ENVISION TRINITY@BUKIT BATOK TRINITY@JAKARTA
FOCUS LIVING OUT OUR CORE VALUES
UP CLOSE REAL LIFE MIRACLES THE BLESSINGS OF OBEDIENCE
WWW. T R IN I TY . S G
TOUGH QUESTIONS WHY DOES CHRISTIANITY HAVE SO MANY DENOMINATIONS?
Over the years, the Trinitarian magazine has blessed many readers with articles about God and how He works powerfully in lives of His people, inspiring many to walk in greater faith. Distributed for free, the Trinitarian is a magazine that is passed from household to household. We invite you to support this publication by advertising with us! Available online at no additional cost, your ads can go even further. For advertising rates, contact Jessie Chew (6304 7721, firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you in advance for your partnership to shout out Godâ€™s faithfulness, one issue at a time.
A Quarterly News Magazine by Trinity Christian Centre
Pastor Dominic Yeo
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FORGE FORWARD IGNYTE Games Day
BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING A place for the churches of Singapore and the world
CAMP GRIPPED Campus Camp 2017
20 LIVING OUT OUR CORE VALUES Passionate Honor Audacious Fervor Relentless Belief Contagious Faith
FATHER’S DAY 2017 God’s Idea of Family
RETURN TO THE COVENANT THROUGH TITHING The greatest investment
30 IGNYTE PRAYER CONFERENCE 2017 Demonstrating Audacious Fervor
WHY IT’S #COOLTOBESP Exercising Relentless Belief
SPURRED ON TO A DEEPER WALK OF FAITH The Silver Force in Thailand
TRINITY GOES WEST! Trinity@Bukit Batok
TRINITY GOES ABROAD! Trinity@Jakarta
SMALL HANDS, BIG HEART Ministry Expressions the DiscoveryLand way!
REAL LIFE MIRACLES The Blessings of Obedience
MOTHER’S DAY 2017 Persevering as a role model of faith
NEVER TOO YOUNG Breakthroughs in evangelism
THE POWER OF HONORING YOUR PASTOR The power of thankfulness
98 HONORING OUR PASTORS The responsibility of every Christian
100 9 WAYS TO HONOR YOUR PASTORS The power of thankfulness
issue 03 2017
MISSIONS AT A GLANCE An overview of Trinity’s missions outreach from January-June 2017
55 MISSIONS REPORT A highlight of Trinity’s missions efforts from April-June 2017
56 THANK YOU TRINITARIANS FOR GOING TO THE NATIONS! Missions trips that happened from April-June 2017
36 GUARDING AGAINST THE ENEMIES OF EXPANSION Entering into abundance and fruitfulness
PASSPORT TO BREAKTHROUGH Stepping out to be His salt and light
64 IMPACTING LIVES, ONE CAREHUT AT A TIME The Silver Force partners with CCSS
68 LEARNING TOGETHER CCSS
UP CLOSE 106
70 EMBOLDENED, EMPOWERED Church Camp 2017
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH TRINITY’S BOARD Leaders in the ministry and marketplace
QUOTABLE QUOTES 94
88 TOUGH QUESTIONS ANSWERED Why Does Christianity Have So Many Denominations?
SENIOR PASTOR’S MESSAGE
f o e Decad n o i s n a p Ex ’s
God t n e m n Assig se
u o H s i h t for 1 2
DEAR TRINITARIANS, Starting two new worship centers have been exciting opportunities to expand the Kingdom of God. For Trinity@Bukit Batok (pg 16), the first service was so full that we had to redirect people to Trinity@Paya Lebar. When momentum continued to accelerate over the subsequent two weekends, we multiplied into two Sunday services in order to accommodate the increasing number of first-time visitors (FTVs). Once God opened the door for us to start Trinity@Jakarta (pg 18), we immediately sent waves of Trinitarians to support the ministry there. With FTVs coming to every meeting, we launched Celebration Services four weeks after starting our Potential to Fulfillment seminar so that more people could experience the transforming power of God. The redevelopment of Trinity@Adam has been moving at a rapid pace. Meetings between the Building Committee and the architects have been happening more frequently as details are being fine-tuned for our expanded “storehouse.” After looking at the proposed façade of the new building, I am excited to see these drawings come to life.
The Lord is doing great things through this house, giving us many opportunities to do extraordinary things. The question is whether we will step up to the challenge. God has not called this church to stay on the beaten path – we have been called to start new paths and forge into new frontiers! The moment we decide to take up God’s cause, we can be sure to encounter strong opposition from the devil. Our enemy will deploy a variety of tactics to keep us from accomplishing what God has set us to do. Don’t fall for the schemes of Satan – understand his strategies and guard yourself against the enemies of expansion (pg 36). As we gear up for Vision Rally and Vision Weekend, know that you play an important part in turning our God-given vision into reality. Prepare yourself for this season of expansion by living out our core values of Passionate Honor, Audacious Fervor, Relentless Belief, and Contagious Faith (pg 20-35). Allow God to continue molding your heart so that He can keep doing amazing things through you.
God has not called this church to stay on the beaten path – we have been called to start new paths and forge into new frontiers!”
A TO BE has 2009, it g in r a b lessin ya Le it y@Pa s. It ’s also a b in r T f o n hase 2 initaria orld. leting P home for Tr re and the w p m o c a Since than ingapo es of S e more becom o the church t
“Royal Rangers Singapore and Royal Rangers International are so grateful to Trinity Christian Centre for allowing us to use their facilities. By hosting our Kids@Play event at Trinity@Paya Lebar, we have been able to reach out to 4,000 kids, enabling 600 of them to make decisions for Jesus. We have also used Trinity’s classrooms to train hundreds of leaders from different denominations. The impact it has on the kingdom is tremendous – the Royal Rangers ministry has grown, leading to tremendous church growth and community impact. We are blessed by Trinity’s partnership in building and mentoring the next generation for His glory.”
Chia Eng Kiat Commander, Royal Rangers Singapore
Dear Rev Yeo, Oh behalf of all at the Bible Society, I would like to express my sincerest thanks to you for extending grace to use through the eventâ€™s venue sponsorship. My team and I are especially grateful for your staff whose efforts were extremely helpful in running the concert. We have gained invaluable experience in the planning and holding of the event and we are very thankful to have gone through it in partnership with Trinity. Once again, thank you very much for your partnership in this project. It was very meaningful to celebrate our 180th Anniversary at one of our Advisory Panel Membersâ€™ church venues. I pray for a stronger partnership and future collaborations between Trinity and the Bible Society. Together in Christ, Rev Ezekiel Tan General Secretary, The Bible Society of Singapore (Message has been edited for length)
Trinity Goes West! Launching Trinity@Bukit Batok
In line with the year’s theme of Looking Forward, Moving Forward, Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo announced plans to start a new campus on the western side of Singapore.
