Is That All There Is to Church?

Pastor Susheel John

It was the 90s and megachurches started gaining popularity in Singapore. In my heart, however, was a growing discontent. It was a discontent regarding how the church was – not just my church, but the church in general. Every ministry seemed to be doing its own thing regardless of what the mission (or assignment) of the church was. There was no convergence. There was no unity. Many Christians started behaving like consumers and, every week, they would go for the “best show in town”. Because of this, churches started having more and more programs.  As a result, people seemed to spend more time on the church premises than outside. I began to question: If all the Christians are in church all the time, who’s preaching the gospel to the non-believers? If the salt remains in the saltshaker and the lamp is covered by a bucket, how can it impact the world?

I grew up going to church every week and was contented. I attended an Anglican church in my childhood and teenage years but received the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a young adult and joined an independent charismatic church. I had my first tastes of ministry in that church and was satisfied that I was doing alright. I got married in that church and eventually worked there. That was when my discontent began but what I did not realize, at the time, was that God had opened my eyes to see the bigger picture of His kingdom. About 11 years ago, I left that church to start Oasis Christian Fellowship, where I pastor now. By then, I knew something about the kingdom of God and tried to do things differently.  Instead of being in competition with other churches, I sought to collaborate with them. Yet it was hard to find other ministers and pastors with the same thinking. 

In 2014, I read on Facebook a post by Ps Henson Lim that caught my attention, so I asked him what was going on. We arranged to meet up for lunch. It was about one week before Archippus Awakening was launched. I had first met Ps Henson when we were in school.  Later on, during university days and in adult life, we would meet up here and there, at conferences, seminars and, more significantly, on Facebook. 

The first thing that clicked was his view of the kingdom of God. Finally, someone was on the same frequency!  I gladly volunteered myself (and my wife) to help out when needed. A few months later, at our first Awakening Event (AWE) I had the opportunity to hear in greater depth what Ps Henson had shared over lunch. I began to realize that the Archippus Awakening message is vital for disciples of Christ to hear.   

Based on what I learned at AWE, I think I had already been awakened (or at least I was half-awake) in realizing that God does not do things randomly or haphazardly in His kingdom. The importance of aligning became apparent to me a bit later, but it was the message about assignments that made that initial impact. Suddenly, my own journey made sense. God had placed me in certain areas of operation at certain times either to learn something or to make a difference. It sounds like such a simple thing, but it was significant because my view of the kingdom was expanded.

At least three things have changed for me since responding to the called to be awakened, aligned and assigned. First of all, I started to look at my own life and ministry.  I realized how unfocussed I had been as a pastor and began to re-evaluate all I did, questioning if they were kingdom assignments or just Christian activities. I also saw that I needed to check and re-check my own alignment with the King and His kingdom. Having the opportunity to assist Ps Henson on the Mentoring Aligning Process (MAP) gave me handles to discover and deal with my misalignments. 

The second change was in the way I encouraged my church members and other disciples of Christ. By sharing about being awakened, aligned and assigned, I hope I can help others who may feel stuck in the service or wobbly in their walk.

The third change that has taken place is that I have been able to establish kingdom connections with like-minded Archippuses. The Lord uses them to encourage me and remind me that I’m not crazy, I’m just an Archippus.  I think He uses me to minister them in the same way too.

I would urge each of you, my fellow soldiers, to listen to what the Lord wants you to do and then go do it!

And say to  Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.” Colossians 4:17 

I am Archippus, awakened, aligned and assigned!

Dear Archippus…
Jesus says, “But  seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

What does seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness mean to you? How does it impact your own spiritual walk beyond church attendance and participation?  

Ps Henson writes in his book Alignment Check, “When we say kingdom, do we really understand what it means or refers to? Some inaccurately thinks that the terms church and kingdom are synonymous and can be used interchangeably. Consider this: with or without the church, the kingdom of God continues to exist. In fact, before there was ever an entity called the church, the kingdom of God was already there. For sure, the kingdom is far bigger than the local church, than any one denomination, even the universal church with all denominations globally combined!” 

How does an understanding of the kingdom of God impact the way you move on your kingdom assignments? 

About Pastor Susheel
Susheel is just an ordinary guy who has made his share of mistakes but is eternally grateful for God’s grace and mercy, both of which have never run out. Married to Christina, he enjoys playing bass and guitar and developing close friendships over coffee. He describes himself as an Archippus cunningly disguised as a Birmingham City supporter.