Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Improper training and preparation or coaching for ministry can also lead to early exits

Runaway Shepherds?

Pastoral dropouts make easy targets for criticism. But who�s really to blame for ministry attrition?

Ministry Today Magazine
By Chris Maxwell

We have names for them: "Dropout pastors." "Runaway shepherds." Those who "put their hand to the plow and look back." But are these disparaging descriptors telling the whole story? Statistics on pastoral attrition rates are notoriously difficult to pin down�often differing dramatically from denomination to denomination.

(A frequently-cited 1998 report from Focus on the Family noted that 1,500 pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failures, spiritual burnout or contention in their churches.)

Recently, Ministry Today sat down with some pastors who've left vocational ministry, to get their side of the story. Those we interviewed are not from a headline-making list of pastors dismissed because of moral errors. They're still following Christ�and even leading others to do the same. They're just not getting paid for it anymore. Some left just in time to avoid ministry burnout. Some waited too long. Others reached the conclusion that God has called everyone to ministry, and they can serve in other ways.

Scott George recently resigned as pastor of Destiny Church in Orlando, Florida. His 20 years in full-time ministry included 10 years in youth work and 10 years pastoring. He served at Calvary Assembly of God and Orlando Christian Center (both in Orlando), MetroChurch in Edmond, Oklahoma, and Word of Faith in Dallas�all before planting nondenominational Destiny Church. How did George reach the conclusion that God wanted him to plant a church?

"After 10 years in youth ministry I sensed that it was the right season to plant a church," he says. "With four small children I needed to settle down and limit the travel away from family."

Garrett Bain grew up a preacher's kid. His father's years of pastoring offered many chances for Bain to understand life in the church world. When Bain graduated from Bible college, no one told him that it might be OK to not enter full-time ministry. After a few jobs in the secular workplace, Bain entered the world of pastoral ministry. He served as a youth pastor of an International Pentecostal Holiness Church in Virginia for two years. Why did Bain enter that vocation?

"I felt 'called' somewhere around age 16," he says. "I'm sure that the fact that my dad was a minister also had something to do with it."

Greg Rice now works as a teleprompter. He has his own business after spending years working with a recording company. Before that? Rice worked as youth pastor, served on a church staff and then was asked to leave his position in an Assemblies of God church because the congregation had too many ministers to pay and not enough people attending. His decade in vocational ministry began because Rice sensed a "strong desire to minister," and he was also "encouraged by others" to pursue that.

So, how did each of these reach the conclusion that it was time to leave their church-based positions?

Bain explains how church leadership decisions helped make the choice for him. The church board decided they wanted a youth and children's pastor, Bain recalls. "I was barely a youth pastor, spending a lot of time visiting the senior citizens in the church," he says. "I definitely was not gifted to become a children's pastor."

Rice says, "I'm not sure that God wanted me to leave the ministry, but circumstances were that I couldn't stay in the full-time ministry, so I had to investigate other careers."

George reached the conclusion that God wanted him to leave the pastoral position when he was "having an internal struggle between the local family church and the outreach program we had established in our community." He remembers, "I felt as if it was impossible to do both effectively. My gifts and talents were needed for both but my heart was moving toward the outreach." He resigned as pastor and devoted his gifts in a food-distribution ministry.

Other reasons?

# One "pastoral dropout" was in a denomination that refused to allow divorced men to serve as ordained ministers. Though his wife chose to leave him, he could not maintain his credentials.

# A female pastor gave up because she could not take the "put-downs" any longer from those who felt God only wanted men in the pulpit.

# A pastor eager to get help in his battle with pornography was dismissed from both pastoring and holding ministerial credentials; he now wonders if he should have told them at all.

What do these stories tell us about the reasons people leave full-time ministry? For one, there are healthy and unhealthy reasons: There is conviction. Some realize�often after years of painful struggle�that God never intended for them to serve in that capacity, or that their time in that slot has now concluded.

Another reason is conflict�and the pastors interviewed here reinforce it. Those in most key roles have battled conflict. Conflict comes wherever people are. But, when handled incorrectly and when battled privately with no help from outside the sanctuary's walls, the conflict causes a heartbreaking goodbye. Many never return. Fears control any possible dreams for ministry.

Improper training and preparation or coaching for ministry can also lead to early exits. Leaders should be taught much more than success stories and easy schemes. They must learn about life in the world of pastoring before they land there.

Then there's control�a board member, a long-term member, a new member, a member who seeks to make all decisions. Pastors endure births and deaths and marriage and divorce; they also are stared down by control freaks who insist on all things going their way.

