Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hope Perth Church - Discussion ( Updated)

I have updated the post discussion with the relevant article as the other article was about something different. There are now 101 comments on the Hope perth issue and would try to summarize the 101 comments as best as i can. If in anyway there is doubt over the summary do kindly just read all the comments in previous post. I will take out personal discussion between commentators to try and put a succinct and concise summary on issues that were raised and are still being discussed. I will also post a comment regarding the current situation.

Issues that were raised were mainly about Policies implemented in Hope Perth Church, finance issues and issues relating to the Pastor in charge.

Quote from white Knight

1. Did he stop people from going and attending people's wedding once you leave church ?? Yes or no ?
2. Did he really wanted to buy an airplane ? ( Yes or No ? )- even at the expense of disobeying the top leaders ? Yes or No ?
3. Does he take people feedback and use it in the sermon without first talking to the person. Yes or No ?
4. Was the financial issue mentioned really true ? What was the type of benefit he is getting from the church ? Is there every a full disclosure of spending and transparency of account ?

Quote from Just a friendly HIM friend

1. I believe Hope Perth was never at 20+. Maybe during holiday period.
But I think we should also give the other leaders before Ps Stephen who lead Hope perth some credit.

Quote from Genesis, VIC, XXX, etc : Summary on what i gather

1. General Half-truth being spoken most of the time by leaders - I believe the issues are diverse it may be on a case to case issue. ( Have to read the blog ) - you have to read the comments
2. A few issues were also raised into the purpose and existence of the Emergency Fund and Church Building Fund and why there are no more accounts
3. Also an issue was raised about AGM where not every member were invited but only selected group of people
3 Issues regarding Church mission car and how it came about raised by Witness and King Bonanza which is being revealed YLC
  • "As the church grew in numbers from 20+ to 100+, he started mission trips to further parts of WA along with his leadership team, so he requested to get a car for mission trip, but was rejected by the person who in charged of the finance. Frankly, I do not have the in-between details as to why the person rejected the purchase for the mission car, what I can see and testify is Ps Stephen's heartbeat to win many souls for God, and he has been consistent through the years I know him." - By Witness
King Bonza said...Witness, please help me with my memory.
  • You wrote that Pastor Stephen’s request for the mission car was rejected by the person in charge of finance. How then did Pastor Stephen pay for the dark purple Kia Carnival which he bought just before Pastor Prayuth visited to teach the worship team? Pastor Stephen couldn’t access the church’s money then without help could he?
I think among all these 57 comments these were the more pertinent questions relating to Hope Perth Church. - I will try to sum it up as these simple points that are being discussed by both side of the party. Please bear in mind this is not exhaustive but a quick summary of what is being discussed.

1. Church finance policy
  • Remuneration and benefit for pastor
  • Mission Car ( still being discussed by YLC)
  • Emergency fund and Church building fund
  • Transparency of church accounts
There have been some doubt as to how money was spend in the church and the benefits provided for the pastor. One commentator mentioned that Pastor did claim to want to take-over and be in charge of finance and he did preached that in the sermon, while another said that he handed it over to someone to take charge. There were claims of high pay and benefits including housing allowance, provision of the use of 2 vehicle for the family and also higher pay due to his Visa requirement. Emergency fund was mentioned and one commentator asked why it was stopped and never mentioned again. There was also an apparent in the transparency of the accounts and good policies to handle finance.

2. Integrity issue with the pastor
  • talking about people who left church without their knowledge
  • Forbidding people from associating with those who left church including wedding
  • using people's feedback in sermon without their consent
  • wanting a buy a plane and learning to fly even when Hope eldership did not agree.
This seems to be a black and white case, as both side did not disagree on the policy Pastor Stephen implemented but only on how it was done and implemented. The plane issue was discussed and both side though seem to have differing opinion as to how and when the plane will be bought. Pastor using feedback or using stories without people's consent was another thing brought up but no responses were varied


In all many points were raised and does seem valid, people must feel really strongly to have raised such an issue concerning the pastor. As i myself have also not come across any Hope Church members mentioning about their pastor.

As a leader we must always remember we need to be always live up to what we have attain, flaming people and telling Half-truth will only get people more riled up especially if the stories make one party seem good and the other seem bad. As for finance, i do suggest a better policy and more independent board to ensure greater transparency.

Whatever the Pastor from Hope Perth is doing the right thing or wrong thing only time will tell, he should take the experience he has from Thailand, both the success and failures and learn to be a better person.

I do think if he does change, i am sure people will be willing to forgive him. No man is perfect and we do not expect one to be, but we should always strive towards perfection, learning from our mistakes and become a better person in the end.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

We are all responsible

From all the comments I have read recently, there seems to be some slight elements of the Old Hope BKK approach and ideals. Here is some thoughts which may help all of us.

