We launched our prophetic theme for 2016 in March which was “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit” (Eph. 4). TO KEEP the unity means that we already have UNITY in Christ and we should do everything to maintain it by submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ by letting go of our pride, selfish thoughts, humbling ourselves and growing in our calling and destinies in Christ. We must also realise we have different gifts, but are all members of the same household of faith & body of Christ. In keeping with this theme, we consolidated our Sunday morning services into one Combined Celebration (9:30am) service so that leaders could meet with our Sunday ministry teams (in particular, SOT & KIDS ministries) and relaunch our second service early next year.
To date, we have had 229 recorded guests attend our church services, 61 people have started regularly attending our Sunday services and connect groups (12% were short term visitors). We also had 29 water baptisms this year and the number of our connect groups have remained steady. Our sermon themes included – The Pattern, The Power of 10 (10 commandments), the Armour of God: Spiritual warfare, Hot winter nights (end of life, homosexuality & the church), Sow Stirred Up (using spiritual gifts in evangelism), Glory Rises (Synergy), FIX (your eyes on Jesus) and Worldwide Saviour (Christmas). [NB: you can catch up on all the sermons via our website or iccbrisbane.org/webapp/. We also encouraged people to journal and pray through the books of 2 Timothy, Deuteronomy, Philippians, Colossians and we have started on Romans, which will be our major focus for next year.
Some event highlights this year –
- We had a great time at our first Men’s Bush Camp (April) with over 50 men & some youth at Gordon Country, near Warwick. We enjoyed bushwalking, bush movies, great food & fellowship!
- Our first Latino night (April) was a combined effort with the Latinos & Filipinos, which saw a celebration of different cultures & food from Central & South America to the Philippines with over 150 people in attendance.
- I.S.H. Conference (May)- Dr Ray Andrews + Roger & Denise Seow from FGA Melbourne were our key note speakers and the topics focused on mastering & expressing emotions and balancing family, work & church.
- Our 4th annual Technicolour Multicultural Festival in August was our best-ever with over 2000 people in attendance, including the Lord Mayor and many community leaders. The festival raised just over $20,000 for the MCC. We again sponsored children with special needs from AEIOU, as well as, kids from the Special Olympics bocce club. A special thanks to Dr Julian Mok who was the organiser with Xiomara Ipenza who helped coordinate a team of 10 workers through MCC’s Skilling Queensland Traineeship grant. And thanks to all the ICC members & friends who helped make this a success.
- Our annual Synergy Conference this year themed ‘Glory Rises’ was with Prophet Tijo Thomas & Evangelist Justin Samuel from India and it was an incredible time where we saw the gift of prophecy, healings, angelic presence and incredible words of knowledge, (even calling out people & entire family members by name). This has encouraged ICC to desire and press into the gift of prophecy as we seek to reach out to people everywhere and be the church without walls.
As we enter our next season we want everyone to continue in their discipleship journey by making disciples, maturing partners, multiplying leaders and realising their missional mandate (Matt 28:19 & Acts 1:8) to bring God’s kingdom into their marketplaces everywhere! God’s word reminds us that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, both corporately as a local church body as well as individually. So as living temples who have the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead in us, we are to be that living house (tabernacle/ temple) of prayer for all nations. We do this by living out the pattern of the tabernacle through daily and consistent Spirit-led worship, bible journaling, prayer, service and evangelism using the spiritual gifts.
In 2017 we will continue developing the The Discipleship Pathway (to make disciples – mature partners – multiply leaders) by training up our members to influence their various marketplaces on the 7 mountains through focused INSPIRATION sessions for members in those mountains (family, education, church, business, sports & entertainment, media, and government). We will also be commencing Sunday foundation classes and partnership classes for those who are new or have recently joined ICC.
Importantly, we formally adopted and implemented the Safer Churches program as recommended by the Australian Christian Churches, which arose out of the Royal Commission into Child Abuse. Accordingly, all our pastors are required to undergo training every two years and all volunteers in ICC must sign a safer churches declaration before they can serve in church. If you volunteer in any ministry where children are present, please assist us by maintaining a current blue card. Our thanks to Dr Matthew Bambling who is our safer churches officer who is happy to assist anyone with queries.
Other developments in 2016 –
- This year we have seen growth in our UNITED Vision Prayer nights held the first Wednesday of every month. We are also developing a prayer manual which will be used to raise up prayer leaders and teams, such as the pre-service prayer team.
- Our CHERISH women’s prayer and fellowship gatherings has also helped to champion the role of women and encourage them to fulfil their God given destinies. Thank you to Alana Da Silva Lay, Jade Tan, Deborah Mok, Thelma Dzwowa, Ps Faith Leong & Jeannie Mok and Jasmine Law.