Crisis. A sickness, a disease, a disability, a death. Churches can, and should, learn to bless leaders who leave under a crisis and not just wave goodbye with gladness. Seeing a counselor, allowing experienced clergy to mentor them, attending conferences for personal rather than congregational growth and reading books can help in addressing each of these trends.


Many of the leaders we spoke with were caught unaware by the challenges of ministry�prepared for the "hard skills" (e.g. preaching, counseling, study), but wanting the "soft skills" that often make or break the career pastor (e.g. connecting, leading, prioritizing).

"I wish I had learned at an earlier age how to connect. I don't mean 'connect' as in being a friend (which is necessary too), but connect as in 'I hear your heart,' " Greg Rice notes. "In pastoral training they usually teach that you need to connect, but not how to connect."

"For me it was the cost of pastoring�the toil it takes on you and your family. I'm not sure that the price is worth it at times," Scott George recalls. "I knew change had to happen when in right conscience I couldn't encourage my boys to follow in my footsteps."

"I wish someone had told me that my giftings didn't fit the normal pastoral mode," Garrett Bain notes. "I'm an extreme introvert, and compassion is not my strength." All of this begs the question, Are we expecting more from our pastors than God does?

Are we pushing rather than welcoming people into ministry?

Are we asking pastors to accomplish feats that only God can do?

Are we effectively training those entering ministry the crucial importance of mentoring, intimacy with God, family time, joy, Sabbath rests, personal time, days off and accountability groups?

Are these words experiential for today's leaders: laughter, peace, rest, naps, forgiveness, friends, silence?

Do pastors seek God's approval rather than congregations' applause?


George notes how church life has turned into a "circus act." He says pastors are expected to "juggle as many balls as we throw to you and don't drop any," and "to be as sharp and dynamic as the evangelist on TV." He believes many congregations have this expectation: "Everything I see the evangelists do on TV, I expect you to do."

Today's divorce numbers frighten each of us. Clergy also score high for marital problems, as the pulpit pressure seems to destroy or damage so many marriages and families. I asked these leaders why do such high numbers suffer from pressure, tension and often divorce? One pastor we spoke to remembers when he reached the conclusion to move away from a paid clergy position in a local congregation.

"After my wife divorced me and left me with three small children to raise, it was obvious I could not fulfill a pastoral ministry position," he says. "I needed to concentrate on being a dad."

Through painful years of taking care of his children, this pastor still uses his gifts to volunteer in churches and serve in a religious university.

Bain says, "It seems there is a lack of boundaries. After I quit, my dad told me that he wondered how long I could last considering the schedule I was keeping. One island of sanity was taking my day off seriously. If I was with a group of people and we were getting ready to eat, someone would say something along the lines of, 'you're the professional, why don't you say the blessing.' My response was, 'Someone else can pray, today is my day off.' Laughter would usually follow, and then came the uneasy silence while everyone realized I was serious."

Rice thinks ministers "let 'the ministry' come first, before their marriage and family." He believes however, there is more to it than that: "The ministry is a 'calling' that is intimately personal; it's difficult to separate 'the ministry' from God. Even if you know the dividing line between God and ministry, it's still difficult to maintain a balance because the line runs right through the center of your heart."

George emphasizes "the toll ministry takes on the family. It becomes your place of work, but it is also their place of worship. The demands you can't escape; wherever you go the pressures follow you."

Did any good events encourage these pastors during their seasons of ministry? Yes, they remember lives changed in positive ways, though that often happened through years of endurance and acceptance. They remember people who respected them, prayed for them, encouraged them and accepted them despite their own frailties. Weddings, baby dedications, prayers answered, conversions, seasons of growth, mission trips: each of these leaders remember names, taste the food and see the smiles from times of joy.

Most of those I interviewed doubt they will ever enter a church-related full-time ministry position again, though they hope to stay involved as helpers in local congregations and in the large market of Christ's body. A few are open to the possibility of returning to the roles where pain damaged them before. Some refused to answer; for one man just the thought was too much to discuss.

Patrick Lee works for a media communications corporation. He began a full-time church ministry career because of his passion for serving people and through the advice of others. The pressure of leading volunteers and not living up to expectations made ministry difficult for him. As he now enjoys employment as a manager in the business environment, he looks back and says: "I never bore the fruit I expected. Now I wonder if some of my expectations were wrong based on how the ministers, seminaries and others defined success."

Lee also believes that many churches "set impossible standards for ministers and their families." He says: "Christians are much more difficult to please, and ministry seems so much more about pleasing and judgment. By comparison, in the business world many people are more grateful for what you do for them."

