Transforming Worship

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

Yesterday, both in Ann Arbor and Chicago, I talked about the importance of corporate worship. Even though private worship (via quiet time and personal prayer) are important, there are some things that cannot be captured when we worship alone or in a small group. There is something powerful about the whole church gathering together to celebrate and magnify God’s greatness.

Things like self-consciousness and selfishness have always been a hindrance to genuine worship. We need to recapture the heart of worship so that we can experience (once again) God’s working power in our midst.

We are longing for the day when more people will come to know Christ through our worship. Not just salvation, but even genuine healing and deliverance as we encounter the living God.

As a church, this is one foundational pillar that we cannot compromise on. If we lose this, we lose part of our identity as HMCC.

Lessons from the 2007 NFL Draft

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

I enjoy keeping up with any professional sports’ draft. One reason is that I enjoy sports overall, but also because I see the draft being very similar to leadership principles. It is interesting how many number one picks turned out to be a bust (no disrespect to JaMarcus Russell from LSU)… and many lower picks turned out to be the real thing.

One person that comes to mind is Tom Brady (QB for New England) who came out of the University of Michigan. He was drafted by the Patriots in the 6th round in 2000 (he was the No. 199 pick overall). Who would have ever imagined?

He appeared in the Pro Bowl 3 times (2001, 2004, 2005). He led the Patriots to victory in 3 Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXVIII, and XXXIX). He was named Super bowl MVP in Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII. He is the only QB in the history of the NFL to start and win three Super Bowls before the age of 28. He was also the youngest QB to win a Super Bowl. He also set a league record for the most consecutive passes without an interception to start a career.

The reason why the draft is very similar to leadership is because there are people that we “believe” will do well, but at the end they end up being a bust. Then there are people that get overlooked and picked in the 6th round but they end up being one of the best leaders in an organization.

We are praying for a championship year this year at HMCC, but only time will tell.

Cultural Faux Pas

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

I turned on the news in Hong Kong and saw the blunder that Richard Gere made in New Delhi. If you don’t know what I am talking about, you can read it here.

I don’t know what it is… maybe we, Americans forget that we cannot just do whatever we want to do especially in another culture.

I am wondering how many culture faux pas we made on the mission field.

One part of the incarnational ministry is trying to understand the culture and the people that we are ministering unto.

The Hong Kong Experience

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

I arrived into Hong last night at 10PM. Since my flight wasn’t leaving until next morning, I went out of the airport to sleep at a hotel. As I was going to the hotel, I was able to see the Hong Kong skyline – it is incredible at night! I didn’t have time to go around town since I had to get up early in the morning. Hopefully, one day I can spend some time there.

I made a unique observation – there are women taxi drivers! It was my first time seeing a female driving a taxi and she was an aggressive driver (I liked it… haha!). Then in the morning I took the taxi back to the airport and this time it was a male and he was an aggressive driver as well. Hmm… I am wondering if people in Hong Kong just drive aggressively… I am already liking this place :-)

I am ready to board soon. I will be flying into Japan and then to DTW.

It has been a long week. I can’t wait to get home and spend some time with the family. This is always the best part of my trips – having the family welcome me when I get back home. There is no place like home.

2007 Vietnam Update 4

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

We finished off out time together with the final exam.

There is a fine balance in producing a test. If you make it too hard then the students will get discouraged and may not want to try (the principle of the failure mentality). But if you make it too easy then the teacher will never know if the student really learned the materials and are able to integrate the materials in various situations.

I felt that I made a pretty fair exam – some easy questions and some integration questions. We will see how well they did.

Statistics show that there are always a good percentage of people who cheat on examinations. What is even more alarming is that even in seminaries, where people are getting trained to be pastors and church leaders, there are students who cheat.

I shared all this with the students before they took the exam. But to my disbelief, there were some who still decided to do “communal” test taking! Sigh.

Integrity and character are things you cannot get overnight. It is developed in the fire of life.

A phrase I say a lot here in HMCC: “your character is the container that carries your convictions.

May we have big container to do great things for God!