“When I first heard the announcement of the new worship center, I was thinking that it was not for me. I’m comfortable where I was and not ready for this big change. In my struggle with God, He showed me how our oikos from the West could come to know the Lord through this new center. The restlessness He put in my spirit was not to torment me but to prompt me to walk by faith. In my surrender, I decided to go wherever He leads because I know that He has already gone ahead of us.” – Yvette Yee, West District
“During September’s Leader’s Community Empowerment meeting, Pastor Dominic called leaders to stand at the altar area with Pastor Melvin, expressing our intention to follow him to the West. Though I had a strong urge to go, I saw that the people who had already stepped up were much older than me. I felt out of place. Maybe I was too young and not ready for this, I reasoned, and I stayed in my seat. God continued to speak to me, especially through the sermon Crossing Over Nehemiah. That’s when God convicted my heart. It was time to rise up and cross over into His higher purposes.” – Lim Jie En, West District
The Dedication October 29/30, 2016
Our very own “Gideon army” of 150 people demonstrated their commitment to follow Pastors Melvin Lim and Wendy Ong to the new worship center.
“The nature of God to fulfill His promises is not dependent on circumstances but on our timing and the readiness of our hearts to receive the fulfillment of His promises.” – Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo
Though the initial plan was to start the new campus in Jurong, Trinity soon faced various setbacks. Uncertainty loomed as alternative venues were explored. Trinitarians continued to believe in God’s plans for expansion by persevering in prayer.
The Start of New Things July 9, 2017
November 2016June 2017
The wait is finally over! Our new worship center, Trinity@Bukit Batok, saw 332 people coming for its first service on July 9. We thank God for the opportunity to host 15 first-time visitors and lead two people to make decisions for Christ! In this season of expansion, let’s continue to keep Trinity@Bukit Batok in prayer and believe that God will use this new endeavor for His glory.
“It was an awesome service where Pastor Dominic preached about the God of the Covenant. The theater hall was packed with people. Everyone was excited to witness the launch of this new worship center. I am so thankful to be part of this historic moment, to partner with other Trinitarians in being God’s light in the West!” – Lim Jie En
If you have oikos in the western part of Singapore, invite them to join us for our Celebration Services!
Sun, 9 and 11am^ | Trinity@Bukit Batok West Mall, 1 Bukit Batok Central Link Cathay Cinema Hall 2
^ Concurrent DiscoveryLand services available! 1 7
Trinity Goes Abroad! Launching Trinity@Jakarta
Starting Trinity@Jakarta has been an exciting opportunity to expand the Kingdom of God, reaching out to the English-speaking community in Jakarta. Once God opened the door for us to start Trinity@Jakarta, we immediately sent waves of Trinitarians to support the ministry there.
“When Pastor Dominic asked me to lead the first wave to support Trinity@Jakarta, I could not ignore the tugging in my heart – it was time to go into the harvest field. During the trip (from July 26 to August 4), our ‘band of 13’ devoted seven days to prayer walking. It was a daunting task but we knew that if we obeyed, God would enable. We praise God for the 35 people that came for the first seminar and the many first-time visitors in subsequent weeks. It will be exciting to see Trinity@Jakarta expand in the days to come.” – Nathaniel Cheang, Section Leader and member of the Silver Force
Invite your friends and family living in Jakarta to join us! FRIDAY, 8PM
The hunger for God is so strong in the city. Since the launch of our Potential to Fulfillment weekly seminars on August 4, the venue has been packed with people eager to live the transformed life. There have been first-time visitors at every meeting and on the special Independence Day celebration dinner on August 18, demand exceeded capacity! Celebration Services were launched on September 3 so that more people could experience the transforming power of God.
Gedung Metro Pasar Baru Level 1, 204-205 Jl H Samanhudi Jakarta 10710 www.trinity-indo.asia
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…doing my best at work in the office, as doing it unto God and not man, being truthful and helpful when dealing with my colleagues. ‒Dennis Tan, West District
…giving my time to serve in carecell and in DiscoveryLand. As a sleep-deprived campus student, Sundays are best for sleeping in. However, I believe in honoring God with my time and expressing my passion to love God through the giving of my time. It is also a joy to serve the children of His house and see them grow in knowing and experiencing Jesus!
…trying not to use my phone for every other reason during service so that I will not be distracted.
Elisa Tan, Campus Ministry
Alicia Chua, North District
…staying faithful to God even when life is challenging. Alice Tay, Chinese Ministry
…serving in as many ways as I can before going back to Indonesia in 2018. I serve as a worship leader. Recently I became a Carecell Leader after the multiplication of the carecell. I am also helping Pastor Steven coordinate an English language class that is starting soon. I consider it my privilege to serve God. Marni, Indonesian Ministry
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…putting my hand phone to airplane mode so that I can be totally focused during service. Winston Wee, West District
…putting carecell, Church Prayer Meetings, and DPSP first despite having most business networking meetings and classes falling on the same time and days.
…serving in the various Ministry Expressions. My wife and I serve as Celebration Hosts while my daughter serves at RGB and during communion in PreTeens. When it is our turn to serve, we make it a point for all family members to sleep early so we can wake up early, refreshed and ready to serve. It has become part of our family culture to serve. Leonard Chua, West District
…making sure that I dress appropriately to worship my King – no revealing clothing, slippers, or shorts. Judy Foo, East District
…setting aside time to read God’s Word and pray. Each day, there are competing demands on my time and attention: various family, work, and church commitments. Yet setting aside time to commune with God through His Word and with prayer is a priority; my relationship with Him is very important to me. Raymond Hoh, West District
Sin Kok Wai, East District
(Testimonies have been edited for clarity and length.) 2 1
….registering for AlphaTrack (Batch 48), even when I had no idea how God would provide financially for my family. …planning and preparing for a harvest of souls I have not yet seen. Although it seems difficult for Campus carecells to multiply because of the constant transition of students, I believe God wants to draw many to Him in this season. With great faith, I have chosen to put aside things that may rob me of time to serve and am believing for a revival. Audrey Tan, Campus Ministry
God amazed me by always being just in time to meet my needs.
…setting aside time to pray for my pastors and the carecell.
Anna, Indonesian Ministry
I believe there is power in our prayers. That is why I set aside time to pray at least once a week and encourage my carecell to pray for each other.
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s u o i c a d Au or Febryv...
…praying and asking the Lord to use each and every student to see the Campus Ministry DOUBLE!
…praying by faith for supernatural healing, intervention, provision, and salvation.
Elisa Tan, Campus Ministry
During pre-service prayer, I have the boldness and zeal to pray because I know that God is almighty and powerful and nothing is impossible for Him. Wong Yu Xian, Campus Ministry
(Testimonies have been edited for clarity and length.) 2 2
Tan Keng Teng, Chinese Ministry
…fasting one meal every Friday before carecell. When I was called to lead the carecell, I wasn’t sure what to do. Through prayer and fasting, I began to see breakthroughs: members began attending regularly and growing in their walk with God. Alice Tay, Chinese Ministry
…walking and believing in people, especially those who are hurting or lost. God didn’t give up on us, who are we to give up on people? These are opportunities to love them with the unconditional love of God.