How can today's pastors avoid burnout, stay in the ministry (if that is God's plan) or leave on good terms if they are playing the wrong position on God's team? Paul Slater (www.Change-Career-With-Purpose.com), a chaplain in San Diego, helps pastors feel appreciated and also guides them toward new careers. Here are a few of his recommendations:

# Seek regular counseling from an expert outside of the local congregation.
# Take days off: days to do "work" unrelated to church, days to spend time with family, days to just relax.
# Take a sabbatical: Get away for a long period of time. Pray. Write. Read. Have fun.
# Join an accountability group where honest confession and painful questions keep you moving in the right direction.
# Participate in spiritual gifts tests and personality profiles. If you are playing a position on a "church team" that you aren't made to play, change positions.
# Keep a journal. Write your own version of the Psalms. Confessions will be good for your soul, for your family and also for your congregation.
# Have an outsider critique sermons and decisions. Make sure inner struggles are not guiding the words spoken or written.
# See a physician. Exercise, eat right and laugh. Get enough sleep. Take naps.
# Truly believe the doctrine you proclaim. Grace. Hope. Joy. Peace. Forgiveness. Acceptance. Receive them in your inner world.
# Always remember this: God is the One to please and honor. Seek His applause.

George plans "to take the God-given skills, abilities and talents that were instrumental in full-time pastoring in another arena that is searching for the gospel to be seen in action."

"Seen." "In action." Those words remind us of both sides. The pain of ministry from being "seen" and trying to perform "in action." They also echo the heart of these leaders who hope to be seen by both God and people as followers of Christ who are still in action of ministry no matter their titles are on business cards.

Though many ministers have left the field, they are still playing the game on a winning team. And many are glad they finally found the right position to be more effective in working toward victory.

Chris Maxwell (www.chrismaxwell web.com), a pastor for 19 years in Orlando, Florida, recently changed his career. He is now campus pastor of Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Georgia, and writer for LifeSprings Resources. His latest book, Changing My Mind, tells the lessons he learned through his battle with epilepsy.

This article appeared in the Jul/Aug 2006 issue.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

2008/9 Schedule

My tentative schedule in the next coming months.

Nov 29 Preaching in an outreach to Japanese in Spore

Nov 30 - 3 Dec Travel to preach in Port Dickson, Malaysia for a church family camp
Dec 5-7 Fly to Miri and preaching over the weekend
Dec 8-11 Preaching in a Youth conference on Love, Sex, n Dating in the morning and open night meetings on Christian parenting
Dec 12-14 Visiting ex-students and preaching over the weekend
Dec 15-19 Flying to Kota Kinabalu Sabah for visit and ministry

Jan 26-28 Preaching for the National Malay-language Youth Camp in Cameron Highlands during the Chinese New Year holidays

Feb 14-Mar 1 Teaching on Premarital Counseling Skills (1-6 session) in a Bible college in Klang Valley and weekend ministries

Mar 14-30 Teaching on Premarital Counseling Skills (7-12 session) in a Bible college in Klang Valley and weekend ministries

April-July The 4th Doctorate module (out of 7 modules)

Aug Teaching in MBTS, Penang on Contextualization

The first step is to determine that both of you want to improve your marriage

It's Not Too Late to Save Your Marriage
by John and Diane Hagee

Charisma: It's no secret that Christian marriages are in trouble today. What's happening to us?

John: It's unbelievable to me that the courthouse will give any human being with brains enough to find the front door a license to get married. My father, who pastored for 53 years, often said, "If you have half a mind to get married, do it; that's all it takes."

You can't cut someone's hair without a license. You can't fish without a license. You can't go hunting without a license. But to get a license to get married, a license that empowers you to create new life, destroy your life, or crush the dreams and hopes of your spouse and family, all you have to do is have $25, and you are an instant player.

Charisma: So you're saying many marriages fail because people aren't ready to marry?

John: There's more to marital readiness than a blood test. How sad that we spend so many years training for a career and so little time preparing for marriage. A hasty courtship can often lead to a marriage that is a disaster.

Delaying your marriage by choice or because of financial or educational circumstances is usually beneficial. The passage of time allows all infatuation to die, while it tempers and develops true love and spiritual attraction.

Trying to escape from an unhappy home via marriage is like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. More than 60 percent of teenage marriages end in divorce. The more mature you are at the time of your marriage, the greater the probability of your success in marriage.

Charisma: You say marriage is not just about sex. But in your book you place a lot of emphasis on the importance of a physical relationship.

Diana: I tell women it is very important to show affection to your husband every opportunity you get. Take his hand when you are walking together, or pat his shoulder as you pass by him. Kiss him often. Even if it hasn't been part of your past behavior, try beginning anew by giving him what it is you want in return.

