Ministering through God’s grace: From Indonesia to Iowa to South Philly

Beny Krisbianto, PPC

I was born in Indonesia. My parents raised me in a Christian home and took me to church where I was active by the age of ten. However, I did not have a personal relationship with Jesus until high school when I accepted Christ as my savior on June 17, 1993 and then baptized on June 15, 1995. I sensed a calling on my life after I graduated high school and made the decision to surrender my life to serving the Lord and his people.

I wanted to pursue more education and training, so I enrolled at Bethany Bible College in Surabaya, Indonesia. I graduated with a Bachelors of Theology in 2000. Preceding graduation, I was called by God to be a full time pastor in Yogyakarta, which is a city of students. In the next 10 months, I was Missions Pastor and a leader in the praise and worship department. I still felt that I needed more training to learn how to lead people. By the grace of God in June of 2001 I came to the United States to study at Jubilee School of Ministry located in Fairfield, Iowa.

While at Jubilee I pastored at Nations Worship Center in Iowa City, Iowa, and eventually took the opportunity to teach at the school. When I graduated in 2006, I moved to Philadelphia and began working with Philadelphia Praise Center. It is a joy to work together with young and energetic people. We share the same passion and commitment to the work of the Lord. My desire is to serve Christ and do the best that I can do serving him wherever he calls me to go.

I praise the Lord that my family is all serving in the ministry. My sister and her husband are pastors in a church in Iowa City, Iowa. My family, as well as other Christians in Indonesia, serve the Lord at times with persecution. The country is mostly Muslim and there is persecution for Christians who do not conform to Muslim belief. I believe with all my heart that Indonesia will someday be a place where the Gospel can be preached freely.

I am so eager to learn more about what it means to be a Mennonite. I want to inquire more perspective from the leadership within this community of believers. I am eager to minister and to be apart of a community that believes in justice. Peace and justice are the reasons why I decided to become a Mennonite. I believe that is what Jesus stood for throughout his ministry here on Earth. Jesus came to give peace and to serve all people, of all races, for the glory of his Father.

I strongly believe that God is good all the time and never plans to give or create bad things for us as believers. I also believe that salvation is not a one time deal and that after we receive salvation we need to protect and maintain our salvation by living in holiness. We need to live according to God’s will and stay away from sin. We are saved by grace and we can only survive and minister through the grace of God.

I do recognize that I have weaknesses as a minister and there are areas I need to work on. But I also have strong passions for mission trips, church planting, and evangelism. I want to reach new believers for Christ. I enjoy leading worship. Leading God’s people to the throne of grace through praise and worship is awesome. I also enjoy working in church growth. I like to learn what makes’ churches grow and what make them stop. I have assisted in surveys throughout different communities. My goal is to encourage the congregation every week.

pastor BeniI feel that being part of a congregation is not enough. I truly believe with the Mennonite perspective that we need to serve God more according to the gifts and calling that he has instilled in us. I am very grateful for Philadelphia Praise Center’s support of my becoming a licensed minister. A license for me is a public recognition that I am a minster of the Gospel. A minster is an example and a representative of God on this earth. I have a public responsibility to carry my life carefully as people watch me walk the gospel of Jesus Christ. Commissioned by God to help and serve the congregation to become closer to Jesus. This is not to promote self but to promote Jesus Christ with all that we have.