Richard is from Berkeley, CA. He is a pastoral intern at New Life Mission Church (PCA) in Fullerton, CA.
Why did you choose to attend WSC?
Well, I'm from the Bay Area. I came down to University of California, Irvine for college and was looking for a church. One of my mentors from my church up north somehow got introduced to reformed theology in college and was attending WSC at the time. I asked him to recommend some churches. He recommended New Life Mission Church in Fullerton, where the pastoral staff all happened to be from WSC. I was so blessed at New Life. I got solid teaching and was shepherded well with grace and wisdom. As my passion and conviction for the ministry grew, to be a minister was to emulate these guys, as they emulated Christ. WSC just happened to be the school they came from. It seemed very simple to me. Maybe it was foolishness or naïveté, but I didn't need to attend Seminary for a Day. The fruit of my pastors was convincing enough. WSC must be doing something right.
What is one of your favorite WSC experiences thus far?
It was my first semester and I was taking Pentateuch. That class blew my mind. Especially, the imago dei. A friend and I called that class, "You think you know, but you have no idea." It set the whole framework in which I understood the Scriptures in all its redemptive-historical richness. I would always stay after class to ask questions, and my friends would leave for lunch without me! I also remember, every week, for one hour, I would go to Dr. Estelle's office, and he would help me decipher Meredith Kline's book, Kingdom Prologue. Those were the best of times. I would show up with a list of questions and after answering one after another, he would then say, "So whatchya got next on the list?"
You are interning at your church in Orange County. Could you share with us where you are interning and a brief synopsis of your responsibilities in that role?
I intern at New Life Mission Church (PCA) where I've been attending since 2001. I am primarily the youth group director (junior high and high school). I lead Bible studies on Fridays and Sundays and occasionally speak for the congregation. We have a great staff. And we have covenant worship. I love it. It's definitely challenged me in many areas. God has truly granted me the gifts of grace to grow and learn in those areas. I can truly say, "His power is made perfect in my weakness." Therefore, "when I am weak, then I am strong."
What did your internship experiences cause you to appreciate about your education thus far at WSC?
So many things. Most of all, it has caused me to appreciate my conviction for the Word of God and its effectiveness and faithfulness. In the ministry, you get pressured a lot to seek instantaneous results and ministry strategies that are more focused on the method than the content--even in a Reformed church. (And no, I haven't read Dr. Clark's book yet on Recovering the Reformed Confessions!) However, not only learning about the mysteries of the Word of God revealed in Christ, but actually being taught with conviction by professors of its power and truth, coupled with testimonies of God's faithfulness really gives me confidence and hope that I do not labor in vain. And if I may boast, that I would boast in the Lord.
What do you plan to do after you graduate from WSC?
That is the million dollar question! I will first move back to Irvine so I don't have to do the commute! (Though I do have Dr. Horton on podcast to accompany me.) Honestly, time flies being in school. I wouldn't mind some time to reflect on the next big step. I've had the conviction to go back up to Northern California and serve there. How that's going to work out I don't know. Being Korean-American, I feel convicted to bridge gaps toward a more diversely unified body of Christ. I'm not trying to be diverse for the sake of being diverse. But it's really a conviction to see racial/cultural/social barriers overcome by the gospel. For me, it's the indicative aspect of being a Christian that seeks to evangelize, commune and worship with the entire body of Christ from every tribe, nation and tongue. But who knows...it's really hard to predict where God's going to lead me in the next two years.