Giving Towards Transformation

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint, Vision

 
The last couple of months have been filled with reconnections. Through my international travels, I have been able to meet a lot of alumni who are now in different parts of the world. Also, I have been able to reconnect with some alumni who came back to Ann Arbor to visit.

Every time I talk with the alumni, I am encouraged to hear that many of them are still walking faithfully with the Lord and they are serving diligently in their new churches.

It has always been our vision, “to transform lost people into Christ’s disciples who will then transform the world.” Therefore, when I see many of these old HMCC members who are now making an impact in different spheres of society throughout the world, it is truly inspiring.

In my conversations with former members, three questions usually come up: 1) How are things going in Ann Arbor now? 2) What are some new things that God is doing in HMCC? 3) What are some ways to help continue the work of transformation?

My response has always been the same: God is working in great ways to build up His church in spite of who we are.

We are humbled to see many people experience God for the first time as they profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (we have seen more salvations in the last few years than ever before). There have been many people who have encountered God’s healing through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit (many incredible testimonies of God’s deliverance). Many people are being challenged to live out the Gospel in radical ways so that they can transform the world (people are taking some huge steps of faith to follow God).

With all this happening in spite of our weaknesses, we excited about all the new ventures that God is opening up for us. God has given us the 2020 Vision to accomplish for His glory. I believe that the best is yet to come.

Over the years, I have learned that besides prayer and God’s anointing, there always needs to be 3 things to make things happen: 1) A clear vision; 2) People to carry out the vision; 3) Resources to fund the vision.

As people have been asking how they can help in continuing the work of transformation, I have told them that we need prayer more than anything else. Then secondly, we need resources to carry out the vision of transformation.

Throughout HMCC’s history, there have always been generous people who gave to the vision so that God’s work of transformation can be experienced by others. We are at a point where the needs are greater because there are more people to be reach with the Gospel. I want to personally invite you to join us in the great journey by prayer and by giving.

If you have been blessed and transformed through HMCC, then play a part in future transformation of lives by giving. We have provided an easy way for you to give online. If Jesus was able to multiply fives loaves and two fish to feed thousands, there is no sacrifice that is too small.

Click below and be a part of the work of transformation.

Fellowship of the Unashamed

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various

 
Recently at our college ministry, I shared the anonymous prayer called, “Fellowship of the Unashamed.” It is a good reminder of what it means to follow Christ and the decision that is required to live a radical life. The PROCESS of being a Christ-follower is a PASSIONATE lifelong PURSUIT. It is my prayer that we will raise up these types of Christ-followers in our generation!
 
 

I am part of the “Fellowship of the Unashamed.”
The die has been cast.
I have stepped over the line.
The decision has been made.
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.

I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure.
I am finished and done with low living,
sight walking, small planning, smooth knees,
colorless dreams, chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position,
promotions, plaudits, or popularity.
I now live by presence, lean by faith, love by patience,
lift by prayer, and labor by power.
My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven,
my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few,
my Guide reliable, my mission clear.

I cannot be bought, compromised, deterred, lured away,
turned back, diluted, or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice,
hesitate in the presence of adversity,
negotiate at the table of the enemy,
ponder at the pool of popularity,
or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I must go until Heaven returns, give until I drop,
preach until all know, and work until He comes.
And when He comes to get His own,
He will have no problem recognizing me.
My colors will be clear.

Sex Slavery Highlight

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Victories, Vision, Visuals

 
I am always encouraged when people in all our HMCC churches are making a difference for Christ around the world, especially when they use their passions and gifts to communicate some aspects of the message of Christ.

God has been putting our church in a journey to address the issue of human slavery. We have to remember that a movement always starts small, but then it picks up momentum when lots of people get involved with the same vision and cause.

One of our students in HMCC of Chicago, where Pastor Jimmy Roh is the lead pastor, did a documentary on the sex slavery issue in Chicago. The problem with sex slavery is not just in Asia, but it is right here in the United States, particularly in the larger cities.

She did a great job of highlighting the issue in her documentary (which by the way has been nominated for College Emmy’s Awards). We need more abolitionists to rise up from our churches and to join the greater movement around the world. God is definitely up to something.

