42nd TAC Conference – Nov 17 – 19 2017
TAMIL ANNUAL CONFERENCE
PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS 2017
Theme: Seek God’s Glory
I thank and praise God for the great privilege of serving Him in this capacity. It is His doing and I am deeply humbled by His divine appointment. This year has been a learning curve experience. I thank my fellow pastors and the lay leadership for their kind prayers and support. I sincerely urge all of you to pray for me and my family daily. I pray daily for all pastors and members and especially for God to give us His direction and guidance as a conference.
- SEEKING GOD’S GLORY BY GIVING HIM THE OWNERSHIP.
This is the first thing we need to do. We cannot give God the Glory if we cannot give Him ownership. It applies to both the Clergy and the Lay. In my visits to churches, I am indeed glad to see pastors and leaders committed to do all the ministries of the work within the vineyard of God. However, there is a real need to give God the ownership of the ministry. What it means is that firstly, we must always be careful to consult God at every juncture, especially in our LCEC. Secondly, it is by ensuring that we do not seek our selfish desires or bring our own vested agendas into the ministry. Pastors or leaders who do not give God full ownership and control of their own hearts will never be able to lead their churches to seek God’s glory. There will only be politicking and recurrent divisions at every turn.
- SEEKING GOD’S GLORY THROUGH CONSOLIDATING THE LOCAL CHURCH.
The subsequent thing we need to do is address our weaknesses in a truthful, honest way. Each LCEC must have plenary sessions to identify one or two areas of weaknesses that they will need to specifically work on for the year 2018. The questionnaire at the back of this address will be helpful.
- Preaching/ Pulpit Ministry
It will be not be possible to see the flames of revival without fire in the pulpit. Though many of our pastors are good preachers, some pastors are struggling even with the basics. The problem becomes acute when they do not see the need to improve because they do not get any type of feedback. They then carry on without realizing that they need to do something about their preaching, especially when members are too polite to convey the reality. I have asked the Board on Ministry to do two things in the coming years. Firstly, to find ways of bringing feedback on preaching to all pastors. This will bring encouragement to pastors who take time to prepare and preach well, while indicating the need to improve to the others. Secondly, the Board on Ministry will need to find ways to conduct personal level coaching and training to help specific pastors who are struggling in this area. If we do not address this problem, we will then find members leaving to other churches as they find spiritual food, comfort and edification elsewhere.
- Visitation/caring Ministry
It needs to be a two-prong approach. Firstly, pastors will now be required to set aside one day of the week as visitation day. They will need to give report on the names of the families visited to the LCEC on a monthly basis. Secondly, the lay leader and the LCEC Chairman must team-up to visit members. They should visit those who have not been coming to church for some time, the sick or even new believers. They could visit either three of five families within a month. They too will report to the LCEC on a monthly basis. This will help the two key leaders of the church to work together and also feel the pulse of the grassroots. Together with this, most churches need to improve the way we embrace newcomers and visitors. Efforts need to be taken to consciously work on this area.
- Being conscious of the Family unit.
All our churches must ask whether they are conscious of developing family centered ministries. There is a danger that we deal with individuals separately and subsequently lose out on the family aspect. This is the reason pastors and leaders need to visit and connect with members in their family setting. Just having ‘family camp’ may not be enough. To begin with, families can be taught to have daily family prayers and someone within the LCEC assigned to monitor whether families really do so and gather feedback to help families who do not meet for prayer. My humble plea is for each LCEC to consider this very seriously and pray and ask God what to do.
- Burden for the lost / Evangelism
The Go Challenge is very much still before us. Churches must not forget that the primary reason for their existence is to reach out to the lost. Many churches are weak in this area. It upsets me when churches do not even have an outreach or even a preaching point. Churches must at least begin to pray earnestly for the lost in their area. If God sees our heartfelt cries he will surely open shut doors for us to work. Only then we will be able to Bring in the Sheaves with Prayer and Perseverance. If we lose this vison, we will then become a social club, existing primarily to organize programs that only serve to keep us make us happy.
- Children’s Ministry
Many churches have good Children’s ministry. Local leaders must take this ministry very seriously especially because the environment in schools has become really perilous. The following needs to be done A. We need to get a committed group to pray for them and their future. B. Teachers with passion need to be identified and trained. They will need to see themselves as spiritual models and mentors. C. Lessons must ensure salvation and faith development instead of giving head knowledge alone. D. Parents must follow up on the weekly lessons and ensure a spiritual environment is maintained at home. E. Pastors must ensure VBS and other programs do not just become another annual affair but actually bring spiritual growth and faith development.
