Those who know me will agree that I’ve never been one who enjoys leading up front. Although I’ve had my share of leadership training and exposure, this is not exactly my cup of tea. Admittedly, it is nice to be conferred some title and position, and I’ve had that privilege in times past. However, the truth is, I am very content being a follower, tailing another who might be more drawn and suited to such ‘guts n glory’ overtones.
Especially in today’s culture of discussion and dialogue escalated by social media, being exposed up front is clearly not for the faint-hearted. More so than ever, I’ve discovered that everyone has an opinion and they are not afraid to express it. And express it they will, whether it makes sense or not, whether you like it or not. Consider these two recent occurrences:
- When the City Harvest Trial verdict was pronounced on 21 Nov, the Internet came alive! As a leader, I felt it necessary to share my response that others may be guided to process theirs. After going through key points from “A Personal Response to the City Harvest Case” to a closed group at KINGDOM101, the post was shared and by that night, it garnered more than 1,000 views, swelling to 19,000+ the next day, and 40,000+ by the end of the week. Whilst many LIKED the post, I also received a number of interesting responses – one accused me of sitting on the fence and another said the post lacked “diagnosis” (never mind that it was written 3.5 years ago when the case first surfaced), amongst others.
- Two weeks later, I shared “Christians & Halloween”. Again, this made its rounds in cyberspace, drawing 12,000+ views within two days. As with the CHC post, all kinds of comments were received. I was urged to be more tolerant, not to be a religious bigot, and to also not celebrate Christmas. Someone even told me not to offend her beloved pet – a black cat!
It is easy (and very tempting) to simply shrug off such comments, especially when they don’t line up with your own. However, to do that would be to miss the battle that we are all presently engaged in – the battle of worldviews. As illustrated above, this battle is not just raging in society at large, but more critically, also within the Christian community. Unfortunately, many remain unaware, happily going about their churchy activities, largely insulated from the real world.
Dear friends, in case you haven’t noticed, it is no longer church, ministry or business as usual. Who wants to be out in the front in this type of environment? No, thank you! As mentioned earlier, fighting in the frontlines is way-y-y out of my comfort zone, much less engage the culture. Like many others, I am very happy to remain a backbencher (ask my JC & Uni friends) – just leave me alone and I promise to attend Sunday service and cell group faithfully. But that is no longer enough! The world has infiltrated the Church, families, minds and hearts. And it is time for the ostrich to get its head out of the sand and to acknowledge the elephant in the room!
Each day, I wrestle with the assignment of Archippus Awakening. Who am I to awaken the saints?! Why am I being thrust up front, Lord? Why can’t I stay in my cushy comfy churchy cubicle? As I pondered these questions, the Lord opened my eyes to the significance of the times: It is not that God is moving the backbenchers to the frontlines, but that the frontlines are now being brought to the backbenchers. Clearly, there is no running from this. Not everyone may be required to lead up front but we are all expected to stand for Jesus and to speak for the Truth. This may sound obvious but sadly, many remain asleep, unaware and disengaged.
Over the past two years, I have been challenged again and again. Truly, when the Lord said that “the way by which you must go … you have not passed this way before” (cf Josh 3:4), He wasn’t joking at all. Through Archippus Awakening, whilst my strengths are being employed for the kingdom, my weaknesses are also being exposed by the King. Where would I be if not for His grace?! I am reminded that it is the Lord who leads me that I may, in turn, lead others. With that, I keep going, regardless of how inadequate I may feel. How awesome that I get to have the privilege of both following my Master and fronting a Movement.
I know that this update has taken on a slightly different tone. This was not my intention but somehow, the urgency in my spirit has overflowed into my writing. My prayer is that the Lord will use my humble journey to encourage you in yours. As always, I am grateful for your partnership and appreciative of your prayers for me, Serene, our children, and the work of Archippus Awakening. Thank you for your love and support through the years!
In His love and for His glory!