Nevertheless, we were able to close our time together with a powerful mini-service… I wanted to preach on Ro 3:23 and 1 Jn 1:9 :-)

2007 Vietnam Update 3

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

This afternoon I finished off my New Testament teaching. I also covered some of the Old Testament studies. It was more of a general overview – much lighter in content than my NT materials, but I think the students got a good feel of the basic themes of the OT. Towards the end of the last session, I was getting a bit tired. I think my arch in my feet are now gone! Since I was standing barefoot on a hard tile floor for 6-7 hours a day, my feet started to hurt. I think I might have to get one of the famous Vietnamese foot massages :-)

All the students are a bit nervous about tomorrow. I am administering the final exam. But these students are so sharp, I think they will do well.

I just came back from a great Vietnamese dinner with one of the missionaries here and also with the other brothers from the States. We ate outside… now I understand why there is such a night life out here… it is definitely cooler in the evenings.

Tomorrow, they want me to lead a mini-revival session in the morning after the examination then I will get ready to head on back to Ann Arbor. This trip has been such a blessing… I am doing the very thing that God has created me to do… I am truly privileged.

2007 Vietnam Update 2

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

This morning, I had breakfast with couple of guys (one from Southland and other from HMCC) who are trying to look into the possibilities of a future business venture in Vietnam. They were updating me on some of the meetings that they had yesterday with some of the business people in this country. God really lined up some key meetings for these brothers.

It is exciting to see how God is allowing missions to be done in more creative ways in our generation. I wanted to meet up with some of these business people, but since the whole day is taken up by teaching, I will have to settle for just updates.

Last night, I was so tired from all the traveling and the lack of sleep that I ended up coming back from my teaching time and just fell asleep. Next morning I found out that the missionary was trying to call me so that we can have dinner, but I do not recollect any phone call – talk about deep sleeping, huh?

Today was a new day… with the much needed rest, I was energized to share God’s Word.

We went all the way through from the Book of Galatians to the Book of James. We will most likely finish off the NT tomorrow and then we will do a brief overview of the OT.

One thing that came to my mind today that reminded me of God’s faithfulness was the fact that I am doing the very thing that God has called me to do. I remember back in the year 2000 when I got a revelation and saw my three passions (leadership, local church and missions) converge on a plane ride back to Ann Arbor. Since then, God has allowed me to go overseas to various places and teach in numerous leadership and pastors’ conferences to build up the Kingdom of God.

God’s faithfulness is not only amazing but it is overwhelming.

2007 Vietnam Update 1

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

Yesterday was an incredible time of teaching on various levels. First of all, I don’t think I have stood up for 7-8 hours to just teach … but talking for 7-8 hours, I have definitely done that before :-) We start at 8AM and end around 4:30PM with a break in between. The age range goes from the late teens to several people in their 40’s.

Secondly, the spiritual hunger of these students was encouraging to witness. Even though the teaching is done through a translator, they are still attentive and eager to learn. In the last day and a half, we have covered the Book of Matthew all the way through 2 Thessalonians. We are at the half way point.

After each of the main sessions, I try to lead the students in a time of prayer. We have had some wonderful time of impartation and intercessory prayer. It was encouraging to see that many of these students were taught how to pray. I realized that loud unified prayer is not just a “Korean” thing, but people from various nations pray in the same manner as in HMCC. I think the persecution and the situation here causes people to be passionate and desperate for God.

Everyday in the afternoon (after each session) I have been transported back and forth from the hotel to the house, where we have classes, by a motorcycle. My dream has come true! With the wind in my hair and the speed of a motorcycle (they only go about 40 mph at the maximum), I am able to live vicariously.

This is my faithful motorcycle transporter… I wish I had a Harley VRod!

Good Morning Vietnam!

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

I finally landed safely in Vietnam right around midnight. I was warmly greeted by some familiar faces from my last trip in November 2006. They had flowers and warm smiles when I came out of the airport… it was truly humbling to know that they went out of their way to welcome me here.

The weather extremely hot here… it is supposedly one of the hottest seasons of the year. Even as I am typing this in the room, I am slowly feeling the sweat drops falling from my forehead.

I will be teaching in about 7 hours – we are starting at 8AM.

Even though my time here is not that long, the intensity of the teaching schedule will be hard. I think my dream came true (maybe the Vietnamese students’ nightmare)… I will be talking for 8+ hours :-)

God’s Creation from 30,000 Ft

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

I don’t know how many times I have flown the DTW to NRT (Detroit to Japan) route. Most likely, I was probably reading a book or sleeping (possibly watching a movie that involved a drama/suspense).

My flight this time around was different.