…rising up to become an Associate Leader. Although I find it tough at times, I have never thought of giving up. I have been strongly encouraged and motivated by my Leaders and carecell members to press on. Sharon Peh, Chinese Ministry
Linda Ong, Creative Ministry
...encouraging my carecell and section to rise up to serve God in greater capacities. We continually share about God’s goodness and faithfulness when we serve. This belief rubs off one another as members begin to understand God’s economy. This year, we identified, believed, and raised one Leader and three Associate Leaders in our section! When one person decides to step up, it causes a chain reaction as others also “catch” this boldness and step forward in faith to serve in greater capacity. Leonard Chua, West District
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…putting much effort in planning for Grow. I believe that God can use every carecell member for His glory. That is why, I start planning Grow on Monday so that the sharing will help the carecell members encounter the truth in His Word.
...encouraging my team mates during our missions trip. When some of them were tasked to do things outside their comfort zone, like speaking in front of an audience, I prayed for them and cheered them on, believing wholeheartedly that they were able to realize their Godgiven potential fully. Ruth Quek, Chinese Ministry
…seeing people through the eyes of Jesus. Sometimes, it may not be easy to accept people for who they are or to see their God-given potential. However, I constantly meditate on the Word of God to change and take away any negative thoughts that I may have towards people. Michael Lim, West District
Robin Lau, South District
…sharing my life with others. …being an encourager in my workplace. I regularly write small notes and give small gifts to my colleagues. I will let them know that God loves and has blessed them. Tan Hong Ming, West District
…inviting friends, colleagues, neighbors, and family members to church events and Celebration Services.
During lunch, I will share with my colleagues what God has done for me or for others and how God is able to save and help us. Shirleen Lee, West District
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s u o i g a t n Co th Fabyi...
…not being ashamed to proclaim that I am a disciple of Christ! Many people are not surprised when I tell them that I am a Christian because of the way I live and behave. Hannah Tan, Campus Ministry
…sharing the goodness of God with others. I list down names of oikos in my Book of Life and pray for them regularly. Yong Wei Feun, South District
…sharing Christ openly and unreservedly. …consecrating myself to be His conduit in the marketplace. Alicia Chua, North District
…adopting a lifestyle of evangelism so that my life will be a testimony to others by deeds, words, and conduct.
…sharing the Gospel to my colleagues and friends, not shunning away when the opportunity arises.
Alicia Sim, West District
Alan Tan, Chinese Ministry
(Testimonies have been edited for clarity and length.) 2 4
…would not have any late comers! Andrea Loh, West District
…make time and effort to care and connect. Esther Tan, West District
…everyone will carry God’s presence wherever they go. Grace Leow, East District
…would usher in the presence of God. Everyone would be obedient to His Word. LEAD classes would be full and there would be no lack of leaders to advance the kingdom. Tan Hong Ming, West District
…hungers for the things of God.
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…has a contagious atmosphere of faith, hope and love as every member is fervently serving and worshipping God.
We would be more proactive to serve God. Many hands would make light work, and we would be able to effectively harness the different talents that God has blessed Trinitarians with. New ministries would be birthed and serving would become second nature.
Every member would be walking confidently knowing they are in the will and plans of God as they enjoy a close fellowship with Him.
Siew Jin Chen, Creative Ministry
Daphne Ding, North District
…would be experiencing God in a deeper and more amazing way. In today’s society, time is a precious commodity. We come to church every week to listen to God’s Word and to worship Him corporately. It’s just 1.5 hours (0.89%) of our time in a week! Let’s press in through the service and let God examine our hearts during the altar calls. Press on together with other brothers and sisters who are experiencing God at the altars. Pray for them! If we experience Him personally, we will also experience Him together corporately as a body of believers. So let’s stay until the service ends or even beyond! Wong Wan Tze, Creative Ministries
…would see obedience, honor, and serving as part and parcel of worship. I look forward to the day when members would be early for their serving and service. Tay Hing Heng, South District
… would have signs, wonders and miracles taking place day-in-day-out!
…would have Church Prayer Meetings moved to the Sanctuary.
I believe that our God is an extravagant God and He takes delight in answering our prayers.
Adeline Tan, North District
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7 The atmosphere of faith would extend beyond the house of God and the reality of God’s power would bring many to Him. Chua Peck Hoon, North District
…would have carecells that would multiply every year. Clara Ho, South District
…would be filled with loving and encouraging people. Those that come would feel the warmth of home. Megan Lee, East District
Richard Lee, West District
…walks in God’s destiny through the transformation of lives. I look forward to the day where old mindsets are broken down because Trinitarians are willing to go the extra mile to pray, nurture, and disciple the people under their care. Tan Keng Teng, Chinese Ministry
Prayer meetings would be daily events participated by the majority! Raymond Hoh, West District
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…experiences miracle after miracle! Alan Tan, Chinese Ministry
ould be a w y t i n i r T hat… church t
…has a prayer room filled with people praying 24/7.
…has many missionaries going out to plant churches and leaders rising up to start new initiatives to reach the lost.
…experiences exponential growth!
Vera Leong, North District
…has no lack of workers harvesting lost souls and multitudes would be ushered in to populate God’s Kingdom.
…would be known as a House of Prayer!
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2 6 (Testimonies have been edited for clarity and length.)
Vera Leong, North District
When Trinitarians dare to believe and press on, many lives will turn back to God and many others will come to know God for the first time. More will come into the church and the Kingdom of God. Audrey Tan, Campus Ministry
…would have a lot of influential leaders! It would be so great to see each church member rise up as leaders to do the work of God. There would be such a great difference resulting from ordinary people doing extraordinary work in church! Yeoh Jung Chin, West District
… would always have overflowing numbers of oikos brought to services and carecells. The church would need to expand every year! Mic Law, West District
…would have spread the Gospel to everyone in Singapore. We need everything to be bigger! Ho Yi Xin, Campus Ministry
…would be eager to invite oikos to church and events. We would see a domino effect because everyone would desire to see His Kingdom come.
…has great influence in the nation!
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Shirleen Lee, West District
With contagious faith, it is inevitable that the nation would be drawn to the life and growth taking place in our church. Trinity would be able to make a difference in many lives. Audrey Tan, Campus Ministry
…would have hundreds of people coming to know Christ through outreach events. Clara Ho, South District
…would need more locations! Khoo Sze Hern, Campus Ministry
It takes Trinitarians who live out our core values to bring our God-given vision to pass. As we enter into Vision Rally and Vision Weekend, God is inviting us to rise to a new level of faith through our giving through a Vision Faith Promise! WHAT IS A VISION FAITH PROMISE?
