MDiv 2014, Pastor, Hong Kong Evangelical Church Yan Kwong Church
Interviewed by : Chan Hing-Ling (Alumni Relations, MCS 2011)
Written by: Tong Fung-Ping (MCS 2013)
Cho’s journey of faith began when he was in primary school. His Christian uncle asked his son to invite Cho to church, hoping that through Cho, gospel would be brought to his sister. In the end, Cho’s mother believed and followed her brother to church. Studying in Grade 2, Cho was enrolled in a faith-based day care facility near his home. He then naturally attended that church, and eventually the whole family believed in Christ. Looking back, it is crystal clear that God started working through Cho from a young age.
Cho had a dedication to serve God as early as his college years. Hoping to fulfill his mother’s expectation, he completed his tertiary education before considering going to seminary. In fact, Cho’s family was very supportive—it was more a struggle of his own. Cho reckoned that pastoral ministry is a path of no return. At such a young age, the query was ‘is it the right moment?’ That inner struggle was the first hurdle on this path of ministry. Then God came to untie the knot: Cho shared his struggle with an older Christian who reminded Cho, “Who are you to decide whether it is the right time?” Cho then realized that God’s will is not determined by people, otherwise it would be one’s will. Afterwards, Cho joined a dedication camp of a seminary. Through Psalm 119, God reminded Cho to walk by faith and follow the light of the path, and whatever the situation is, God will guard and protect him.
Cho had always thought that he was still young and so held back from making a lifelong commitment to ministry. In the summer of 2010, Cho worked part-time at Hong Kong Disneyland and met a Mormon there. This person was one year younger than Cho but had already decided to spend two years in equipping himself and to commit himself to full-time ministry. His decision deeply impacted the undecided Cho, waking him up to the fact that one should not delay to serve the Lord. Cho eventually overcame the hurdle and embarked on his road to ministry. Having obtained his MDiv in 2014, Cho has been serving in his mother-church Hong Kong Evangelical Church Yan Kwong Church as a young pastor in his twenties.
From member to pastor of his mother church, Cho feels stressful about his identity change. Thankfully his senior pastor spends time with him, and at the same time Cho listens, learns and grows. He gradually finds his role in bridging the young and old. It is undoubtedly not a plain-sailing journey, even hit a snag at times, but Cho continues to explore and try. Cho can facilitate the exchange of views and ideas between two generations, hence building up good communication. Cho has once again overcome a hurdle as he has found his place.
Today, our society is seriously torn apart, and the church cannot simply be a bystander. A pastor’s ministry of teaching and shepherding is increasingly challenging. Cho is facing the big test of responding to congregation’s theological debates.
Cho recognizes that the identity of the church is to reveal God’s kingdom on earth. Apart from preaching the gospel, the Great Commission also involves Christians to be real disciples of the Lord by living the Word. In fact, the church cannot stay out of disputes in the society. Cho admits that Christianity (in Hong Kong) may veer towards pro-establishment, that many young people in churches are not receiving appropriate pastoral care. As a young person, Cho will not overlook any discrepancy between faith and reality in his role as a pastor. He believes that the church is salt and light of the contemporary world and should not shirk her identity and responsibilities. He himself must be vigilant and listen to the congregation, especially the young people. Cho often reminds himself to reflect on his faith, and hopefully after contemplation, he is able to establish keen theological reflection that can better serve brothers and sisters.
God has chosen young Cho to serve Him with vitality. He also wills to train Cho to serve faithfully. From the day he believed to the time he dedicated himself to serve, and then became a pastor, Cho has travailed and struggled. In God’s good hands, Cho is like the clay, he is all the work of His hand. The path of ministry is an arduous path but also one of grace – Let’s fight on, Cho!