Rev. Hay-chun Maak, honorary chairman of CCCOWE board of directors, delivered a message at the seminar called “A Different Church.” Addressing those who are willing to dedicate their lives for the Lord, Rev. Maak said every Christians should be concerned about politics and the well-being of the society, but they should focus more on fulfilling The Great Commission of the Lord.
Centering on Acts, Rev. Maak exhorted that the purpose of church is to be the witness for the Lord and to proclaim the gospel to the ends of the earth. Our father in heaven likes many people, just as the book of Acts records, the number of those who believed in the Lord numbered 3,000 and then increased to 5,000.
After retiring from Singapore Seminary in 1992, Rev. Maak began his role as the advisory pastor of the Toronto Richmond Hill Church. At that time, the congregation had only 160 people. After five years, the attendants increased to 800 people. After being appointed as the secretary general of CCCOWE, Rev. Maak left Toronto and went to Hong Kong to work at the Hong Kong CCCOWE center. After another five years, the congregation increased to 1,800 people. After another five years, it increased to 3,000 people, plus 800 children. Currently, the church has seven separate service times, 3,800 people attending service.
Rev. Maak specially encouraged the Mandarin ministries to greatly develop as the wave of immigrants from mainland China increases year after year. He believes that, in the near future, the Mandarin churches will greatly revive.
Furthermore, the book of Acts records that more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.
“In general, the sisters are usually more passionate, while the brothers are more difficult; however, the church should not neglect the need to train brothers to preach the gospel and they should revive the passion for missions of the church,” said Rev. Maak.
On the other hand, when leading people in believing the Lord, it is important to realize that even the most difficult people or those who persecuted the Lord can also accept Jesus. In summary, churches must not forget to place evangelism as their first priority, because the church is established for this purpose, grows for this purpose, and develops for this purpose.
In the second part of Acts, from chapter 10 thru chapter 28, it records church missions.
Rev. Maak said that we must first have a vision, take actions, and add on perseverance in order to bear fruits. He brought up an example of him and his wife, who were only 23 years old, when they first went to Singapore to pioneer and setup church there. The church began from just the two of them. They went from house to house preaching the gospel, and until eight years later, the church has a congregation of 400 people and three churches were established. These fruits required perseverance in order to achieve.
Rev. Maak further stated that there are a total of 2,000 to 3,000 Chinese missionaries in the world, who are sent to different locations to preach the gospel. Half of this group of missionaries specializes in evangelizing the overseas Chinese, while the other half specializes in evangelizing foreigners. With this, he encouraged the brothers and sisters in the Chinese churches, overseas mission ministries to not limit to just evangelizing Chinese, but we should become a witness for the Lord to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth until the completion of the Great Commission.
[Editor's note: Joanna Wong from Vancouver has contributed in this report.]