Cheon Seong Gyeong: Episode 287
Cheon Seong Gyeong Book 9: Home Church and the Tribal Messiah
Chapter 3: The Mission of a Church Leader
Section 3: A Church Leader's Devotional Life, 26
Section 4: Giving Sermons that Move Hearts, 03
(26) A minister should pray for each member of his congregation at least once, every three days. I spent nearly three years in Hungnam prison, yet even in that situation there was not a moment, from when I ate breakfast in the morning until I went to sleep at night, that I was not praying for members. Even if members left the church I continued to pray for them. Then those people came to me spiritually and, weeping sorrowfully, told me the reasons they left the church. I could not help feeling sorry for them, especially those who confessed that they left me because they were too weak in the flesh. Even though they left me that way, I continued to pray for them.
(27) When I pray for a church district, I do not pray for the leader. Instead I pray for the members who are dedicated to that leader, who serve as a support base for the leader and are working hard. I do this so that the Will can advance further. I do not praise a district leader when he or she fulfills a responsibility; rather, I praise the family members who enabled that leader to be praised. Leaders, you should pray for the members who are cooperating with you. Do not become indebted to your members in heart. When your members are suffering on the frontline, as their leader, you need to think of them even when you are eating. You should think of them even as you put your spoon in your mouth, and swallow your food with tears in your eyes. The words, "Heavenly Father, please look after them," should automatically emerge as a prayer in your heart. If you lack this kind of heart, you cannot advance.
(28) You leaders need to be single-minded, but for what? Is it to eat? No. It is for your mission and your responsibility to resurrect lost lives, one by one, as God’s sons and daughters. It is to bring them out of the evil world and into the kingdom of heaven. Try living with that sense of mission more seriously each year; then nothing will be impossible. If you are an absolute subject partner, absolute object partners will appear. Therefore, as the subject partner, you need to pray for your object partners. If a person you are praying for gets up early, you have to get up even earlier and offer devotions. Then that person will immediately notice that someone is praying for him or her.
(29) A leaders position is one of offering devotion. In the morning, you have to pray for at least twenty people. During the day, you have to think about and pray for more than seventy people. You have to eat and live with the members. People are most focused when they eat and when they go to sleep. This is because when you eat out of hunger and go to sleep out of fatigue, all your nerves are focused. On the other hand, when you wake up your nerves are in a state of relaxation, and you are less focused. Thus, you should pray for the Will with as much presence as when you eat and when you go to sleep. One prayer with such mindfulness is better than several prayers at other times of the day.
(30) You leaders should always keep your members close to your heart, as though you were eating and sleeping with them. Then you will come to intuitively understand each person. When your perception becomes keener, you will be able to read clearly both those who are near you and those who are far away. Once you look at them you will instantly know their inner situations. As a spiritual leader, if you are so dull that you do not have this kind of ability, how will you be able to guide people? The question is, how much devotion have you offered for each individual? You need to understand what Jesus meant when he said, "For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life?" (Matt. 16:26). He meant that each human life is more precious than the whole universe, and he dropped the anchor of his heart in each person. When you arrive at the state of Jesus' heart, you will forget about the world and fight for each individual life on a one-to-one basis. You will search the deep valleys for that life, with its unparalleled value. Then you will finally recover that new life and gain a new member.
(31) You need to know the greatness and power of prayer. You may think that you are just one person praying here on earth, but incredibly, your prayer can mobilize the spirit world in the other dimension, the limitless world, and establish new bonds. Prayer acts like a magnet. When you become a leader in the future, your prayer can be so powerful that if you pray twenty-four hours a day for the members with the unshakable belief that your prayer will work, you will see it happen. Prayer really has that kind of power. That is why Jesus is quoted in the Bible as saying, "For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them" (Matt.18:20). Hence, if three people join together in prayer, they have great power.
Section 4. Giving Sermons that Move Hearts
(1) As a leader, you must not avoid difficult situations; rather, you should overcome any situation. If you cannot proactively master your environment, how can you accomplish Heaven's Will? God's strategy is to have you go through trials, even to send you to prison, in order to raise you to stand so firmly that no one can bring you down. If you have experienced this in the past, thinking about your previous misery will enable you to endure present suffering and go forward. In Hungnam labor camp, every year I was given an award as an exemplary worker. God had me go through that course in order to train me. With that in mind, I am now training you. When suffering children ask for something from their parents, who cannot provide it, how miserable those parents must be. Thinking of God in that position, I have endured a course of pain and suffering; therefore, I can handle any situation. Suffering without any purpose has no value, but doing so for God's Will is more precious than any amount of gold. This is my asset. That is why I never prepare my sermons. I have only to speak the truth from my own life experience, and people cannot help but be moved.
One's heart when preparing a sermon
(2) As a leader, when you go out to witness, you should feel as though your flesh and bones are melting away. Then go to the pulpit and give a sermon with a prayerful heart, thinking, "Father! I am so unworthy and inadequate. Nevertheless, You have to rely on me to do this, and I am so sorry.” Do not be centered on yourself. Consider that you are a member of God's special task force, dispatched with God's official endorsement to represent True Parents and heaven and earth. Before giving a sermon, I spend more time praying for the members than for the sermon. I pray, "Father! I must lead these people and raise them up. What should I do? Should I go this way or that way?" After offering that devotion, I give a sermon as my heart leads me. If the heart is absent, there can be no life. The way through the valley of the heart is painful and miserable. Thus, when looking for a teacher, do not seek a teacher of knowledge; rather, seek a teacher of the heart. The more you dig into the valley of the heart, the more you will find tears and the less you will find yourself. The closer you get to your final destination, the larger God's Will and purpose will become and the smaller you will become. As long as you are becoming smaller and the Will is becoming larger, all problems can be resolved.
(3) You can call yourself a high priest only when you go through a process to become a sacrificial offering with the heart of a parent and the body of a servant. To become a high priest, you need to have a child who is willing to become a sacrifice. If you do not have a child from your own direct lineage that will do that, you should at least have a spiritual child. The worship service is the time to make offerings. It is when you report to God about your past and make atonement. Therefore, the worship service is not a time when you can expect to be free.