- Youth Ministry
We are glad to see many churches having good programs and assigning budgets for youth ministry. While this is good by itself, it becomes dangerous if it only excites them and keeps them occupied. Rigorous discipleship must be in place with conscious mentoring concurrently taking place. Only then will our youth ministry be complete. This happens when the adults can open their arms to allow them within the circle of ministry among the larger body /mainstream ministries. Pastors and LCEC leaders need to understand that individual faith development primarily takes place in the local church. The youths return to the local church after what happens to them in their camps. What happens after that? In this aspect personal mentoring becomes a key strategy. Although the District and Conference MYF have their own roles to play, the main and foremost action needs to take place in the local church, consciously, week after week.
- CANDIDATES FOR FULL TIME MINISTRY
We are glad that we had four students graduating from STM this year. However, we need to pray and encourage more youths and young adults to commit themselves. Churches must begin to earnestly pray for this during their Sunday services, weekly prayer cells and other groups on a regular basis. The Board on Ministry is open for both men and women to come in. The role of parents in this matter cannot be overstated.
- CARING FOR OUR PASTORS AND THEIR FAMILIES
Pastors are also human and they need much encouragement from all of us. The sacrificial ministry of the pastors needs to be appreciated. The pastor and the family should be encouraged to go for breaks. We are happy that the P.D Methodist center is now offering discounts for pastors during off-peak seasons. Furthermore, it will be good if our Laity Board can initiate something on a regular basis; like having a Pastor Appreciation Sunday/month or something similar. Very often, young people are afraid and shun pastoral ministry because they feel that pastors do not get appreciated for their labor. Usually, this is a wrong assumption as members do appreciate pastors but it is done mostly in private.
- CARING FOR OUR RETIRED PASTORS
We already have 12 retired pastors. Two more pastors will be retiring this year. By the year 2024 we will have 24 retired pastors in TAC. We need to remember that we are a growing conference today only due to the previous work of our retired pastors. We are merely building upon the foundational platform that was built by them earlier. While we are happy to have our retired pastors who still continue to serve when asked of them, we need to care for them further. The medical insurance stops at the age of 70 and health issues become a major challenge. This year we called for a meeting (October) for all the retired to inquire their needs and also to encourage them. Many of them are currently relying on their children. The EXCO has mandated the Pensions Board to look into a Pension Fund which will be explained further by the Finance Chairman. This small token will help mainly in their health / medical needs and also to cover some of their monthly bills.
- ANNUAL CONFERENCE AGENCIES
The ministry of the MYF, MYAF, Methodist Women and MSF is greatly appreciated. Their detailed reports will be given later. It is my desire that each local church agency would prayerfully adopt one component of ministry when the three separate ministry brochures are given later.
- ANNUAL CONFERENCE BOARDS
We also need to appreciate all the chairpersons of the Boards. They will need to be more focused in the coming years. Their detailed reports will also be given later.
By God’s Grace, this year I have been able to visit many churches. The list attached at the back of this report. I am grateful for the hospitality and also for the opportunity to minister and conduct training. Next year I am also planning to visit more outreaches as well. It will be good if pastors of the churches that I have not visited this year give their dates for me to come in 2018.
- TAMIL CHURCH FRATERNITY
- The TAC is part of the CCM Indian Work Committee. They are planning for a program next year.
- The CICLM had their first conference this year and it was attended by some of our pastors. Rev C. Jayaraj is the Chairman while Rev Devadass Ratnam is the Secretary. Some of our pastors are also the regional representatives.
- The FIDC met in May this year and it helped to bring all of the Malaysian and Singaporean denominational churches together.
- MALAYSIAN INDIAN BLUEPRINT
This is an important initiative by our government. It contains vital statistics that can give us much to mull over prayerfully. I would like the Lay leader and the Board on Laity to work on ways of harnessing information from it for future ministry in. They will need to form a sub-committee, which will then organize district level seminars to help our members to understand it. It needs to be regional in order to will attract better attendance and participatory process.
- THE METHODIST CHURCH IN MALAYSIA
Bishop has always been supportive to our TAC concerns. We are happy that that we can contribute meaningfully into the life of the Methodist Church in Malaysia. Bishop has asked that we continue to use the P.D Methodist Center as the home of our Annual Conferences. We are glad to see improvements in service. However, please note the following aspects:
- We need to be cognizant of the long-term roadmap that was previously set before us, especially in areas where the work among the Orang Asal as Bumiputera believers are concerned.