One of the most beautiful pictures of romance I have ever seen is one I witness every Sunday morning at Cornerstone Church. On the front row center of the second section sit a wonderful man and his precious wife. They are in their late 80s. They sit so close to each other you couldn't get a sheet of paper between them. Every Sunday they hold each other's hand. These two wrinkled and gnarled hands are clasped tightly, and the other two hands are raised in praise and worship to the Lord.

What a statement they make! The message of romance they send every Sunday is a memorial to the love they have for each other and the love they have for God.

Charisma: You point out that men, in particular, don't realize that women need intimacy that is not always sexual.

John: Emotional intimacy includes touch, caressing, hugging, kissing and romancing. There are approximately 5 million touch receptors in the human body. More than 2 million receptors are in the hands alone.

The right hand of touch releases a pleasing and healing flow of chemicals in the bodies of both the toucher and the touched. Studies have shown that even the tender touch of a pet dog or cat can cause people to get healthier.

My mother was a person who could hug you and make the world go away. From my earliest childhood, I watched her reach out and hug all the people she loved, and many others, too. I adopted that practice as a teenager, and I practice it to this day. I believe it's beneficial for every person to receive affection from another person through touch.

I tell men: Without the emotional intimacy of touch and warm personal communication, sex with your wife is little more than domestic rape.

Charisma: A lot of couples say they divorced after enduring years of living together without any passion. What can a couple do if the fire has gone out?

John: The first step is to determine that both of you want to improve your marriage. Every marriage can be a better marriage.

Turn off the football game. Put down the newspaper and plan a date night. Sit down and make a list of exciting things you would like to do together, and then do it. "Insanity" defined is "doing the same things the same way and expecting a different result." Your marriage can sizzle, but not without planning to make it happen.

Charisma: How can a couple safeguard their marriage from adultery?

Diana: In his book His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage, Willard F. Harley Jr. refers to the high expectations men and women have for their marriages. Both want their needs met, yet seldom do they communicate those needs to their spouse or take the time to know the needs of the other.

I have found that many individuals try to learn to "do without" having their needs met. They would rather do without than attempt to convey to their mate their true needs. There is no greater fear on Earth than to stand emotionally naked before the one you love most in life, fearing that person will laugh at your desires or refuse to give you what you desperately want.

A man who lists sexual fulfillment as one of his needs, and whose wife fulfills this need, makes his wife a continual source of intense pleasure, and his love for her grows stronger.

Charisma: Is there anything that women, in particular. can do?

Diana: Adultery does not occur overnight. The man usually begins by conversing with a close female friend, someone at the office or a neighbor.

The "conversation only" friendship then develops into a deeper relationship of trust and desire. One step at a time the marriage is compromised by deeper feelings of trust in and emotional dependence on the third party, and if he does not stop himself, adultery will result.

We women must ask ourselves these questions: What are my husband's needs? What am I doing to meet his needs? What am I doing to create frustration in him? Have I communicated to him what my sexual desires and needs are?

Charisma: John, what have you done over the years to cultivate the spark in your marriage?

John: Diana and I have something between us we call O.W.E. It's an acronym for One Way Everyday. One way, every day, I seek to find a way to make Diana feel good about herself or to help her accomplish a task that is becoming overwhelming.

Last night we washed dishes together. Some days, it's a rose from the rose garden. Other days, it's a card. Other times, there is a date night. But one way, every day, there has to be the transmission of my effort to make that day a better day.

Charisma: Diana, you spend a lot of time in your part of the book talking about honesty and communication.

Diana: So many times we hear men tell us that we are so much more "emotional" about the events of our lives than they are. Because of that, it is sometimes easier for a wife to keep her emotions hidden from her husband.

But it will be difficult for your husband to give you the emotional support you want and need from him if you cannot openly express your emotions--positive and negative--to him.

Because you have not given him your emotional honesty, he will disappoint you by his lack of understanding the emotions you are feeling.

I used to hide my feelings from John. Well, that has changed!

I am so honest with what I need and want from him now that I write it on the bathroom mirror with lipstick! I leave notes in his briefcase and in the pages of his sermons! Notes are left on his office calendar: "Diana needs a date night--now!"

Satan is present to destroy the works of the Lord in His people. He wants to keep you from communicating honestly with your husband. If you are dishonest, you will be falling right into the evil one's trap to rob, kill and destroy your marriage.

Charisma: You give some amazing testimonies about how various marriages have been repaired--including those that were torn apart by addiction and unfaithfulness. You even describe a couple who were about to divorce because the husband had a gay affair. Is reconciliation in such cases truly possible?

