Rev. Sang-Cheol Sim from the Young Nak Presbyterian Church of Jeju island shares the message of the "Five Pillars of Healthy Church" in the 2016 Chinese and Korean Revival Conference held at the end of September. The pillars are: community, evangelism, leadership, accountability and new members nurturing.
He compares the five pillars to the five fingers so it can be easily remembered. Below is the summary of his sermon:
A church that becomes a good community will revive the church.
1) Parts of the body
Jesus is our head and we are his body. A single organ that exists without a body has no power, but it is powerful when connected with the body.
Problems arise when the brain is disconnected with the body, which also applies to the church. Moreover, these parts can help each other when connected, otherwise, the church can't revive similar to blood vessel blockage.
We are a family because we have blood relationships with Jesus.
When the Gospel arrived in South Korea, people were divided into the noble class and the populace. So the folk people who converted to Christianity suddenly owned a heavenly status that showed nobleness. But the church claimed that we were brothers and sisters, which attacked them. How could this be?
Because the God we serve is the heavenly father and all his children are in a big family. I hope that everyone can be a member of the heavenly father's family and if happens, happiness will live in us.
The world loses its direction, so the church should tell the way to salvation: everybody, Jesus is your refuge. Look at those bound by Satan, let's kill Satan with the gun of the Gospel.
But, how does the church become strong?
1) Oikos evangelism
We should pay attention to what the surrounding people need: such as the priority parents need to fall on is how to nurture their children. To assist the parents, the church should open courses on raising children to reach parents.
Being aware of the needs of the people around you contributes a lot to building a church as the army of Jehovah.
We need to know the importance of relations since there's a relationship net between people. Today, we let down the net rather than go fishing to reach people. A large percentage of people go to church because those who have relations with them pray for them and bring them to the church or the group.
There is numerous fish. May you catch them by casting nets.
2) Pray for "empty seats"
In our church, we place an empty seat in a group and pray for this position, "Lord, we hope that we can bring this person here next week. "
Besides, there are evil spirits that keep those who are eager to go to church from the church, So we must pray to tear down those opposing walls and at that time, let prayer bring strong power.
We also need to pray for these people who experience pains in real life. A group in our church met a non-Christian couple whose child suffered from a skin disease. The group prayed for them together and two months later, the eyes of the child who lost eyesight were opened and the check-up result showed that he or she was healed. Now, the couple serves in the church as a backbone.
Today, the ways many churches lead don't go in accordance with the Bible. Pastors are easy to burn out if everyone calls them to do this or that without bearing his or her own responsibility.
Look at your church: is the boat rowed by a single person or many?
1) You can be a leader.
If you are one of the rowers, be confident that you can be a leader. But, many wonder how could they become leaders? It is not like what they think. God has already put the leading potential inside us in the creation of life. God commanded, "Subdue it (land)."
You can be a team leader despite the fact that you can't be a pastor of a parish. Jesus spent 50% of his efforts on building the disciples on earth, especially for Peter, James, and John. Besides the twelve disciples, he built up 70 people and called 120 followers. Later, there were 3000 to 5000 converts.
If you desire for the revival of the church, tell yourself that you can be a leader.
2) Labor pain and endurance
Leaders need to endure.
To have a baby, a woman needs to endure nine to ten months of pregnancy and labor pains. So it's necessary to train more people who can give birth to children for the church's revival.
During the Roman times, Emperor Nero captured Christians and put them together with a lion depraved of food for several days.
The non-Christians prisoners ran away for their lives, but Christians gathered together to cover each other. Nero was really amazed at this, saying that it seemed that he didn't have something that existed in their lives for they cared each other ahead of death.
That thing is the accountability a church must have.
1) Don't say: I'm alone.
We can't say that we're alone. Satan deceives us that way: "It's enough that I believe in Jesus."
The Bible says that a cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Once, a famous pastor sinned and some asked him why he would have committed sin. He answered, "Because I am alone.No one helped me when I was tempted."
2) Everyone bears the burden
The leading goose can be tired when a group of gooses fly together. So each of them acts as the leader in turns. The team can only operate in the country if just one goose is flying, but it can expand to foreign countries or the entire world if the whole team is flying.
5. New members nurturing
A wall in a church said: our church doesn't need new members. There are just four members of the church that claims no need for new ones. Why? The research reveals that the church has a cemetery where there are four empty tombs left.
Unconsciously, we block the way of new members. We should develop new members.
1) Grow in the family.
New members can grow healthy in a good environment. I asked one of the members who has many children as to how could he raise so many and he answered that it was quite simple. The eldest child took care of the third eldest and the second eldest brought up the fourth.
2) Push down the wall
A man holding a carbonated drink said to another with a bottle of fruit juice, "We only welcome those who have carbonated drinks. You can only be accepted as long as you replace your drink with our kind." The church builds a wall that shows acceptance as long as you meet some certain requirements.
Push down the wall and take care of new members.