10th Year Anniversary

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various, Vision

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Tomorrow night we are going to gathering everyone together for the 10th year Reunion Service. It is going to be awesome reconnecting with everyone. We will spend some time in the Word and worshipping together – HMCC style!

Then on Saturday, the formal banquet at the Marriott Hotel will be an added treat (thank God the UM football game is in the evening… ha!). We are going to pull out all the good stuff for the last 10 years of God’s faithfulness.

We will cap off everything with a gigantic celebration at the Power Center of the Performing Arts. It is going to be a blast… I can’t wait. I am just humbled and amazed that God has been with us for 10 years. To God be all the glory!

If you haven’t checked out the 10th year anniversary website yet, then please do… try to read up on what is going on this weekend, as well as read up on the testimonies – it blessed me.

See you all this weekend!

Temporary Soccer Coach?

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

I don’t know how it happened, but in the midst of the impromptu parent/coach meeting, I just found myself volunteering. Recently, due to the earlier sundown, Josiah’s soccer program changed the start of the soccer practices. But the problem is that his coach cannot come until 30-40 minutes later. So, there were two options given to the parents: 1) Start later but then end a little later or 2) Have an extra practice day. Option #1 would defeat the purpose of changing the time due to the sun going down earlier, so that was a no brainer. Option #2 was definitely not good for the busy Kim family.

This is when I found myself thinking out loud and said, “Well, I played high school soccer and I know the fundamentals of the game. I don’t mind practicing with the boys until the coach gets here.” It was just one of those moments when you think to yourself – what did I just get myself into? I didn’t consult my schedule, my wife, my other responsibilities… I just knew that the boys wanted to play and there was no one there to step up to the plate.

So now, I will have to add “soccer coach” to the other hats that I have to wear. But for some reason, I have a feeling that this hat will be fun to wear. Even though Josiah is my son, I will not let him off that easy on the practice field :-)

Consistency Please!

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

Michael Venyah and his wife, Tamika have a ministry called, Soulwinners Ministry International. They have been on the University of Michigan campus for the last two days preaching on the Diag (the center of the campus). It has been really interesting to read some of the accounts in the Michigan Daily’s article and to see some of the reactions of the students on campus.

Even though I don’t completely agree with some of the methods of these street preachers, I will have to say that they have some courage to come to a liberal campus like this and preach repentance. I am wondering if there is another way to share the Gospel that will entice people to Christ rather than building up more walls and negative stereotypes of Christians.

With all the methodologies aside, I just have one question:

Why is it that the people who are the staunch supporters of “free speech” the ones who are constantly trying to muzzle people who speak on topics that they do not agree with?

You cannot have it both ways. If you support free speech then you need to allow people with different views to express them. This is the double standard that I see on both sides. If people don’t agree with them, then you are a bigot, narrow-minded, racist, ignorant, intolerant, and etc!

We need consistency and not respond with just emotions.

The Greatest Game Ever Played

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various, Viewpoint

Christina and I spent our date night watching, “The Greatest Game Ever Played” on DVD.

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The movie is based on a true story of the 1913 U.S. Open, where Francis Ouimet, an amateur golf player played against the best player of that time. WARNING: If you don’t like people who spoil movies, please read no further.

There is something about movies based on true stories that cause Christina and me to always watch them. This was a good underdog movie, where the 20-year-old defeated his idol, Harry Vardon, a U.S. Open winner and six-time British Open champion. But more than the victory, it was the relationship with his parents that brought mist to my eyes.

He was an immigrant child from a working-class family. His father did not want him to play golf because he wanted to protect his son from the pain and hurt he would experience if he did not “make it.” The golf world at that time was a world where it was believed only the wealthy and privileged could play and win. Francis’ father did not believe that his son could break that barrier. But his mother was the encourager and fueled his dream and passion for golf (why is it always the moms).

The most powerful part was when the crowd surrounded Ouimet after the victory and started to give him money (since he was an amateur, he did not receive any endorsements)… his father was there handing him some money (his way of saying, “I was wrong son, I am so proud of you”). It was one of those tear jerker moments.

