Here is a reply to a comment posted regarding our Hope movement.
I have been observing for awhile now to see any big changes happening in the Hope Movement after the split, I must say we are still getting there.
The Hope Movement have split now for slightly over a year. In Hope Bangkok, there have been big changes happening everyday. Daily you will hear people moving and new churches starting up.
Foundation have split into many smaller churches and are now around 200-300 people. Ps Nimit started a new church as I reported earlier.
Ps PN too have their own issue and split, though its slightly more minor then Foundation. Most split churches have used New Church names to disassociate from Hope Brand name and have either become independent or joined the HIM banner.
Ps PN have been able to go on preaching because no one stood up to make a stand, to inform the Christian circle of his misdeed. In other part of Christiandom, pastor who committed adultery will be asked to step down, but not so for Ps PN.
It does feel every top leader missed the point, PN should never be allowed to take the pulpit without first stepping and proving his integrity and morality. Neither HIM nor Pastors in Thailand have said anything publicly except Ps PK from Hope London, and for that i admire his righteousness, some pastor felt it was too strong, but not me, I call a spade a spade.
Hope's greatest failing is that it always chooses the diplomatic route, instead of standing for what is right. When members sin, we are always quick to pinpoint members sin, but when a leader sin, we are always told to be understanding and be "nice".
In the international scene, under HIM 2 churches have decided to go independent as mentioned in previous article.
Have HIM change ? I think its trying. I see leaders trying to make a difference. We held conference called rediscovering our core. We try to put things right, but as is with big organization everything takes time. Some people have chose to leave Hope instead of waiting, some like me are still waiting to see.
Issues in Hope
Money - Yes money have been a sticking point in Hope, from its inception. We used to have the HGI tithes of 20%, which I have tried asking but no one could account for the money in there. Hope in general have been quite lax in this area i must admit. There is no clear policy or guideline about the use of money in terms of salary package, what is reimbursable cost, etc. Some region do have a guideline on pay package but from my knowledge its up to own church to decide and very region specific - which is all i can say. Some churches are better at handling money and some not so. Hope Singapore would be financially the most stable church. I know this area is a very sticky area and HIM may not want to touch this aspect as of now. I think if i am not wrong, they are trying to set-up a general policy for all HIM churches but its still in the early stage
Shepherding - I don't think anything will change in this area. BGR policy and how we function in the system will always be very subjective. The idea of shepherding is a good one, but the quality and type of advice and shepherding will always be dependent on the shepherd you get. Not all shepherd are the same, because the truth is some do become shepherd too fast and may not have enough experience or understanding to handle sheep. I have always believe, the title of shepherd must be first earned with your life and example.
Transparency and obedience - Transparency is something HIM is trying hard to build. Its still not easy. There is over 20 plus years of Hope Ideology which i must admit are not all good. The problem we have is applying principle into practical everyday living, which is totally impossible. We build rules and regulation we apply across the board, not factoring other circumstances. In principle, we teach people to love and serve God, which is right. But in Hope's understanding serving means - use your time to meet, follow-up, shepherding, leadership training, run care group, church plant, anything else is not important. The truth is God created us all different, with different gifting, different way of life and interest, we love God by putting God central of what we do. We can serve God too by studying doing well at school and be a testimony, we can play music, open business and support the church by other means. Rigidity had always been our problem. We must start to learn from other churches around the world too. Whatever we will be able to break the mold will largely depend on the leaders leading HIM. I suppose this will be awhile before we see any major shift in paradigm
Because Hope HIM is very much still a very "young" organization, which has just gone through a huge split and shaking. I don't foresee significant change that soon. I think we must all understand, if the top leaders hit the wrong note too soon, who knows more churches will decide to come out and become independent. Its really a catch 22 situation . So all i can say is pray and keep faith.
Set a dateline for yourself, if you still don't see the change you desire or course you can go to other church where you can serve better. Don't stay bitter, just become better.