We want to specially welcome the pastors from our Cornerstone Global Network for our weekend services. The Cornerstone Global Network (CGN) family covers 21 nations and every year we’ve our annual CGN Summit. This year, 80 of us will be spending four days together, communing, praying and walking in the revelation of His Word.
The Summit is a key gathering and has always been a time of re-calibrating, sharpening and envisioning for the global family. It’s important to communicate and translate what the Lord has spoken so we can move with the same purpose and do the work He’s given us to do. We learn to take the lead from the Holy Spirit and to communicate the tribal anointing to the CGN. It’s also very fun-filled with lots of bonding time, and the test of these Summits will be the fruits that abide.
In the natural, different fruit trees grow at different rates, some are slow-growing while others may take a shorter time, but all come to maturity. At times, they may get chewed in half by a loving (but silly dog… sorry, Husky!), or they get planted in a bad spot and get moved four times before they find their final home. Fruit trees are a test of how patient we truly are and how well we design our forest gardens so that all who belong grow in the places where they’re planted.
When we meet, part of the work designed in the ministry is to strengthen the struggling, nourish the exhausted, and recognise the imperfect souls we all are. Our living hope as ministers of the kingdom is to complete all that God has given us to do in our lifetime and it’s not just to get to heaven. We know that if we do the same old, same old each year, nothing much really changes. So why do we expect for the new year to be any different? We want more than motion and activities; we want progression that’s evidenced.
While there are measuring instruments available to evaluate progression, it’s seldom applied in our own lives and the church. In our daily lives, we’ve specific measurements for different things. For example, “Is all the effort I’m putting into healthy eating and exercise helping me lose weight?’ or “Is the extra course I’m doing helping me to have better conversations?” These are things we work on for an outcome and the result reveals our progress.
When there’s no clear destination or when there’s a lack of progress markers along the way, it can be very frustrating both in life, and also in ministry. And if we do not allow ourselves to be led and to bend over when God speaks, things will pretty much remain the same. But we can choose to change and be early adopters of what the Holy Spirit is doing. Therefore, it’ll be good to examine what we believe is progression in the things we see and engage.
Taking a progress marker like attendance and growth in numbers, more people coming to church and hearing the Gospel is a good thing, but somehow there’s the reluctance by some to talk about attendance numbers. A church that’s growing doesn’t need to be ashamed nor should it be assumed that it has compromised or has ceased preaching the Gospel.
There should be a response to everything in life and every number has a name, every name has a story and every story matters to God. John Calvin once said this, “A dog barks when his master is attacked; I’d be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet remain silent.” We need to see God in every human being, to begin to know God and not just about God. Numbers matter to God, because people matter to God.
In our daily lives, we should cast off old restraints and come away from each encounter with the Lord with renewed vision, strength and purpose; to take on new meaning in the work God has given to each. And when we’ve done all we think we can do, we rest in God. God is our fortress and prayer is a strong wall; prayer is non-static and it’s a strong expanding wall of the church.
As we increase and grow in the ministry, we must not be afraid or shy away from controversies or the storms that blow. Just as Jesus was sleeping in the boat during the storm, we’d have mastered the storm that we can sleep through. Do keep the CGN family in your prayers as we convene the Summit this week. May the Lord grant us all good success in His Kingdom!
Pastor Daphne Yang