By Suzanna Wong, Hope Brisbane
Hi Church. I am part of the Elevate Central lifegroup from the St Lucia Centre. I have joined Hope Church Brisbane for almost 15 years now but I do not think I am qualified to be called a hope dinosaur yet. Today, I really want to testify of God’s grace to keep envisioning me in a personal way, and working in the background to prepare me to be part of His purposes in ways beyond what I can ask or imagine.
I joined this church because of the vision. I am always amazed by how God works and calls us. I was a relatively new visitor at that time and one Sunday, I was just reading the church bulletin in a Sunday service and as I read the list of contacts for each ministries at the back of the bulletin, I heard God ask me to join this church and be part of this.
So, I started committing to attending Life Group (LG) and Sunday services. I progressed to serve in LG and in church (as an usher). I committed to be mentored and later on to serve as a mentor and a leader in the Uni Gen Ministry. In 2018, when our church embarked on a year themed “Audacious”, I prayed for God to envision for me the vision of this church, which is based on the great commission. I took out the Bible to read the Great Commission in Matthew 28 again. I had the church vision written beside it.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”Matthew 28:19-20
“Fulfilling the Great Commission by raising Christ-centred disciples to plant vibrant biblical churches in Australia and all over the world.”
And then, as only God can, He illuminated the word ‘all’, that He holds ALL authority and HIs Great Commission is for all nations.
For me, the audacity of our vision and the commission is encapsulated by the word ALL.
It’s undoable, by human efforts. It is possible, by His authority.
At that moment, God enlarged my personal vision and conviction to continue to fulfil his commission in and beyond Brisbane. And in response, I prayed and told God to involve me in 10 church planting initiatives in my lifetime. Now, I don’t really know what to do but I wanted to be intentional. I signed up to join a short-term mission trip to Hobart. I started an unofficial group to disciple 3 leaders who have relocated to Melbourne, Singapore and Malaysia. We will meet monthly to share, encourage and pray for each other.
And just when I thought I am doing enough on this aspect, at the end of 2018 (God answers some prayers very quickly), due to unexpected circumstances, I was asked to be involved in coaching the leadership team of our pioneering church in Singapore. And because of my prayer to God, I said yes. And at the end of 2020, I was asked to take on more leadership responsibilities in our Singapore Church. Now, I know the cost of saying yes will come with more challenges:
It will be inconvenient because of the time zone differences. There will be more late night meetings and mentoring than before.
It will be stretching to lead ministries I do not have experience in – from Children Ministry to Families.
I will need to use more of my personal leave to travel for ministry.
I will need to grow, fast, to learn to make leadership decisions in areas I have no experience in – from budget to legal to venue hire to church camps.
I will need to confront my insecurities of mentoring and leading others who are more experienced in life and in ministry than me, and some of whom used to lead me in the past.
But at the end of the day, I said yes because I know and am convinced that God has called me for this. And I trust my pastors to confirm it. For me, my best life is going to be found in Christ and it is a journey for us responding “Here I am” each time He calls.
He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine!