“Come follow Me”, what would it look like to put those words of Jesus into action. Ed talks with Luke Chang to hear how God’s call has set his life in a new direction. Luke graduated with many degrees and was a successful software engineer with major corporations, but now serves as FEBC’s new Director of Chinese Ministries. Hear his story and be inspired by His dedication to living as a disciple of Christ…Until All Have Heard..
[Luke]: I believe that a people whose life is transformed by the Holy Spirit is the best of all God’s work even in the Missions.
[Wayne]: That’s a young man named Luke Chang and this is “Until All Have Heard” a glimpse of the ministry of the Far East Broadcasting Company. I’m Wayne Shepherd. We’re going to meet Luke today as Ed Cannon our president sat down to talk with him and introduce him to all of you. Luke is a young man, a recent graduate of Dallas Seminary, who has joined our staff in transition. Eventually, he’ll become the US Director for Chinese Ministries. So, let’s get to know this newest staff member of the Far East Broadcasting Company. Here to introduce him is Ed Cannon.
[Ed]: Well today I have the privilege of sitting across the desk with my new dear friend, collaborator in the work of Jesus Christ and FEBC employee Luke Chang. Welcome Luke, great to be with you today.
[Luke]: Good to see you Ed.
[Ed]: Luke, you and your wife Joy have had sort of a lot of experience understanding and knowing about Far East Broadcasting and currently you’re just finishing up your theological master’s at Dallas Theological Seminary, is that right?
[Luke]: Yes, yes. I just finished my last class so technically I’m done.
[Ed]: …Well, I can’t go into great detail on this podcast but I can assure you that Luke has forgotten more about the Bible than I will ever know and so I think four years of part-time study, three years of full-time study to get a Master’s degree really speaks volumes to not only Dallas’ thorough educational style but Luke’s commitment to God’s word.
[Luke]: Yes. Ever since I become a believer, I really like reading God’s word. So I joined Dallas Seminary because DTS really emphasize on the Bible. So, the curriculum teaches every book of the Bible. Even for the Theological training we emphasize so much on guiding the Theology out of the text. That’s why I choose DTS.
[Ed]: You mention before you became a believer and I want to hear a little bit about the story of how you became a believer but let’s first say what were you doing before you went to Dallas when you were the part-time student at Dallas? Where were you and what were you doing at that time?
[Luke]: After I finished my engineering – no my school at Canada so I worked to Seattle to work as an engineer. First I worked for a couple of years for Microsoft and then at that point I start to attend DTS. In the four years I was studying part-time I was a full-time engineer, a software engineer…I also worked for three years of Amazon as a software engineer. So I work for the infrastructure team so basically our team manage the – provides software and services to manage the whole data center of Amazon which is huge. I cannot give you too much detail but it’s vast amount of computers out there.
[Ed]: So, you were deeply involved with that unbelievable movement of technology at Amazon. Then you just up and decided to quit that and leave that and go full-time to Dallas Theological Seminary, tell me what inspired you to do such a thing?
[Luke]: Even after I become a believer, long before I become engineer, I was called by God. I remember one time I prayed to God all the time, after I become a believer. So one night I pray for salvation of my parents. I was so deeply touched by God’s grace and love so I commit myself and I said to God, “Lord if you save my parents I would do whatever you call me to do.” So that’s the starting point of my calling and that call never disappears from my heart. So, over the years even after that, I graduate, finished my PhD and work that calling was in my heart all the time. I knew that it’s God’s help that I can finish my PhD and also work for – find a job and work over the years. So, when I feel the call from God to quit the job, I didn’t hesitate, because I mean everything is given by the Lord. So, right now God gave me a chance to study as a student and work as engineer, but now God called me to switch direction to serve him. So, it’s very natural for me to just put down my career. Even now when I’m serving FEBC all the trainings I had experience I had with my work is still very helpful for FEBC, if you look at the FEBC work today.
