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12 Years a Servant: Here’s to Forevermore ft. Elder Mark Leong


CERC Foundation Day Celebration

12 Years a Servant: Here’s to Forevermore
ft. Elder Mark Leong

As a church with a primary concern for Christ-centered, God-glorifying ministry, Christ Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC) reflects this in our commitment to quality word ministry, which flows from the pulpit all the way to our growth groups, various ministries and the individuals being discipled one-on-one. Being a church without compromise for God’s gospel means an active defense of the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and staying faithful to the tenets of historic orthodox Christianity by placing the Bible in its rightful place above any notion of culture and institution, including the church’s.


This Foundation Day, we look to honor and celebrate the ministry of our pastors-in-training and elders, who, as pastor-teachers, humbly derive their authority from Christ’s authority as they work to nurture healthy Christian growth in the people of His church. The life of a pastor-teacher is one of full dedication to producing Gospel-committed Christians through creative and sacrificial evangelism by the work of His Spirit, including speaking the truth in love, at every level of word ministry and church operations such that it reflects God’s glorious goals for His kingdom.

 

ELDER

MARK LEONG

Computer Science and Business Management, University of Birmingham, England
IT Manager in a Malaysian financial technology company
SS2 Growth Group Leader
Head of CERC IT Department
Gospel Growth Fellowship Partner

Mark was gripped by the gospel while studying Computer Science and Business Management at the University of Birmingham, England. As a student, he was actively involved in his campus Christian Union and joined the Relay training programme run by Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF) upon graduation. During the year with UCCF, Mark grew increasingly burdened by the gospel need back home, leading him to return to Malaysia in 2010 on the lookout for ways in which he could invest his life to grow the gospel. Today, he’s an Elder in CERC and continues to serve the cause of gospel growth in the Klang Valley and Malaysia.

“The primary qualification that a man must have to be an Elder is to be born of the Spirit – the Trinity’s supernatural work of new birth! As 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9 teach, an Elder is to be a man who is evidently Christian – one who exemplifies Christlikeness; who will not bring dishonour to Christ and his church; who can be entrusted with safeguarding the gospel.”

Mark currently works as an IT Manager in a local fintech company and is looking forward to further equip himself with theological training in the future. Ultimately however, despite what the world would typically think, he believes that what defines good Christian leadership isn’t professional qualifications or having climbed the corporate ladder — but godly character.

Christlikeness doesn’t come from having climbed the corporate ladder and it is not professional qualifications but godly character that matters in leading God’s people.

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“Christlikeness doesn’t come from having climbed the corporate ladder and it is not professional qualifications but godly character that matters in leading God’s people, so I disagree with the idea that being a corporate leader or professionally recognised qualifies someone for church leadership.

Nevertheless, our day jobs are one of the testing grounds that God uses to mature us. The daily struggle to resist being conformed to the values and priorities of the world is one of the key opportunities I have to practice putting sin to death and living out my new identity in Christ: that I am a Christian who happens to work as an IT manager, not an IT manager who happens to be Christian.”

So although a day in the life of an Elder might look pretty similar to that of yours or mine — with regular roles and responsibilities at home, hobbies, chores, doing church work that looks just like doing any regular job using conventional skills, it is the transforming work of Christ that allows us to reframe our purpose and work — giving us the reasons for why we might live and work the way we do in order that we might build up the body of His church.

“Some projects that I’ve been working on: On the home front, one ongoing project is growing edibles in the garden. When the COVID-19 restrictions started, I switched from going to the gym to gardening for exercise and one of the results of this has been a couple of raised garden beds which have produced (with varying degrees of fruitfulness) bitter gourd, bayam (amaranth), yau mak (Romaine lettuce), kai lan (Chinese broccoli) and edamame.

For church, I am working with the IT department on a number of projects to upgrade the infrastructure and systems that our websites and software run on to meet the demands of a growing church. I am also reviewing how the department works to identify and streamline processes so that each member in the department can maximise their contribution to the building up of the body.

Apart from reading that I do for my role as a GG leader, most of my reading is on parenting since I am a newish father — my firstborn is 11 months old!”

Just as every facet of one’s life — be it family or personal experiences, will influence and guide the character of a Christian leader, a faithful leader would allow himself to be shaped and informed by the Word — which is fully sufficient for ministering to every aspect of the life of the church, therefore being equipped to do the same for those under his care and leadership.

“Since graduating 10+ years ago, the 5 years that I spent doing full-time paid ministry has been invaluable in preparing me for my current role on the Council of Elders. It developed my ability to handle the Word and gave me pastoral experience as well as first-hand knowledge of day-to-day church life.

Leading Growth Groups in church for the past 10 years and discipling individuals has also matured me and given me experience that continues to inform my counsel and handling of pastoral issues. Becoming a husband and more recently a father has likewise influenced me in my role, giving me a greater appreciation of Christ’s work in husbanding the church and the role of a pastor in the spiritual upbringing of those under their care.”

Mark’s leadership of his growth group and of the IT department has impacted many brothers and sisters in Christ, and they too reflect on how gospel growth is driven by loving and serving one another in faithful leadership.

“I’m thankful for Mark — he is a faithful and good teacher of the Word, helping us in GG to understand God’s point of view and helping us to apply the Bible in our lives. Leaders like Mark play a big part in our sanctification, even if they don’t know it! I struggled with difficult doctrines but in my persistence through questions and Mark’s patience, he has helped me to see things from God’s point of view. Mark not only cares about our understanding of God’s Word, but shows us how to care for one another as members of His church.”
Ruth Voon, SS2 Growth Group member
“I have learnt a lot over the years by working with Mark in the IT dept. He’s a servant leader who is very patient in guiding the team and able to implement solutions that look towards the long-term. Under his tutelage, I find myself being challenged to think about how my role and responsibilities fit ministry goals for God’s church rather than just getting a job done.”
Lee Joo Hui, CERC and IT Department Member
“We do not segment our lives, giving some time to God, some to our business or schooling, while keeping parts to ourselves. The idea is to live all of our lives in the presence of God, under the authority of God, and for the honor and glory of God. That is what the Christian life is all about.” – R.C. Sproul

This Foundation Day, we celebrate and thank God for the quality of the preaching in CERC, as we treasure the gospel that has been passed down to us. We are committed to preserving its purity and to fight against heresy and the false gospels of today. We thank God in his sovereignty, and are grateful to men and women who have invested much of their time and resources in their love for this church in a small region of the Klang Valley.

Posted on 5th September 2020