Pastor Joe Chung
In Matthew 13:31-32 Jesus explains,“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” Here at Upper Room Ministry it is our heart's desire to become like this mustard seed. So that we would be used by God to be a community where all those around us would find rest. You see, when it comes to us, what you see is not what you get, we firmly believe that God is moving and working in our congregation. Although we may have started off small, God is not done with us yet!
Kneeling on the floor of Bethel Retreat Center in Upstate New York, I heard the speaker invite those who wanted to commit themselves to full-time ministry to move up to receive prayer. As a Junior in High School, I was certain that God had other plans for me and so I moved back. But God's constant voice began to speak into my heart calling me into His service, and so in full surrender to God's will I moved up and received prayer. I wish that I can say that I stayed on the straight and narrow after that, but I didn't. I found my heart wandering again and again, and it was always God's amazing grace that brought me back to my knees in surrender. As I look back, I see God's love woven throughout my life like a beautiful tapestry that has brought me to be where I am today, husband to the most amazing woman of God, father to 3 delightful children, and pastor to a hungry congregation that longs for more of God. Without question I am a blessed man. I believe so much of that started with that one moment of surrender. Praise be to God.
The Vision of Antioch Church of Philadelphia can be summarized in the acronym M.O.V.E.
Which stands for Missional, One in Christ, Visionary, Exemplary.
Missional refers to the idea that we are a people on mission to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. Let's spend some time praying about our part of the mission of the Church. That whether home or abroad that God would use us to make disciples of all nations.
One in Christ refers to the idea that regardless of our differences we are able to find our unity through our faith in Jesus Christ. We want to echo the sentiments of the Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:11, "Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all." Because of this unity we are able to fulfill our inner cry for community.
Visionary refers to the idea that we ought not be led by our own thoughts and wisdom, rather that we would be led by the Holy Spirit. It is a willful confession of our limitations, and our utter dependence on Jesus Christ to be the Head of our Church. Through the Holy Spirit, we want to experience and receive God's vision for our lives as we serve the Body of Christ with our God-given gifts.
Exemplary refers to the idea that our faith is not merely one of thought or philosophy, rather it is one of action. Exemplary faith is one that demonstrates the Love of Jesus Christ for our neighbors by shining His love onto the world. We believe that we are called to deliver the good new of Jesus Christ to this dark world so that they may know Jesus as Lord and Savior.