Pastor Albert Lam:
12335 World Trade Drive, Poway
Membership: 1250 (on five campuses)
Pastor: Albert Lam
Born: Hong Kong
Formation: Overseas Theological Seminary, Hong Kong; Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, MI; Westminster Theological Seminary, Escondido
Years Ordained: 30
San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?
Pastor Albert Lam: My life message throughout the sermons would be that God is sovereign and in control of everything. He can even make good out of evil.
SDR: What is your main concern as a member of the clergy?
PL: Whether my people live out their faith in their daily lives and faith has become a sort of ritual or religion. It does not go into the heart or is not reflected in their lives. Hopefully, when people claim themselves as Christians, it’s not just by name or by going to church on Sunday, but it is in their worldview and life’s values. It is my hope that the way they deal with other people will reflect the beauty and virtue of the Christian faith.
SDR: Did you have any difficulty expressing your faith in China?
PL: I only served in Hong Kong for two short years, in 1980 to 1982. At that time, Hong Kong enjoyed complete freedom under British rule. It was like living in Britain. Whatever Britain has, whatever Britain is, Hong Kong is. So, we enjoyed total freedom in the expression and sharing of our faith. Even now, the church in Hong Kong still enjoys these freedoms, even though Hong Kong is now ruled by China. It’s not like people in mainland China, where they have a lot of censorship and control of Christian churches there.
SDR: What is the mission of your church?
PL: We have a mission and a vision. Our mission is to make disciples for Christ through bringing people into salvation and then connecting them to the Body of Christ, training them up in Christian maturity and equipping them and sending them out to the mission field. Our vision is to glorify God by transforming lives and building healthy churches, locally and globally.
SDR: What challenges do you have in introducing Western Christianity to people from the East?
PL: We have about 25 Chinese congregations in San Diego right now…. Ministering to Chinese people in North America, we have several challenges. If they are from mainland China, many of them are atheists. They don’t believe in any supernatural things; they don’t believe there is a spiritual reality…. When we approach this group of people we have to understand their mindset. Many of them come from China and have been brainwashed by the communists. If they come from Taiwan, they have a different set of challenges. Most of them, especially the older people, are very much into the folk religion in Taiwan. The folk religion is believed more by tradition and heritage; they don’t have theology in the folk religion.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PL: We each receive God’s judgment, and after that, I don’t know how God will judge you, but when we live in Christ, we are exempted from the judgment, because the judgment has been made on Jesus on the cross. But for those who reject this salvation, he will have a fair and righteous judgment…. I believe that there is a place called hell. It is for people who have rejected the way of salvation offered to them.