Seniors Fellowship Lunar New Year Gospel Meeting
Dear BPCWA worshipper, Last week, we announced an upcoming Chinese New Year gospel meeting for Seniors. I would like to take this opportunity to update everyone on this initiative which we are doing for the first time, and what you can do even if you are not s senior.
Why we have this gospel meeting. We are holding this because we need to reach out to more seniors. We see many seniors in our local community when we are out in shopping malls, eating places, and see them taking walks to exercise. And particularly around Northbridge, we see many seniors who may have immigrated to Australia. A large number of them speak only Chinese, and where many of them are from, Christianity may not be so openly preached and may be frowned upon. Our Seniors Fellowship has Chinese interpretation which provides us with the opportunity to reach this community with the gospel of salvation. As we started having separate English and Chinese Worship Services last year, we are also in the process of moving on to more targeted and focused outreaches to grow the respective congregations. This means that we can channel the seniors who come and who decide to return, to the worship service that best suits them.
Why it is for Seniors. 1) Allows us to reach the Chinese elderly community. Desiring also to grow the Chinese congregation, we felt that tapping on a major Chinese festival like Chinese New Year would be a more effective means of gospel outreach. Generally, those who only speak Chinese are the Chinese elderly. This is the reason for this new avenue of outreach this year, through the Chinese New Year Gospel Meeting. Just like last year, we held the English Christmas Gospel Meeting last year with a specific target on the English speaking younger generation in Perth. We encouraged in particular worshippers to invite their English-speaking relatives and friends, both young and old, for the meeting. It is necessary to realise that for families with children that are being educated in Australian schools and universities, such children are likely to eventually be more conversant and comfortable with an English-speaking environment in the long term. Similarly, most working people in Australia would be using English in their workplace. With such groups in mind, it was decided that the Christmas Gospel meeting would only be conducted in English because most of them will be seeking an English church to attend. 2) To stir our seniors to fulfill the Great Commission given by Christ. A Seniors Gospel meeting allows and encourages our seniors to still be involved in evangelism. For a large part of the past year, we have had to cancel all City Evangelism sessions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even when it resumes, these outreaches are predominantly attended by the students and young adults. However, the Great Commission is not age-specific. It should be sweeter as the years go by as we love our Saviour more and more. If so, we should be enthusiastic and involved in telling others about Him too, so that more can come to love and worship Him. I know that many of our elderlies are still very evangelistic, and this is an opportunity for them to be involved in evangelism too, if City Evangelism is too strenuous for them. So, seniors in BPCWA, invite your in-laws, your relatives, and your friends! This is your opportunity to grow in your Christian walk too.
Whom we should invite. We are specifically seeking to reach the seniors for this Seniors Gospel meeting. We rarely think of inviting seniors to the church. How will unbelieving seniors come to know the Gospel of salvation and come to be saved? Through you, my dear brethren. While you may not be able to go for hours of City Evangelism at this point in time, you can bring along the flyers during your regular activities and invite seniors to come to church on this very opportune Chinese festival. For example, when you eat out, go to the butcher, or the oriental shops, strike up a conversation with them, and take the opportunity to give them the eye-catching flyer together with a gospel tract. Remember, for many of those lost in superstition and idolatry, they would be more hesitant to reject an offer during this “auspicious” Chinese New Year period, especially when it is about “How to have a happy new year”! While our initiative was prompted by the desire to reach out to those who speak only Chinese, we don’t want to miss the opportunity to invite others for this meeting as well. What we call Chinese New Year is actually the Lunar New Year, and is celebrated by many Thais, Vietnamese, and Koreans as well. They will get to hear the Gospel in English at this meeting too. So, let us not just stop at inviting only the Chinese, but all who will come, for all need the gospel of salvation. It is the good news that we bring, so may we eagerly and readily bring the flyer along with us . . . after all, we may meet someone that we can invite when we are out! If you do have confirmation from those you have invited that they are coming, please do inform us, so that we can plan for the physically distanced seating in church during the meeting.
Who should do the inviting as well. Well as mentioned already, Seniors in BPCWA, this is your opportunity to reach out and obey God in the Great Commission. But young ones, you too can be used by God to invite your grandpa and grandma when you see them at Chinese New Year. They will find it hard to turn you down, being their beloved grandchildren. Young adults should invite their unbelieving relatives and in-laws. So, none can say that we have no part to play for God in this Seniors Gospel meeting. Invite them today already because it is on the 20th of February.
What to pray for. Perhaps unknown to the attendee, events in church require a lot of background planning, ranging from the invitations to the event itself, refreshments, follow-up, and not forgetting seating arrangements, a major headache in these COVID physical distancing times. We have had to reevaluate each activity to ensure that the activity was what was the best form of outreach for the respective target groups. But pray most of all that all will do our part in reaching out to the elderlies around us in Perth and that the invited ones will indeed come. Pray that God will use the message to save some of these elderlies.
So, my brethren, in these COVID-19 times that we cannot go for outreaches to the city and in the streets, let us all bring them into the church. We have prayed during our prayer meetings that God will turn the hearts of Australians to help them see the need for a Saviour. We have prayed that God will use BPCWA to bring many to His knowledge. Gospel meetings are times for us now to act on that prayer. God works through His people, and through His church.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Rom 1:16
Yours in our Lord’s service,