- We also changed our all leaders meetings to HEART & SOUL nights where we encourage all volunteers and leaders who are serving in every ministry to catch the vision & passion for ICC.
- In this regard, special thanks must go to our Hospitality team led by Kharzina Villanueva & Ps Penny Lai who have really raised the standard of food, style & decorations for our various events from the welcome to ICC lunches and leadership meetings.
- The ICC Web app was launched earlier this year. It can now be downloaded from the Google Play store or simply – iccbrisbane.org/webapp/ Thanks to Jasmine Law & Eugene Kang who made this a reality. We will have it available for iPhone users in early 2017.
- ICC apologetics team – thank you for Dr Kevin Tam, Dr Matt Bambling & Joseph Panthradil who have been conducting seminars at the universities through Club ICC as well as, our Abide Youth group on the topic of Creation Vs Evolution. It is important that we train our people, especially our youth, to be aware of the different competing world views & encourage their faith in Christ.
- Kids Jam Sundays – are now held every second Sunday of the month, where we run a special praise & worship session for the kids in our main service followed by a session in the kids church.
- Thank you also to our gardening team, especially John & Frances Clark, Kamal & Cora Krishna, Francisco Rodriguez & many others like Sean Thompson who have kept our grounds in shape.
- ICC Thanksgiving Dinner – will be held on 2nd December to thank and honour all our volunteers and leaders who have served in ICC.
Leadership Development & ICC Ministries
Here are some of the new leadership & staff appointments in ICC:
- Vision Team – earlier this year I asked Michael Chong (pastoral intern overseeing youth & young adults), Ps Olivia Teoh, David Tan (CAM), Dr Matthew Bambling (Psychologist/ lecturer & pastoral care team), Dr Dominic Eu (missions) and Dr Julian Mok to join the strategic vision team along-side Ps Faith Leong, Jasmine Law (secretary) and myself. We have focused on the role and expectations of the team and have had sessions with Ps Roland Seow, Ps Chris Ong and Ps David & Jeannie Mok.
- ABIDE Youth – Michael Chong our generational pastoral intern has stepped into pastor the youth leaders & lead the Abide youth group. A huge thank you to Sean & Janice Wong for their years of faithful service in youth.
- Pastoral Care – Ps Olivia Teoh returned from her maternity leave in July/Aug and is currently overseeing the mothers play group and coordinating the pastoral care arm of ICC.
- ICC office – We want to welcome back Brian Selvaratnam who has stepped into the role of the ICC group manager on a part time basis. Also, Kharzina Villanueva has been appointed as the full time ICC group assistant administrator and she will be assisting Brian. We also thank Katy Lee for a years of service as our ICC group accountant and we welcome Mr Binh Huynh who has taken over.
- Board & Vision Team – Thank you to all the board members for their guidance and wisdom. I particularly want to thank Cary Gan (our treasurer) and David Teoh for their leadership and faithful service in our counting team and finance subcommittee. Thank you also to Inn Hui Lim (Secretary) for her legal expertise and guidance.
We are currently reviewing our staffing processes & organizational structure with various expert church consultants in order to streamline our processes & methods within the ICC group. In this regard, we have updated some of our accounting processes including improving our FBT system and switching to an online accounting software called XERO. We will also need to conduct a review and update our church constitution in the near future to better reflect our corporate governance of the entire ICC group, which includes the ICC Property Trust, MCC, API & DIVERCITI Enterprises. We are also in the process of selecting and testing new members for the various boards and Vision team in the next few years.
Diverciti Enterprises, MCC & API
It was with some sadness that we had to close the Melting Pot restaurant earlier this year. However, we now arranging to lease the kitchen and Melting pot area to a French cooking school that will be using the premises from Monday to Friday, allowing us to still use the area on weekends for church purposes. We also thank God for blessing Diverciti Cleaning (DC) with competitive cleaning contracts obtained through the work of Elva Choi and Ps Jeannie Mok. Funds raised through Diverciti Enterprises (DE), which also includes the Diverciti Venue (DV) Hire, will go towards charities and missions. This year DE was able to give $5,000 to Dr Colleen Reddit’s orphanage in Chennai, India. We have also streamlined the bookings for the DV hire and are developing a marketing strategy including a new website. We have had several successful government and community events ranging from concerts, graduations and weddings, and all our clients have loved our venue and facilities. Please continue to spread the good word about Diverciti Cleaning (Domestic & Commercial) & Venue hire amongst your network of friends and colleagues.