- We need to support our upcoming Methodist Prayer Convention in Sibu which will be from the 31st August to 2nd Sept 2018.
- Our private education initiative to bring our Christian ethos and agenda back into our schools is coming on well. The Penang School will be dedicated on the 9th of March 2018. Please attend if you are able to.
- The Vocational Training Centre (Aluminum works and Air conditioning) in Sitiawan will be fully functional in 2018. Please use the brochures to help needy youths who have not excelled in academics. Churches can support the particular student over the one-year program.
- The General Conference Pastors’ School for 2019 has already been scheduled. It will be from the 2nd to the 4th of April 2019.
CCM continues to represent our concerns as the main protestant bloc. They will be having their 70th Anniversary Dinner next year and it will be good if many of us can attend it. Archbishop Julian Leow has been elected as the new CFM Chairman. Bishop Ong is one of the Vice Chairpersons. We are thankful that both CCM and CFM regularly bring out Press Statements on current issues.
- NATIONAL CONCERNS
It is sad that many matters in our nation rock the life of the masses. Those hardest hit are the poor and from the minority communities. Because of this, the Orang Asli in West Malaysia and the Bumiputera in East Malaysia are very much lagging behind in development. We need to see ways to empower them as well as help them to reclaim their rights and privileges. We need to pray much for the upcoming General Election in 2018. Our people need to involve themselves and not shy away from political participation. We need to pray for God’s will to be done and wholeheartedly accept the outcome even when it is not what we anticipated.
I wish to thank our Bishop and all the other presidents for their fellowship and wise counsel when needed. I also wish to place on record my gratitude to all our pastors and lay leaders who toil hard to spearhead the local churches in TAC. I also wish to thank the EXCO members, Conference Secretary, Conference Treasurer, all the Board Chairpersons and the Agency Presidents for their support and hard work. The office staff Bro. Peter, Sis Mercy, Sis Jayam and Bro Shakespeare have really been helpful to say the least. I also appreciate the prayer team and all our members in churches who pray for me regularly. Lastly, I wish to appreciate my family for sharing me with all others in TAC.
