Visiting SJC?


My experience in London

posted 21.06.2013

Firstly, I would like to thank God and the St James' Church for this  opportunity to attend the HTB Leadership Conference 2013. I am much blessed to be able to attend this conference in London together with my wife and Chinese Congregation staffs. It is truly a far cry from my drug-addicted days where I could not even leave Singapore to visit Malaysia.

At the conference, God opened my eyes to see His people of different nationalities and cultures gathered together to worship and sing praises to Him in one voice and one spirit. There were more than 5500 of us from 88 countries. Through the conference, I also got to know that 169 countries were running the Alpha course.

On Sunday at the Holy Trinity Brompton Church service, Rev Nicky Gumbel invited the Alpha representatives of various countries to share how they had used the Alpha course as a bridge to reach out to unbelievers. I learned from the sharing that many churches had benefited and grown through the Alpha course over the years.

The most impactful to me is that of Kenya Prison's openness to the Alpha course. At the conference were 8 prison officers sent by the Kenya Prison. Prisoners who attended the Alpha course experienced life-changing transformations that saw them turning away from crime after their release. Statistics showed that the crime rate had dropped by 21% these 2 years. Rev Nicky Gumbel was so thrilled and touched by the testimony that he invited all 8 prison officers up on stage and asked for all to pray for them. All
glory be to God!

The 3 days of conferences were a great benefit to me. The speakers covered many areas in church ministries. I remember Bill Hybels' sharing on church vision, how to lead congregation to have the same vision and to movetogether as a body of Christ to the next level.  Pastor Steven Furtick shared on how to hold on to our calling from God and to persevere in it. Pastor Pete Greig, the founder of 24-7 Prayer, shared on the importance of our personal prayer life. Patrick Lencioni gave a sharing on church as abody of Christ that is bound by many people. I learned that trust is the main factor when we serve as a body. If we don't have trust in one another, conflict will arise. If there is a conflict, we must try to solve it immediately. If it is not solved, the conflict will cause harm to each party. Eleanor Mumford used Acts 1:8 to share that the power from the Holy Spirit is not limited to strength beyond the ordinary - it involves courage, boldness, confidence, insight, ability, and authority. The disciples would need all these to fulfill their mission. If we believe in Jesus Christ, we can experience the power of the Holy Spirit in our life.

Ivan Lim

HEAL (Prison Ministry)