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Empowering Malaysian Christians at CityLife Church: A Strategy for Ministry and Mission

Michael K K Loke

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to empower Malaysian Christian migrants to participate fully in the mission of God through CityLife Church and amongst the indigenous communities in Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia. The impact of colonization of the Portuguese, Dutch, and British and their respective forms of Christianity on Malaysia, coupled with the subsequent formation of the indigenous church by Borneo Evangelical Mission provide context to the situation. After the independence of Malaysia, the discriminatory government policies toward non-Muslims led to a growing migration to Australia. Some have settled at CityLife Church where they have begun to play active roles in leadership and ministry. However, ongoing challenges persist, which are identified in part one.

A literature review of the missional Church in cultural diversity and contextualization, together with energy management and the theology of empowerment, provide the foundation for this study. A theology of mission of the triune God coupled with the calling of CityLife Church was developed together with the theology of empowerment based on the healing and deliverance ministry of Jesus (part two). A ministry plan centred on the training and development of Life Group leaders of Malaysian descent is launched to increase their capacity for ministry and mission. The implementation process was developed, and the results achieved to date was analysed including success stories (part three).

This paper concludes that Malaysian Christian migrants can overcome their struggles with migrant mentality, divided loyalties, and increasing mental health issues through the healing and deliverance ministry of Jesus. This renewed freedom and increased capacity can enable them to embrace fully God’s mission at CityLife Church. Their sense of calling and purpose are further enhanced through their active contribution to the wellbeing and health of the indigenous churches in Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia.