Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Church again?

A friend of mine asked me why do i go to church so often. My friend probably felt so because I seem extremely occupied during Friday nights and the weekends. It struck me that many of my friends actually don't know what on earth I do in church or more precisely, why do I spend so much of my time on church related activities. What do I do there? Go to church a few days a week and pray there? I have to admit that many times, I don't really explain in details what I do. Why? Well.....I dunno. Probably I just felt that most people aren't interested. Also, many questions will be shot right in my face. Not that I fear answering but more of...confusing others with what I say.

I realised my dear friend had a genuine concern for me. Afraid I get overly involve and spending too much time in things that do not contribute to my future or rather my life here on earth. The good thing is, I know I have friends who care!!!

I would really like my friends to know. Before anyone starts thinking I'm into some occult-money-cheating-animal-killing thing. So, I guess if anyone is interested, you can read on. Honestly, I really dunno where to start. Here goes.....

I am a member of a church called Damansara Utama Methodist Church. It's not situated in Damansara Utama. Well, it was initially, then the church moved a few times to larger premises. It is currently in SEA Park. Many would call it the ex-Ruby Cinema. The church has 3 English service or what we would usually call Celebrations, 1 on Saturday nights and 2 on Sunday mornings. There is also a BM and Chinese celebration.

Most Christian volunteer and offer whatever we can do in or outside church. Nobody forces us to "volunteer". We won't be strike by lightning if we don't. It's just our own desire to be useful for God. There are many things that Christians can volunteer to do. I guess I'll just list a few. Ushering people into the church, playing musical instrument or singing for worship. In DUMC, we also have traffic marshals (to control the traffic within the church compound and to accommodate as many cars as possible in to the car park), securities and DewCrew(the audio and video department). Other than that we have people who manage the website, photographers for special events, people who organise programmes for the elderly, training programmes for special children, distribution of food to the street people. We have actors who perform during our musical drama. All those people involve have full time jobs. Most of their jobs are very much unrelated to what we do in church. We have company directors, CEOs who are directing the traffic on sunday under the hot sun and as securities. Well, there are those who lend their professional abilities such as a professional painter who paints the backdrop and props for church dramas.

Other than the weekly church celebration, the church organises training (life is a learning process, there will never be enough or an end to training) on bible knowledge, life, sometimes for students, study skills, career opportunities and even sex education! Once in a while there's a wedding (think there's a wedding planner ministry).

In DUMC, everyone is encouraged to be in a cell group. A small group of about 10-15 people that meet at homes all around Klang Valley. Most cell groups are either on Wednesdays or Fridays.

OK. Now about what Julia does. I attend a cell group. Mine is a group of campus students i.e. studying in colleges around here. We have a few working ppl there too. We meet every week on Friday. Yes, we learn about the bible, but we also learn about life from each other. Sometimes we hang out together, we talk about our family, our studies, EXAM!!!!, latest music, latest movie, well practically everything else you would talk to a "normal" friend about.

I'm with the audio and video ministry. We have 3 teams. An average of 10-12 ppl each team. We rotate what we do. Sometimes we are the camera person, sometimes the video mixer (we do multicam live mixing/switching for images to be projected on the big screen so that everyone could see), sometimes the visual aid (we have lyrics during worship and sermon notes when the pastor speaks). We have also ppl to manage the stage sound (i.e controls what the singers and musicians hear) and house sound (what everyone else hears). For special production, we have more ppl on cameras, we have stage managers and a few to do the lightings.

If I don't serve, I only attend celebration once a week. If I am, I'll be attending all 3 celebration and also rehearsals on Thursday nights. It sounds as if it's a lot of work and time. Well, have to admit sometimes it does take up a lot of time. So, usually when my exams are near, I'll swap with somebody. Sometimes, if some of us are really tied up, whether studies or work, we can take sabbatical. We are also serving whenever there's any meeting, event, production and wedding held at the church premise.

Because most of us have absolutely no idea how these machines work, we have trainings for new recruits and also on new equipments. Some of us have the privilege to be trained my industry professionals like Jim on sound mixing!!!

I personally enjoy every moment serving during the normal celebrations, trainings and mamak sessions. Most of the crews are younger adults. They always think I'm the youngest although that is not true now (once a upon a time it was lah).

I am thankful that I'm more useful than I was before and even more thankful that I'm useful to God. I can't exactly explain but I really enjoy attending CG, being part of the crew even if it takes time. How do I explain the sense of joy I feel?

My friend was advising me to set my priority right. I said my number 1 priority is and will always be God. I guess I didn't answer correctly (to them). But what is right to every person is obviously subjective. It's based on our own life purpose that we set out priorities! I live for God. Some live to be the richest/ have the most successful career.

I think this is why a number of friends asked me, since I like spending time in church stuff, why don't I just be a pastor. Well, first of all, no one on earth can JUST be a pastor, pastor are not ppl who just hang out in church. They have a lot of work. By the way, pastors have offices that they work in. Not only they prepare sermon, conduct funerals, weddings, counsel ppl, watching over cell group leaders, spiritual life of the ppl under their care, and hullloooo, which job on earth never involve paperwork? This list can go on forever. Did I mention my church have a average attendance of 2400. Another thing is not everyone who loves God must be a pastor. (By the way, not all church staffs are pastors) Imagine what happens if every Christian quits their job! Everyone exists for a unique purpose. There will be people that who will be pastor and there will be those who could be like Francis Yeoh of YTL. By the way, Christians are allowed to make lots of money too! Me? we'll just see where God leads me...

Another question a friend asked was, why must I include God in everything? Ok, won't you include your bf/gf/husband/wife/father/mother in your life? I guess it depends how important that person is in your life. I would think that if that person is important and you truly love that person, that person's opinion, approval, feeling will be something you would think of, consider whenever you make any decision in life. (although sometimes we don't but atleast most of the time)

See, I dunno know how many of you out there are confuse now?! I doubt I really explain things well. If I can think of anything else, I guess I'll add on later. Well, you can always try asking God, I'm sure He explains better.

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