Lessons learned:
1) We can overcome our background and past to do something great.
2) Determination and hard work helps us achieve our goals and dream.
3) We must never let our dream die – no matter what!
4) We all need someone to believe in us.
5) If we constantly listen to our dissenters, we will never achieve anything.
6) Everyone craves for the father’s approval.
7) Some of the greatest things come from unlikely places

If we ever do another sermon series on movies, this will definitely have to be one of the top 10 choices.

What a Night!

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Victories, Visits

God is truly amazing! Talk about impeccable timing… we arrived at the hotel at 5:05PM. Yup, you guessed it – our flight was delayed again. We were on the tarmac when the plane’s engine shut down. In one of those “ah-ha” moments, I was reminded that this new church plant will never “take off” without prayer and God’s anointing.

When I finally walked into the conference room, I was shocked to see so many people already gathered and ready to worship the Lord. After we praised, we had Pastor Keith from Church of Southland share some words of encouragement for us. The church in Ann Arbor then gave a greeting via video (we recorded during the 1st celebration in AA). It was encouraging to know that this church was being planted with the love and support of Acts Ministries International – planting churches needs to be a team effort.

I then laid down some foundational truths about the Church of Jesus Christ and shared the vision for the church. We then took candles and placed them at various places in the room, representing our desire to be a light in the greater Chicago area. We closed out the night with communion, prayer and worship. We had close to 160 people for our inaugural service in Chicago and we had about 60 people gathered in Ann Arbor through a live feed (praise God for technology). We are just humbled that close to 220 people participated in this historical moment for our church.

After the service, we went to a local Thai restaurant to celebrate together with food and a cake that was donated by the Covenant small group (married couples) from Ann Arbor.

I know that planting a new church is not easy, but for some reason I felt like we were in the middle of a current that we just happened to jump into – it is at the right place, at the right time. This church plant could not have happened without all your prayers and support. I just wanted to personally thank all of you who helped out with this inaugural service. It is times like this that remind me how blessed I am to be your pastor – thank you for following my leadership, even though at times you think that I am crazy!

Here are some pictures from the night:

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Pastor Jimmy giving the announcements
 
 
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Worshipping in response to God’s Word
 
 
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Preparing the candles
 
 
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Fellowshipping together at the restaurant
 
 
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The mother of all cakes

The Time Has Come

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Victories

I can’t believe the time has come for the church plant in Chicago. This past year flew by… especially as we were trying to lay down the foundations for this church plant . I keep thinking back to that October 29th, 2005 Northwestern vs. Michigan football game when the Holy Spirit deposited the vision and the burden in my heart. From that point on, everything has been about trusting in God.

I am feeling some of the same emotions that I felt waiting for the births of my 3 children… but this time it is a bit different because I know exactly when this church will be born – September 24th, 2006 at 5:05PM.

I can’t wait!

It All Came Back

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

After the whole airport fiasco (4 hour delay), I finally arrived to the Friday gathering. I walked in when everything was finished and the people were fellowshipping together. People were getting ready to go ACCESS Afterhours (a time of food, fun, fellowship, friends… you get the picture). We ended up splitting into two groups and I ended up going to the one that was a little off campus.

Before heading out to the Afterhours, I was helping the band move the equipment. It brought back a lot of memories from the 1st year of the church in Ann Arbor. I was telling these guys that the exciting thing about the first year of the church plant is that EVERYBODY gets involved, even the lead pastor – no pastoral privileges here!

We ended up eating some buffalo wings and other snacks before we started the games. The games were hilarious! It is amazing how a single game can bring so much laughter to a group of people. When everything settled down and people were slowly leaving, I was just on the couch reminiscing about the night. It brought back a lot of memories from my college days – when I had to move the band equipment and then going to these gatherings where we ate and played games all night.

I am so blessed to be a part of this church plant. I know lives will be transformed and a new generation of people will be raised up to fulfill the Great Commission. I wouldn’t trade this for the whole!

Madness at the Airport

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

This is crazy! I should have landed in Chicago about 2 hours ago, but here I am sitting in my seat feeling frustrated. Thank God for technology – I am able to write about it in my blog as I wait in my seat.

My original flight got delayed due to a storm. So I tried to be proactive and got on another flight landing in Midway Airport. Now, all flights to Chicago are delayed due to a tornado warning.

Tonight is the first ACCESS gathering for the Chicago guys. I think the pastors are going to just lead some prayer time until I get there – if I get there!

