountability in the church. The focus has been mainly on the youth and young adults, which has led to the formation of accountability groups to encourage and support one another as well as keep each other accountable. Activities such as the Indoor Picnic after Coffee Night were deeply encouraging as we saw newcomers for the second time through follow-up sessions. The Roots Ministry has also supported the year 11-12 students undertaking VCE and associated studies. Recently, a post-exam trip down to Werribee Zoo was enjoyed, where leaders were able to bond with students and encourage them in their transition to tertiary studies.
In the same vein, as many of the YYA are also transitioning into the workforce, the Roots Ministry organised the Young Adults retreat in February where a weekend was spent down at the beaches of Tootgarook. The retreat theme was ‘In the World but not of the World’, looking at the topic of careers in conjunction with our identities as Christians. Other sessions included cultural pressures, being a living testimony for Christ, beauty in the eyes of God, and an appropriate use of Facebook. The weekend was a great time to unwind, but served an even greater purpose to ground us in the Word of the Lord amidst the pressures of the world.
Missions advance God’s Kingdom through the sharing of the gospel. The English Service continues to support May Kwong and the International Student ministry in Ballarat. Funds have also been appropriated to CMS Victoria, RBC Ministries, Tear Australia, Mukti Australia and Train Teach Ministries. We are particularly excited that two members of our congregation have been called to full time ministry and we joyfully support them both prayerfully and financially.
… And there you go! The happenings in the English Service for the year! Though what is posted is selective rather than exhaustive as the list would keep on going if we were to write all the ways in which God has blessed the church and us as a congregation. Once again, have a very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday, and please stay tuned as posts will only be more regular in 2013!