John: Let me tell you the story of Robert and Rachel. Robert was a very successful stockbroker. He had feminine characteristics, and he was homosexual. He came to the church and confessed that he wanted to make a change in his conduct and become a Christian. He began to serve and serve well in a number of ways in our church.

He met Rachel, who was far more successful in her business than Robert. Rachel was extremely intelligent, a type-A, turbo-charged woman who lived in a man's world and was extremely successful. They met and were married within six months.

For the first year, life seemed to be a thing of beauty. And then the thing that I had feared from day one began to manifest itself. Robert told Rachel he was having an affair with a man.

Rachel came to my office shaken but committed to solving the problem. She said, "If it were another woman, I know how to fight that fight. But how do you fight a relationship with a man?" I had no intelligent answer.

I asked Robert and Rachel to come to my office together, and I asked Robert the question I have asked everyone in the first five minutes of the first counseling session: "Do you want to save your marriage?"

Robert said yes, and we began to work toward removing the roots in his past life that would bring him to reconciliation with God and Rachel. What we did and said and experienced is in and of itself worthy of a book, but the point of this story is to say that, years later, Robert and Rachel are living together in divine harmony with their children without another homosexual manifestation. Yes ... a marriage can survive even homosexuality.

Charisma: How important is it for couples to pray together?

John: A man and a woman talking to God, bound together in prayer, is an unbreakable union.

Diana: My husband and I have prayed together for almost 30 years. When we pray together, we get answers from heaven. And it is simply not possible to be angry with each other when you pray.

I tell couples to make a prayer list and to find a private time and place for prayer. John and I like to have our prayer time while we walk. We are away from intrusions and able to call on the Lord in freedom.

First, we come into a time of repentance, asking forgiveness for anything we have said, done or thought that has grieved the Holy Spirit.

Our list then begins: We pray for our children by name, their spouses and our grandchildren. We pray for the protection, direction and prosperity of our church, TV outreach, and school and for everyone associated with them.

Then we submit any personal petitions we may have. Finally, we pray for the peace of Jerusalem and end in a time of praise for our Lord and His blessings.

Learn to pray in agreement, not in competition. There is a sweet sound in heaven when a husband and wife are in harmony before God.

The more this divine communication occurs, the more you will want to talk to each other about other things. You will find that the "things" you speak about will not include gossip or tale bearing. Your conversation will concentrate on your petitions and the testimonies associated with those prayers.

You will share the dreams and aspirations each of you has as you come into agreement. Your children will know that when Mom and Dad pray, things happen.

This teaching is far greater than any book or class you will ever enroll them in. Without communication, your marriage will become dry and wither, just like the soul when it has no time with God.

Whoever seeks to be the greatest needs to have the capacity to become a servant

Washed Any Feet Lately?
by Mark Chironna

The "image" of public ministry is in the process of being dismantled. Why? Because it is based on forms adopted by man and elevated by him to the point of becoming gospel. The spirit of Christ--the spirit of servanthood--has been lost somewhere in the shuffle and replaced by the spirit of entitlement.

We have become experts at defining how leaders should behave, and we have become obsessed with finding the "elite" who can fix us when everything else fails. Yet underneath the thin veneer of performance, some leaders in our society are functioning with borderline personality disorders, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and hidden addictions and lusts they have assumed in an attempt to fill the void in their souls.

None of us has to look far in our circle of relationships to recognize that many people we thought were leaders are merely performing behind a mask. We have so highly prized "perfect performance" that we have watched the spirit of competition and comparison come into our churches and seen leaders at every level act more like territorial warlords than followers of Christ.
We have elevated performance and outward appearance in the name of defending the faith, but what we are actually defending is the false image we have substituted for the true spirit of servanthood in Christ. It has been in the pew as well as the pulpit, yet a code of silence has enabled us to hide behind the facade of "super spirituality" and forced us to deny the disintegration that exists both within and outside us.

I wonder if Peter, who was so surprised by the Lord's insistence on washing his feet (see John 13:6), would have dared to take off his own cloak and don the servant's towel. Like many leaders today, he probably would have considered such an action "beneath him." After all, he had an image to preserve and a reputation to be maintained.

Yet when Jesus explained His actions, Peter realized that a new day was coming in which religious leaders would no longer be placed on a pedestal but would become the servants of all.

Jesus shattered every preconceived idea of ministry and leadership when He removed His robe, draped a towel around Himself, poured water into a basin and washed His disciples' feet. (see John 13:3-5). They were looking for a king, but He was acting like a slave!

The Leader of the new move of God delegitimized the prevailing false image of power and leadership by taking the towel Himself and getting as low as He could to remove the debris from between the toes of the next generation of servant-leaders. Peter couldn't handle this because he couldn't see himself doing the thing his Teacher was doing. He was too concerned about his image.

