Global Church Conference Spotlight:
Edmound Teo: Hong Kong
As we prepare for the upcoming ‘Global Church Conference’ next April in Hong Kong, we are featuring leaders from the sponsoring churches and networks. One of those leaders is Edmound Teo, pastor of International Christian Assembly of Hong Kong. Learn more about Pastor Edmound and his involvement in international church ministry below.
Q: Tell a bit about your background: where you were born and raised, where you went to school and what you studied.
A: I was born in East Malaysia and after finishing high school went on to study theology. I did D.Min. at Lutheran Theological Seminary, Hong Kong.
Q: Please share a brief version of how you met Jesus and how God called you into full-time ministry.
A: I was born a Catholic but accepted Christ in an Anglican Church. However I grew up spiritually in an AG church. In 1986 I received my full time call during a private prayer time. I physically felt the Lord walking into my room and touched my head as he called and consecrated me.
Q: Tell us about some (or all) of the places you served and how your ministry path led you to work with international churches.
A: In 1987, I was doing church planting in Zambia & Zimbabwe and subsequently pioneering language churches among Indonesians and Filipinos in Malaysia & Singapore. It was in 1998 that I was invited to ICA, Hong Kong as Associate Pastor.
Q: How do think the international church has evolved or changed over the past 30-40 years and what have been the driving factors behind those changes?
A: ICA started with reaching Internationals English speaking and eventually went on to minister to Internationals that are non-English speaking in the 80s. After 2000, the church saw an increase of overseas Hong Kongers (local English speaking) attending. At the same time we moved into ministering locals non-English speaking as well. Looking back, the Lord was transforming ICA to be more Glocal (act locally, impact globally), where we are a church for all people and from all places. To be more inclusive rather than exclusive.
Q: Where do feel that the international church is today in terms of opportunity and growth; and where do you see the international church headed in the future?
A: As the world is more global it’s unfortunate the church is not. Rev 5:9 & 7:9 give us a glimpse of what the church of the future looks like and should be like. IC is the closest to this biblical description. Our strength is that we embrace cultural and color diversities. However we must be careful not to be an elite church where classism exist. As we maintain our inclusiveness and diversities, the church will remain healthier and able to reach all people and from all places. IC is also positioned for bigger growth because we understand the concept of “connection vs destination”. The church is a place of connection and not the destination. People from all places come from “there to here” in order to be sent from “here to there” because we see the world as our mission field.
Q: What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing international churches today?
A: We lack resources, experience as well as theology to define and describe how we do church.
Q: What do think are the biggest opportunities for international churches today?
A: Inclusive, influence, and freshness.
Q: How do you believe that organizations like the Fellowship of European International Churches and the Global International Church Network can help the international church movement today?
A: Exchange ideas, provide training, sending of workers and exposure to IC in the other continents.