Check it out the video.
 
 
 

#trending Series

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various, Viewpoint

 

Picture by HMCC-AA Publications Team
 
 
 
This coming Sunday we are going to start a new 3-part series called, #trending. For those of you who are not very versed in social media, Twitter uses the hashtag (#) to track various words or topics that are trending. Anything that trends is something that is being talked about a lot in the Twitter world.

In the same way, there are topics that are trending in the Church; but the problem is that we are not addressing them head on. The Church either ignores it or hopes that it will go away. The reality is that it will not go away.

In the midst of the cultural milieu, biblical standards are being push aside so that personal preferences can guide a person’s life. This is affecting how people in the Church are dealing with some of these issues in a Christ-centered way.

Usually, when sensitive topics come up, the Church has a tendency to lean towards an unclear and unloving approach. Through this series, we want to find a good balance of speaking the truth unequivocally and unapologetically, while at the same time offering the hope of the Gospel. When the Church speaks the truth in love (Eph 4:15), people will experience freedom and they will begin to grow.

Don’t forget to invite a friend!

Nefarious

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Vision

 

 
 
 
As part of our Missions Week, we are showing the highly acclaimed documentary, “Nefarious” to bring awareness to the human slavery situation around the world. One of the first steps in being part of the solution is to bring awareness and then to take action. The evil of sex slavery has infiltrated into the fabric of society and we cannot stay silent.

This is something that breaks the heart of God. If the Church does not speak against this evil, then we have lost our credibility as a people who are commanded “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God” (Mic 6:8). We want to be a voice for the voiceless.

It is my prayer that through this documentary and other initiatives, we can raise up a generation of abolitionists who will fight for justice and live for God’s glory.

Here is a trailer of the documentary:
 
 

We Cry Out

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various, Vision

 

Picture by HMCC-AA Publications Team
 
 
 
We are in the middle of our Missions Week. Ever since HMCC got started back in 1996, we always had a vision that our church will participate in God’s mission regardless of the cost. It is too easy to make church about going to a service on Sunday and hanging out with people that we feel comfortable with, but Christ has called us to something greater.

In fact, the command that Jesus gave was, “therefore go and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19). This is the reason why every week we try to remind ourselves the reason why we exist as a church. This is also the reason why every year, we try to out extra focus and attention on the God’s mission.

This year the theme is, “We Cry Out.”

There are billions of people around the world that are crying out because of their pain and hopelessness. We, as the people of God want to hear their cry and cry out for them through intercession. I believe that God will hear our cry as we humble ourselves and pray (2 Chr 7:14).

Join us!

Our Mission Series

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various, Vision

 

Designed by HMCC Publications Team
 
 
 
One of the hardest things about doing ministry on a university campus is the high turnover rate that we see every year. Students come and go. Sometimes students will graduate and stick around because of the church; but many will move on to different parts of the world. With every new academic year, the pressing need is to reiterate the vision and mission of our church. I am reminded of what the writer of Proverbs said when it comes to vision – “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Pr 29:18 KJV).

We are starting a 3-part series called, “Our Mission” in order to: 1) REINFORCE the reasons for why we do what we do; 2) RENEW our commitment to God’s calling for our church. I’m looking forward to sharing the mission that our church has had for the last 16+ years with unapologetic and unwavering devotion. Our mission is simply, “to transform lost people into Christ’s disciples who will then transform the world.”

Succinctly, “TRANSFORMING LIVES. TRANSFORMING THE WORLD.”

Real Church

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various, Viewpoint

 

Photo by HMCC-AA Publications Team
 
 
 
Church is a messy place. It is filled with messy people. This is why a church represents real life with real people. But God’s commitment to the Church, His Bride is phenomenal. This is why God is constantly purifying it and strengthening it. It is through the Church where the manifold wisdom of God is made known (Eph 3:10). It is also through the Church where God’s heart is communicated.

God is writing a beautiful story of love, grace and redemption through the Church.

