Last week, I had the privilege, together with my wife and Dr. Rolland Baker, to speak at the “Kingdom Mandate Conference” in Miri, East Malaysia. Between 400-500 people showed up for the 2-day conference and for a city like Miri, that’s a great response. But what an amazing time we had!
The presence of God was powerful and the whole conference operated with clockwork precision.
I want to go on record to say how proud I am of our two firebrands, Pastors Sabrina Low and Rachel Bulan. They started the church just a couple of years ago with a handful of people and it’s now becoming a dominant spiritual force in Miri. They’ve many young zealots and firebrands in the church today and I can confidently predict that they’ll soon impact the city in ways we cannot even imagine.
When we first embarked on the journey to start Cornerstone Singapore over 20 years ago, the Word of the Lord came to me so clearly. The Lord said, “Cornerstone must be a missions church.” Over the past two decades, we’ve tried to discern and clarify what it means to be a “missions church” and what it entails, and all I can say is there’s now greater clarity than ever before.
For Cornerstone, that’s planting strong apostolic and dominant churches in the nations. Cornerstone is essentially a church-planting movement because I’m fully convinced that strong churches are the keys to a great end-time harvest of souls. Over the last two decades, Cornerstone Singapore and her affiliates have planted and established over 128 churches globally in 18 countries. In the next few months, we’ll plant our latest church in Detroit, Michigan and hopefully, in the next 6-12 months, we can get one going in Vancouver, Canada.
Several years ago, I was with a pastor who’s a key leader in another country and I asked him what he thought if I planted a Cornerstone church in his city. He said this to me, “Brother, we’ve 3,200 churches in my country and one more church is not going to make any difference.” I was a little stunned by that statement, and whilst that might sound true, my heart bears witness that this isn’t the whole truth. I don’t want to sound presumptuous, but I do think planting a strong and dominant church in any community or city is going to make a difference for the kingdom.
What do I mean by a dominant spiritual force? It means that in whatever area we plant a church, that church will begin to dominate the spiritual atmosphere over the community and if possible, over the entire province or region. Maximum impact is what we’re after. Is this possible? Here’s another example – You go to the Philippines and there are thousands of very small churches and many of them have no witness, or have lost their impact and mandate in the society and community. That’s not the kind of church we seek to plant. We don’t want to plant churches for the sake of planting churches. That’s not part of our strategy. We seek to plant dominant churches.
In 2004, Ps. Fred Abad started a Cornerstone church in Novaliches with only 35 people. Today, they’ve over 4,000. If you go to this part of the city, which is part of greater Quezon City, many people I meet have heard of Cornerstone Novaliches. It’s a strong and dominant spiritual force. They’ve feeding programmes; three campuses; a quality media team and a cutting-edge outreach; and they keep growing and growing and maybe, one day, they could be one of the more prominent churches in the Philippines.
Till then, we keep plowing. But the key always lies in the person whom we send. The key is in the man or the woman. You can call him a church-planter or pastor or missionary, whatever, but what’s truly needed is an apostolic mantle. It’s the apostolic mantle that breaks into a community and lays a foundation for a New Testament Church to be established. That’s the key.
While we look for better methods, God’s looking for better men. The man of God – he’s always the key. It’s always been this way. William Carey, that great Baptist missionary once said, “Attempt great things for God, and expect great things from God.” May the Lord raise within our ranks, a mighty army of apostolic men and women who will traverse the world and establish strong dominant churches.