Jesus, on the other hand, had no need to play the image game. He knew where He came from, He knew who He was, and He knew where He was going (no borderline personality disorder here).

It was not beneath Him to assume the lowest place in the room. As big as He was, He was never too big for the room. He "took the form" of a servant and delighted to live there because He knew that the Father dwells with the humble.

It's time we checked to see if we have become "too big for the room." We need to have our feet washed from the dust of modernism and allow the Servant of servants to model for us the way into the new millennium. Our personality disorders would be healed if we were willing to take the form of a servant.

All of us today want to see revival. We want to see the river of God flowing in our nation. This has become the emerging prophetic cry of our generation: that the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will manifest as a worldwide flow of water covering the earth.

Where is the river of God? Where is the revival and the refreshing? Jesus said, "Where I am, there will My servants be also" (see John 12:26). Wherever there are servants who are leading the way into the future by modeling the life that God is attentive to and honors, there the water will be flowing.

If we can learn a lesson from Peter's mistake and not be so concerned with the honor of our positions and titles, we might discover that right at our feet is the position of honor--the place where the Father restores our sense of wholeness, balance, dignity and identity. Whoever seeks to be the greatest needs to have the capacity to become a servant. May we seek the sign of the "Man with the towel and basin" and follow Him into the new day that is already dawning on the horizon of divine intention!

Mark J. Chironna is the founder of The Masters Touch International Church in Orlando, Florida, and author of Stepping Into Greatness (Creation House). He and his wife, Ruth, live in Orlando with their two sons.

Friday, October 24, 2008

God designed Malaysia as a Rainbow Ark of mercy and grace?

Another prophecy for Malaysia. Read it prayerfully and discerningly. I do not endorse any of them, but since many have asked me about it, i decided to blog for everyone to read it. Welcome your comments!


Sep 26

I wrote the following article on Sep 20. After a few days there were new developments. Nevertheless, it will not affect my purpose of conveying a message that “The Seventh Prime Minister of Malaysia” should be noted by Christians who showed concerns about Malaysia.

Among all component parties of BN, UMNO is the most undemocratic party. The harm was caused by Mahathir who amended UMNO by-law that the president’s seat requires a 30% nomination from divisions. Added to these, the both Mahathir and Abdullah were calling for nil-contest for the 2 highest posts with the excuse of so-called “party unity”.

Despite Abdullah has become utterly unpopular, he was unwilling to step down and pass the baton. But would the people be able to accept Najib as their PM? Many people who wanted a change would hope that PR would be able to take over power soonest possible. If not, at least they could see an open contest for presidency in UMNO election. Postponing party election not only deprived the grassroots’ rights, but will worsen the country’s economies when many more FDI will abandon their investments. For the past few months RM125b FDI were pull out from our markets. In July the inflation rate was 8.5%, highest in 27 years.

Now the question is: “Will the authority put Anwar in jail over the sodomy charges?” Does God have a purpose to ordain him as The Seventh PM instead of The Sixth one?

The Seventh Prime Minister of Malaysia

Allen Tan │ Sep 20 2008

The incumbent Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi is under pressure to quit by Oct 9. Several UMNO supreme council members have demanded Abdullah to step down now to “save him from the embarrassment” of not getting enough nominations for the UMNO presidency. The pressure on Abdullah may even be due to a more serious fear. The third Parliament sitting will resume on Oct 13, and the Opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, may table the motion of no-confidence against Abdullah. UMNO puts high hope in Najib. After taking over the PM’s post, he will probably be able to win the confidence of Barisan Nasional MPs. But there is no guarantee that Najib is able to prevent his BN MPs from defecting.

Many Malaysians used to talk about the alphabetical lineup for “RAHMAN”:

R – Tunku Abdul Rahman*

A – Abdul Razak

H – Hussein Onn

M – Mahathir mohamad

A – Abudullah Badawi

N – Najib Razak?

*But I don’t know why people used Tunku’s family name of “Raman” instead of his name “Abdul”.

So could Najib be the sixth PM of Malaysia? In that case, before PR could have a chance to take over power, a change of leadership will first take place within UMNO? Then would Anwar Ibrahim become the seventh PM then?

I pointed out this thing because many people put high hope on Anwar in bringing about reform to our politics, judiciary, economy, royal police force and Anti-Corruption Agency. Moreover Anwar vows to do away with racial politics. People also hope that the new PR government would clean up corruption and do away with those “Acts” that have violated human rights. Thus eventually the country will move into justice and fairness.

