Pemandu CEO: Change Not Impossible
Believe in the power of prayer
Corruption is so rampant in the country that Malaysians are generally skeptical that it can be eradicated.
Dato Sri Idris Jala, the Chief Executive Officer of Performance Management & Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) believes otherwise.
"It is not impossible for the situation in country to change," he told a crowd of several hundred people at the closing of the recent NECF Malaysia Missional Church Conference at Petaling Jaya.
Believing there is hope in the country because of a God who hears the cries of His people, he then shared his personal experience of how, through his and many people's desperate prayers, God helped him to turn around the fortunes of two companies despite all the odds against them.
Under his leadership as Managing Director and CEO of Malaysia Airlines, the national carrier achieved a record profit in less than two years after suffering the biggest financial loss in its corporate history.
Several years earlier when he was Managing Director of Shell Sri Lanka, he helped to turn around the company's LPG business despite bomb threats and other critical dangers.
All these happened because of the "discipline of prayer and action", he shared during his talk on the Government Transformation Programme that he is overseeing.
A devout Christian who sounded more like a preacher than a civil servant, Dato Idris urged Christians to continue praying fervently for the nation.
"I truly believe in the power of prayer," he said and revealed that he and his wife were participating in the NECF 40-day Prayer and Fast.
He urged the crowd to pray for change of mindsets and for strong spiritual values among the people to fight the scourge of corruption. "As Christians, we must stand firm as beacons of light to fight corruption," he added.
"Malaysia has never been in a more vulnerable position than it is now. But that's not bad because vulnerability is a virtue.
"It is when we are vulnerable that we realise our need for God and we turn to Him for help," Dato Idris pointed out and reminded that after we had done all we could in prayer and action, the power to deliver change is in God's hand.
With that, he concluded his sharing, took some questions from the floor and rushed off to SIB Kuala Lumpur where he was slated to speak to some 1,000 people at the church's conference.
Missional Church Conference
Earlier, some 180 participants were enlightened and educated about the mission of the Missional Church during three sessions of sharing by Dr Paul Alexander.
In his sessions on the Shape, Leaders and Mission of the Missional Church, the essence of Paul's message is that "The Missional Church is one that reflects God".
If we are to reflect God to the world, we cannot do it inside our church walls; we have to step outside to a hurting world and reflect Him to the desperate and needy people there.
Having ministered in some of the neediest countries in the world, Paul shared from his experience how he 'evolved' from one who just preached the Word to one who believed in and practised the "social gospel" - a dirty phrase to some Christians, he said.
"Many Christians are discouraged to practise the social gospel as they think it's what liberal Christians do," he said. "But how can we reflect God if we don't get involved in doing good, especially to the poor?" he asked.
What makes a missional leader
During his session on missional leaders, Paul outlined five characteristics of a missional leader and concluded by encouraging the participants that evangelicals are the most ideal people to embrace the Missional Church concept because they have a similar view.
He said missonal leaders 1) have excellence in their craft; 2) gladly invest in first class education and are committed to studying God's Word critically and accurately; 3) have faith as their driving passion to impact their community; 4) have a healthy respect for their peers and high tolerance for those of other views; and 5) are motivated to redeem and not to condemn as they genuinely care for people, recognize they are sinners saved by grace and celebrate the diversity that God has made.
Participants also attended two workshops each from a selection of workshops designed to inspire them to serve society.
The workshops - covering rural development, education, arts and entertainment, youths, business and the media - were facilitated by practitioners in the field, all who are committed to the cause of the Kingdom in their area of work.
Pr Dr Paul Chen opened his participants' eyes to the needs of the Jehai Orang Asli community in northern Peninsular Malaysia and how the ministry has helped to improve their quality of life.
Rev. Elisha Satvinder spoke passionately about his work in setting up schools in needy communities around the country.
The multi-talented Colin Kirton enthralled the participants with his hilarious but inspiring stories in his experience in the entertainment industry.
Pr Lim Jit Pang shared how he motivated and mobilized several hundred youths of various ethnicities and religions to do social work in Kluang, Johor. Entrepreneurs Bruce and Cathie Chong shared how they are helping the needy, especially single mothers, to generate income by setting up a small business.
Finally, Sreedhar Subramaniam spoke about the influence of the media on shaping mindsets and unveiled NECF's e-media, "Good Times", and its potential in helping to transform the nation.
Overall, the conference made a deep impact on the participants as they saw the need for the church to move out from its walls in to the community.