Michael Chan graduated from UCLA in 2014 and attended Grace On Campus for all 4 years of his undergraduate studies. He currently works as an engineer in the Bay Area and goes to church at Redeemer Bible Fellowship in Mountain View. In his free time he enjoys driving fast cars, cheering on Bay Area sports teams, and drinking a nice cup of coffee.
By God’s grace I was born into a Christian household with parents that took me to church every Sunday as a child. At an early age, I remember my Sunday School Teacher telling me that if I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior I would gain eternal life. Enamored with the idea of being able to live forever I ignorantly accepted. However, like any child I quickly forgot what I had just done and its impact. Throughout the rest of my childhood my sin manifested itself more and more. I became selfish and constantly lashed out in anger to my family and friends over little things.
Soon after, I began High School, and while I professed to be a Christian at that time, I really had not trusted Christ with my life. Out of pride, I desired to be the best at everything I did so that everyone would look highly on me. My only desires were my personal success whether it was academics, athletics, or popularity, and I was willing to step on other people or sin in other ways to achieve it. I made friends with unbelievers, and we would often talk about worldly things and encouraged one another to do sinful things together. I lived like this until my senior year in high school when I saw the people around me become engulfed and addicted to the empty pleasures of this world. During these same years, my older brother began attending UCLA; here he was brought under the teachings of John MacArthur. During breaks I saw him grow more and more spiritually and was shocked at how he desired to read the Bible constantly, often call me out on the sins he noticed in my life, and find so much joy walking with Christ. After witnessing the two completely different lifestyles of my friends and my brother, I quickly began a desire to know the gospel more. I found myself reading the Bible more on my own, and here I realized that my sins had left me dead, but God was so merciful to me that he saved me from hell and chose to make His word known to me. One summer night, as I was thinking through the scriptures, I realized that if I were to die today, I would be bound for hell. Scared of this thought, I prayed that Jesus would come into my heart and show me the true direction in this life. For the first time in my life, I truly understood God’s mercy.
At this time, I began my college career here at UCLA. Earnest to learn more about the gospel I quickly joined Grace on Campus at UCLA, signed up for a small group and began attending Grace Community Church. God soon began to teach me more and more about His loving-kindness, which was demonstrated by how He so perfectly planned to send his sinless son Jesus Christ to be the full atonement for our sins. I understood the free gift of salvation and how our own works as humans could never earn us salvation. Through daily reading of the Bible accompanied by prayer, I began trying to eradicate particular habitual sins in my life, and while I still stumbled in my sin, I repented and rejoiced in the forgiveness made available through the Cross. God opened many humbling and sanctifying ministry opportunities for me such as small group leading and outreach at UCLA. My greatest joy is no longer found in the worldly success I once pursued, but it is found in making Christ known to everyone around me through every possible area in my life.
Looking back at these pivotal 4 years of my life, I can say that one of the biggest lessons that I have learned is to love the imperfect church. Whether it was Friday nights in Broad, Sunday Services or Small Group, I was constantly taught that every believer is responsible for the building up of the church. Furthermore, seeing so many people pour into me and being built up through so many ministries in the context of the local church made me realize that our commitment to church is not supplemental, but essential to our lives as Christians. In scripture, we see the image of marriage parallel the image of Christ’s love for the church. As a result, Christ’s identity is so tightly knit to the church that loving Christ requires that we love and serve the church regardless of whatever shortcomings or blemishes it may have. I truly valued my time at GOC and made many relationships that will last me a lifetime. However, what I treasure most is how it offered so many different learning opportunities to equip me for my ministry roles after college.