One thing we did not factor in on this church plant is thunderstorms – we factored in the delays but not tornado warnings and storms. But I am reminded that God is still in control – “even the winds and the waves obey Him.”

Coffee Shop Politics

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

I was at a local coffee shop working on my messages and I could not help but to overhear a conversation between two employees. They were upset that within a block radius from their café 3 other coffee shops were going to open up. This was the gist of their dialogue:

     Employee #1: “Can you believe it?!”
     Employee #2: “What?”
     Employee #1: “They are going to open up 3 more coffee shops around us.”
     Employee #2: “Really?”
     Employee #1: “Yup… a Starbucks, Panera Bread and Sweetwaters.”
     Employee #2: “Are you serious?! What is their problem?”
     Employee #1: “I know… don’t they know we already have a café here.”
     Employee #2: “This will not be good for our store.”
     Employee #1: “Well, what can we do?!”

I couldn’t help but to chuckle when I saw their angst over their quagmire. Please don’t misunderstand me… I understand that their concern was real because if there are more coffee shops then that means less business for them. But the thing that made me chuckle is the fact that many Christian have this same conversation when it comes to churches.

     Christian leader #1: “Can you believe it?!”
     Christian leader #2: “What?”
     Christian leader #1: “There is another church opening up in this neighborhood.”
     Christian leader #2: “Really?”
     Christian leader #1: “Yup… Christian I Love Jesus Church.”
     Christian leader #2: “Are you serious?! What is their problem?”
     Christian leader #1: “I know… don’t they know we already have a church here.”
     Christian leader #2: “This will not be good for our church.”
     Christian leader #1: “Well, what can we do?!”

The question is: “Will there ever be too many churches in an area?” I have always been a believer that if there are more pre-Christians in an area than Christians, then we need more churches. Then why is it that Christians get so territorial?

Now, let’s go back to the dialogue between the two employees. If their mission in life was to convert every person in Ann Arbor to love coffee (regardless of where the coffee is purchased), then does it really matter if there is a Starbucks, Panera Bread and Sweetwaters around the corner? In fact, they would welcome it because if there are more cafés then there will be more opportunities for people to try coffee and possibly like it. But of course, that is not their mission. Their bottom line mission is profits. So, if there are more cafés then there will be less profits. Consequently, having too many cafés surrounding you will not be good.

What is the Church’s mission?

This is an invitation to anyone who has ever thought about starting a church in Ann Arbor – “Please come and start another church here… you are welcomed. HMCC makes up only 0.004% of the entire Ann Arbor population. Man, we really need more people to try Jesus – they might possibly find Him fascinating.

UM B-School Back to #1

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

I just found out that the University of Michigan’s Business school is ranked number one in the nation. The Wall Street Journal recently published their rankings. With this number one ranking, we are going to see more high-caliber people coming to the university in the next few years.

This is very exciting. What would it be like if more business majors experience the transforming power of the Gospel? Then, they would be able to make a difference for the Kingdom of God. A lot of times churches are ineffective due to the lack of resources. But, if there are Christian business people who can see one of their callings in life is to “make money” to help resource churches to accomplish their mission and vision, then we will be able to enter into uncharted territories. Of course, no amount of money in the world will bring God’s favor without prayer. Therefore, if we grow in dependence on God (through prayer) and grow in faithful stewardship, we will be able to transform the world.

It was also encouraging to know that Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business is ranked in the top ten – it is ranked #6. Now, we have two locations where we can raise up future world leaders.

With all this being said, if the UM football team can get back to #1 then all of heaven will rejoice!

The Spirituality of the Twentysomethings

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

I don’t know if you read the article by The Barna Research Group on the spirituality of the Twentysomethings. I found it pretty interesting. They said a lot of things that we already knew but we are still left dumbfounded in terms of a solution.

The single adult life is a difficult one. As I reflect on my twenties, I realized that it was a hard time filled with struggles. But it is a stage of life that everyone has to go through – kind of like puberty… it is part of life. Nevertheless, these transitions are not always easy.

If I can be brutally honest, many of the Twentysomethings are their own worst enemies. The Twentysomethings are a time when everything is about me – my career, my friends, my freetime, my money, my promotion, my car, my condo, my plasma TV, my road trips, my future marriage, my… the list goes on.

