Church Anniversary and A Life of Evangelism
By Rev Samuel Tam
August 21, 2022
People usually celebrate their birthdays with congratulations and commemorations of the past. They will also think about how to extend the vibrancy of their lives to make their lives more bountiful. At a time when the NPAC family is about to celebrate its 70th anniversary, besides giving thanks to God, what should we do to serve to let God’s glory be manifest in our lives so that others may share in the Lord’s lovingkindness?
I can think of one thing that must continue. Every year in October, the NPAC family would organize anniversary evangelistic meetings to spread the gospel of Christ. Looking back at how NPAC started, it was in July 1952, when seminarians from the C&MA Bible Seminary conducted an outdoor evangelistic meeting at Tong Shui Road. The target group at that time were mostly people who have traveled far from home and braved great hardships to make a living in Hong Kong. Some of them were war refugees without the right of abode here. They were an underprivileged group which longed to seek out the value and meaning of life. Time flies and circumstances have changed. Today, the economic situation in Hong Kong has become more affluent. There is no lack of material supplies, but the hearts of many are still agitated with no peace. They are worried about the future. We need to spread the gospel to the “poor” – which refers not to the financially inadequate but the sorrowful, captives, hurt, saddened and frustrated. They are targets of God’s salvation and grace. Jesus was sent by the Father “to proclaim good news to the poor” in “the year of the Lord’s favor” (Isaiah 61:1-2; Luke 4:16-21).
Ever since inception, the NPAC has organized regular evangelistic meetings so brothers and sisters can learn to spread the gospel and lead others to Christ. At that time, NPAC hanged notices about forthcoming evangelistic meetings outside the church windows and on lamp posts in the streets so that more people can see news about the meetings. And whether in small or large church premises, NPAC would arrange simultaneous prayer meetings for the evangelistic meetings to seek God to use us in the spiritual war so we “will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:18-19). After years of evangelistic efforts, the NPAC family has gathered many different communities – besides couples, children and seniors, there are also secondary school students, tertiary students, young working adults, handicapped brothers and sisters, women, men, new arrivals and grassroots. By the power of the Spirit and with a steadfast faith, we should sustain our effort to lead those who have not heard of the gospel in our respective communities to the Lord’s love so that we will be a channel of the truth about His salvation.
At this time, we must stand firm and not be moved. We must always give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:58, Colossians 1:28). Although the NPAC family still cannot have love feasts amid the pandemic, let us be determined to continue presenting feasts of the Lord’s salvation for non-believers. Dear brothers and sisters, how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news! Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them (Romans 10:15, Psalm 126:5-6). Today is Gospel Sunday. I invite all of you not to forget to make an evangelistic effort especially during church anniversary and, together, weave more God-glorifying stories.