Ryan Chan

by Ryan Chan

Greetings from Berkeley. Go Cal! Go tritons too…I guess. It’s me, Ryan Chan, you remember me, right?

So I figured I’d take this opportunity to update you guys on how life has been whilst I have been up here in Berkeley, and to encourage you with some things that I have learned so far.

It wasn’t too long ago, 8/14/07 8:45AM to be exact, that I packed up my life into two cars, and headed up the 5 Freeway towards Berkeley. I was fortunate enough to get housing with some brothers at Eastbay (the church I planned to attend) who had just graduated from Cal, which proved to be a great blessing. Living with people who already went to Eastbay allowed me a foot in the door, as I could simply tag along to church, hangouts, and events. Now I know this might surprise some of you, but I am not exactly the most outgoing of people and I don’t really enjoy change all that much; knowing this, I had a lot of apprehensions about to a new city let alone a new church with new people. I had heard bits of information from people who visited or who previously attended, but that could only quell so much of the unease. Among the first things I experienced was that the congregation made a concerted effort to welcome me and spend time with me in order to make me feel comfortable. As I became increasingly comfortable with the church and its members, I could really see the emphasis put on church hospitality, not only from how they interacted with me, but also how they spent time with other newcomers. It really challenged me because I never put much effort into this aspect of ministry, thinking that there were others more equipped to do it; in reality though, our hospitality toward newcomers of the church is ultimately a reflection of the church body’s love for people. And so, when the time came when I was no longer the “new guy,” I came to realize that I am the one that needs to be displaying a genuine love for people through hospitality, setting aside my own personal discomfort for a greater cause.

This leads directly into another thing that I have been encouraged by: loving and caring for the church body. It’s something that seems inherent, but I’ve come to realize that we attend churches with members who are more than willing to sacrifice their time and resources in order to serve and care for one another. Our love for the brethren should not be fickle, but rather a natural response towards all because we have first experienced God’s love for us. About two months ago, I had the luxury of hearing Dr. Alex Montoya speak at Eastbay’s 10-year anniversary celebration, and he spoke on how we, the members of the church, need to shepherd Christ’s sheep. He spoke from John 21:15-19, and his main points were: 1) The Call to Spiritual Ministry, 2) The Call to Sacrificial Ministry, 3) The Call to a Humble Ministry, and 4) The Call to Singular Ministry. It was a definite reminder to me that the church is its people, and so, we need keep in mind that a worthy passion is to love God and people.

“This is humbling, but it’s also an inspiring picture of what the church is supposed to be—not a place where people are jockeying for power, but where people willingly take whatever role best serves God’s purpose” -Joshua Harris

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The Beacon is the monthly newsletter for Lighthouse Bible Church in San Diego, California. It covers a variety of subjects including LBC events, church history, current events from a Christan perspective, ministry profiles, and messages from our pastors and elders. To join the Beacon ministry, please contact Stephen Rodgers.

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