Sunday Worship Service @11AM
I was 14 and at the time, and my family attended a Korean baptist church in the suburb of Southern California. There were many fond memories of that church, especially in our youth group. Back then, like all other churches, my church didn’t have fancy technology as we do today. There weren’t any computers, flat screen TVs, copy machines, or digital cameras. It was a simple time. When we went to church, we proudly carried the bibles in our hands, instead of mobile phones. My youth group sang our worship songs from the lyrics that were written with thick Sharpie markers on a large poster-sized sheets of paper, instead of Powerpoint slides on projectors that we have today. The kids in our youth group huddled around our youth pastor as he preached, and we held on to his every words, as if it were the only message we’d ever hear. When our pastor spoke of the glory of heaven, we marveled at the possibilities of joy and happiness, and when he described the dreadful hell and the lake of fire, we reacted with fear and horror. Looking back, it all seemed so primitive and simple, but the message was clear and unforgettable. It was all about Jesus.
One day after the end of the worship service, my youth pastor came to me and asked, “Daniel, are you going to heaven when you die?” I didn’t know how to answer, but I knew I’d probably go to heaven because I’d identified myself as a "Christian" and that I had been going to church all my life. But “probably” was not good enough for him. Then he told me that I’d have to repent from my sins, and accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Holy Spirit stirred up a lot of emotion inside my heart. I tried not to cry, doing my best to hold back my tears. At that moment, I made the decision to surrender my life to Jesus, and prayed with the pastor. Few days later, I was baptized in a small tub during Thursday night worship service, for all the congregation to see. During that moment in my life, I was “born again”, and my life would be changed forever.
Few years ago, I became a youth leader at a tiny Korean baptist church near San Francisco. It was not my intention to volunteer, but the church made me into one, anyway. In the short time I was there, 3 kids, Elaine, Chloe, and Jayce, accepted Jesus and became baptized. I was overwhelmed more than the kids. During the baptism, many were in tears, including our pastor and the parents. I remembered my youth pastor and I am forever grateful to him for telling me about Jesus. I hope that the youths of Korean Central Baptist Church and the youths of Jacksonville become true followers of Jesus and perhaps even become youth leaders themselves in their future. In the end, it wasn’t about beautiful building, or amazing worship experience, or fancy technology.
It was all about Jesus.