Please join the Lincoln Park Praise Band Thursday Night, September 20, at 8:00 pm for a time of Praise, Prayer, and Fellowship. This is a special monthly worship service held on the third Thursday of every month. During this casual worship time, we will sing some songs, say some prayers, hear some devotions, and join in fellowship with one another.
You are cordially invited to a FREE breakfast and worship service held every fourth Sunday of the month here at Lincoln Park, beginning at 8:45 AM. Join us downstairs in Memorial Hall at 8:45 AM to fill up on eggs, breakfast meats, pastries, cereal, fruit, and much more! Bring a friend!
You are cordially invited to a FREE breakfast and worship service held every fourth Sunday of the month here at Lincoln Park. Join us downstairs in Memorial Hall at 8:45 AM to fill up on eggs, breakfast meats, pastries, cereal, fruit, and much more! At 9:00 AM we will start worship with some songs, prayers, scripture, and of course the message, followed by some casual discussion. All are welcome, and you are encouraged to bring a friend!
In the wake of recent disasters in the United States and internationally, UMCOR (United Methodist Committee On Relief) is working to meet unmet food, clean water, temporary shelter, hygiene supplies, and non-food supplies. While UMCOR is not a first-response organization, we stand ready to accompany communities in need of long-term recovery.
Learn more about UMCOR’s response to current disasters:
Please join the Lincoln Park Praise Band Thursday Night, September 20, at 8:00 pm for a time of Praise, Prayer, and Fellowship. All are welcome to come and refresh, relax, and refill!
Thursday Night Live is a special monthly worship service held at Lincoln Park on the third Thursday of every month. During this casual worship time, we will sing some songs, say some prayers, hear some devotions, and join in fellowship with one another. This is a great opportunity for anyone who cannot attend worship on Sunday mornings, or for anyone who would like to supplement their weekly worship with a new experience in a different setting.
God gives His Spirit to every true believer in Jesus Christ, and this Spirit gives each one gifts for ministry. Therefore, every believer can perform the ministry of the Church by using his or her individual gifts from God. Unfortunately, it is also true that when we say ministry of the church, it means mainly the ministry of the pastor. In many cases, laity is described as the flock and the pastor as shepherd, and thus laity is the object of ministry.
However, as we already know, historically, the early Christian Church began its course through the witness and activity of “common” people. The Bible witnesses to us not about the offices, ordination, and hierarchy, but the function, calling, and vocation of those called to minister to people within the church, and evangelize to those outside (see Eph.4:11).
I strongly believe that God’s ministry cannot be fulfilled by only focusing on the ministry of the pastor. Every individual in the church is called by God, not only to be God’s chosen, but also to participate in God’s mission and ministry. Both clergy and laity are all equally important in the body of Christ, serving God and the world.
Many Christians are still reluctant to let go of the notion of “the clergy doing the pastoring and the laity just receiving it.” This might be a reason why churches today are shrinking and not able to grow. Perhaps this is also why Lincoln Park is struggling, as well.
The lack of lay ministry and the failure to make disciples in local churches are not minor issues, but dangerous problems that threaten the Church itself. Both clergy and laity are called upon to collaborate as co-workers. Even better, laity-led ministry can stimulate Church growth by opening the way for all members of the Church to participate in God’s holistic ministry.
Thankfully, Lincoln Park has compassion, will, able leaders, and so much potential for lay ministry. Many good administrative lay leaders already serve in various committees. But that’s not enough. If Lincoln Park truly wants to grow in quality and quantity, we need more steady and strong spiritual lay leadership. We need more laity who can lead prayer meetings, teach Bible study, become actively involved in youth ministry, plan and go on mission trips, serve as Sunday school teachers, and step up as lay speakers.
Pastor SunAe and I will continually ask and encourage you to teach, preach, or participate in various church ministry and mission opportunities. This is an intentional part our ministry plan to make each and every one of us disciples of Jesus Christ, not just a pew-warmer or spectator.