Some three months ago Pastor Henry K. Pillai sent out a book called “Malaysia, the Rainbow Nation of Asia” (Publisher: High Calling Outreach Publications, 2007) to many Ministers of God. The author, Steve Ogan, is residing in Nigeria. He spent quite a long period of time in Malaysia studying about this country.

Why do I talk about the seventh Prime Minister at this moment? I do it so that you can have a clearer idea to pray according to God’s will and timing.

The number “7” is very significant to Malaysia:

God’s complete number - 7

The rainbow – 7 colors

Malaya became independent on 31.8.1957, and these numbers add up together – 7

The word MERDEKA – 7 letters

Tunku Abdul Rahman proclaimed the word MERDEKA – 7 times

Tunku Abdul Rahman – the 7th son of a Malay Sultan

The points of star in the Malaysia flag – 14 (double of 7)

The stripes in the Malaysia flag – 14 (double of 7)

– Red stripes – 7

– White stripes – 7

For your interest, let me quote a portion from the book I mentioned (with permission from the publisher in Malaysia, John Nelson Cooray).

Subtitle: MALAYSIA AS A RAINBOW ARK (pages 46-47):

“God designed Malaysia as a Rainbow Ark of mercy and grace – a place where people with the rainbow character of Noah will make room for both the clean and unclean. Noah was described as perfect. Seven is the number of perfection and there are seven colors in the rainbow. Consequently, Noah had a rainbow character.

God’s will is that all the leaders of Malaysia will have a rainbow character. The five Prime Ministers of Malaysia since independence have at least one point or the other demonstrated this character. But there will come the seventh Prime Minister who will be the supreme embodiment of beauty and balance, mercy and grace. He will bring the rainbow nation to a height never known before. He will carry the heart of Noah with the colorful disposition of the rainbow. The seventh Prime Minister of Malaysia will carry the grace of all his five predecessors in an amazing combination. He will manifest the jubilee grace with the capacity of bringing Malaysia into a new season of release, rest and restoration. Because of the significance of his leadership profile there will be an intensive contest for the position of the seventh Prime Minister of Malaysia.”

The book is really prophetic. These are some of the possibilities:

1. Abdullah will pass the baton to Najib before the next Parliament session, i.e. before Oct 13.
2. Abdullah will not contest in UMNO election. Traditionally the DPM, Najib, will take over.
3. Some people said our DPM’s full name is Mohamad Najib bin Abdul Razak. If it is so, he does not fit in the letter of “N” in the word “RAHMAN”. Then someone from UMNO will succeed Abdullah.
4. BN under the leadership of the sixth PM (Najib?) only survives for a short period of time, as PR would soon be successful in seizing government. Then Anwar will be the seventh PM?
5. PR is successful in seizing government before Abdullah could pass his baton to someone else. Then Anwar will be the sixth PM.
6. PR is not successful in seizing government. And in the next General Election, BN will lose its power to PR. Then Anwar will be the seventh PM?

Let us pray! God will bless Malaysia. God has already prepared someone who will be the seventh PM of Malaysia. Malaysia, A Truly Rainbow Nation of Asia! Malaysians will bring redemption to all the people in Asia.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

More Energy

22 Oct 2008

Dear Prayer Partners,

1. Thank you for your prayers during my last trip to Klang Valley (KV). It was rather hectic with a lot of meeting up and ministry. I arrived on Sat and was meeting with several leaders from various churches. That evening itself I was doing premarital counseling (PMC).

2. Sun morn. Preached in an all-African church in Sunway area. It is just a month plus old church and I was the first non-African preacher to share in their pulpit. Later in the afternoon, was preaching in another all-African church in Jalan Ipoh. They had been in existence for over 10 years in KV. The gospel seed gets spread through migration.

3. It was a joy to preach to them. Many of them later spoke words of encouragement to me, saying that they would like to bring me back to their nation and preach there. If you have ever heard African preaching (I have been listening to it for years!), then you will understand that they will want the preacher to shout and “reprimand” them. To Asian congregations, I would be considered harsh and sarcastic. But to the Africans, this is how they like it!

4. On Mon-Wed nights I was teaching in the Bible School on Christ and Salvation. Thur, I was teaching in office fellowship and encouraging them to prioritize the Word of God. They need a strong foundation in the Word.

5. Fri, I was teaching in a government Uni fellowship and encouraging the undergrads to intentionally choose to obey Jesus throughout their lives. This generation need to fall in love with Jesus. On Sat, I was meeting with various groups and individuals and continued on the PMC.

6. Sun morn, was preaching in an English service. Sun noon, was preaching in a Malay-language service. The needs among East M’sian tribal churches in West M’sia is great. They need more trained workers.

