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 (Manna 95: Time to Reflect: Our Life)
The Journey of Service
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Ming Chang Wang—Taichung, Taiwan

Editor's note: During a youth service in Singapore in July 2023, Preacher Wang shared his journey of becoming a preacher and some vital lessons to remember when we serve the Lord. These lessons are relevant no matter what capacity we serve in, whether as a regular member, a full-time worker, or as a youth aspiring to become a preacher.


I became a preacher thirty-three years ago, in 1990, but this path was not my own ambition. I had a terminal illness as a child, and the hospital advised my parents to take me home for my final days. Under these circumstances, my parents vowed to God that I would become a preacher if I lived. I thank God that because of this vow, the Lord Jesus did not take me back earlier. Without any medication, I recovered slowly, day by day. More than sixty years on, I have a strong constitution and have been fit enough to travel far and wide.

Acknowledging the Vow

Growing up, I discovered my personality was incompatible with being a preacher. I was introverted and timid. If two people stood by the door, I would wait for them to leave before walking through to avoid a potential conversation. However, a preacher must speak on the pulpit, care for believers, and preach to truth-seekers. How could I do these things? This was one reason I shied away from becoming a preacher.

Another reason was that I had my own ambitions. I knew that if I became a preacher, all these dreams would be dashed.

A third reason was that I was naughty as a child. My parents would say, "How can you be a preacher when you're so badly behaved?" I disliked this statement, and, in my mind, I rejected the idea of becoming a preacher. I told myself that when I had the power to make my own decisions, I would defy my parents.

But God works in mysterious ways. In my secondary school years, God allowed me to witness many things. My cousin had leukemia, and the doctor said he would die. But by God's preservation, my cousin recovered. Around the same time, my neighbor died in a car accident. The juxtaposition of these two incidents made me think: What is life? Who can grasp hold of life? My cousin was supposed to die from leukemia, but the Lord Jesus allowed him to live. My neighbor was healthy, but one accident ended his life.

I began to understand the meaning of life and Who controls man's life. I thought, I almost lost my life when I was young. If the Lord Jesus hadn't saved me, what would have become of my ambitions? I would not even be here. In my heart, as a secondary school student, I decided to give my life to God. I understood why my parents had made that vow. So I made this resolution: Since God gave me my life, and my parents prayed to preserve it, I need to take responsibility for my life and honor the vow my parents made. After secondary school, I embraced this path of becoming a preacher and treated it as my calling.


Acknowledging my calling was one thing, but fulfilling it was another. I had resolved to tread the path of ministry, but I knew I had many inadequacies that made me unsuitable for the role. So, I prayed continuously for God to guide me and give me a willing heart. Every day, I would pray, read the Bible, and attend church services—there was a service every night, so there would be eight services a week. I never missed a single one. I would be the first in church, and I would take notes at every service. Many of my sermons are inspired by this treasury of notes.

During my national service, I had a politics class every Thursday. We would spend two hours watching indoctrination videos followed by one hour of discussion. However, no one was willing to volunteer their opinions, keeping their heads resolutely bowed when asked. I realized this was an excellent opportunity to train myself in public speaking since I would likely not see these people again after my national service. But it took all my determination to stand up before 150 people. I had no interest in politics, so I used the Book of Proverbs as the source of my sharing. I did not know what I was saying when I first took to the stage. The facilitator, who was a Buddhist, was furious. He took me aside and said I was to reflect on the video, not share from the Scriptures. The following week, I did it again. And again, he scolded me. But I continued to do the same thing every week. When he asked who wanted to share, I would be the only one raising my hand. I would speak on Proverbs again, and he could not remove me from the stage. He would reprimand me afterward but could not stop me because we had freedom of speech. It came to the point where he would say, "Okay, Wang Ming Chang, go up and speak."