First, I flew in the early afternoon (which kept me awake). Secondly, I only brought one book that I was almost finished with in the first place (I was in a hurry). Thirdly, I was sitting next to a person that decided to release an odorous scent periodically (I prayed for love and grace). All these factors caused me to scroll to the rear of the plane. Then I opened up the shade of the exit door and saw something that I have never seen before.

I was able to witness some of the snow peaked mountain as we were flying over the northwestern part of Canada and Alaska. It was truly breath-taking.

In fact, it made me feel a bit small in comparison to the greatness of God’s creation – and to think that God made all of the heavens and the earth!

This is when the Psalmist’s words ring true: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Ps 8:3-4).

An unexpected interruption turned out to be a time of worship and adoration.

Vietnam Teaching Trip

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

We finished our Board of Directors meeting yesterday night in Chicago and we drove through the night to get back for our Sunday Celebration. It was good laying down some of the foundational pillars for this year of transition. It is always energizing for me to in environments where high level discussions are happening for an organization. I pray that some of the decisions that have been made will not only glorify God, but that it will bring our church to the next level of influence.

Now, I am getting ready to board a plane to Vietnam. I have the privilege of teaching a New Testament Survey class where the students will be able to get a Bachelor of Arts degree. It is going to be a short trip but the days will be intense. I will probably do 8 hours of teaching each day for the next 4 days. Even though it will be a bit tiring there is nothing else I rather do than to influence leaders who will transform the world – it is truly my passion and purpose in life.

I will try my best to update you with what is going on in Ho Chi Minh City. As many of you know, it is still a Communist country; therefore I still have to be careful in disseminating information.

2007 Board of Directors Summit

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Vision

Tonight, the Board of Directors and I will be heading out to Chicago to meet up with the Executive Team of the Chicago church. We are going to spend some time praying, planning and preparing for the 2007-2008 year. I have always been a firm believer that planning helps a group reach some of its goals and targets. A famous leadership phrase is, “Aim at nothing and you will hit it.”

As many of you know, we are in the midst of a transition in the church. It has been a little over 10 years of doing the ministry God has called us to do here in Ann Arbor. For some reason, every 10 years there always needs to be a major re-evaluation and overhaul in things that we have gotten used to doing – familiarity breeds contempt. This same concept applies even to marriage, vocation, and other things in life.

We need a fresh anointing and a fresh perspective on the vision (transforming lost people into Christ’s disciples who will then transform the world) that will not change.

Please keep us in your prayers. I can’t wait until we share with the whole church some of the things that God will place in our hearts. Thank you, people of HMCC for allowing us to do what God has called us to do.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Family Time

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

With all the craziness that comes with the end of the year ministry, I wanted to make sure that I spend some quality time with the family. We were debating on what to do. But of the things that were suggested by the kids were more individualistic and it would not promote “togetherness.” Therefore, we finally decided on Kid’s Zone where we would be doing some things together.

I might have mentioned to you before but my brother-in-law bought the kid’s version of DDR last Christmas. The kids have enjoyed playing with it. Josiah is still the reigning champion in the Kim household. Therefore you should have seen the look in his eyes when he saw the REAL THING! No more kids play.

We egged Josiah on to do the DDR on the real one.

He took the challenge and he rocked.
These memories will last for a lifetime.

Why is it that kids have better coordination than older folks?
Josiah and DDR1.JPG
Ready… Set…
Josiah and DDR.JPG
Go! KiKi is checking Josiah’s groove.

Junior Class Gathering

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Roots - Class of 2008.JPG
It is always encouraging when a whole class sets up an appointment to meet up with me. I love meeting up with college students. Today I had the opportunity to meet up with the Junior Class (a.k.a. Roots).

They really had a servant’s attitude as they prepared a mini-breakfast for everyone and they also had one of my favorite Starbucks drink ready for me when I got there. I just ended up sharing my heart with them and then left it open for some questions. I hope they enjoyed listening as much as I loved talking :-)

Every class that comes through our church is special but this class is unique… within the past 3 years they went through a lot things together, especially this year. Many times God allows us to experience things together because He has a purpose for us in the future.

The class challenge is still on – let’s see which class will have the most sign-ups for OCR.
Roots - Class of 2008 - gangsta.JPG
Our gansta picture – as you can tell some people are a little bit more natural at it!