HOW DO I MAKE A VISION FAITH PROMISE?
• A commitment, made in faith, between you and God.
• Come to Vision Weekend on September 23/24! Collect a Faith Promise Card from one of our Celebration Hosts. When instructed, complete the Faith Promise Card and return the upper portion to our Celebration Hosts.
• A time to ask the Lord how much He wants you to give towards a specific area of His Kingdomwork (e.g., Trinity’s Vision). • An opportunity for God to provide through you. God has given Trinity an incredible vision. Let’s take courage to be used as God’s channel of blessing and provision!
• If you can’t make it for Vision Weekend From September 25 onwards, collect and return your Faith Promise Card at the Level 2 Information Counter (Trinity@Paya Lebar) and the Information Counter (Trinity@Bukit Batok).
ate Passiorn Hono
, s d n a H l l a m S
t r a e H g i B d eryLan v o c s i D ns the o i s s e r y Exp Ministr
• Coming early for briefing • Ser ving emblems of communion
Communion Server “Serving is a form of worship.”
• Coming early for
Natania Ooi, Primary 3
briefing and setup*
• Helping first-time
visitors feel welcome
• Taking offering • Helping to strike set *
Celebration Host “I like to ser ve. It is fun
and I enjoy it.”
Titus Chew, Kindergarten 2 2 8
• Coming early for briefing, setup, and slide review
• Showing lyrics during
• Being alert to the needs of
the DiscoveryLand pastors and teachers
• Helping to strike set
praise and worship
• Showing slides during the message
“I enjoy serving God because I can help out with the service and understand how it runs. I can make new friends and help new people serve in RGB.”
g y for briefin • Coming earl h it w and practice nd leaders DiscoveryLa h energy! • Singing wit
Joy Choo, Primary 4
“Serving God is ver y kes important because it ma I day Sun ry Eve Him happy. ve God ser to dy rea ays alw am and I enjoy doing it!” Ellise Kwok, Primary 4
• Coming early for
briefing and setup
• Controlling sound during ser vice
• Being alert to the needs of the DiscoveryLand pastors and teachers
Jendaya Teoh, Primary 6
“I want to help people learn about God through sound.”
• Helping to strike set
* Sound Team
• Coming early for briefing and setup
“I ser ve because I am usi ng my gifts and making use of my skills. It makes me feel happy because ser ving the Lord is a joy.”
• Controlling the lights during ser vice
• Being alert to the needs of the DiscoveryLand pastors and teachers
• Helping to strike set
^ By invitation only * Pre-Teens only (Testimonies have been edited for clarity and length.)
Raedan Chua, Primary 6 2 9
r e y a r P e c n e r e f 7 1 n 0 o 2 C
ous Audaci Fervor
By Charlotte Choo
“We speak about intercession and prayer a lot in IGNYTE but today’s conference drove the point home.
Intimacy is built through prayer. For intimacy to take place, we must also choose to be in close proximity to God.” – Lorraine Chew, 18 3 0
On June 23, five minutes before the start of the IGNYTE Prayer Conference, Theatrette 1 was already buzzing with a heightened sense of expectation. For the next 12 hours, 280 IGNYTErs would be praying like never before. That was the degree of hunger this generation had for breakthrough in their prayer life. Kicking the morning off, Pastor Melvin Lim used Matthew 6:9-13 to share about the heart of prayer. When Jesus started The Lord’s Prayer with “Our Father,” it demonstrated how the depth of our prayer life was directly related to the intimacy of our relationship with Abba Father. Prayer also had to be accompanied by the reading of His Word. IGNYTErs, challenged to adopt the spiritual discipline of Time Alone with God (TAWG), put what they learned to practice by engaging in TAWG on the spot. That included responding to and recording what God had revealed to them. The conference shifted gears as Pastor Wendy Chang shared about another spiritual discipline tied closely with prayer – fasting. With or without an agenda, fasting demonstrated hunger for the fullness of God. Through the examples of Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, and Jesus, she emphasized that fasting must always be accompanied by prayer. As noon approached, another challenge was issued – to fast lunch! Growling tummies scattered across Trinity@Paya Lebar, Bible in one hand
and journal in the other, to meditate on Psalm 115:9-15. Refreshed by the Word, their physical hunger turned into spiritual hunger. The IGNYTErs were ready to dive deep into intercession, charged to carry the Lord’s burden for the lost. Led by Pastors Gary Chia and David Sashi, our mighty prayer warriors entered the night session ready for combat. In a two-hour prayer marathon, IGNYTErs entered the spiritual battlefield to pray for each other, their leaders, and the churches of Singapore. Though some lost their voices, they fought through and prayed without limitation, spirits aflamed with Audacious Fervor. Their physical limitations would not stop them from boldly believing and asking God for the impossible. This is a ministry that sets itself apart, always ready to arise and shine God’s light into the world.
“Today’s conference was definitely a good platform for learning how to pray! The ripple concept of prayer sparked something in me. I often pray for those ‘nearest’ to me and neglect praying for the people in my ‘wider circle.’ Thank God for the conference!” – Theodore Tan, 19 3 1
less Relent Belief
#CoolToBeSP Compiled by Brenda Lee, a Ministry Intern assigned to IGNYTE
Briana Renee Ong
#cooltobeSP As a Spiritual Parent, I feel that God has called me to lead the lost and have faith in them, just as previous leaders had the faith in me to lead. If it wasn’t for a leader who believed in me, I wouldn’t be where I am now – leading others. It’s #cooltobeSP because I am always reminded to have relentless belief in others, to help them see and fulfil their destinies! Through carecell, God has allowed me to see the different ones grow to be passionate men and women for God. Seeing my members step up to serve Him has been a constant reminder of what it means to be intentional in all I do – intentional in nurturing and, most importantly, relentless in believing that everyone has the potential and can be an influence for Christ.
A few years back, a girl in my Celebration Host team was often negative – hurling insults, swearing, and doing the things that you do not expect someone from church to do. Even though I was affected by the things she said, God placed a burden in my heart for her and I believed that with God’s power, she would be transformed. I started exercising relentless belief by praying for her, for God to convict her heart and transform her life. I also made myself available to answer every question she had about God and about her life. After a few months, I saw God begin to work in her, transforming her life as she experiences Him in new ways. Have relentless belief for God’s people. Know that breakthroughs and miracles do happen!
#cooltobeSP #ignytereflection Relentless Belief This week, I had some time to think about how leaders in my life have impacted me in my journey as an IGNYTEr. I first entered CH (Celebration Host) as my serving ministry when I was 13 and new to IGNYTE. Back then, I was very shy about serving. Even in that state of fear and awkwardness, I remember our CH in-charge (Jana) encouraging and assuring me that I would be okay. Looking back, it was the leaders who saw potential in me and encouraged me to serve with greater joy. They’ve taught me that serving is beyond just talent, it is also about the heart. Today, I’ve served in the CH Core Team for more than a year. It has been a journey full of joy as I learned to serve whole-heartedly and also believe in the members of our team, just as my leaders had believed in me. Often times, we can get caught up with the technicalities of the work and forget the nurturing involved in building the people around us. This week, I’m reminded of how leaders who believed in me impacted and transformed me.