Over time, my sharing became smoother and more articulate. The first time, I spoke for only five minutes. But eventually, I could talk for thirty minutes. Whether my fellow conscripts listened or not, I manifested the name of Jesus; Jesus' name became attached to my identity. This was a source of pressure whenever I performed badly, but I grew from the stress. It motivated me and prepared me for preacherhood. These one-and-a-half years of training transformed me into a different, more courageous person.

My father was afraid I would change my mind, so he submitted an application on my behalf for the full-time theological training course towards the end of my national service. Phones were rare back then, so he sent me a telegram. Telegrams were only used for urgent messages, so I thought I was receiving bad news from home. But the courier told me not to worry. The telegram said:

Wang Ming Chang, I, your father, have helped you apply for the theological course. Prepare yourself.

I was relieved but afraid: relieved, because it was not bad news; afraid, because I had yet to finish my national service and had no time to prepare. For the first time, I was dumbfounded: I could neither laugh nor cry.

I could not disobey my earthly father or my heavenly One. After two weeks, I took the entrance exam, thinking I would fail because I had not studied. But out of eight applicants, I was one of four who passed. I was not yet twenty-three years old, and my classmates were six or seven years older.


At the seminary, I often used these three Bible verses to encourage myself:

  1. And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mk 16:15)

This is our commission from God. As a preacher, I had to all the more fulfill this.

  1. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. (Mt 28:19–20)

This is the goal I set for myself in my work: to make disciples of all nations, to abide by what the Lord has commanded. As a worker, I had to be very clear about the instructions of the Lord Jesus.

  1. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
    "Whom shall I send,
    And who will go for Us?"
    Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." (Isa 6:8)

This is my responsibility as a worker and someone who has received the grace of God. When the Lord Jesus calls us, we should answer.

At the beginning of my ministry to the Lord, I had to have a sense of commission, to know my goal, and to accept my responsibility. These three Bible verses have followed me throughout these thirty-three years of service.

How would I accomplish this commission, goal, and responsibility? My path of service was not carved out by me but was opened by the Lord Jesus.

Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh… (Heb 10:19–20)

The theme of the Book of Hebrews is "a better salvation." We have a better salvation through a better service. Jesus has accomplished this better salvation with a better service. He trod this path of service—the new and living way—and we must do the same to accomplish the Lord's commission, our goal, and our responsibility. In my life of ministry, I am wary not to forge my own path of service—I must always return to walk on the new and living way Jesus has opened, which is the only path of salvation. We must walk in this new and living way when we serve. Only then will our service have value; only then can we attain this better salvation.

So, what is this new and living way?

[Christ Jesus], being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Phil 2:6–8)

Simply put, Jesus is God. But He chose to lower Himself and come in the likeness of men. This contrasts Satan's origin:

Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty;
You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor;
I cast you to the ground,
I laid you before kings,
That they might gaze at you. (Ezek 28:17)

"I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High." (Isa 14:14)

Satan was perfect in his ways from the day he was created (Ezek 28:14–15), but he was not God. He wanted to be equal to the Most High. His heart was lifted up with pride. This is why he was cast out of heaven and into the pit. He is not God because he is the created cherub; only God is the Creator. This is also the first human sin:

Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Gen 3:4–5)

Satan came to tempt Eve. Eve took the fruit and ate. Why did the angel sin? He wanted to be like God. Why did man sin? Man also wanted to be like God. The creature desired to be equal to the Creator, and sin entered the world. Every child of Adam and Eve has been ensnared in sin, spiraling downward into perdition. Because of this, the Lord Jesus needed to tread a diametrically opposed path—a path that goes upwards. Jesus was God but did not regard Himself to be equal with God. So, all who believe in the Lord Jesus and follow this path will live. It is the new and living way. If we tread the old path, we will be like Satan, cast down into the depths.

There are only two paths: the path of eternal punishment (opened by the devil) and the path of eternal life (opened by the Lord Jesus). Since the Lord Jesus has opened the new and living way, we must forsake the old path and walk the path of service in the same way He did.


