Family Chapel, the English ministry (EM) of Oriental Mission Church, has brought on Joshua Lim as its new associate pastor earlier this month. Lim, who preached his first sermon as associate pastor on July 3, will be serving alongside Peter Yoo, who is also an associate pastor of Family Chapel. As Lim takes on the roles of teaching and developing small groups, Yoo will continue to take care of the administrative needs of the congregation.
Family Chapel has lacked a head pastor for the past two years, during which time Rev. Jim-Bob Park, the head pastor of Oriental Mission Church (OMC), had been guest preaching for the congregation. The head pastoral position for Family Chapel still remains vacant.
Lim, who is currently pursuing his M.Div. at Talbot School of Theology of Biola University, describes himself as a ‘home-grown’ pastor. He has been a member of OMC since his childhood, and began his pastoral career there as well. Previous to taking on the associate pastoral role for Family Chapel, he had served as the youth pastor of OMC for the past four years.
Though having grown up in the church and knowing the ins and outs of it helped shape his hopes for the church, Lim says that having grown up there also offered some difficulties. His age (Lim is in his late twenties) along with some other factors also led to feelings of inadequacy when he was first offered the position, he recalled.
“I once heard from Professor Benjamin Shin (of Talbot) that in a Korean or Asian church culture, there are five factors that will help a pastor to command respect,” Lim explained. “Age, marriage, education, ordination, and children.”
“I have none of those,” he said, laughing.
“Even though Family Chapel isn’t super Korean, there’s an underlying Asian culture that does shape our values,” he continued. “The fact that I grew up here -- that was kind of a difficulty. Preaching to my peers was new -- not that pastors shouldn’t be friends with the congregation, but that friend dynamic suddenly shifted to a pastor-congregation dynamic.”
However, Lim says his outlook on his new position, and of the church, is “hopeful.”
“One thing that I’m reminded of is what Charles Spurgeon once said: ‘He may preach the gospel better than I can, but he cannot preach a better gospel.’ That’s what I’ve been reminding myself as I go to the pulpit,” Lim said. “Yes, there are all these factors that may make it harder for me, but at the end of the day, I’m preaching the gospel, and by God’s grace, anyone can be convicted and changed.”
Lim also said he’s hopeful for the future of Family Chapel, and the potential it has to reach the community, particularly working professionals.
“Family Chapel is in such a prime place to reach those working professionals with the gospel, the good news, that will satisfy their hearts,” Lim explained, as he mentioned the confusion that young working professionals may face.
“I also want to see Family Chapel be a place where we’re able to raise up leaders for the local church,” he added. “I think that would be a continuation of the legacy of OMC. It’s one of the most dysfunctional churches -- and I can say this because I’m a member of the church -- but for whatever reason, many of OMC’s members have become pastors and are leading healthy churches. And I want to continue that legacy where we are training and raising up future pastors, missionaries, elders, and deacons, and continue to bless the local church. I don’t know what that’s going to look like yet, but that’s the calling that God has placed on my heart.”