I love football. In my observation, there are three kinds of people that enjoy football. One type is a TV audience member who watches the game from the living room as a hobby. Even though they have their favorite teams and are eager to watch, they are not committed enough to go to the games. The other is the spectator in the stadium who shows up, wears team jerseys, spends time and money, and roots for his/her team, but is not a player. The third is the actual player on the field who plays each game with all their strength, skills, and commitment to win.
Such is the same with Christian faith. Many just know about Jesus Christ and are satisfied with being a good neighbor of church. They show up to church during special seasons like Christmas or Easter. Some go to church on a regular basis and have been longtime members, but they are more like the audience of a stadium. They sit on the pews and enjoy watching the pastor or a few laity work. Very few are real disciples of Jesus who show their commitment and do their own ministry, not only in the church, but also in their family, work place, and community.
When we identify ourselves as Christ-followers (Christians), we follow Christ’s footsteps. In Christ, with Christ, through Christ, we not only receive God’s love but also are empowered to live like Christ, imitating the love of Christ. In fact, the Bible teaches us that love is to be our clothing (Gal. 3:27).
One of the many aspects of love is binding the broken. The most sublime and perfect example of the love of Christ can be understood as a reconciliation, for Jesus Christ came to us to be the bridge builder (Mediator) between God and us (1 Tim. 2:5). In this sense, Christian love is a binding love; binding the broken in the name of Christ through the grace of God.
On the contrary, breaking divisiveness in the name of self-centered myopia is not of God. The Hebrew word Satan means adversary, and its translation to Greek gives us the word Diabolos, from the root dia-ballo, “to divide or separate.” Hence, the meaning of Devil (Diabolos) is “He who places division,” and its derived meaning is “slanderer.” Accordingly, someone who causes divisions and has no love that the Bible speaks of; someone who divides or stirs up divisions in the church is not from God either.
Love is the antidote against the work of the devil who divides. When we prevent any enemy’s scheme of breaking our unity through seemingly valid claims (some truth, but without love), our weapon is the love that binds. Through Paul’s exhortation that we clothe ourselves with love that binds, we are given the right way to fight spiritual battles against our enemy. Compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, and forgiveness (Col. 3:12; 1 Cor. 3:4-7) are not just different names of love, but of spiritual armor. If we witness that one of us follows the enemy’s scheme and plants an idea of division among us, over different worship styles for example, we need to wear the spiritual armor of compassion against the hurting spirit, kindness against the blaming spirit, humility against the judging spirit, meekness against the egoistic spirit, patience against the upsetting spirit, forgiveness against the angry spirit… with such spiritual armor, we can beat the dividing spirit in the church/among us.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21). No one can perfectly describe a Christ bearer’s life, but anyone can discern what is not the life of a Christ bearer.
We, as bearers of Christ’s love, are the witnesses and recipients of God’s gift: Christ who is love. So when we are clothed with love, possessing the different virtues of Christ’s character, we become a small gift to others from God. The characteristic of Christian life is to become a gift. Unlike worldly material gifts that can be sent forward to someone unused, God’s gift can be sent forward only when we are used. If we are not given to other people like Christ was given to us, then we are meaningless gifts.
Think of gifts on the shelf of a gift shop! If it isn’t purchased and given to a special recipient, then it is not a gift, but a mere decoration. A gift is to be given. We, as Christians who have received God’s gift of salvation, the gift of love, should give it to others, rather than leaving it on a dusty shelf. If I call myself a Christian and go to church every Sunday, but no one around me feels any binding love through compassion, kindness, humility, patience, and forgiving spirit, then I am a self-defined gift kept on a shelf; I am but a decoration. If any of us feels like a decoration, it is time to wear love and live in Christlikeness.
If we want to wear these spiritual clothes of love that binds, we have to take off clothes of contention, hatred, short temper, resentment, and unforgivingness. If we cannot take these off all at once, at least we can will. We need to will, because whatever divides and separates us from one another is not of God, but of the devil. Previously, we may have lived indifferently. However, here and now as we open another calendar year, we need to decide which clothes we want to and will intentionally wear.