Philippians 2:7–8 reveals three qualities of Jesus as He treads the path of service:

1. He "made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men."

2. He "became obedient to the point of death."

3. He sacrificed Himself and submitted to "the death of the cross."


Jesus emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant. Jesus' humility enabled Him to walk this path. This tells us that we cannot complete our path of service without humility.

For Christians, especially those serving, humility is not just a virtue but a requirement. It is a necessity as we walk on this new and living way with Jesus. Without humility, one is still walking on the old way with the devil. If we hope to serve, we must empty ourselves, as Christ did.

Humility is a crucial foundation for every servant. Why did the cherub sin? He thought he was perfect and became filled with pride. He dared to desire equality with God. Adam and Eve, through the devil's deception, took the fruit because they thought they could be like God. They trod this path of condemnation. Were it not for the Lord Jesus opening this new and living way, man's end would be the lake of fire.

The first task in serving the Lord Jesus is to become a humble servant. Humility is essential to preserves us in our journey of salvation because it allows us to serve the Lord.


The second important element of service is obedience, even unto death. This means we submit to God's will, even when it seems unreasonable. Consider Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. According to the flesh, the path God wanted Jesus to walk was unreasonable. Was there really no other way? Jesus asked the Father to take away this bitter cup. But only if it was according to His Father's will, not His own. Jesus was obedient unto the point of death.

The Bible's teachings are clear. We may not understand, or we may have our own way of thinking. But we should obey God’s will and not oppose the words of the Bible and Jesus' commands. This is crucial. Only through obedience can we serve the Lord. Otherwise, we are just serving ourselves, holding our own thoughts and thinking them to be correct. This is not the new and living way, but a path we forge for ourselves, leading to death.

We must be obedient to the truth and to the church. The church is the body of Christ, so we must submit to the arrangements of the church.

I once went to deliver a sermon to a small congregation; about ten believers were attending the Sabbath service. I sat at the front of the hall as a young boy led the hymn singing. After one hymn, he returned to his seat. I was happy to have extra time to speak my message, but as I readied myself to walk to the pulpit, another even younger boy tugged my clothes to indicate that he was also going to lead a hymn. After him, a girl, the youngest of the three, went up to lead the final hymn. She was so small she could not lift the hymn book on her own. It turned out that the person in charge was the father of the three children. As he laughed, the little girl chastised him, "Papa cannot laugh. I'm leading the hymn in the name of Jesus now. Don't laugh!"

This is a display of submissiveness. The children submitted to their assignments. I submitted to the unusual arrangement of three hymn leaders. And the father was submissive to his daughter’s rebuke. Submitting to the church's arrangements is integral to walking this path of service.


The path of service is a path of sacrifice. The servant must be willing and able to sacrifice. If he does not sacrifice, he is not a servant. A servant cannot do things according to his own will.

From the perspective of service, what is sacrifice? If we ask for work equal to our ability, then we need not sacrifice. Therefore, we should not ask for work equal to our ability; we should ask for the ability to do the work we are given. We should ask the Lord, "What do you want me to do?".Even if we are unsure, we should be willing to sacrifice when the opportunity to serve arises, and pray: "Since you have given me this work, God, please give me the strength to carry it out."

Personally, I do not reject the work assigned to me. If I reject, what sacrifice is there to speak of? Let us not dwell in our comfort zones, for then we would not be walking the same path as the Lord Jesus.


As youths in the church, we all aspire to serve God. But we need to follow the path of Jesus—to be humble, obedient, and willing to sacrifice. Only then will we be walking on this new and living way. Though I am lacking, I am eager to walk on this path. May the Holy Spirit stir up the youths of the True Jesus Church to be willing to tread this path of service. May the Lord Jesus add to our strength to improve our service to the church. Amen.

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Author: Ming Chang Wang
Date: 11/01/2023