As we grow in our pursuit of the kingdom of heaven on earth, the Lord impresses upon us the importance of the family in His kingdom plan. The first natural family in Adam and Eve was created with the idea of God’s rule on earth. Man was created with His kingdom mission.
The church is the spiritual family of God. Both the natural and the spiritual family co-relate with each other. They depict a cycle of one influencing the other in discipleship. The church functions as a family. It makes disciples with the heart of the natural family in love, care and discipline. It further raises families as kingdom families. In this cycle, we perpetuate kingdom life and family. To do it well, we need a kingdom family culture to be built simultaneously in the Christian family and in the church. In this way, the church keeps developing purposeful people serving God as victorious kingdom families. It will impact the world effectively.
It is our dream that our New Life churches be filled with families that are on God’s kingdom mission. In this way, we are kingdom churches. Attached is the first of many articles by our Pastors in NLRC. Pastor Lawrence Chen shares his story of his family on God’s kingdom mission. Enjoy…
Pastor Jeremiah Yap
Kingdom Family Culture – Our Testimony
– Pr Lawrence & Lip Yee Chen
The Lord has blessed me with a loving wife, Lip Yee and three fine grown up children, Amy, Colin and Joanne – now, all in their twenties and working abroad.
We began to inculcate Christian family values from the onset of our marriage. When the children were young, we read the Bible before their bedtimes, prayed with them, encouraged them to serve in church. Amy and Joanne were tambourine dancers, Colin taught in Children church. Colin, from when he was two years old, attended our church leaders’ meetings on Monday nights with me. In actual fact, Lip Yee was not able to care for all three when I attended the leaders’ meeting so I had to bring Colin along. What an early start for him! For their first few years of family life, the children were immersed in worship, prayers, preaching and teaching in their bassinets at all church services.
We love the Lord and have a desire to honour Him in our lives. We wanted our children to follow in our footsteps. We led them by Jesus’ way of ‘see and do’. They gave their time, talents and even their tithes and offerings from the little allowances they had received for their snacks and shopping. Lip Yee and I often laid hands on them and prayed for protection and success before they left for school and during their exams. They’d often testify of God’s favour on them in their studies and now in their work place too.
The Lord has been real in our daily lives. Whenever I experienced His favour, I never fail to share and tell them of God’s blessings. We live life and play together, from MacDonald’s to mission field.
In 2000, Lip Yee and I decided to include our children in our calling of missions. We had encouraged them to sow their pocket money into the mission field, and it was about time they went on their first missions. At that time, Amy was 13 years old, Colin was eleven and Joanne was nine. Travelling to Sabah did not require passports. We visited a few interior SIB churches and villages, ministered the Word, sang songs accompanied with tambourines (guess who played?), and shared Gospel stories with some Kadazan children. We stayed in attap houses with one or two incandescent light bulbs energized by a portable gen-set, ate plenty of rice and vegetables, played games in the evenings with the kampong kids, bathed by the wells and in rivers , clothed in sarong and used “mana-mana pun boleh” toilets. Mission with my family was exciting with adventure beyond the comfort zone. Colin, on arrival, asked, “Daddy, where’s the air-con, the hot water for bathing and the beds?” Yet upon departure from Kota Marudu, he enthusiastically asked “Daddy, can we come back next year?”
We serve the Lord together. Our favourite family verse is “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). Amy has become a dentist and she participates in dental missions abroad.
We have been living Kingdom life personally, Kingdom family relationally and Kingdom church missionally. We hope to inspire you and your family “toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24). Hallelujah!
1. In your Kingdom calling, identify what is central. How can you lead or champion or influence others with it?
2. Quote your favourite Kingdom family verse. Explain why it is so. If you do not have one, choose one. Have fun!