1. Leaders are also human and do face temptation, giving leaders too much power without proper accountability is not helping the leader. Dr J and PN are case in point. If in doubt over finance ask for clarification. Not just the leaders words, but a proper disclosure. Most churches will have financial statement audited by proper accounting firm.

2. Listen to the complaints and check out the stories. We often say there is no smoke without a fire. If you see people complaining the same thing and it is not an isolated case, but one which constantly resurface. Maybe there is some truth to what people are saying and make your own investigation. Don't just listen to one side just because they are leaders. That was the problem the catholic church had when boys complained of sexaul abuse by the priest but people choose to ignore until the issue was brought to light.

3. If in doubt over issues or certain behaviour, speak to higher leader, every pastor in HIM have someone overseeing them. Speak to the higher authority clarify the blibical way. If something seems not right, dont sweep it under the carpet. There are always some truth to peoples complaint. The term rebellious and bad spirit is used to often to cover the leaders fault and issues. Use our own judgment. God says he wants to transform our mind not remove it. Remember if more than 3 groups of people are highlighting the same issue and over a period.. it cannot be because of bad spirit... there must be something.. investigate... God holds all of us accountable ..

Remember total Obedience and Blind Loyalty to the leader regardless of their life is not a sign of a good christian. We can be sincere but sincerely wrong. You will ultimately be judged by what you choose to do.

I think crucially, we have to answer to God for our action or inaction.

Here are some signs that something is not right in the church, it is not exhaustive but it will at least cause an alarm in your mind to probe further.

1. When the church is bering evasive about their finances and do not have good transparency. Case in point BBK church. Good churches have transparent accounts where people can see anytime and have Salary package stated clearly... some churches actually inform their members the package of their pastor. - Salary and Benefits provided.. do you know yours??

2. When people start living church not because they are backsliding but because of leadership issues. If just one group or a couple of people leave it is understandable, but when you see, different groups of people from the youth to the family starting to leave the church over a period of time. Then some alarm bells shoudl start ringing . Find out the issues. and see if there is a basis for their complain.

3. The church is having turnover. Meaning there is alot of people come but also alot of people leaving, so the church never grow. numercially and if it is over a period of time .. from 1 yr to maybe 3 years.. then.. something is wrong somewhere. We need to ask why .

Early diagnosis... will hopefully prevent a similiar split again in Hope Movement. Remember members, our pastors life is in our hands.. we are all responsible to ensure the pastor's and the church well being.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Biblediscuss post for Ps Stephen

For those who have asked me to post the english translation of the thai post by Ps Stephen. Unfortunately, there are only 55 post showing up in the forum even though 171 were posted by him.

I have looked at the post and its just ordinary discussion. The other posts pertaining to PK letter and Rubina action were not found.

So unless there is something unless there is something that needs translation i would just leave it for now.

And FYI, there was a post I made someone which i had of the HGI eldership meeting discussion something to do with finance about Ps Stephen and also I believe something to do with flying. The note are somewhere in the blog and also in my files somewhere. I will repost it if i find it.

In any case, I suppose just another case of Hope Bangkok Trained pastor. I think, the people in Perth would know more. Will leave it as that on my side.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hope related videos

Here is some youtube of PN. He is preaching in Nigeria and Ps Nimit from the other Camp...

Friday, November 6, 2009

The role of a pastor

I have been reading the comments from my previous article about HIM pastor's going to Thailand and did not expect a topic generating from that article.

From the comments, it does seems that people are not concerned with the going on in the particular HIM church. I must say, I did hear abit of news too, I do know from previous discussion on the which is used mainly by the Thai people.

There was a heated debate regarding Ps PK letter to PN, and from the conversation I did thought he was on PN side. The Ps in question is a Hope Bangkok trained pastor through and through, the style and approach nevertheless would not differ much. As the concepts are picked from Hope Bangkok.

In truth, not every Pastor are the same, not every HIM pastor thinks the same and will do the same thing. God made us all different. But I do think that one thing as Pastor we must always do is never first to blame the people for bad spirit but always check on ourselves when things go pear shaped.

The problem with churches is that when people are not agreeable on certain issues, its not always bad spirit. Yes, there may be your occasion of few negative people.. BUT.. what if not just one or two are feeling the same. Then it cannot be the people, it should be the leader who needs a check, we can't say the whole world is wrong and I am right.

The key is this, whatever church you are in.. when you start seeing people from students, profeesionals and even families that is voicing some concern about your stlye, It is time we need to start a careful on ourselves.

To hid under the sand and pretend that the rest of the world is full of bad spirit people. Then we maybe living in denial. Therefore as a pastor, we hold more accountable in our actions because God mentions int he bible that HE who teaches are judge more severely.

If this has been a problem in the church, i really hope the issues can be resolved and sorted out. Regardless, as Pastor we should set a better example not otherwise.

Hopefully things will get better for those in the affected area.