1 July 2013 by Adeline Lum CM-
Like the proverb ‘still waters run deep’, Rev Wong Yin Ming –Senior Pastor of Subang Jaya Assembly of God (SJAG)– epitomized the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in God’s sight (1 Peter 3:4).
She was called to serve the Lord full-time at 17 years old. But upon graduation, she was confused, especially with the different career opportunities available during then. She desired to be an accountant.
“So, this dragged on for about four years until I finally gave into God’s Will. I kept asking God, ‘Is this really what you want me to do?’” said Yin Ming.
Like Gideon who asked for signs of confirmation, The Lord also convicted Yin Ming’s heart through prophetic words and also the ‘inner witness’ of the Spirit.
Hence, she enrolled into Bible College of Malaysia (BCM) at 21 years old and graduated after three years. Her first ministry was serving at Glad Tidings Petaling Jaya (GT PJ) as a pastoral staff in charge of the Christian Education, which covered children up to adults.
“I enjoyed working in this area (Christian Education) because I love teaching and my academic results were also alright,” said Yin Ming.
But how did God groom her to become the Senior Pastor of SJAG today?
“When I served as the Christian Education Director, I was also doing pastoral work such as preaching, counseling, and visiting,” said Yin Ming who was clueless about God’s leading for her to eventually pastor a church then.
In fact, she moved from her pastoral work to teaching in BCM in 1991. Nevertheless, she never quite left pastoral work even then.
“At the same time, I was helping SJAG because it was the home church for my family. I taught in the Bible Classes of the School of Christian Growth then, and at the same time helped led BCM Evangelistic Teams to minister to other churches,” said Yin Ming.
She enjoyed teaching in BCM but come the sixth year, her Spirit grew unfathomably restless.
“It was strange and unique. I felt that the Holy Spirit was leading me back to pastoral ministry,” said Yin Ming who did not know that the Founding Pastor of SJAG would be resigning.
In year 1997, she found herself transiting into the role of a Senior Pastor of SJAG. In her 17th year now, Yin Ming has served the church faithfully without burning out. How did she keep herself spiritually full?
“Even as a teacher in BCM, you give a lot. There’s not much receiving in the spiritual aspect. I do feel tired, sometime close to burn-out.”
“So, I keep myself from burning out by interacting with and receiving support from other pastors and ministers through fellowship meetings organized by the AOG, and also through attending good seminars,” said Yin Ming who also spent time with the Lord late at night.
Indeed, the workload can be heavy for a Senior Pastor, especially when the church faced a shortage of manpower and also meeting the expectations of different people in church.
Not to mention, churches today also faced the spilling culture of post-modernism, which affected the way people view church.
“In the past, leadership was respected and not challenged but it is different today. People are more highly educated and exposed now, which lead to higher demands and also expectations. They want their pastor to know it all,” said Yin Ming.
Also, the world has changed tremendously since her time of youth, which called for a whole new approach in ministry as well.
For example, youths today faced more distractions and attractions. Compared to Yin Ming’s younger days, youths of her time did not have computers or Internets. What constituted a distraction was going to the cinemas or pubs. Furthermore, academic courses were more straightforward and limited, compared to today’s limitless courses with its combinations.
“There are too many choices for youths today. With computer games and social media, they are always multitasking with wires all over them,” said Yin Ming.
Perhaps, these distractions and attractions is the reason why youths and also young adults today desire less of the Lord. What would her advices for them be?
“I would advise the youths to remember their Creator during their days of youths (Ecclesiastes 12:1) so that they don’t go astray. You can make the right decisions when you’re more sensitive to the voice of God instead of all the other noises,” said Yin Ming.
Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, "I find no pleasure in them"
As for young working adults, Yin Ming observed that they get distracted from God because they wanted to establish their homes and careers at this time of their lives. Also, they are not an easy group to reach out to because as adults, they are not keen in following advices.
“But I would say to them to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and everything would fall into place (Matthew 6:33). A lot of people are seeking a career path or their life partner, but all these will fall into place if you seek God first,” said Yin Ming.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
And as iron sharpens iron, Yin Ming worked closely with her husband who’s also a pastor in SJAG to effectively minister to the congregation. While Yin Ming ministers and counsels the women in church, her husband is also ministering to the men.
“Having female pastors is an acceptable practice in AOG. There may be people who have reservations, as they would prefer a man as an overall leader but it is really up to an individual and the acceptance of the local church,” said Yin Ming.
A Senior Pastor, wife, and mother of three children, Yin Ming thanked God for allowing her to spend time with her three children despite her busy schedule. Growing up in church, her children served actively in church alongside her. Not to mention, the Lord also provided her children college and university scholarships!
A lady of ‘still waters run deep’, Rev Wong Yin Ming serves and leads SJAG with a quiet confidence in the Spirit and a deep wisdom in the Word. May you find visiting SJAG a blessing!
For more information on LifePoint Subang Jaya Assembly of God (SJAG), please refer to http://sjaog.org.my/
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