7. On Mon morn, I did one-to-one Bible study to different undergrads in a private college. I am concerned that most of them still do not have a strong basic foundation in Christ. They are very potential in the Lord, but in need of some teachings. Pray for me as I seek the Lord for direction and guidance in this critical area.

8. On Mon-Wed night I was back to teach my course in the Bible School, but I did not manage to complete the syllabus. I was too ambitious and tried to cover too many grounds, plus the students asked many questions. Next year, Feb&Mac, I will be teaching on a course on How to do PMC.

9. On Thur, I taught again in the office fellowship. Friday, I continued on teaching among the undergrads. Fri night, I was preaching in a Chinese Methodist church that was reaching out to Chinese-speaking college students. The Lord ministered to many of them as I challenged them to live for Him, who rose from the dead.

10. On Sat, I attended a Hari Raya open house celebration. Then I visited a Korean church. It is exciting to see what God is doing in different communities in KV.

11. On Sun, I preached in an English-language service and then in the afternoon I preached in a Malay-language service in Kepong. Its basically an indigenous (OA) people group and mixture with East M’sian. God ministered in a powerful manner among them.

12. Then Mon, I journeyed home to Singapore. I really appreciate your continued prayers and intercessions during the time of ministry in KV. Pray for me as I continue to humbly try to obey Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations and to raise spiritual leaders – especially among the Malay-speaking tribal people, English-speaking undergrads and working professionals, and recently among the Mandarin-speaking.

14. Pray for me as I continue to mentor the previous batches who are already working and some married with kids. I need to have divine wisdom and enduring energy to continue to coach the various leaders whom God has entrusted. I want to remain focus to do mission, mentoring, and multiplying leaders for the kingdom of God.

May we respond to the Lord’s command to make disciples that will make other disciples wherever we go.

P/S: You can contact me through several ways :

msn : acrazee@gmail.com
yahoo messenger : acrazee@yahoo.com
skype : acrazee, singapore
facebook : Acra Zee

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


3 Oct 2008

Dear Prayer Partners,

1. Pray for me as I head to Klang Valley again to complete the 12 sessions of class on Christ and Salvation (6 sessions already completed in Sept, and another 6 more in Oct).

2. Pray for wisdom and creativity to teach this important course to the pastors and leaders, who will in turn teach their members. We must all proclaim the Christ of the Bible.

3. Pray also for the empowering of the HS as I will be preaching in some churches again. I will be preaching in 2 African churches in Klang Valley (KV). They tell me that there are 16 African congregations in KV – wholly runned by themselves.

4. I hope to encourage them to love and worship the Lord, obey His word and be involved in His mission. There is nothing else more critical and exciting than that – at least in my mind!

5. Then after 2 weeks in KV, I will be back and will be busy rushing my 4th module for my doctorate program. I need to complete 7 modules and one thesis (which I am targetting to write by 2010). Continue to pray for me as I am fighting for time to do the assignments as well as all the ministry commitments.

6. Pray for Jessie and me, as we are going to London and Germany at the end of Oct for a week. Jessie is being sent by the Uni to attend some training in Cologne, Germany. So I thought it is a good time to visit some of the people that I have mentored before who are either working or studying there. We also hope to visit some friends and ministry contacts as well.

7. I had wanted to extend the trip to other parts of Europe but with time and money constraint, I decided to confine it within London and Germany.

8. Pray for Ana as this will be the first time that Jessie and I will be away together without her. She is in the phase where she wants daddy and mommy around her all the time. Pray that she will grow up loving, worshipping, and obeying Jesus all the days of her life. Pray that she will uncompromisingly and untiringly proclaim the resurrection message of Jesus.

9. Continue to pray as I prepare to preach in the family camp in Port Dickson at the end of Nov/early Dec. Then a few days later, I will fly to Miri to preach in the youth camp on Love, Sex, and Dating (for the morning sessions) and Christian family and parenting (for the night sessions, where parents are expected to come).

9. It was a good thing that the Thailand youth camp and Cell leaders training that I was supposed to preach/teach in was cancelled, probably due to the unrest there. I would had to rush from one end to the other. I have also turned down some invitations to Indonesia as time did not permit.

10. There are just so many needs and not enough laborers. To make matters worse, some laborers refuse to get adequate training, and hence take a longer time to get to the place of greater effectiveness.

Thank you for encouraging and keeping us in prayer. Without it, we are unable to scale greater heights for the Lord.

Zeal without practical wisdom can lead to heartache and the squandering of Kingdom resources. Lord, grant us the humility to receive Your divine wisdom!

P/S: You can contact me through several ways :

msn : acrazee@gmail.com
yahoo messenger : acrazee@yahoo.com
skype : acrazee, singapore
facebook : Acra Zee