At the recent FCCI (Fellowship of Christian Companies International) Conference, Ps. Winson Phuah briefly shared his testimony of how God caught his attention and taught him a valuable lesson.
In light of the conference theme, Success Through Righteousness, Ps. Winson posed the question, “If you are really honest with yourselves, which one do you really desire? Success or righteousness? What is your aim? Are you aiming at success or are you aiming at righteousness?”
Righteousness is defined as ‘doing what is right in the eyes of God.’ “When you do what is right in the eyes of God but cannot get the success you want, do you really still want to do it?” Ps. Winson asked.
He then went on to share his personal testimony. “I am naturally a very aggressive person; very ambitious and driven—achievement and success driven. At the age of 20, I aspired to be a very successful entrepreneur. I started my own business at the age of 24, but after three years, I failed.”
Ps. Winson finally found his calling to be a pastor and so he went into full-time ministry. But his inner self had not really changed. He was still very success driven. “I wanted to build a mega youth ministry that would impact multitudes. This was my desire.”
Again, things did not go as he planned. He had 12 youth leaders under his leadership, and he had been pushing them hard to meet his standards and expectations. They were exhausted; he was exhausted. Driving home one day and feeling burnt-out, he asked God “What happened? I have been so faithful serving you all these years, but what do I get now? Why can’t I even disciple these leaders for you? Why can’t I even train one disciple for you?”
He didn’t expect an answer, but it came. A still small voice said, “You want to know why? It is because you yourself are not my disciple.” He was astonished. He tried to argue: “God, come on! I have been so faithful! I put a lot of effort into building this ministry. I’m serving the church! Am I not your disciple?”
And God continued, “Are you serving people or are you serving Me? Are you serving your own desires or Mine?” Ps. Winson kept quiet, tears running from his eyes. God went on to teach me, “A tree will bear fruit in its own time. Who you are will be what you get.”
“I wept, and repented.” Ps. Winson said. “I told God, ‘I want to be your real disciple.’” He left his previous church and joined B&P (Business & Professional) Ministries. “I started to learn to love people. The first principle that God taught me was from Hosea 6:6.”
“I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.”
“God wanted my love. God wanted me to show love to Him by showing love to His people. Many times, I used people. I used the leaders under me. I used them—I did not love them. I wanted to use them to achieve my goals. Then, the elders taught me, ‘Use money and love people. Do not love money and use people.’ This is the principle I have been learning over the last 8 years.”
Ps. Winson has since modified this principle a little: ‘Use ministry and love people. Do not love ministry and use people.’ “The purpose of ministry is to serve and love people,” he said.
He then went on to share a story of God’s faithfulness to a young man who chose to obey Him. “I met a young, talented director two years ago. He was a lukewarm Christian when I met him. So I decided to invest in him. I spent a lot of time with him and got involved in his life. It was something that I had to do intentionally, because it did not come naturally to me.”
Every Friday, they would meet for Bible Study, and Ps. Winson poured his own life into this young man. After a year, he started to change, and rededicated himself to the Lord. He also worked very closely with well-known local actor, producer, and director. The opportunities that came his way were what many young men were craving.
He was filming short films and music videos with this celebrity director who eventually proposed a partnership to start a new production company with him. They had even found an investor to get them the latest and best equipment so that they could produce higher quality films. It was a golden opportunity.
But in his heart, he knew that there were things about this work that went against his Christian values. He struggled about whether or not to carry on. To take this chance would make him a quick and big fortune. But after praying over it, he made the major decision to pull himself out of this partnership without any promising future, and be a freelancer.
The partners were all surprised and thought he was crazy. But God honored his decision. For four continuous months, he did not have to go searching for a job. Instead, jobs came looking for him.
Today, he has joined B&P Ministries as a full time youth minister and has helped them to produce many meaningful movies and short films to bless their young people. One of their short films has even gone viral online. “When we honor God, God honors us. Our God is a God who loves people,” Ps. Winson said.
“Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love” – Mother Theresa.
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