Student Status at UIC

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

We found out that we just got student status at University of Illinois – Chicago campus for this coming year… yay God!

Now we will be able to meet on campus and proceed with some of the things that God has placed in our hearts. More than anything else, we will be joining God with what He is already doing on the campus. It is our privilege.

It is going to be a great year of seeing transformation in Ann Arbor, Evanston and downtown Chicago. What an exciting time to be alive and at the various locations!


Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

For the last 2 days, I have been in LA with the TLT (Trans-Local Team). It has been an intense two days. We have been able to cover the planning for the November AMI General Conference and talk about some importance issues regarding AMI.

We also tried to focus on building stronger relationships with one another. It has been good eating and laughing together.

One thing that we all have been sensing is that we, as TLT pastors need more of God’s anointing in our lives. Not just us as pastors but also our churches. This is how we are going to accomplish what God is calling us to do.

Reaching More Campuses

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Vision

After doing campus ministry for some time now, I am slowly beginning to see how college campuses and missions are linked together. Throughout the world, key universities are playing a major role in developing communities and even cities. Even here in Ann Arbor, a lot of what goes on in the community and the city is centered around the University of Michigan.

If this is the case, what would it be like if we reached a particular campus, which was located in a particular community, within a particular city?

With this in mind, God started to open up another college campus in Chicago. There are a handful of students who go to the University of Illinois – Chicago (UIC) who have been attending the church in Evanston.

All throughout this year, we have been talking about being a missional church. We would not be missional if we transported students from the downtown Chicago area and brought them to the suburbs of Evanston.

In fact this is what many churches have done in the past. They would drive down from their wealthy suburbs to a building in the city for one day out of the week and then go back to their separate communities. In this sense, the Church has been ineffective in reaching the lost in that community. The Church failed to incarnate the message of Christ.

Therefore, instead of perpetuating a vicious cycle, we want to tell the students to make a difference right where they are. This means that we need to start something on this campus so that more people can experience the transformative power of the Gospel.

We are in the process of getting our student status on campus approved and we are going to start up a small group ministry in September. Then eventually we are praying that as the fruits begin to show that we can gather together for larger meetings on Sundays, which in turn will be a site church.

Once again, we are humbled by the opportunity. We were not looking for it but instead God brought it sovereignly to our attention – and we want to be faithful.

It seems clear in the mission that God is giving us as HMCC:

Transform the campus, you will transform the community… and if you transform the community, you will transform the city… and if you transform the city, you will transform the world (in the Greek it is cosmos).

Making Room for Growth

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Vision

It is hard to believe that over ten years ago, we started the church in Ann Arbor with mostly college students. Now, we are seeing growth in various areas especially in the married couples and families who have joined our church community.

We are excited about starting up another small group for the married couples this coming year. It is going to prepare the way for further growth as we are planning on reaching out to more families and married couples in this season of ministry.

We are also looking forward to starting an international married couples’ small group this year. We are seeing an increase of not only international students but also international families coming out to our church. This is a fulfillment of the greater vision God has placed in our hearts of reaching out to the nations.

With the increase of families joining our church and with some of our children getting older, we are in the process of starting up a junior high school ministry. God has been faithful in starting up our high school ministry called Latitude, as we saw an increase of high school students coming out to some of church gathering.

Now we are looking forward to seeing the junior high school students in our church experience transformation.

With any kind of growth there are always growing pains, but we are confident that God will help us along the way. God is once again teaching us to listen to His Voice and to obey His promptings. In the past when we have followed God’s lead, we have always experienced God’s best… and for that we are filled with thanks and praise.

Changes in Chicago

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Vision

We, as humans, always resist change for some reason. Maybe the reason behind it is our desire for security or maybe it is our fear of losing something. Whatever the case may be, change is a vital part to growth – period.

God has been truly faithful to the church plant on the Northwestern University campus. Even though we are not even a year old, we have seen the hand of God in bringing transformation in the lives of people. We are just humbled and amazed knowing that we did not deserve any of it.

Now with our one year anniversary slowly approaching, God has set us on a new course for this coming year. There are a few changes that will occur.

First of all, starting in September we will change our Sunday Celebration to 11AM instead of our 5:05PM. Several reasons led us to this change:

1) It will allow us to reach out to a boarder group of people who found it hard to meet on Sunday evenings. Contextually, NU students want to use Sunday evenings to study and having our church gathering at that time made it difficult for some members to invite their friends to church.

2) It will allow us to consolidate some of our meetings to one day. Since many people are busy and their schedules are filled, it was hard to get people to come out to some church gathering several times a week. Therefore, by having the Sunday Celebration earlier, we will be able to have other meetings after the service.

3) It will allow us to have more opportunities for outreach events. We were thinking that after church, there will be great opportunities for us to go out to eat lunch together and even have events that will be effective in building community.

Secondly, we will be changing our meeting location from Evanston Bible Fellowship to a conference hall in Hotel Orrington. This new meeting place is not only close to campus but it is a nicer facility.

