2018年快將過去，在納新之年(Year of Newness)深感神恩浩瀚，在默想、禱告、總結中，為2018年向主獻上感恩。有一句經文在我靈裡不住迴盪—惟獨把新酒裝在新皮袋裡(太九17)。只有新皮袋可以裝新酒，只有新人可以作新事，只有新的思維才可迎向新的未來！
Kamkwongers, 2018 is ending soon. In this Year of Newsness, I deeply felt the vastness and depth of God's grace. When I meditated, prayed and made conclusions about this year, I am truly grateful to our Lord.
As I am writing this, a biblical verse is lingering in my spirit – "pour new wine into new wineskins" (Matthew 9:17; NIV) Truly, only new wineskins can contain new wine, only new people can do new things, and only new thinking can advance towards our new future!
So, what were new among us in 2018? And how do these new things convince us that 2018 is really the Year of Newness that God designated for Kam Kwong Church?
1) New attitudes of God's servants
In 2018, we launched our new Friday night service, as the latest addition in the church's already tight and busy schedule. As the senior pastor, it is my calling to make sacrifice for this extra service – but it is not our brothers' and sisters' obligation to do the same. Therefore, I was very touched and emotional when I saw their dedication toward this new service. I still remember that when our Friday night service first started, I saw a lot of brothers and sisters rushing back to the church to prepare for the service as soon as they finished their work. They included members of the worship team, the PA team, the ushers and security team, etc. All of them were fully devoted in response to God's leadership in our ministry.
Two episodes that night were particularly unforgettable for me. First, just when I arrived at the Worship Centre, I saw the brother who was to serve as a drummer that night. He is a full-time teacher. It was about 6pm and he was hurrying to finish his takeaway dinner so that he could get ready to serve. Touched by what I saw, I spoke to him, and told him, "It must be tiring for you, brother, thank you so much!" He responded with a smile and simply said, "It's nothing, Reverend Lau!"
The second episode was when I entered the Worship Centre, I saw the worship team was already rehearsing. They all rushed back after work to serve the Lord. The worship leader, in particular, was all sweating when he ran into the hall to prepare for the rehearsal. I am particularly grateful for Kam Kwong Church because of the two episodes I saw. I believe that Kam Kwong Church has achieved all that we saw today not just because of these two brothers, but because of the dedication of everyone in the service team!
On behalf of the entire congregation, I would like to pay tribute to you who serve the Lord, and say thank you from the bottom of my heart. May the Lord reward you Himself!
2) New dimensions of services on stage
Looking back on the different services of 2018, there was huge improvement among those who led worship or gave sermons on stage. The congregation also responded by showing gratitude for God's presence in our services. Many of them encountered God, others had their problems resolved, and some received healing. By the grace of God, lives were cleansd. As the bible says, "For the earth (Kam Kwong Church) will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." (Harakkuk 2:14; NIV)
I am both touched and grateful for the new things God Himself has done for the service onstage, and not only did new attitudes displayed in the lives of the service team members, services onstage, be it worship or sermons, also showed new anointment from the Holy Spirit. Amen!
3) New enhancements of shepherding in the congregation
There are three key elements that a wonderful church must possess: 1. Good worship, 2. Good sermons; 3. Good pastoral care.
There are thousands of members in Kam Kwong Church, all of which are assigned to a "family" so that they can receive adequate nurturing and pastoral care. However, this system has been running for years, and inevitably things can go rigid in terms of and structural arrangements. Sometimes even I would feel helpless about it.
In 2018, the Holy Spirit has clearly stirred the entire pastoral care system. He shed lights on the lives of family pastors, zone leaders, and cell leaders. Through tearful repentance, their lives have been taken to new heights.
2018 is indeed the Year of Newness. God did many new things in Kam Kwong Church. Let us continue to build what we have achieved and step into a more glorious 2019. Amen!