USA Holy Work Update: Inheritance, Succession, and Continuation for the Lord
Report Update on the Holy Work of the USGA in 2022
Thank the Lord, starting from the second half of 2021, the pandemic in the US gradually slowed down. Local churches around the world also actively encouraged believers to return to church services, and service attendance has nearly increased to pre-pandemic numbers. However, there is still a small number of believers who have not returned to participate in physical gatherings due to the habit of attending services online or due to health concerns. Therefore, the work of encouragement from the pulpit and phone visitations must still be continued.
The annual theme set by the USGA in 2022 was “Grow As One Body,” encouraging local churches to draw up plans to promote the pastoral work of each church. Pastors and service leaders also used the Scriptures in Ephesians to encourage believers and council members how to grow the church as one body. In addition, local churches were specially reminded to strengthen the following three aspects: First, the believers’ understanding of the church’s basic beliefs; second, the various local church fellowships; third, the active search for lost sheep. Thank the Lord, some local churches achieved good results when they actively strengthened these areas.
In mid-May, the Evangelical Department held an evangelism workshop at Cerritos church for Central and Southwest region members. The theme was, “Preaching as One Body.” A few pastors and ministers gave encouragement, and representatives from each church shared about how evangelism was effectively promoted in their local churches during the pandemic for mutual learning. There were around thirty participants.
In addition to the spring and autumn evangelical services held at various local churches, different regions also used the Internet to hold online evangelical services so that more truth seekers could attend and obtain precious salvation.
In early June, the Pastoral Department held a national seminar for marriage coordinators at Elizabeth Church. A total of twenty-four marriage coordinators participated in the seminar. They actively assist youth to marry in the Lord.
In addition, the Pastoral Department started piloting youth counseling this year. Youth volunteers formed a counseling group responsible for counseling university and high school youth in school and faith. Thank God, many youth were willing to register for mentorship from older youth.
The various tasks of the USGA Literary Ministry Department are oriented towards supporting the plans and future development of the IA Department of Media Evangelism, especially in the production of English audio-visual content and publications, and assisting the software development and content of the eRhema website and app.
In the USGA Training Department, the TTP students who enrolled in 2020 completed their fifth semester of the course in mid-May this year. Currently, two theological students are interning in different regions under the guidance of the resident pastors. After the summer internship, they will return to the USGA theological seminary at the end of August to complete the final semester of courses, followed by a one-year pastoral internship starting in January next year.
There are currently thirty churches and houses of prayer in the US, and three service locations where prayer houses may be established. Therefore, there is an urgent need for more full-time missionary workers to develop the holy work in the vast territory of the United States. Pr. Derren Liang retired at the end of September 2021, and Pr. Wen-Chuan Yeh will retire at the end of 2023. There are currently two theological students who are in training and one who is interning. This year, we will continue to recruit three theological students. We pray that God will personally move aspiring youth to apply for the exam and join the ranks of the full-time ministry.
Under the guidance of the Lord, the churches in the US have gradually entered a mature stage after forty years. The evangelical department, pastoral department, training department, literary ministry department, and administrative departments are promoting various holy work maturely under the leadership of the Lord. The second generation who grew up in the US under the nurturing of RE classes, student spiritual convocations, and youth theological training events have gradually taken on some ministries. They now serve as RE teachers, lead teachers, coordinators, service leaders, council members, and even GA council members. Just as Joshua took over the work of Moses before crossing the Jordan River, inheriting all aspects of the church requires time and opportunity. God gives people time to equip themselves and become vessels suitable for God. When the time comes, God will miraculously arrange the work of succession and give the successors wisdom and ability to do all holy work even better.
May the Lord continue to be gracious and lead the growth of the US churches. May God allow more of our brethren to actively participate in various church ministries, to know the value of personal spiritual cultivation, and to pray at all times with all prayer and supplication. May each continue to diligently fortify the faith of his family so that the church can continue to walk on the path that is pleasing to God until the day of the Lord’s return!