Missions pastor Bobby Chaw preaches at a Mumbai church that is experiencing revival in Bollywood.
|PHOTO COURTESY OF BOBBY CHAW|
Traveling is second nature to Bobby Chaw, City Harvest’s missions pastor and dean of the School of Theology. With a heart that is passionate about reaching the masses with the love of God, Chaw’s travels have led him to more than 12 countries in Asia and around the world, such as, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, Mongolia, Australia and America. On each trip, Chaw is focused on edifying the body of believers in the local church and bringing a word in season to strengthen them.
On April 9 and 10, Chaw was in India to minister for the first time at New Life Fellowship, Lokhandwala, located in Andheri West, Mumbai, where he conducted a leader’s training session and preached in two Sunday services.
Chaw described this as one of his most eventful trips, having witnessed how this church engaged the marketplace and reached out to the celebrities in their community. For a start, the church is located right at the heart of many prominent Bollywood film studios. In fact, many people who live in that area are linked to or work in the Bollywood entertainment industry.
Senior pastor of New Life Fellowship, Vijay Nadar, understood that in order to reach out to those in the entertainment industry, he needed to become more relevant. One way was through his dressing.
Chaw explained, “In India, dressing is very conservative, especially in churches. Pastors and preachers are expected to dress formally in a suit and tie.” But Nadar’s boldness and desire to reach out to his community prompted him to make adjustments so that visitors would not feel out of place in his church. Clad in jeans and a long-sleeved shirt, Nadar would preach to his congregation and minister to them. Nadar also altered the worship segment and introduced more contemporary music styles in his English-Hindi service.
As a result of this, New Life Fellowship began to grow—celebrities started coming to his church. Today, Nadar has members who are actors and dancers in the Bollywood scene. Chaw said, “The church started in November 1999 with 35 members and grew to 395 members in 2006. But in the last four years, the church has experienced a breakthrough—it reached 2,226 members in March 2010!”
Undistracted by the growth in membership, Nadar’s message of the gospel remains clear and focused. He wants to share the love of God with everyone. Therefore, he welcomes people from all walks of life, regardless of their vocation or fashion style, into his church family. Apart from this, Nadar also takes care of the welfare of his flock, ensuring that their needs are met in practical ways. For instance, the church hires 11 buses to ferry the members to service each week. In India where transport is not so efficient, traveling can be an inconvenience. The church solves this issue by providing the busing service.
Chaw summed up the success formula of New Life Fellowship in these words: “The members really care for one another, and they basically share the same vision as CHC: To find a need and meet it, to find a hurt and heal it.”
Vijay Nadar will be sharing his testimony at the upcoming Asia Conference 2010.