12 Years a Servant: Here’s to Forevermore
ft. Elder Sam Ye Han
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.
SAM YE HAN
Office in the Ministry of Education, National University of Malaysia
Dental Officer, Ministry of Health
Bachelor of Dental Surgery, University of Otago, New Zealand, International Medical University
Head of CERC Events Department
Bangsar South Growth Group Leader
The desirable qualities of an elder are clearly laid out in Scripture, specifically in Paul’s writings to Timothy and Titus. The fundamental requirement for anyone who wishes to take on the role of an overseer or elder is to take God seriously and therefore to take the church of Jesus Christ seriously. The underlying expectations of an elder is not different from what is required of a Christian, a disciple of our Lord Jesus and a slave of God’s heavenly kingdom. It is important to be knowledgeable and sound in the key tenets of Christian doctrine if one is to take on the role of an elder or overseer.
“I still remember the day when Mark and I were commissioned as members of the Council of Elders. We were asked a series of questions by our Founding Elder, Robin with the church as witness on our willingness to submit to God’s authoritative Scripture revealed in the Old and New Testament and also to defend the church’s doctrinal stand which is in step with the Reformed doctrines of faith. Hence, being deeply rooted in the gospel truths with a clear theological framework that is in keeping with the struggles of the Reformers would be a key aspect to becoming an elder or overseer. Along with that, the capacity of leadership whether in managing, caring or even pastoring God’s people in multiple areas of life is also a monumental quality that is expected of one who is in the Council of Elders.
Considering what I just mentioned, I must state that men, however, are not perfect beings and God appoints even the weakest ones to lead, shepherd and care for His flock. Having said that, it does not mean we should be complacent and not making efforts in striving for the best for the church of Christ to be well taken care of. Therefore, an especially important attribute is love.”
As people of God and members of CERC, we are constantly challenged on the issue of love and what it means to love the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. Will we love when His sheep have gone astray? Will we love when we are downtrodden and disheartened by the unexpected horizontal circumstances in our lives? Will we be able to exhibit love to those who have wronged us in the past and potentially will do so again?
Understanding God’s love for Himself and how that translates to Him saving a people for Himself through the death and resurrection of His own son, Jesus Christ is exceptionally vital to keep one steadfast in the office of an elder or overseer who is expected to demonstrate love to Jesus’ church.
“Understanding God’s love for Himself and how that translates to Him saving a people for Himself through the death and resurrection of His own son, Jesus Christ is exceptionally vital to keep one steadfast in the office of an elder or overseer who is expected to demonstrate love to Jesus’ church. I was not raised in a Christian household but by God’s grace, I have the privilege of being part of a church like CERC for a significant amount of time to nurture the kind of Christian values that would be needed to pastor God’s flock. I have been attending CERC ever since the middle of 2010 and have been a member since Easter 2011. The various experiences that I have garnered within the church’s ecosystem have impacted the way I relate and interact with others over the years.
From the time when I was being discipled by Jerome who was still in his first year of apprenticeship to the multiple occasions when I was called to organise evangelistic events for the church, I have not ceased learning on how to lead others when it comes to service unto Jesus’ church. I must say, without the opportunities of service given to me, I wouldn’t have been able to get the experience that I need in order to lead the many initiatives that have been commissioned by our Founding Elder, Robin. This is also taking into account that I have made a lot of mistakes which also gives me room for improving myself whether it’s in the form of personal development as God’s servant or in terms of grooming others to serve the church in similar areas of ministry.
I believe we are all familiar with Jesus’ call to love His sheep just as we proclaim that we love Him which is famously recorded in the narrative of John’s gospel. If I am to highlight a key determinant which shapes my approach to pastoral care and eldership, it would be the crucial understanding of love which is seen in Christ. It’s easy for modern readers to say love covers a multitude of sins, but an in-depth look into how Christ perceived the Father’s love — which then shapes His substitutionary atonement on the cross — will challenge our notion of love. To be like Christ as all disciples of the eternal kingdom are called to do is not as easy as mere assent. Hence, the teaching that I have received on God’s love from the CERC pulpit has certainly impacted the way I impart pastoral care to His people in the local church that I proudly serve in.”
Having had Sam as their Elder and growth group leader, Sam’s growth group members past and present reflect on how faithful leadership models what it means to live out the gospel in our everyday lives as Christians and to teach and love God’s Word deeply as presented in the Scriptures.
“Sam has helped me appreciate the importance of being a man who seeks the welfare of God’s people above his own. As a leader, he models discipline with the growth group, especially with the aspects of time, independence, and a sense of responsibility for our duties in the church. I appreciate his down-to-earth attitude, and how he often does not allow circumstances to allay his responsibilities to the GG even during times of hardship. Through his life and leadership, he has shown me the sacrificial humility of being a Christian motivated by the fear and love of God and what He deserves”. – Zachary Liew, Bangsar South Growth Group
“One of the things I’ve learned from Sam is his assertiveness when it comes to teaching and also rebuking. He’s someone who doesn’t compromise — he says things for what they are and that is something that I’ve appreciated a lot as he led us! He remembers the Bible very well and is firm in his theology, which in turn enables him to be firm and confident in his teaching, and I hope I can reach that level of assertiveness and ultimately model the care he has for those he disciples.” – Cheah Wei Kin, former Bangsar Growth Group member and CERC Church Ministers’ Apprentice.
“The healthy Christian is not necessarily the extrovert, ebullient Christian, but the Christian who has a sense of God’s presence stamped deep on his soul, who trembles at God’s word, who lets it dwell in him richly by constant meditation upon it, and who tests and reforms his life daily in response to it.” – J.I. Packer
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.