Being an SP is extremely rewarding. As I have nurtured and mentored my Spiritual Babies, I have seen them conquering their battles, as well as understanding and growing in the Lord. As an SP, I need to have relentless belief, both for my Spiritual Babies and for myself. In challenging situations, I persisted in prayer and stepped out to what God had commanded me to, even if it doesn’t make sense. All I know is that He has gone before me and that He will see me through all I’ve been called to do.
Don’t be afraid to encourage those around you. Always be full of love and relentless belief!
(Testimonies have been edited for clarity and length.)
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On June 23, DiscoveryLand organized a day for our Pre-Teens to learn how to use the bridge illustration and God Loves Me booklet to share the Gospel. Praise God for enabling our Pre-Teens to help 20 people make decisions for Jesus!
“I was absolutely blown away when I saw how the Lord chose the most timid girl to lead an adult to Christ. That moment was a turning point for the group, transforming them from being fearful to one that had an inexhaustible desire and passion to share the Gospel with strangers!”
Joseph Teo, DiscoveryLand teacher “When we reached the neighborhood, we were very excited to share about God. Even when we were ignored, we didn’t stop trying.”
Jimuel Arididon, 12
“I learned that we need to have a lot of patience and shouldn’t give up when we share Christ with others.”
Hannah Pang, 12
“It was encouraging to see God work in the hearts of the children during evangelism. Initially, they were fearful of what to say or do. Eventually, they were so full of drive, wanting to continue even when our time was up.”
Zhang Kaixin, DiscoveryLand helper
“In those three days, I learned a lot and was equipped with the skills of praying for our oikos and sharing Christ with others. Through this, I realized that it is not about how eloquent we are but the willingness to let God use us because He can use every one of us. During the street evangelism session, God really worked through all of us. The first person my partner and I spoke to made a decision for Christ!”
From June 14-16, 49 IGNYTErs committed to an intense Spiritual Parenting 1 (SP1) course to learn the skills for effective evangelism and catch God’s heartbeat for the lost. Praise God for enabling our youth to lead 16 people to make decisions for Christ!
“Before SP1, I was afraid to speak to people about Christ. But God brought about a change in perspective. I now recognize the importance of bringing people to Christ. It’s not about how I spoke or how powerful my testimony is but about having a heart for the lost. As long as I am willing to be used by God, He will give me the words to say and guide me through”
“It was my first time sharing Christ with strangers. Prompted by the Holy Spirit to share the Gospel with a student at the bus stop, we shared the bridge diagram with her. When I asked if she wanted to cross over (to accept Christ), she agreed!”
3 5 (Testimonies have been edited for clarity and length.)
By Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo
God is all about expansion. He is in the business of taking new territories and growing His Kingdom. As His people, our sights must also be set on expansion, concentrating our efforts on plundering hell and populating heaven. When you and I take up Godâ€™s cause, we can be sure to encounter strong opposition from the devil. Hell-bent on discouraging and derailing us, our enemy will deploy a variety of tactics to keep us from experiencing expansion and breakthrough. Donâ€™t fall for the schemes of Satan. Understand his strategies and guard yourself against the enemies of expansion.
Enemy Of Expansion #1 FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN
In the first chapter of Deuteronomy, we read that Moses sent out 12 spies for a reconnaissance mission on the land that was promised to them. Upon returning, 10 were reluctant to move forward: “The people are stronger and taller than we are, the cities are large, with walls up to the sky.” (Deuteronomy 1:28) There were simply too many unknowns, too many variables to consider. In the same way, fear of the unknown will paralyze us from moving forward. That’s why people would prefer to keep to the “same old, same old.”
How to guard against fear of the unknown: Hold on to the promise of His presence and victory God has not called this church to stay on the beaten path – we are called to start new paths and forge into new frontiers! That requires us to live with boldness, fuelled by a passion for God and the things He has called us to do.
Enemy Of Expansion #2 UNGODLY CONTENTMENT
Whether it’s time, talents, or treasures, we are to be good stewards of what God has entrusted in our care. This care isn’t limited to one season in our lives, it’s something we must continually and consciously do. If ever we come to a place of spiritual contentment, we must be wary. When it comes to the things
of God, know that He will make it very clear when it’s time to stay and when it’s time to keep expanding. “But I’ve served long enough. It’s time to pass the baton to the next generation, to start enjoying life.” “I don’t have a certain gift or talent. That must mean that He doesn’t need me to serve beyond what I’m doing now.” “Our carecell is one big happy family. Why should we go through the pains of multiplication?” These examples of ungodly contentment will prevent us from stepping into greater expansion.
How to guard against ungodly contentment: Come out of our comfort zone If ungodly contentment start to enter our thoughts, it’s time to ask God for a shake-up in our spirit: “Ask Me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.” (Psalm 2:8) Today, adopt the heart of Jabez who cried out to God in prayer: “Oh that You would bless me and enlarge my territory!” (1 Chronicles 4:10)
God has not called this church to stay on the beaten path – we are called to start new paths and forge into new frontiers!
Enemy Of Expansion #3 SMALL-MINDEDNESS
When the plot of land that Trinity@Paya Lebar sits on went on sale, Trinity had a decision to make.
ENVISION We had just finished paying off Trinity@Lavender. Moreover, few churches have one plot of land, rarer still are those with two. Having a third seemed extravagant but we knew that adopting the posture of small-mindedness will limit us from experiencing breakthrough. We had to keep building storehouses for the future harvest.
How to guard against small-mindedness: Take on the big plans of God
As we continue expanding, our most effective weapon will be
. r e y a r p
After moving into Trinity@Paya Lebar in 2007, the multiplication into two centers went beyond numerical increase. We have grown to become greater blessers, hosting many events and impacting the larger Christian body in Singapore and around the world (pg 14 – “Blessed to be a Blessing”). Moving and growing. That is the story of Trinity Christian Centre. Without venturing out, we cannot expand. Without stepping out to seize God-given opportunities, we cannot experience breakthrough. That is why we cannot let past experiences or popular opinion override God’s big plans for this church. We must be willing to move and act as the Spirit leads, confident that the Lord goes before us.
