By Cailey Morgan
We are overjoyed to introduce you to Makarios Evangelical Church, a new Church Plant in Process with the CBWC in partnership with Olivet Baptist Church. Led by husband-and-wife team Pastor Jessica Lee and Dr. Tim Ngai, Makarios (MEC) began weekly gatherings in September 2018, at Olivet’s facility in New Westminster, BC. Worship services and studies are conducted in Cantonese for adults and English for youth.
Tim, a spiritual direction professor at Carey Theological College, says that it was a student who actually encouraged his wife to consider church planting:
It’s always has been a deep-rooted passion and vision for both my wife and I to walk with people in their spiritual journey to inspire them to connect with Jesus and live an abundant life according to the leading of the Holy Spirit, but we never lay any thought on starting a church. My wife took a year off from her ministry last year. Jessica was then led by the Spirit to pray to search God’s will and her heart for her next step…So when our student shared with us the idea of us starting a church focusing on spiritual formation, we included the idea in our prayer list.
As we started to talk with our friends and spiritual mentors, surprisingly people responded overwhelmingly positive. We found God has built up a group of people who share the same vision and are willing to respond to this calling of God with us.
Meals and Mentorship
Last December, 60 people attended the Christmas party hosted in partnership with an international student ministry group out of nearby Douglas College. Much of Makarios’ outreach ministry thrust has been in partnership with this group. Makarios offers English conversation classes for international students on Saturdays, followed by a meal. Every second week, the entire congregation joins in this meal before their Saturday evening worship service.
Jessica, who has a background in pastoral ministry and training in spiritual direction, now serves as Lead Pastor while Tim supports her as MEC’s Consulting Pastor. In the few months since the launch, Jessica is thrilled with the engagement of the group. Seventy per cent of the new congregation is already in serving roles—including a chef, who joyfully organizes regular meals for community and outreach purposes. Just this week, many congregants stayed behind late after Wednesday Bible class to help prepare dumplings for the Chinese New Year celebrations and to offer to those at the food bank that operates out of the Olivet building.
Jessica and Tim have the opportunity to serve as spiritual mentors for many people in the congregation, and are excited to have some leaders stepping up to learn how to be mentors themselves as well.
“A leader is not someone who is powerful or just has lots of experience,” says Jessica. “A leader is someone who has a life that manifests the love and power of God to His people.”
Young congregations like Makarios need support from their family of churches in these formative years. Has your church considered partnering with CBWC Church Planting to help build a strong foundation of prayer, relationship and financial support? Talk to me (email@example.com) or Shannon (firstname.lastname@example.org) to find out what you can do today to strengthen Makarios and other CBWC church plants.