Kingdom Values and Principles
Among the ministry values and principles I have, these three I abide by most in serving as a pastor. Rev Mark Poh shares his insights.
In my 40 years of being a disciple of Christ, I’ve had the privilege of learning from the lives and journeys of so many great pastors and co-laborers. Great lessons also come from interactions and observations that reveal the heart, character, and the spirit of people. 20 years of shepherding have brought with it much joy, fulfilment, and triumph despite hard work, trials and heartaches. All these experiences and observations help to shape the Kingdom values and principles that form the guiding posts of ministry stewardship that has been entrusted to me.
1ST VALUE: SERVANT LEADERSHIP
Principle: “Here to serve” (Matthew 20:26-28)
Jesus inspires me with His lifestyle.
Jesus inspires me with His lifestyle. Even as the Son of God, He lived His life to serve others above self. This is my life goal—at whatever stage of life, position or opportunity to serve, I want to be M.A.D. (Making A Difference). I see the fruits of this coming from my youth pastor days, witnessing the young served their seniors and peers with humility. One of the things that I love to do is to make drinks for the people who come to church, including the youths who come to church to study. It may be small, but it becomes a model for them to serve others regardless of their seniority, position or age. I see it today in the way the young people rising up to serve and to meet a need when they see a need.
I recall one incident during a heavy downpour just after service and a traffic jam was beginning to form because the cars had difficulty getting out of the driveway. I took an umbrella, went out in my suit, and started to direct traffic. I didn’t realize this, but someone took a picture, posted it on Facebook of how they were inspired. (Praise the Lord!)
2ND VALUE: HONOR GOD IN WHATEVER YOU DO
Principle: “As unto the Lord” (Colossians 3:23)
I learn that the Lord does not look for powerful giftings, but He looks at how we bring our best to Him. Working for 17 years in different secular environment has helped me focus on my responsibility at the workplace. Our attitude towards life and work enables people to know and experience Christ in us. What we do brings either glory or disrepute to our Lord!
Standing up to honor a speaker before he/she begins to preach may be a simple gesture, but when we understand that we are doing it to honor that person as well as to honor God’s Word, it becomes a reminder to all about simple acts of honor. I recall a conversation I had with a pastor from another church during a multi-church conference when he noticed a group of young people who stood up to welcome the speaker to the pulpit. She commented that it was so edifying to see this happening with young people! Simple acts of honor go a long way.
3RD VALUE: STAY HUMBLE
Principle: “Others above self” (Philippians 2:3)
Pride has the potential to creep in even as our souls prosper. Humility helps keep me in check. I am privileged to be surrounded by so many gifted people and to witness so many young ones thrive in their giftings. Acknowledging their contribution to the Kingdom helps me stay humble! One way to stay humble is being thankful to others who serve alongside you, not only to the people who are doing the high-profile ministry but even to those serving quietly in the background or in less conspicuous ministries.
As Senior Pastor, I am reminded of the danger of me becoming too caught up with the big things that I forget that small things matter. Ministry is to all – the marginalized, the uncles/aunties and the quieter and less prominent ones in church. Greeting people by name (and it gets harder nowadays) and acknowledging them require effort as one needs to take time to remember their names and what is important to them—these are very helpful practices to stay ‘with your feet on the ground’, as well as your head!
Keeping one’s eyes fixed on Jesus constantly, and allowing a fellowship of community who cares to speak into our lives, lovingly correct, admonish, guide, and amply protect on safe grounds, is my prayer for every person and minister who rises up to undertake the stewardship of serving the Lord.
Rev Mark Poh is currently the Senior Pastor of Emmanuel Assembly of God. He graduated from the University of Waikato, New Zealand where he also received Jesus as his Lord and Savior in 1980. He served in the marketplace for 17 years before he was called into full-time ministry, joining the church as the youth pastor in 1999. He obtained his Master of Theological Studies in 2005. Both Rev Mark and his wife, Aye Lan, are married for more than 35 years and they have a daughter, Faithe.