Enemy Of Expansion #4
AGGRESSIVE SPIRITUAL ATTACKS On the outside, it may seem that Christians have it easy. That is simply not true. The moment that we declare
our intent to conquer enemy territory, we become the target of aggressive spiritual attacks. Though we may start the new things of God with great enthusiasm, understand that Satan will do whatever it takes to stop us from expanding. From accusations to betrayals, physical ailments to crisis in the family, the enemy knows that if he attacks long and hard enough, we will start to question whether the plans of God are really worth it. Indeed, aggressive spiritual attacks will hinder us from expanding. When Natalie was born, Trinity was heavily involved in training church leaders in India. For me, that involved bi-monthly travel to conduct courses. Every time I got ready to go, Natalie would become ill to the point of hospitalization. The constant, intense spiritual warfare was taking its toll on me and, at its most intense, I was tempted to give up. What kept me going was the knowledge that we were going in the right direction – breakthrough and victory were around the corner.
How to guard against aggressive spiritual attacks: Exercise strong faith and prayer! As we persevered in India, God did a powerful work in that nation, enabling us to raise leaders and trainers who could continue the work we started. Therein lies one truth: the strength of the enemy’s attacks
is directly proportional to the breakthrough and victory we are about to receive. Satan’s fighting hard because he knows that his defeat is around the corner. As we continue expanding, our most effective weapon will be prayer. Every Trinitarian, from pastors to members, needs to be covered in prayer so that we have the grace and strength to overcome whatever obstacles are in our path. We must also build up a strong faith life so that we can remain resolute and passionate in the plans of God – one that can withstand every attack of the enemy.
Enemy Of Expansion #5
LACK OF SPIRITUAL ENCOUNTER As we face the unknown, wrestle with ungodly contentment, break out of small-mindedness, and encounter spiritual attacks, we will not be able to go far if we choose to operate in our own, limited human capabilities. As Christians, we do more than operate in the natural, we also operate in the supernatural. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” To recharge physically, we refuel with food, water, and rest. To recharge spiritually, we refuel with
a supernatural touch from God. Without that, the lack of spiritual encounter will immobilize us from going further.
How to guard against the lack of spiritual encounter: Constantly practice spiritual disciplines Spiritual disciplines can involve many activities. However, the two most important are prayer and meditation on His Word. It also means approaching God with the right intent. We pray not to present to God our list of requests but to be filled with His presence. We read our Bibles not because it’s filled with head knowledge but to encounter His truth. As we plug in to our spiritual source, we can expect a download of wisdom and power. We can believe for a boost in our faith. We can continue fighting the good fight because we operate in His spirit!
Enemy Of Expansion #6 WOUNDED PAST
We will not be able to go far if we
to operate in our own, limited human capabilities.
The experiences of life can affect us either positively or negatively. When we think of happy memories, we feel happy. When we recall hurtful memories, we can feel angry, sad, disappointed, or fearful. Many times, our wounded past derails us from persevering in God’s plans for our lives. Bitterness and resentment prevent us from building strong relationship with God and others. Sinful habits prevent us from living in
As we plug in to our spiritual source, we can expect a download of wisdom and power.
freedom and victory. Mistakes of the past prevent us from being bold in the present and future.
When we stop carrying the heartbeat of God, we stop caring for people within and outside the church.
As long as we entertain our wounded past – the hurts that have been inflicted on us, as well as the hurts we have inflicted on others – we will always be derailed.
The danger of apathy is also how infectious it is, easily transferred from one person to another. Though someone may be gung-ho about the faith, if they hang out with an apathetic person long enough, they, too, can become discouraged about the things of God. That is how apathy discourages us from expanding.
How to guard against a wounded past: Face the past, extend forgiveness We all have experiences we are not proud of. Don’t let them hold you down, allow them to propel you forward. John 10:10 reminds us that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” It’s time to face our past – to release our pain, anger, and shame to the Lord. Receive the forgiveness of God and extend forgiveness. It’s time to dust off the ashes of your past and carry the lessons of life into your future. It’s time to come back into alignment with God’s purposes and plans for your life!
Enemy Of Expansion #7
How to guard against apathy: Constant and intentional alignment to God’s heart Apathy is not something that happens overnight. We don’t wake up in the morning and decide to be apathetic. Rather, it comes gradually when we relax our spiritual disciplines (e.g., prayer and meditation on God’s Word), when we remove ourselves from the presence of God. Despite the busyness of life, defend your time alone with God. Keep your heart burning for His purposes and agenda.
Enemy Of Expansion #8
A disbelieving heart. A state of indifference. Absence of interest or enthusiasm. The danger of apathy is how destructive it can be to our faith.
It is human to look inward, to focus on our wants and needs instead of the wants and needs of others. “If I don’t benefit, I won’t bother.”
When we stop believing in the promises of God, we stop carrying the heartbeat of God.
“I don’t see why I should step out of my comfort zone.”
How to guard against striving: Wait upon the Lord
“You’re asking me to give my time and money for that? “What’s in it for me?” If we become so focused on ourselves, our self-centeredness will deceive us by limiting our view of the bigger picture. As Christians, we are people who don’t live for the now – we are people who invest in the eternal.
How to guard against self-centeredness: Be a blessing – serve people and serve God In a world that celebrates the self, choose to adopt the posture of John the Baptist, who constantly pointed the glory back to God (“He must increase, I must decrease” – John 3:30). Look for ways to use our experiences and talents to glorify God by serving Him and those around us.
Enemy Of Expansion #9 STRIVING
There are some of us who have no problem going into the plans of God. In fact, we are so passionate that we go full speed ahead. The danger is that if we try to fulfill God’s plans using our own strength instead of going with the flow of God, such striving will damage us. When we work so hard and don’t get the results we expect, we risk becoming disappointed and burned out.
The world tells us that success comes from working faster and putting in longer hours. The Bible tells us otherwise: success comes through a posture of waiting upon the Lord (Psalm 46:10).
When we stop
belie ving in the promises of God, we stop
g n i y rr a c the heartbeat of God.
In Acts 1:4, Jesus told His disciples to do just that. “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised.” As the disciples waited in the upper room, God did not disappoint. On the day of Pentecost, they were filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking in new tongues. From that day on, the disciples went forth with boldness – their Gospel message reinforced with signs, wonders, and miracles. If you desire to live a life of power, to have success in every Godgiven endeavor, start by being still. Instead of striving, yield to the Spirit and discover that you will go beyond surviving – you will thrive!
Enemy Of Expansion #10
Each of us live with anticipation in the fulfillment of God’s plans and promises for our lives. But as the days and weeks go by with no apparent progress, our hope and faith in Him can start to erode. It’s okay to have doubts but we cannot allow it to reside in us. When we leave
ENVISION doubt alone, doubt has the opportunity to fester, gangrenous to our mind and spirit. It will progress to unbelief – a loss of faith in God. That’s why it’s so important for us to tackle doubt the moment it arises because unbelief stops us from pursuing the plans of God.
How to guard against unbelief: Confess unbelief to God
It’s okay to have doubts but we cannot allow it to reside in us.