We are praying that with the changes that we will see a greater growth this coming year. God is already preparing the harvest field for us. We just need to be faithful in doing our part with prayer and reaping the harvest for God’s glory.

Heading Out to Chicago and LA

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

I am at the airport (once again) getting ready to board my flight out to O’Hare. Tonight I will be sharing with the church about some exciting changes that will be happening in September. As I reflect back on the last 11 months of this church plant in Evanston, it is humbling to know that God has been faithful to us. We have seen steady growth in our church and have witnessed the lives that have experienced transformation.

Even though it is the summer time, we have seen a core group of people who are committed and ready to make a difference. It is a completely different story from the first summer here in Ann Arbor when we only had about 10-15 people during the summer season.

I am looking forward to spending some time with the leaders in Chicago to encourage them and to cast the vision for this coming year. I will also be meeting up with some people who are going to be a core group of people for future work on another campus. God is truly faithful and He is moving (quickly). We just want to track with God as best as we can – where He leads we will follow.

Then on Monday I am heading out to LA to meet up with the TLT pastors. We are going to spend some time in prayer and try to plan things out for the future of AMI.

I am thankful that God is allowing me to do what I am called to do – it is truly a privilege.

TC Prayer Summit 2007 Update 2

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

The leaders of our church had a great time praying together. There have been moments in the history of our church where the Spirit of God has allowed us to have concentrated times of prayer. It was crucial that the leaders of our church first set the example in praying for the things that are coming up this year.

I was able to share part of the vision that God has given to us as a church. It will require a lot of faith and trust in the Lord as we proceed forward. I shared about how this coming year we are going to follow God’s lead in expanding in various areas with future church plants as well as in growth with the mother church here in Ann Arbor.

The last night’s worship gathering was focused on the Holy Spirit and the importance of being empowered and enabled to do the task that God has called us to accomplish for His glory.

It was good for us to wait upon the Holy Spirit and allow Him to anoint us to even intercede for the concerns of our church. Some good things are coming up on the horizon.

TEAM Community Prayer Summit 2007

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

I am currently at our leadership prayer summit… what a way to get back into the groove of things right after a vacation… ha!

This is a special leadership summit for us because we have the leaders from the Chicago church joining us. We saw the importance of having the same DNA as God is moving us forward. It has been encouraging to see God bringing us together.

Tonight I shared about the importance of the heart that is needed when it comes to serving God. It is so easy to lose our heart in our service to God. Then it becomes a lot of external behavior modifications that lacks the overflow of the Spirit.

I get pumped whenever I have an opportunity to train leaders – it is my passion.

Tomorrow we are going to continue in the focus of prayer and getting ourselves ready for the new school year and new season of ministry.

Family Trip 2007

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

I am back on the blog sphere. I realized that trying to catch up on all the e-mails and correspondence over a week period will take some time… please be patient as I try to get to them as soon as I can.

Our time together as a family in the last 5 days was a blessing. Everyone from my immediate side of the family was there; therefore, it was kind of like a reunion of some sorts. We hung out visiting some of the beautiful beaches as well as eating together and enjoying each other’s company.

It took several days to “detox” from all the e-mails and busyness of church and just “relax” with the family. A person doesn’t realize how dependent they are to it until it is taken away.

One great part of the trip was to see my side of the family interact with the kids. There is something about kids that brings a joy to people’s hearts.
Hotel View.JPG
The view from our room where I was able to spend personal time in the morning
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Enjoying the sunset with the love of my life

Man of My Word

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

Tomorrow I will be checking out of the blogging world for about 5 days or so because my family and my extended family will be going on vacation.

With all my traveling, I was able to get 9 free tickets for the family.

In previous vacations, I always brought my computer because I had to work on the sermon for the following Sunday (this is when we had a smaller staff). I would also check e-mail as often as I could because I thought things would fall apart without me. But now I have given up trying to be the “messiah.” The more I am doing church, the more I am realizing that God does not need me. Sometimes this gets confirmed when the church grows when I am not there… ha!

For this vacation, Christina asked me to do 2 things:

1) Not to bring my computer
2) Do not preach the Sunday I get back

In order to honor her and the family, I agreed.

I want to be a man of my word… so after the first 2 days of having withdrawal symptoms, I should be fine :-)

I will start blogging again when I get back.

Thoughts on “The Missional Leader”

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visuals

The Missional Leader.jpg
There have been a lot of talk on the topic of “being missional.” It is exciting to hear about churches that are living out their calling as the “church.” In the Greek, the church is known as the “ekklesia.” It is made up of two words “ek” (out of) and “klesis” (calling). The word, “klesis” comes from the root word, “kaleo” which means “to call.” Therefore, the church is to “be the called out one” who is suppose to “be calling out.”

This is why when Peter wrote, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Pe 2:9-10), we are reminded of our calling as the church.

But like with all things, everything rises and falls with leadership. This book addresses more of the issue of leadership within the missional movement. There are plenty of books and articles on the topic of “being a missional church,” but not too many on missional leadership.

