30 March 2013 by Adeline Lum CM –
Timothy Loh, Senior Pastor of Eaglepoint Church at 45 years old is like a raging bullet train, perpetually driven and busy, while creating the delicate balance of faith, family, and work on the fulcrum of Jesus Christ.
At a young age, his mother who was a young Christian sent him to Sunday school to learn English. And at 15 years old, he accepted Christ at a ‘hungry and moldable age’ but he backslid a few years before God touched him again when he was 21 years old. A university student then, he rededicated his life to God whose love overwhelmed him into tears. And at that moment, he knew that God called him into becoming a pastor.
After he graduated from USM, he decided to take biblical leadership courses in Portland Bible College in Oregon for two years, instead of immediately joining the corporate world.
After graduating, he joined IT sales in a company while serving as a youth pastor for Eaglepoint Church.
How did he ascertain his calling as a pastor? Like anybody who had a calling, he experienced thinking that the call was dead, the call being resurrected and also going through the call.
In addition, he was practical in using the 4 P’s to discern God’s calling for him.
“For you to know how to journey with God, see if things worked within God’s boundaries called as the four P’s,” said Pastor Timothy.
The first ‘P’ is whether God is providential in fulfilling your calling. Providential here has many folds including having the sovereign Hand of God maneuvering us, God opening doors of opportunity, encountering His Grace, and bumping into the right person at the right time.
“It is God’s providential hand in directing me without human planning,” said Pastor Timothy.
Secondly, ask yourself if you’re principally made up to be a pastor as described in the Bible?
Thirdly, were there prophesies for your calling? Pastor Timothy recalled that different pastors would confirm his calling as a pastor.
And lastly, was there a personal prayer conviction of the calling? If the four ‘P’ are apparent, then the calling is fairly evident.
Starting as a youth pastor in Eaglepoint church, how did he keep a balance between church and work?
“It is always the providential hand and favor from God in getting the deals bid for and also reaching my sales target,” said Pastor Timothy. “On the practical side, I worked very hard while depended like crazy on God.”
“I am also discipline with my time. I worked late two to three times a week, while crafting out time in other weekdays to do ministry work. My luncheon is usually used to meet people as well. And generally, I have three meetings with different people back-to-back in a night,” he added.
Also, he is comfortable in having his cell number shared openly with the public and his congregation. This is because being in IT sales, he is used to picking up calls even at the wee hours in the morning.
“During the launching of a project, clients would call if there was a problem. And I had to pick it up,” said Pastor Timothy. “I didn’t feel forced to share because I want to be reached easily by people who want to find me.”
Indeed, a pastor’s life can be tiresome and never-ending! How did he sustain this fast-paced life?
“There are sacrifices that one need to make,” said Pastor Timothy who cheated on sleep here and there. Citing 1 Cor 15:10 as an encouragement, he truly embodied the verse as well.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace towards me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
When asked if he felt that the burden is too great on his shoulders, he said, “The burden can be heavy but that’s why it’s fun because only then, you would depend on God. But it’s also important to draw the line and have your own privacy.”
And on 1999, he became a full-time senior pastor for about ten months before God opened doors for venturing into his side-business in the food industry and other investments.
“We always choose the fast and easy route. But sometimes, you just got to do what God gave you, stomach it and bite the bullet,” said Pastor Timothy who learned the value of responsibility while growing up in a humble home.
When asked how he kept his health, he owed it to God’s grace and consistent exercise of playing badminton twice a week and also occasionally swimming. These were his leisure activities, besides watching Arsenal play.
Receiving God’s grace, he also checked his balance in planning and keeping with a schedule by following Steven Covey’s principle of ‘nothing gets done if it’s not scheduled.’
Hence, if his schedule did not show enough time spent in faith, family and sports, then his life is not balanced. For example, he tries to spend as many one-on-one times with his wife and also his children of 16 years old, 13 years old, 10 years old and 5 years old. In the same token, he also coached his staffs by asking them for a schedule. Realistically, he planned his time two weeks ahead.
Indeed, all of us have 24 hours a day. To ensure more done while keeping a balanced life, scheduling is important especially when Eaglepoint church will be having 5 services in the weekend starting in April, instead of only 4 services.
And on Sunday night after preaching the weekend services and tugging his children to bed, he would take a personal moment to concretize his planning for two weeks.
A pastor is like the CEO of the church; he or she plans and decides, overseeing the bigger picture and vision of the Lord, yet caring for the details and complexities of individual lives.
With so many things on his plate, Pastor Timothy owed his tenacity as a Senior Pastor of Eaglepoint church to his amazing team of people.
“I appreciate everyone who is serving in the church because without them, I cannot be who I am today,” said Pastor Timothy.
Lastly, a pastor’s life is not easy!
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