I am excited to start our new Sunday sermon series called, “Real Church” as we study the Book of 1 Corinthians together. It is going to be an awesome series as we delve into God’s timeless truths through a letter that was written to a church filled with messy people with some messy issues. But through it all, we will see that God is committed to His Bride no matter what (Mt 16:18)!

Run For Your Life

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various, Viewpoint

 
This is a message that we need to hear so desperately in our generation. It is very rare to hear a message like this in a church on any given Sunday in the United States or in the world for that matter. Maybe this is the reason why the place of complacency and contemptous attitudes towards God is often found in the church. But this is nothing new.

Even during the days of the Apostle Paul, he wrote, “I can’t impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple. You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food — catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you — keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.”(2 Ti 4:1-5, MSG).

May all the HMCC churches be faithful in preaching God’s Word in all its fullness with power and anointing.
 
 

9/11 Never Forget

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various

 

Perspective Needed

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various, Viewpoint

 
Over the thousands of hours of counseling in my ministry, there seems to be several themes that constantly come up. I have found myself helping people address the specific issues of purpose, pain,and perspective. Questions about God’s Goodness and Faithfulness always come up when people are in a spiritual desert or a spiritual valley. It is always hard to have the mindset and the thoughts of God when we are going through difficult times. But unless we develop the God-centered perspective in our lives before we go through the pain and suffering, we will be confronted with the harsh reality of turning our backs to God.

This story of a man who had cancer should inspires all of us to have the perspective that we need in our lives. I don’t think we can all come to this kind of conclusion automatically, therefore we have to develop it and nurture it. We have to be reminded about the importance of having God’s perspective on all things. The prophet Isaiah said, “‘My thoughts are completely different from yours,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.'” (Isa 55:8-9, NLT)

May we gain this kind of perspective in our lives no matter what we are going through. Not only does it bring a greater sense of hope and humility, but most of all, it gives God all the glory!
 
 

Zac Smith’s Story
 
 

Mandy Smith’s (Zac’s wife) Response

Longing for Revival

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various, Viewpoint, Vision

 
As all the HMCC churches are getting ready for the !gnite Conference, I have been praying that God would do something special in our time together. It is so exciting to have all our HMCC churches come together in unity to seek God’s heart. I can’t wait. It really will be like a family reunion!

We will once again have the churches in Indonesia and Singapore join us on a live stream broadcast. Students from Hong Kong will also be linking up with us. In the future, we will have many more places and people represented as we continue to “transform lives and transform the world.”

One thing I have been praying about is that God would send a powerful wave of His Spirit at all our gatherings. Throughout the last several weeks, I have felt a tremendous burden to pray for this.

I don’t know exactly what God will do at this year’s !gnite Conference, but all I know is that if we humble ourselves and seek His face, we will experience something great. This made me long for a revival in my heart and the hearts of all our students. What would happen if the Holy Spirit visited us in a powerful way? We will never be the same.

The more I thought about the need for the Holy Spirit at this conference, the more I began to think about the various revivals that God sent throughout history. I ended up watching a lot of videos that inspired me.

Here are some of the most famous revivals throughout history. It is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it is just some that has ignited my heart to pray.

See if you can find the common thread between all these revivals.
 
 

[ The Pyongyang Revival of 1907 ]
 
 
 

[ The Welsh Revival of 1904-1905 ]
 
 
 

[ The Azusa Street Revival of 1906 ]
 
 
 

[ The First Great Awakening ]
 
 
 

[ The Second Great Awakening ]

The Power of Perspective

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

 
Some of you probably heard by now that Steve Saint on June 13th was critically injured and was paralyzed from the neck down. Steve Saint is the son of Nate Saint, the missionary pilot who was one of the five missionaries killed in 1956 by a native tribe in Ecuador.

Steve Saint started a company called, ITEC (Indigenous People’s Technology and Education Center) which makes various technology, training systems, and equipment for people to reach others with the Gospel. Steve helped develop a flying car called the, “Maverick.”

A week after the accident, Steve gave an update from his hospitable bed. It was very moving and convicting. I had to ask myself, “Would I have responded the same way as this man?”

I’m always curious to know how a person develops a Christ-centered perspective so that when “bad” things happen to them, they are still seeing things from the lens of the Kingdom.

