When you step into the celebration service of the New Covenant Church (tNCC) at Wisma TA in Damansara Kim, the thing that will leave an impression on you isn’t necessarily going to be its size. It is the cohesiveness of the entire congregation. Seldom do you see such sense of belonging and such unity, where each member feels like they belong to a large family, under God as the Father.
Yet, tNCC has achieved much within the space of 8 years. When senior pastor, Pr Peter Sze, first started the church all he had was a direction from God and a faith in the message and gospel of Christ and His grace and love. It was a huge decision for him, but he obeyed. From a group of 30, it now has a congregation of a few hundred, all of whom have a heart of true love for God, the church, and for each other.
Despite being a working business man with full-time job, Pr Peter is somehow always there for every significant event, from the birth of new-born babies to funerals to individual successes.
In a talk show together with his wife, See Fen, He attributed tNCC’s growth to the loving goodness of God, and he identified and gave thanks to the heart of service of its people. None of the ministries had full-time workers, each of them run out of a sense of belonging and a wanting to serve out of an overflow of gratitude to the Lord. One year ago Pr Peter formed the Pastoral Team consisting of 7 other couples who were already actively helping to shepherd the flock. This team leadership has helped the church to widen and strength its ministry. Now in its 8th year, God is taking the church into a new beginning.
Pr Peter shared in the recent anniversary celebration, held on the 29th of October 2017, what this new beginning means to them, both personally and corporately for the larger Body of Christ. The foundation was taken from the passage of Isaiah 43:18-19:
Isaiah 43:18-19New International Version (NIV)
18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
Our God is not a God who sleeps or slumbers. He is always in the midst of doing a new and greater thing. In the early days of the Church, He did an unprecedented thing in that upper room in Acts 2. Then the church went through 1000 plus years old dark ages until a young Catholic priest, Marin Luther, stood up courageously against the abuses of institutionalised religion, and sparked off the Reformation that shook the world. The Lord, through Martin Luther, led the church to the basis of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.
In the years after, God continued doing new things in the church through different movements such as the Evangelucal, Pentecostal and Charismatic occurrences. God is always moving and in the midst of doing a new thing.
Yet we must not dwell on things of old. We must not let past failures become baggages or hold on to the old successes too much until we stop progressing, Pr Peter conveyed.
‘When the Lord blesses us or set us apart, what is it for? We know that God is a good God and that He blesses us but that is not all. God calls us for a specific purpose, and all over the world He wants to establish churches that are based on a New Covenant and a new spring of life that is coming forth.’
In the New Covenant, churches are the Body of Christ. It means that we are all connected to one another. The finger is connected to the hand, the hand is connected to the shoulder, the shoulder is connected to the torso, the torso is connected to the hip, the hip to the leg, and so on.. Nothing stands alone. Moreover, each member has a specific function in the Body, and the Holy Spirit will give us gifts to function in the Body according to our purposes. We are connected for a purpose and we are to function together as one Body. There are no heroes, and all of us are connected.
But more than just a Body, we are also a Family. We are not connected to each other merely because we have work to do together; we are related to one another because of a bond under one God and one Father. One Holy Spirit that gave birth to us. And like any family who may sometimes fight for space but is nevertheless united because of this bond of relationship, we are the same in the New Covenant under Christ. We are not just another society.
We are also the Bride of Christ. ‘It is not just about us together, it is when we are together, and when we look at Jesus, and we see Jesus looking down on us with eyes of love, with eyes of joy, that He rejoices over us all the time. So often we look around and we see the imperfections in the churches. When Jesus looks at the Church, He sees the Bride He died for. When we learn to look at the Church from the viewpoint of Jesus, we stop just focusing on the imperfections, we start to look to Jesus and how He is in the process of perfecting His Bride for His glory.’
Finally, we are a People of God. We belong to God. ‘We are called a people of God so that we may declare of His goodness to all around. We have a mission. It is not just about ourselves.’
This is the church that the Lord Jesus Christ is going to establish. Not a society, not an army, not a social club or just an organisation. Instead of a single head of an organisation that controls everything, we function together as a Body. We stick together and love one another as a Family. We know that the Lord is perfecting us because He looks down at us lovingly as His Bride, and we are His People, called for a special purpose, that we may declare His praises among the nations.
Some of us may feel lost or seeking for directions, about career choices and many other matters. The Word of the Lord says He will make a way in the wilderness. And when the Lord guides, He will be with us all the way. He never leaves us to wander alone. And streams of living water will flow in the wasteland. Where there was formerly dryness, He will bring life. Because there is a river of life in us, we are empowered to declare His praises and bring healing to the nations.
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NOTE: tNCC is a church founded to preach the simple, pure Gospel of Grace of Jesus Christ radically, based on the New Covenant without mixture.They are a non-denominational, independent, evangelical and charismatic community of grace. Since their first Sunday celebration on Nov 1, 2009, they have been flowing in the Lord’s blessing and work.
tNCC is also a member of the wider body of Christ in the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship, Malaysia.To find out more about them, visit their website at http://www.tncchurch.org/who-we-are/
Pr Peter’s full message can be accessed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KyMvO4iiTU All pictures kindly provided by the church.