As a teen, David knew God’s plan for his life. One day, he would be king over all of Israel. Some of his psalms record the anguish of waiting (“How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide your face from me?” – Psalm 13:1) but many record a confidence that the Lord would keep His promise (“I call on You, O God, for You will answer me; give Your ear to me and hear my prayer.” – Psalm 17:6) As a child of God, we can trust that our Heavenly Father will fulfill every promise made to us. Though we can be tempted to expedite the process by giving Him instruction manuals and timelines, prayer is really about asking according to His will and trusting in His timing. Whether it’s the promise of fruitfulness, restoration, or reconciliation, turn your focus from the promise to the Promise-Giver. In times of unbelief, recall His faithfulness in the past, press on in the present, and live with great expectation for the future.
Enemy Of Expansion #11
We must be constantly mindful of our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual life. If any part breaks down, it will lead to weariness that will drag us down.
How to guard against weariness: Constantly practice self-care Consume healthy foods and exercise regularly. Drink lots of water and get enough sleep. Regularly engage in spiritual disciplines. Be accountable to a spiritual leader about your wellbeing. Yes, “the joy of the Lord is our strength” (Nehemiah 8:10) but if we want to continue serving God to the best of our ability, we must constantly practice self-care on our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual being so that we can endure for the long run.
Enemy Of Expansion #12
Satan knows how powerful unity is. That’s why he works so hard to break trust, seemingly succeeding with each generation. For the Builder Generation, when a pastor says “Let’s go,” they will simply go, no questions asked. For the Baby Boomers, when a pastor says “Let’s go,” they will ask “Why?” For Gen X and beyond, when a pastor says “Let’s go,” they will ask “What’s in it for me?”
We cannot operate from a place of doubt for wariness breaks us. That is why a chasm cannot develop between members and leaders. “I don’t like what they’re saying.” “I don’t trust their direction.” “How do I know they’re doing the right thing?” If the church is constantly called into question, the integrity of the lay leaders and pastors constantly in doubt, this will slow down, stall, or even stop what God wants to do in and through the church. When we allow the culture of mistrust to take root, the church is finished.
In times of unbelief, recall His faithfulness in the past, press on in the present, and live with great expectation for the future.
How to guard against wariness: Trust God and His appointed leaders In order for Trinity to expand into her God-given destiny, it requires all of us to work together. That includes being subject to the leaders appointed and established by God (Romans 13:1), who have been tasked with watching over and keeping account of you (Hebrews 13:7).
We need unwavering faith in God’s might and promises so that we don’t shift to the left or right. We need the passion of God so that we can forge forward.
Pastor Dominic Yeo is the Senior Pastor of Trinity Christian Centre. Hear this message, and other sermons, at www.trinity.sg (Media > Sermons)
If you are facing any of these enemies, it’s time to defend against them. Stand strong in God. Get ready for expansion and breakthrough!
Trust God’s heart. Trust your leader’s heart for you. Trust that God can and will work through humans, flaws and all.
s g n i of s s e l B
e c n ie ed b O
What are you willing to do to obey God and overcome the struggles within your heart? Taking a four-month no-pay sabbatical for AlphaTrack already seemed like a bold step for Jeannette Kwek. But God was asking for even more. Sharing with Lye Huixian, Jeannette recalls the challenges and blessings of honoring her Faith Promises and giving her whole heart to Jesus. THE CHALLENGE “Nah…not for me.” Those were my thoughts as I watched the promotional videos for AlphaTrack in the past . In August 2015, something stirred within my heart. “Well, why not?” I had been restless at work for more than a year. Yet, whenever I was tempted to take a break or change jobs, I was reminded that God had given me this opportunity and provided a unique portfolio, which fulfilled my dream of working in the social entrepreneurship sector. I had committed to moving only if and when God said so. Besides, the doors seemed to be closing one by one. 4 4
AlphaTrack suddenly seemed like an open door. For three weeks, I sought God about this decision. That’s when the Lord spoke to me about a season of equipping. To my surprise, my Associate Leader affirmed this on a separate occasion. I sensed that this equipping was not just for my work, but for all aspects of my life, including evangelism. God nudged me about AlphaTrack again during Pastor Wilfredo de Jesús’ message at the Vision Rally in September 2015. “With revelation comes responsibility.” His message seemed directed right at me. Those four words rang in my ears for a very long time. What would I do
with the revelation? I asked Him to show me how He wanted me to get involved, to bring His Kingdom on earth, to move hearts and change lives. “I don’t know what it takes,” I wrote in my journal, “but I will pay the price so that more people can be reconciled to God.” A seed for evangelism was sown in my heart. I wanted to pursue the path of evangelism and AlphaTrack seemed like the exact path to take. The impressions I had of AlphaTrack didn’t bring any sense of anticipation for what was to come. Would it only be non-stop street evangelism – an “upsized Spiritual Parenting class” where we constantly had to talk to strangers? I remembered “falling ill” in those sessions. Would it be a time of roughing it out – where the entire team had to share just one pail of water for showers during their overseas missions trips? It seemed like I would have to do some very crazy things. Was I really ready for it? Having heard from God, I knew I had to take these steps in obedience. In spite of my apprehensions, I committed at that Vision Rally to sign up for the next three-month program. I wanted to confront my fear of talking to people about Jesus. A start date of February 2016 didn’t leave me much time to make arrangements. I wasn’t sure how it would work out. Convicted of God’s plans for me, I filled in the application form and met with the
AlphaTrack pastor, Pastor Joanna Teoh, for an interview.
GOD’S TIMING AND FAVOR Though I wanted to speak with my boss right after my AlphaTrack interview, I could only get an appointment with her in late December 2015. I was very concerned that there was so little time to get her approval.
I don’t know what it takes,” I wrote in my journal, “but I will pay the price so that more people can be reconciled to God.”
Thankfully, God accelerated and orchestrated events in my favor. One day, I bumped into my boss who wanted to speak with me about a new portfolio. That’s when I shared about my intention to take a sabbatical for AlphaTrack, prepared to quit if she did not agree. I knew that I couldn’t let the safety net of having a job after AlphaTrack stop me. To my surprise, my boss gave me her blessing and approved the no-pay sabbatical. Thank God for giving me a supportive boss! My previous struggle with the timing of AlphaTrack was allayed by God’s orchestration and perfect timing. It reassured me greatly about His plans and provision for me in the marketplace after AlphaTrack.
A YEAR OF FAITH PROMISES LIKE NEVER BEFORE For as long as I can remember, I had always calculated what I could give, and set a comfortable amount to give at each Vision or Mission Faith Promise. This changed in 2013 when God challenged me to see His love and heart behind every Vision and Missions Rally. The scriptures in 4 5
The moment I chose to give and give, I was liberated from the hold it had on me – a hold I actually never thought existed.”
2 Samuel 24:24 and Mark 12:41-44 transformed my convictions about giving – the extravagant giving on the part of David and the poor widow inspired me in my giving to God – be it money, time, or whatever I could give. Since then, I have gone to each rally without an amount in mind, instead waiting for God’s prompting.
