The Little Church Is Led By CLI Student Jim Pounder
The Little Church World seeks to help small groups of Christians worship God and have church anywhere in the world in small groups. This is especially relevant in places where the public meeting of Christians is frowned on or forbidden. Jim Pounder of The Little Church is seeking more ministry training at Christian Leaders Institute so his leadership at The Little Church World is strengthened even more. Check out The Little Church World and contact Jim directly if interested (Here is the link to the website of The Little Church World). Here is Jim Pounder’s story:
My name is Jim Pounder and I am pastoring at The Little Church online. I am currently living in Hong Kong. I was born in Sheffield in the county of Yorkshire in the UK. My father worked in the UK steel industry which, at the time, was centered in Sheffield. He was a union man and both parents were to the far left in politics with religion considered to be the ‘opium of the masses’. In view of this background, I was squarely a non-believer although when I look back to my early school days, I recall that I was taught famous Bible stories in school such as the story of Samson and Delilah and David and Goliath. To me, at the time, these were just adventure stories but, nevertheless, were part of a foundation on which the Lord could build in my later years.
In the early 1980’s I relocated with my wife and young family to Hong Kong and shortly after arriving and settling there, my wife had a call to tell her that her father had passed away suddenly and she returned back to the UK to attend his funeral. She was understandably upset given that she was close to him and during that time she experienced what can only be called the presence of the Holy Spirit although neither of us recognized it at the time. Also shortly after our arrival in Hong Kong, she had been taken ill and had a near death experience where she experienced the peace of the Lord.
Both these events led us, as a couple, to explore the spiritual dimension of existence and we investigated a number of faith systems. However, after a number of years, my wife fully committed to the Lord and after much reading I decided that the strong balance of evidence was in favour of God’s existence and of Jesus’ status as the Son of God. The evidence for the resurrection was very crucial to my intellectual acceptance of the faith and I found Josh McDowell’s ‘More than a Carpenter’ a key text in moving me towards this intellectual acceptance.
Due to the fact that I was a University Professor in Hong Kong, able to speak in public, I seemed to be given various church leadership roles including the lay leader of an Anglican church in Hong Kong and later, with my wife, establishing a non-denominational church that held its services in the hotel where I was living at the time with my family. This was the situation spanning the late 1990s to the early 2000s when my wife and I relinquished the leadership role in the non-denominational church due to relocation to another part of Hong Kong where for one year we attended the Hong Kong International Baptist Church.
In September 2005, we relocated to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and after attending some of the official churches there and a large fellowship group, felt that we needed to have our own services in our villa where we were living in Abu Dhabi. One thing led to another and before long we were again in church leadership, running a fellowship group that comprised around 30 persons. This was not our intention but was obviously God’s intention. One thing I need to state here is that in the UAE, a part of the Muslim world, we faced the full force of spiritual warfare about which we were naive before taking on church leadership roles in an Islamic state. However, God is good and at this time my hitherto intellectual acceptance of the Lord moved from the head to the heart as I experienced the full force of His Grace.
In 2012, we were called back to Hong Kong and have since been called by the Lord to start up an internet church that is called The Little Church World (www.thelittlechurchworld.org). The Little Church replicates the approach we adopted in the UAE with our fellowship group which we and the others in the group found to be highly effective. Reference to this website will show that this is a very well developed internet church that provides worship music for adults and children, a family room that provides a weekly message generally given by me, and various rooms for related Christian activities. The purpose is to provide total support for anyone who, for whatever reason, is unable to attend a physical church and of course this is very relevant to the situation in the Middle East. In addition to the worship and the message, The Little Church World (TLC World) system provides house church, virtual church and house fellowship group leaders with a full transcript of the message, a summary of the message and questions for discussion based on the message. Consequently, home based churches, home fellowships and virtual groups have a complete set of resources to enable them to have a full service.
Given that I am responsible for preaching the weekly message and am leading the The Little Church World, although I have a PhD in Business and a Doctorate in Education (I am an academic remember!), I do not have any formal theological education. Of course, I read the Bible daily, do extensive research for my weekly messages and ensure I get spiritually fed from reading the works of Tozer etc., and from the sermons preached by the pastor of the Hong Kong Baptist Church (also my mentor), where I attend with my wife and where I am a deacon. Nevertheless, I have not had formal theological training and feel that I should have this, given the role I have in TLC World. For my entire walk with Christ in any leadership role, it has been on a bi-vocational basis and I am so pleased that Christian Leaders Institute (CLI) is providing on-line seminary training and the opportunity for ordination within one’s local context. As a long term academic, I can also fully vouch for the quality of education provided by CLI. I want to thank Henry and Dave and their team for the great, God-given job they are doing.
The Little Church is a resource that may be very helpful in your area. As a bi-vocational ministry, The Little Church may be something that you may find beneficial as well. Contact Jim Pounder if you are interested in The Little Church in your area. Click this link to the contact page of The Little Church and contact this ministry directly.