I don’t know how many times, I have asked the question, “Why?” When things don’t make sense with my human logic, I am always tempted to ask this question. Also, in all my years of counseling, I have had people who were going through difficult situations ask the same question.

Why is it that when two people go through the same situation, one will respond with complaint and even hatred towards God, while the other one will respond with trust and faith?

I want to genuinely respond with an attitude like the latter. Lord, help me!
 
 

A Father’s Influence

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various, Viewpoint

 

Photo from youwall.com
 
 
 
With every Father’s Day that rolls around, I am constantly reminded about the power of a father’s influence in a home. Whether it is a positive or negative influence, the father in the home affects their wife and their kids.

This is a humbling thought as I am trying to make positive influences on my family. I may not get it right all the time, but I definitely feel the tension of trying to make a difference in the home.

Whenever I have an opportunity to read about other fathers who have made a difference in their homes, it inspires me. I realize that it really has to be the power of God working through us so that we can be the fathers that God wants us to be. Everything else will be just human effort and it will always fall short.

This is why Dr. Tony Evans’ article on CNN’s Belief Blog was powerful. Dr. Evans is the senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas and also the president of The Urban Alternative. He shares about how Jesus saved his dad as well as his family. It is a great read.

Dr. Evans writes,

All I had ever known up until I was 10 years old was chaos in my home. I was the oldest of four children and the atmosphere was volatile for all of us. My father and mother were in constant conflict, making divorce seem like the only possible outcome.

Having married young, they were still trying to figure out how to make life work. They often argued about how to handle finances, especially when there was little money to go around.

I could have ended up a casualty of a broken family, like so many of the kids around me in inner city Baltimore. But my life was forever changed the year I turned 10. That was the year my dad turned to Jesus. He’d been invited to visit a nearby church for a special event. While there, two men asked him if he knew if he’d go to heaven when he died. He said he wasn’t sure.

The men explained Christ’s sacrificial and all-encompassing atonement and, for the first time, my dad understood the path to salvation. He didn’t just accept God’s salvation; he immediately became fired up about God and the Bible. He became an instant evangelist. Whenever my dad wasn’t working, he’d take me along to pass out biblical tracts on street corners or in visits to the local prison.

If I went downstairs to get a glass of water late at night, I’d see Dad reading the Bible or praying on his knees. He had to do that when my mom wasn’t watching. My mom didn’t like my dad as a sinner, and she liked him even less as a saint. She did everything she could to make his life difficult. But my father did everything he could to show her love. When my mom would start with him, he would stop what he was doing and start praying for her on the spot.

One night, my mom came down the stairs with tears in her eyes. My dad was reading his Bible. She told him that she could not understand how the more she rejected him, was unkind to him and tried to prove that believing in God was wrong, the kinder he was to her and the more he invested in God’s word. ‘I want what you have,’ she said, ‘because it must be real.’ They got down on their knees and my dad led my mom to Christ. He led all of us kids to him too and modeled the value of making God the central focus in all that we did.

He held weekly Bible studies at our kitchen table and instilled a love for church in his kids. On the Wednesday nights that he had to work late, I would walk four miles to get to our church. Dad taught me to view all of life through a spiritual lens.

If my dad had not exhibited the courage to change, my home would have become another statistic. I would have ended up a casualty, and my own four children might have ended up casualties, too. It is common for children to end up as statistics when men do not accept their God-given responsibilities.

Forty percent of our children go to sleep at night with no dad at home, and the percentage is even higher among minority groups and in the inner city. Divorce is part of the problem, but many men father children without helping to raise them. They have become like the abominable snowman – their footprints are everywhere but they are nowhere to be found.

When fathers come home after a tough day at work, they should come home to serve, like my father did, teaching lessons around the dinner table and leading the family in worship and prayer. For 35 years, my father had to lift heavy boxes as a longshoreman. But on Sunday mornings, even if he had to work all the night before, he’d wake us up. And I’d say, ‘But dad, I’m tired.’

He’d say, ‘No, son. I’m the one who’s tired. But we are going to church. Because for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’