VISITATIONS AND MEETINGS
1 Visitation to TMC Kayu Ara Service
3 First Staff meeting in office
4 Meeting with BOM Chairman and Registrar
7 Board on Missions
7 Board on Social Concerns
8 Visitation to KJOC Service
10 Board on Presidency
11 Meeting with Rev Edwin Rajamoney and BOM Chairman.
12 Meeting with Finance Board Chairman
14 MSF Presidents Retreat in Taiping
15 MSF Presidents Retreat in Taiping
17 FIDC EXCO meeting in Melaka
18 Board on Evangelism
19 Council of Trustees
19 AEC Peninsular
20 Council of Education
21 Methodist Women Board Retreat and EXCO Meeting
22 Methodist Women Board Retreat and EXCO Meeting
25 Meeting with District Superintendents
25 Meeting with Prayer Ministry Team members
28 Memorial Prayer Mtg.
29 Visitation to TMC Tg. Malim
1 Meeting with Social Concerns Director, Board Chairman and Rev C Jayaraj
2 HQ Prayer in Wisma
3 Retreat and Planning with Prayer Team
4 Retreat and Planning with Prayer Team
5 TMC Selayang Confirmation Sunday
8 Board on Christian Education
9 TMC Klang LCEC Leaders Retreat and Training
11 Missionary Jonathan Wedding in TMC Penang
12 Visitation to TMC Kepala Batas Service and New Building
14 Board on Publication
15 Board on Worship and Music
16 Council of Presidents
17 GCEC Meeting
18 MMM Local Leaders Training
18 MYAF Board meeting
19 Cameron Highlands outreach service
23 Board on Ministry
23 Board on Finance
24 EXCO Prayer
25 EXCO meeting
26 KJOC Formation Service
1 Gateway Kelana Jaya. Preaching in Ash Wednesday Service
2 H.Q Prayer in Wisma
3 Half Day Prayer session with Prayer team
5 Preaching in TMC Banting
7 M. Women Conference planning meeting
8 Pastors Development program Broga
9 Pastors Development program Broga
10 Pastors Development program Broga
11 Board on Social Concerns retreat
12 Gateway Kelana Jaya. Preaching in service and conducting Local Conference
15 CCM Management meeting
17 AEC signatory change in four banks
22 Perak District pastors’ fellowship in Ipoh
24 Teaching on Islamization in Melaka (Independent Church)
26 Preaching in TMC Serdang
28 Eastern District pastors’ fellowship in Raub.
29 Management Comm. Meeting
1 Board on Mission/MMM and Funeral service of Mrs Kany’s mother.
2 Visited and preached in TMC Kapar
5 Northern District pastors meeting in Penang
6 H.Q Prayer in Wisma.
7 Half Day Prayer session with Prayer team
11 Management Comm. meeting
13 Maundy Thursday preaching in TMC Shah Alam
14 Good Friday preaching in TMC Serdang
15 LCEC leaders training in TMC Jerantut
16 Easter service in TMC Jerantut
18 CICLM EXCO Meeting
22 Gateway Kelana Jaya LCEC leaders’ retreat
23 Preaching in Institute of Evangelism Sunday morning service
24 CFM Meeting
25 11th NCC gathering in CCM premises
26 MOT/ Students retreat planning meeting
27 COT and AEC meetings
28 Meeting with Mr. Subra for Hospitalization Insurance
29 TMC Klang family camp in Melaka
30 TMC Klang Family Camp in Melaka
1 Northern District Family Day in Alor Setar
3 Meeting with Central Dist. DS and TMC Tg. Malim leadership
3 Meeting with Rev Chris Kam at DUMC
4 H.Q Prayer in Wisma.
6 M. Women Board meeting
7 Preaching in TMC Petaling Jaya
11 TMC K. Lumpur Local Conference
14 Preaching in TMC Cheras
16 MOT/ Students Retreat in Taiping
17 MOT/ Students Retreat in Taiping
20 Archives and History Seminar, Wesley K.L.
21 Preaching in TMC Rawang
23 KAIROS network meeting with denominational leaders
24 Pastors’ Hospitalization Insurance meeting
25 Southern District pastors fellowship in Seremban
25 FIDC Assembly, Seremban
26 FIDC Assembly, Seremban
27 FIDC Assembly, Seremban
1 H.Q Prayer in Wisma.
2 Half Day Prayer session with Prayer team
3 Go Conference, Wisma Eagle
3 Conducted Wedding in TMC Rawang
4 Preached in TMC Semenyih
8 Methodist education Foundation AGM
10 Preached in Wedding TMC K.L
11 Preached in TMC Kampar
13 Board on Evangelism meeting
15 Board on Ministry and Board on Finance
16 TAC EXCO meeting
17 Leadership training for DUMC Tamil Ministry leaders
18 Morning Preaching in TMC Cheras / Evening Preaching in DUMC Tamil service
20 STM Council Meeting and STM AGM
24 Board on Publication meeting
25 Preaching in Institute of Evangelism Sunday morning service
26 Teaching at Southern District MYF Camp in P. Dickson
29 Preaching in STM Chapel service
30 TMC Puchong Family camp, Broga
31 TMC Puchong Family camp, Broga
1 Speaking in TMC Puchong Family camp, Broga
2 Confirmation Sunday, TMC Tamil Settlement.
5 FIDC EXCO Meeting in Melaka.
6 Kuching Tamil Ministry
7 Kuching Tamil Ministry
8 Kuching Tamil Ministry
9 Children’s Sunday, TMC KL
11 Board on Ministry Retreat.
12 Board on Appointments