I remember doing youth ministry for 4.5 years and one of the most difficult thing that the students had to overcome was their self-focused perspective. This is why they can be excited for God on Friday and then on Sunday it is as if the whole world is crashing down before them. It was quite a rollercoaster journey for them and for the youth pastor.

Now, as I talk with some of my former youth group members (who are getting married, now married, and having children), I am curious to know how they look at their high school “struggles” now. I am wondering – what would happen if we COULD NOT move from one stage of life to another, until we have a God-centered perspective. Hmm… many of us will be stuck for awhile. Maybe this is the prayer that we need to pray for – “Lord give me your heart and your perspective as I go through this difficult stage of my life!” But then remember – you have to be ready to be broken by God… something that we do not welcome too often in our lives.

Read the article here.

The Role of Television

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

Our hand-me down television that was over 10 years old finally broke down on us – the screen just went blank. It has been about a week now without a television. The more I think about it, the more I realize how television plays a significant role in a family’s life. The kids could not watch DVDs, play their PS2 or even watch some of their favorite television shows – Josiah was particularly in anguish because he could not watch ESPN. The kids were miserable.

But in every bleak situation there is always a glimmer of hope. It was nice to see the kids playing with each other more – board games and puzzles. It was good to see the kids practice their piano more frequently (willingly). I felt like our communication with one another improved throughout this week.

I think taking a break from the television once in awhile is refreshing. Now, we have to figure out what we need to do for a television. It is always good to have a younger brother that works for Samsung who can get some major employee discounts on their televisions. Time to do some research.

One Week and Counting

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Victories, Visits

As we rolled into the Hilton Garden Inn for our last preview service, I was reminded that church is not a building or a place, but it is made up of people – God’s people. This was the beauty of the early church. Due to the persecution, they were scattered all over the known world at that time. They could not meet in big cathedrals or “churches”; therefore they met in their homes, various places in the marketplace, and “unlikely” places in order to worship. In our generation, the call for being the “church beyond the walls” is being declared once again.

I couldn’t help but sense the excitement and anticipation as we began our praise and worship. We had about 40 people gathered together for our last preview service. The room was filled with some of the students that we were reaching out to during last semester. We also had some new students from Northwestern as well as from University of Illinois-Chicago. The single adults and married couples made up the rest of the congregation.

I preached on “The Greatness of the Gospel.” The challenge for the church was to be “consecrated to the Gospel” and to be “committed to the Gospel.” Evanston and the greater Chicago area is a tremendous mission field. The words of Jesus are true – “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” We spent some time in response to God through prayer and worship.

As we were fellowshipping together after the celebration, I was blessed to see so many people connecting and building relationships with one another. It is my prayer that whenever people step into our new church, they will experience God in a special way. We got a glimpse of this when I heard from one of the members that someone walked into the celebration because of our sign that she saw in the hotel lobby. We found out that the person was from Wisconsin, but she would come to the Northwestern hospital every 3 months or so. She was also looking for a church but couldn’t find anything. But on Sunday, she “happened” to see the sign – can someone say, “divine appointment!”

We are less than a week away from the official inaugural service. We are humbled by His greatness and His grace… hope to see you there to celebrate with us. Blessings.

Hilton Garden Inn in Evanston
Sunday, September 24th at 5:05PM

Time of Reconnecting

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

This week I had breakfast in the morning with Christina – without the kids! At first it was a little weird (or abnormal) not having all the noise and making sure that everyone is eating. It brought back memories of our earlier years of courtship and marriage, when it was just the two of us. Even though we have been on dates in our marriage, it was special because it was in the morning.

Since all of our kids are at school now, Christina has more time to do things. I decided to surprise her and spend time having breakfast – “quality time,” as she would say. When I think about all the sacrifices that she makes for the kids and for me, I am so inspired.

I feel like now is the time for her to do things that she had to put off for so many years. I remember when we first came to Ann Arbor and how she had to put off her admission to the UM teaching program. She had to put off traveling to various places with me. She had to put off doing a lot of ministry. But now with some free time in the mornings, she is talking about getting more involved in the kids’ schools, taking some classes in the morning, tutoring international moms, spending time with the moms in our church… and training for future marathons!

Maybe the roles are slowly switching and I will have to stay at home more. :-)