This is why Roxburgh’s and Romanuk’s book adds value to the whole missional movement. They go over some of the key character traits of a missional leader which I found to be fairly helpful. It is interesting that no matter what context the topic of leadership is talked about (business, church, sports, missional, etc), there are always familiar character traits that we cannot avoid.

Great movements always have great leaders. God uses leaders to sustain the movement by His Spirit. As the 21st century church is trying to go back to its 1st century roots (the book of Acts) the need for better leaders will be evident.

It is my prayer that we will be focused on raising better leaders rather than trying to come up with better organizational methods.

Thoughts on “The Urban Face of Missions”

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visuals

Urban Face of Missions.jpg
This book just confirmed a lot of things that were running through my mind in the last few years. Throughout my travels, I have noticed that the urban cities in the international scene were playing an important role in that particular country.

Due to globalization and other factors, the cities around the world are becoming ripe for missions. They international cities are becoming more diverse and progressive. I saw this first hand in Shanghai, Jakarta, Kula Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, and Nairobi to just name a few.

This book was a tribute to Harvie M. Conn, a former professor at Westminster Theological Seminary who had a great passion for the city and the Kingdom of God. All the contributors in this book had a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to urban ministry.

The more we study the Bible and the important role that various cities had in God’s redemptive purposes, it begins to put a great burden for the cities around us. There is a good prospect to the city’s role in missions and world evangelization. There are challenges as well. Issues such as diversity, injustice and poverty add to the complexities. But as the world is getting more global, there is a great need for us to understand the role of the city.

What would it be like to see a church being planted in an international city (outside of the U.S.) where people can experience the same transformation as we are experiencing here in Ann Arbor and Chicago?

It might be worth the risks.

Uganda Trip Update 4

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

This morning we went out to one of the leader’s ministry with the orphans. The road to the orphanage was pretty bad, but once we saw the kids all those things faded away. They presented us with a song as they welcomed us to their place (it is an African thing). I could not help but to think about God’s heart for the orphans. Due to the Christian influence you could see the joy in their hearts even though they lost their parents to AIDS and war. I briefly gave a greeting on behalf of AMI and I shared about God’s love for them which enables them to call Him “Abba, Father.”

Then for lunch, David Ofumbi and brother Emmanuel, who are the key leaders of their moment in Uganda joined us as we talked to them about their experience with the pastors’ conference. We had a good dialogue about the future of their involvement in AMI. It is amazing to see how God’s Spirit is flowing more and more in the apostolic paradigm all over the world.

Then we stopped over at missionary Oliver’s place, where we were able to talk about the future of missions. It was encouraging to hear that he has been thinking about the same concepts as the CHARGED acronym that we have been espousing. He mentioned that we need to do missions in a whole new way.

I am back now in the Amsterdam airport waiting for my flight back to the States.

It has been quite a trip. I am reflecting on all the lessons and reminders that God deposited in my heart. I am just amazed at what He is doing all over the world… but most of all, I am amazed that God would give me the privilege to experience it firsthand.
Orphan Kids' Song.JPG
The kids presenting a welcome song for us
Orphan Kids Drum.JPG
It was quite a sight seeing the little kids playing the African drums
Orphanage in Uganda.JPG
It is my prayer that the kids will learn to know the Father’s heart

Uganda Trip Update 3

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

I am currently using Pastor Victor’s Samsung i830 PDA phone which has GSM. This is allowing me to update my blog. In recent years, I have traveled mostly in urban cities where access to internet is not a problem. But in my trip out here to Uganda, it is hard to get internet access without a GSM phone which allows you to connect to the internet.

Today was a fruitful day as we talked more in depth about AMI with the key leaders. Pastor Victor, Pastor Young and I were laying down the foundation for the apostolic paradigm. The leaders had a lot of questions. It was good to hear their questions because we were able to discover that they were really listening and thinking through some of the paradigm-shifting proposals.

Then in the late afternoon we played soccer with some kids who are in a sports camp with one of the pastors at this conference. These kids who are around 10-13 years old were awesome! They almost beat a bunch of old pastors, but we ended up in a tie 1-1. Since I did not bring my gym shoes, I had to play in my sandals. I was going to play barefooted but then after stepping on some little pebbles, I decided to wobble in my sandals.

After dinner, we gathered for our last session. As we closed out our time, it was a blessing to hear some testimonies from people. They were really ministered unto by the Spirit. There was a sense of mutual edification in the room because the Ugandan people (there were some from Rwanda and Kenyan) ministered unto us.

This is how missions should be done – we, Westerners should not come just to give something, but we should learn how to receive from the people because they have so much to give to us and we have so much to learn from them.

Tomorrow we will have lunch with couple of the key leaders and see where they stand with the whole apostolic paradigm and AMI. Then we will be heading out back to the U.S. Once I get back to a better internet access, I will post up some pictures of this trip.
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Two Rwandan pastors who went through the genocide in 1994 – their testimonies were powerful
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A picture after our memorable soccer match
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Some of the key pastors and leaders in Uganda