13 Methodist Education Foundation Interviewing applicants
14 Methodist Education Foundation Interviewing applicants
15 Teaching Islam in Tamil TEE Ipoh
16 Teaching Islam in Tamil TEE Ipoh
17 Widows in Ministry network launching Service in CCM.
21 Half day waiting upon God prayer with prayer team in H.Q.
22 TMC Pusing Fund Raising Dinner
23 Confirmation Sunday in TMC Pusing
23 Gateway Kelana Jaya New Building Dedication Service
27 Trustees and AEC meetings
28 Visiting STM Students in Seremban
30 TMC Seremban Confirmation Sunday
2 Meeting with Earnest Poon, Barnabas Fund.
3 H.Q Prayer in Wisma.
4 Preaching in Good Hope Lutheran Church
5 Wedding in TMC KL
6 Preaching and Communion in TMC Cheras
8 Pastors Development program Melaka
9 Pastors Development program Melaka
10 Pastors Development program Melaka
12 MMM Board Meeting
12 Wedding in TMC KL
13 Visit and preaching in School of Evangelism, Bentong
17 Council of Presidents, Sibu
18 GCEC, Sibu
19 GCEC, Sibu
20 TMC Klang, CE Sunday
24 Meeting with Bishop
25 Half day waiting upon God prayer with prayer team in H.Q.
26 Methodist Women Conference in Melaka
27 Methodist Women Conference in Melaka
28 Methodist Women Conference in Melaka
3 TMC K.L Thanksgiving Service and 120 years Anniversary Dinner
7 H.Q Prayer in Wisma.
7 TAC Koperasi Meeting
9 Wedding in TMC P.Jaya
10 TMC Klang Renovated sanctuary dedication.
11 Visiting Putrajaya ministry
12 GMC Kelana Jaya Local Conference
13 TMC K. Lumpur Local Conference
14 Meeting with Conference Lay leader and Associates
15 Half day waiting upon God prayer with prayer team in H.Q.
17 Preaching and Local Conference in TMC Tamil Settlement
19 TMC P. Jaya Local Conference
22 Ministerial Camp/ Retreat TMC K. Lumpur
22 Opening MYAF Camp in Port Dickson.
24 Preaching and Local Conference in TMC Mentakab
26 Local Conference in TMC Prai
27 CCM Management meeting.
28 TMC Seremban Local Conference
1 TMC Sg Pelek Thanksgiving Service.
3 Meeting with Perak DS and pastors
3 Medical Insurance advisory meeting in TMC K.L.
4 Board on Evangelism Meeting
5 H.Q Prayer in Wisma.
5 Methodist Education Foundation meeting
6 Half day waiting upon God prayer with prayer team in H.Q.
6 Speaking at Selangor District extended prayer in TMC Bukit Rotan.
7 Conference MYF AGM TMC Kuala Lumpur
8 TMC Banting Thanksgiving Service.
8 THEOS Network Fund raising Dinner at Glad Tidings
10 STM Council Meeting
10 Council of Education
11 Meeting with printer for conference ministry brochures
12 Trustees and AEC meetings
13 MSF Camp in Ipoh
14 MSF Camp in Ipoh
15 MSF Camp in Ipoh
19 Board on Ministry and Board on Finance
20 TAC EXCO meeting
21 Preaching in STM Graduation service
22 TMC Sentul Thanksgiving Service.
25 Meeting with Retired pastors
28 MMM Board Meeting
28 TMC Sg Siput Leadership Training
29 Preaching in TMC Sg Siput.
29 Beatrice Richards Ray of Hope new Girls Home Dedication, Sg Pelek.
- HQ Prayer in Wisma
4 TMC Sitiawan Wedding
5 Preaching and Communion in TMC Sitiawan
7 Board on Laity
8 TAC Medical Insurance meeting
10 Half day waiting upon God prayer with prayer team in H.Q.
11 TMC Bahau leadership Training
12 TMC Bahau Sunday Service
17 Tamil Annual Conference P.D.
18 Tamil Annual Conference P.D.
19 Tamil Annual Conference P.D.
26 TMC Jelapang
28 Retreat with STM graduates
29 Retreat with STM graduates
- Institute of Evangelism Graduation in TMC Kuala Lumpur.
- Methodist Women Planning meeting
- TMC Kuantan Confirmation Sunday
6 Ministry in Chennai, India
7 Ministry in Chennai, India
8 Ministry in Chennai, India
9 Ministry in Chennai, India
10 Ministry in Chennai, India
16th to 31st On Leave.
LOCAL CHURCH MINISTRY CHECKLIST FOR 2018
- What are two weak areas that my church will focus on for this year? What will be some of the steps taken to address this?
- What are the steps taken to assure that the Children in the church receive Christ as their personal savior?
- What are the steps taken to ensure that the Youths are given opportunities for ministry to grow as disciples for Christ?
- What are the steps taken to pray for and encourage people to commit for Full Time Ministry?
- What are the weaknesses in the Evangelism Ministry of my local church? How is it being addressed?
- How does my church ensure that members are being ministered to within their family context?
- Is my local church visitation effective (both pastors and leaders)? What else can be done?
- How can we improve our welcome and follow up of newcomers?
- Is the Commitment Fund and the Development Fund offering being sent monthly?
- Is my local church praying earnestly for TAC and for the nation? How can this be increased?