[Ed]: Yes. I can appreciate that very much having served in an oil company for 25 years, having worked at Moody Bible Institute for 10 years, and I look back at all of that experience and think, “How in world have I showed up here at FEBC?” but it is clear to me daily that God prepares us for the things he has called us to do.
[Luke]: Yes, exactly.
[Ed]: We were very, very grateful to have you here Luke. You were telling me just yesterday a little bit about completing your Master’s study there at Dallas and the final paper that you wrote. Why don’t you share with our listeners a little bit about what the subject matter of that paper was?
[Luke]: I mean discipleship has been in my heart for a long time, so in my last paper I decided to write kind of more like a practical paper about discipleship. I mean if you look at the Christians across the globe – we see a lot of people who has been in the church over the years and have been Christian for many, many years. We never see any evidence of life changed or transformation from them, and now on the same time, you can see the deterioration of the influence of Christian in the world, which sometimes breaks my heart. So, that’s kind of my passion is always to see how we can help people to transform their life not just stay as a baby Christian for the rest of their life. I believe that a people whose life is transformed by the Holy Spirit is the best of all God’s work even in the Missions. So, I wrote this paper about why do we see, what I call, a deficiency in the discipleship in churches? So, my observation that day is a two, one is about the teaching about the Gospel and also the Christian life. I feel like it’s an imbalance teaching somehow, secondly it’s about the way we do discipleship in churches. The mass that we do is also not so efficient. That’s two major causes of that.
[Ed]: Do you see that there’s an opportunity now that you’re here with FEBC to integrate that thinking into the way we impact our listeners through radio in the kinds of programs that we’re producing?
[Luke]: Definitely. I mean, if you look at the great commission by Christ, it’s always like making disciples among the nation. So making disciples is a main task given by the Lord to the churches. Also, I believe this is also the main task given to every believer. I mean, if you look at the New Testament look at the message by Christ, any time Christ call people they always say, “Come follow me”. You can see that following Christ is a major image in the Gospel to describe believers. Christ also call people, whoever want to follow Christ have to carry a cross for Him daily. So, which means that the image you see in the New Testament to describe believers is always a person who follow Christ, counting the cost, for example His teaching. I think that should be the image we have every believer. If you become even not just means that you receive salvation from the Lord, you receive blessing from God, you also have to follow Him daily. To follow His teaching, follow His life, example.
[Ed]: Yes, I love that about Luke. We have not rehearsed this conversation but my favorite verses show up in Matthew and Mark and Luke where Christ said, “If you would be my disciple you’ll deny yourself and take up your cross and follow me.” Those are not the kind of messages that show up in Hallmark greeting cards, right? I mean it’s denying yourself and picking up your cross are not easy messages to convey but yet that’s what our Lord said isn’t it?
[Luke]: Yes, I mean if you look at the – from the very beginning in Genesis when God created human beings, definitely God loved them, want to bless them but, on the same time, He’s our creator. We depend on Him. We’re responsible to Him. Then if you look at the sin, the very definition sin actually is the deliberate rebellion against God. So, that’s the core of sin. All the other simple nature flew out of it. When you look at the salvation, it’s God dealing with human heart totality about probity, and faith actually is about – also the other part is the repentance right. We admit our call “we’re wrong, we rebel against you, we want to turn away from our past and turn to you”. If you look at all the essence of Gospel we can clearly see that. That’s why self-deny is so important, because self-deny means that we admit that we are wrong. We want to follow Christ. Deny our own ambition, our simple nature and follow Christ. But, if you look at the teachings, sometimes the teaching does emphasize a lot on that area. We emphasize so much on the blessings, the peace, but less about how we deny ourselves and follow Christ. I feel that we should teach more on this area…
[Ed]: Stay tuned for our next podcast which will be the continuation of the conversation of Luke and I and we’ll talk a little bit about how this unbelievable faith that he’s got and dedication to the Lord’s work and commitment to discipleship will play a role in how Luke serves here at the Far East Broadcasting Company.