Special congratulations to Ps Jeannie Mok and the MCC & API staff (Leo Leguizamon, Hilda Win, Sylvia Tiong, Sylvia Yap, Ailyn Camus, Joshua Jacobs, An Xu, and all the teachers & lecturers) who have helped make MCC such a success – this year MCC was awarded the state government’s supreme QLD MULTICULTURAL AWARD beating every other multicultural organization in Queensland. This is an incredible honour and achievement by the grace of God and favour & anointing upon Ps Jeannie! Well done!
Missions & iLINK
Earlier this year Ps Jeannie and David Mok conducted intensive training for hundreds of pastors and church leaders through iLINK conferences and seminars (Impacting Leaders to Impact Nations for the Kingdom), India (Kairos conference with over 300 pastors) and Malaysia. God has also opened doors for them to minister in the educational marketplace in Penang and we are currently prayerfully exploring some church planting opportunities there.
This year our One Day HEART FOR THE NATIONS missions’ collection raised just over $30,000, which has enabled us to give over $40,000 to various ministries, including orphanages, church plants and pastors in over nine countries – China, India, Nepal, Philippines, Kenya, Malaysia, Argentina, Bulgaria and Ivory Coast. I would like to thank everyone in ICC for their generosity and remind you that part of our 2020 vision plan is that we will pay off our own building through our annual Heart for the House offering (which raised close to $150K in June), and raise $1million per year for missions through our annual Heart for the Nations offering by 2020. Monies raised for missions will be used for a range of local and international missions from church planting, (including our near future campus in the Southside), orphanages, outreach and leadership development programs that will focus on helping widows and orphans and making disciples of all nations (Matthew 28). We are also encouraging our members to tithe online using direct debit methods, which will minimise security risks and greatly assist our Sunday counting teams.
Foster St Property
The board and vision team recognise the need for more space especially in view of our growing Kids ministry, which is now over 100 kids with more babies on the way. Accordingly, we will be enclosing the balcony with windows in the parents & toddlers room, so that the kids will have additional room to play safely under the watchful eye of their parents during the service. Also, regarding the old house in front of church, the leadership team believes it is important to keep and utilise that property for the benefit of our members, especially the kids ministry. So, we are now exploring various proposals from a two-storey residential house to a multi-purpose building that could be used for the kids ministry, connect groups, housing students and possible office space.
Our theme for 2017 will be: ‘BRINGING HIS KINGDOM – Righteousness, Peace & Joy in the Holy Spirit’
2017 important date claimers:
- Launch of our The Pattern: Make Disciples & Mature Partners Sunday classes in Feb & March.
- Chinese New year celebration & night market – Sat 11th
- Vision Launch Sunday (5th March) – followed by the return of the Sunday morning multiple services 9 & 11am. Our second service will feature bi-lingual sermons (English to Mandarin).
- Easter Celebration weekend April – 14th Good Friday evening service & Resurrection Sunday services 16th.
- I.S.H. Leaders masterclass with Dr Ray Andrews 8-9th April.
- Special leadership & prophetic weekends with – Roland Seow (11-12th Feb), evangelist Justin Samuel (25-26th Mar), Julius Suubi (19-23rd Apr), Jeremiah Yap (7-9th Jul), Danny Guglielmucci (8-10th Sep) plus more.
- Technicolour Multicultural Festival – (26th August)
- In place of our annual Synergy Conference we will be having our decennial ICC RETREAT from 29th Sep to 2nd Oct (Queens Birthday long weekend) on the Sunshine Coast (register now & save with the early bird special!)
- ICC Leaders Vision Casting day & AGM – Saturday 25th November
I thank God for His mercy & love towards us and for all the pastors especially Faith, Olivia, David & Jeannie, Steven & Penny, who constantly go above and beyond the call of duty, doing so many behind the scenes acts of kindness because of Christ’s love. Thanks also to all the ministry team members, including Jasmine, Michael, Alvin, Christy, David, Natalia and Kharzina. As a team, we look forward to working together and encouraging you as we continue to build a dynamic multicultural connect church that impacts this nation and beyond. Thank you to everyone for your loyalty, loving kindness, service and prayers which are helping continue to build God’s household of faith. My prayer for all of us is that: “Our Father will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”
Lastly, thank you to my wife Deborah, for all her love, patience, long suffering and support shown to our kids Zara & Ethan and myself, enabling me to serve in this role. May we all grow in the grace and love of Christ and be filled with his power, wisdom and revelation as we seek to impact our worlds by reaping the harvest of God’s lost children. I wish you and your family a very safe, joyous and blessed festive season and holiday. Let’s get fired up for 2017 in which we will focus on bringing God’s Kingdom into the 7 mountains by living lives that are full of his righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
God’s Covenant Blessings,
Rev. Jonathan Mok
16 November 2016