Here are some stories from the Taiwan Coaching Networks:
1. From Jenny
Coaching Network has helped our church in the following:
- Brought the relationship of our churches closer: not having to copy another church, but through true relationships, taking away the pressure to perform and to be a bigger church.
- We learned the seven essence of a healthy church: not building certain structures, but going back to the teachings of the Bible, not based on our abilities and gifts but based on our lives.
- Ordinary churches can also be a part: Jesus use ordinary people and ordinary pastors to build healthy churches.
- Through doing one-on-one disciple-making, changing the church: though disciple-making relationships, lives are changed and relationships become stronger. Generations of disciples are raised up.
- Pastor mentoring pastor: pastors are not just being polite or keeping a distance, but encouraging one another through true mutual sharing of life.
- Churches sharing their resources with others: doing mission together, no longer need to be lonely.
- Pastors becoming more focus and stronger: the atmosphere of the church has changed – full of life, walking together. Walking alone you can go faster, but walking together you can go farther.
2. From Timothy Li
After I graduated from Baptist Seminary, God called me to pastor in a village outside of Taichung. When I first arrived, the church had around 20 odd people. After the big 921 earthquake, the church outreached to the people affected by this disaster, and the church grew to 50 odd people. But there was no discipling of the people and the church stopped growing. There were a lot of conflicts and tension between the pastor and the staff. For a few years, I was struggling and feel the pressure of church growth. Every time I thought of the calling of God, I feel trapped in the big dump the church was in and there was no way out. Praise the Lord, since September 2014, after I joined the Tai Chung Coaching Network, I was being led out of the maze that I was in; my self-abasement has been healed; my interaction in relationships becomes more genuine and natural; my leadership and teamwork is more effective; and I am more certain in the direction and foundation of leading the church and in doing networking.
Below is the testimony of Suki, one of the full-time staff of my church.
“Pastor Li, this is what I have seen in you after you joined the CCMN Network:
After pastor Li joins the coaching network, he began to encourage the congregation to reach out to people, building relationships, and know the actual needs of people.
In his sermons, he constantly stresses on the importance of the seven essence of the church, and the concept of priesthood of all believers. All he wants is that we all get the insights which he gets from network and lead the church to willingly submit to the vision and mission of the Great Commission.
The coaching network also influenced pastor Li to start rebuilding and rekindling relationship among pastors in the district. The same rebuilding of relationships also starts among the core staff of our church; we learn to spend more time together and build deeper relationships. Unlike the mechanical and pressurized interaction in the past, we see how pastor Li is willing to humble himself to listen, to show empathy, to understand and to facilitate. He began to ask opinions from the staff and is willing to delegate responsibilities. He tries to spend time with the members and builds a discipleship relationship with them. Now pastor Li doesn’t just do the job of caring (just as a pastor should), he is building a family and connects us as family members…
The church-based mission is our vision and mission! “Mission” is the responsibility of each and everyone in the church. Even if you are not a missionary, you have to serve something that concerns missions. From family to the neighborhood, from countryside to the city, from Taiwan to cross-cultural nations, we need to answer the call of God. Let us work together in this rugged times, because church is in the heart of men. Anywhere there is the presence of God, there is the church! Pastor Li, add oil! As you grow, we all grow! Yeah!
Below is another testimony from a sister in the church, her name is Yuk Man.
Praise the Lord, since pastor Li joined the CCMN coaching network, I can see the changes in him. In the past, he is more concerned with the effectiveness and the productivity of the work done, and puts a lot of pressure on the staff. In the past, the conversation between them only concerns work and not relationships, thus their relationships were stuck. But because of the platform of the coaching network, pastor Li is willing to let go of his authority, his hierarchy, his service, he starts to understand the needs and weaknesses of each core staff, he listens to them even to a point that he is willing to make adjustment and to facilitate.
Praise the Lord that the coaching network has broaden the life of pastor Li. He is willing to face confrontations and differences; he confidently use the Word of God to build team work, he facilitates the core team to walk out from fear, and lead the team to work whole heartedly to build up the body of Christ to equip the saints. He encourages us with words and in deeds. He encourages us to reach out to neighborhood, to care our families, our youths, to care for the needs of the unreached, and to receive the weak with genuine love. Praise the Lord, because of His unceasing work and encouragement in this servant’s life, the church is encouraged to reach out to the district, to see the needs of the whole world. Hallelujah!
3. From Kaohsiung
There are about 10 churches in the Coaching Network in Kaohsiung, a southern city of Taiwan.
From 2013, we got to know Ben from recommendation of Timothy of Taichung. In the following 2 years of Coaching Network, we got to know and understand the “Seven Essence of the Church.” As we continuously being exposed to the teaching of these essences and observe in the lives of those who live by it (whether pastors and missionaries), we have gone from not knowing how to implement them into our churches to gradually see the influences in our churches and the building up of a strong network of churches. Being involved in the Taiwan CCMN Summit and Short Term Missions really helped as well!
A few things are being formed in our midst:
In area of building Church: Understanding more and implementing the 7 Essences into the church – result is the pastors and members are building a more healthy church. The pastors also meet regularly to encourage and compare notes.
In the area of Mission: in 2016, 2 churches begin to send people to Short-term Missions. We hope in 2017, there will be 6 church to participate in this. It looks like in a couple of years, we will have long-term missionaries being sent out. A Smart Team is also started to help more churches and brothers and sisters to be involved in missions.
Ministry Training College: We have started our own training school. At the moment there are 11 full-time students. We are looking forward to seeing more labours being raised up for the harvest.