Recently at the 7th Mission Conference of the World Federation of Chinese Methodist Churches (WFCMC), during the devotion on the first day, Rev Thomas Lau Sie Ngiu (from Sarawak) shared on a quotation from John Wesley that God’s commandment is also God’s promise, that “the command is equivalent to a promise”.
Whenever God issued a commandment or command, He also included a “promise that He will work in us what He expects of us”. When God said that we are to love him with all our heart, our soul, our mind and our strength, and to love others as ourselves, he also promised us the grace by which we can fulfil such a commandment. When Jesus wanted us to bring the gospel to the ends of the world, he also promised that he would be with us. Thus when John Wesley raised the topic of a Christian’s perfection, he was saying, that every commandment that God gives, includes God’s promise along with it.
The World Federation of Chinese Methodist Churches (WFCMC) was formed 30 years ago, to create a common platform to connect Chinese Methodist churches in different countries, to effect communication and learning, mutual encouragement and collaboration in missions. Together we may share in the Great Commission entrusted by our Lord Jesus Christ. These 30 years have seen much fruits. In terms of missions, besides the missions work of the individual conferences, the Federation also combined resources to start the Cambodian ministry. The Council also regularly visited each provincial committee in China to understand the internal situation and build connections, especially where the area is of a Methodist background.
The Theology Committee also regularly organises seminars to focus on Methodism and its response to the current times. Every 5 years, each district would translate a Methodist book, so as to richly bless the Chinese disciple’s understanding of Methodism. The Religious Education Committee also spared no efforts in promoting Methodist curricula. Today though we are all in different countries, of different conferences, yet we subscribe to many common curricula, such as Disciple Bible Study and Walk to Emmaus. This Committee also directs the organisation of the Young Leaders’ Conference every 2-3 years. It serves to connect and support the youth ministry in each country, and raise their international awareness. The Worship Liturgy and Music Committee helps to study and give feedback on the western liturgy that we continue to use, so that each conference may have more appropriate worship theology and liturgy. In recent years, the Social Concerns Committee has focused on crisis and disaster training. If any member country has a need, everyone would quickly help out in any way possible.
Above all, the most precious fruit must be the 30 years of friendship and bonding in our Lord. Supporting, encouraging, and praying for each other in Christ’s name, is to embody the unity of the Methodist family.
Jesus’ exhortation is clear in our ears, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20). This instruction is directed at “you” in the plural sense, not the singular. The 8th WFCMC Conference of 2022, will be held in Singapore. Therefore let us ready ourselves, as we prepare to host the next WFCMC Conference, to revitalise our zeal for evangelism and missions!