FULFILLING MY COMMITMENTS
At Vision Rally 2015, God challenged me to make a Faith Promise beyond what I had ever committed in the past. I had never been much of a saver. Now I was being challenged to take a four-month no-pay sabbatical for AlphaTrack and give a substantial portion of my monthly salary. Even after that, in the midst of AlphaTrack, I was prompted at Missions Rally in 2016 to commit to give towards expanding God’s Kingdom.
One year on from Vision Rally, I have completed AlphaTrack as well as fully fulfilled my Faith Promises. I am so overwhelmed by my Abba Father’s provision. Beyond lacking nothing, the Lord blessed me with a promotion and an increment after my return to work, which was unusual given that I had been away for almost half a year. I also found good rapport with my new boss in a different portfolio and greater effectiveness at work. Such abundant favor only comes from a supernatural Father in Heaven, and through responding with a step of faith. He has indeed showed me His faithfulness.
How would I fulfill my Faith Promises? Although I have seen God provide for me again and again, fulfilling my Faith Promises remained a real struggle each time. It was one thing to write down a number. It was another to fulfill the Faith Promise. Extra expenses and financial commitments surfaced, bringing up worries of my own needs. Yet at the same time, I was at peace, knowing that I did not have to worry or let them become a burden. I also knew that God was using this season to deal with my heart. The message at Missions Rally in March 2017 was piercing. “When we remember God, people live. When we forget God, people die.” If I said that I remember God, then how was I expressing it?
I had to dig into my savings and “owed” God for three months after my sabbatical. Thankfully God is no loan shark! God never let me lack in anything I needed during all those months, despite the unexpected financial commitments that came up during the year.
OBEDIENCE AND ABUNDANT LIVING Beyond the equipping for evangelism in AlphaTrack, God stirred up certain gifts in me that enabled me to contribute to my workplace and environment in a more meaningful way. In this past year, I have witnessed how the Lord has changed my heart from being an independent worker to a team player enabling the success of others. He has strengthened my hands and given me wisdom to handle difficult situations that I would not have handled well before. I also saw many outreach opportunities and the importance of being a light to those around me.
For me, Faith Promises are not just about the amounts I give. As I was challenged to give larger and larger amounts over the years, it became a means of growing my faith. Fulfilling my 2016 Faith Promise in 2017 was the hardest for me, but it was also when I realized the security of having “a bit more” in my own pocket. That very dependency was a hindrance in my faith in God and my extravagant worship of Him. The moment I chose to give and give, I was liberated from the hold it had on me – a hold I actually never thought existed. Through AlphaTrack, I had not only gained a greater knowledge of who God is and a breakthrough in my prayer life, God also gave me a stronger heart to reach out to people. In the past, I was a self-professed loner and homebody. I preferred to spend my free time at home. But God answered my earlier “question” in my journal – the price to pay for reconciliation was not just giving monetarily, it also involved time to be a listening ear, to invest into the lives of carecell members, to take time to simply hang out and connect with people. In the past year, after after stepping up as an Associate Leader, I have seen how each meal with my carecell members has made a difference in their lives, and how every prayer has led to God’s divine intervention in their lives. AlphaTrack has shown me even more clearly that where God places me, He empowers me more than I can ever imagine. I am humbled and thankful that God was patient to teach me about putting aside “my rights” to pursue His
will – to die to self so that I could find my purposes in Him.
GIVING MY HEART AND DISCOVERING HIS HEART At my workplace, we, too, have a corporate vision which is expressed in the framework of a “house.” I have been toiling at this “corporate house” for the past 10 years but I have since learned to invest first in the house of God because the kingdom of God is the higher purpose and calling. In taking time off work and fulfilling my Faith Promise, God did not just want my time and resources. He wanted me to give my heart to Him and to discover His heart for me. As I run into His arms, I am able to give unto God extravagantly even when it costs me much. After all, God first took a chance on me by giving me Jesus and a new life. Taking a chance on God only brings me closer to my destiny and into an abundant life in Christ. If we truly desire the abundant life in Christ, then we will do all it takes to run into His arms. Yet His love will always run deeper than the plunge we take. Truly, there is no better way than to plunge deep with Jesus! 4 7
RETURN TO THE COVENANT THROUGH TITHING By Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo
It’s human to struggle with finances. We have bills to pay, everyday expenses to cover, not to mention taxes to pay. Does God really need our 10 percent? Can the 10 percent be God’s blessing to us? Will we end up as paupers if we regularly give our tithe to God?
The truth is this: God’s economy will never make sense if we measure it by the world’s perspective on money.
But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’
The Bible has a lot to say about physical wealth. From Genesis to Revelation, there are over 2,000 verses related to finances, money, and possessions. During His ministry on earth, Jesus spent a lot of time talking about the issue of money. Of His 38 parables, 16 had to do with finances – that’s 42 percent of his parabolic teachings!
“But you ask, ‘How do we rob You?’
God’s emphasis on finances shows us that money is incredibly important to Him. He is interested in how we manage our finances because it demonstrates two things: the posture of our heart and the level of trust we have in Him. That is why faith and finances are not separate and distinct – they are intricately woven together. If you have faith, the finances will follow. If you have finances, then faith has to be manifested through giving. When we lack faith to let go of our finances, we hold back our tithe. When we hold back our tithe, we break covenant with God. Is our inability to tithe that serious? According to Malachi 3:6-12, it is! “’I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from My decrees and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty. 6
Will a man rob God? Yet you rob Me.
‘In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse – the whole nation of you – because you are robbing Me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,’ says the Lord Almighty. 11
‘Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,’ says the Lord Almighty.”
At the point of our salvation, when we become a child of God who is spiritually grafted into His family, He makes a covenant with us – a covenant of blessing.
GOD’S ECONOMY WILL NEVER MAKE SENSE IF WE MEASURE IT BY THE WORLD’S PERSPECTIVE ON MONEY.
“I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you.” – Leviticus 26:9 The good news is that God keeps His covenant. He is faithful and unchanging – the same yesterday, today, and forever. What God has promised, He will bring to pass.
ENVISION The bad news is that you and I can break the covenant of blessing by turning away from Him, turning away from His decrees, and robbing Him. “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from My decrees and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty.” – Malachi 3:6-7 While His grace and mercy keep us from being destroyed (verse 6), our unwillingness to abide and align cause disruption to His flow of blessings. Imagine a container under a faucet. When the container is not directly under the faucet, it does not receive all of the water from the tap. When we channel our finances into something other than God, it signals our devotion to something else – an idol that we now worship. When we fail to obey His decrees, our disobedience demonstrates a lack of reverence. When we rob God, our offense speaks volumes on the state of our relationship with Him. If we want to return to the covenant of blessing, to receive the full extent of His blessings, then we must keep our end of the covenant – a tangible expression of our devotion to Him.
WHAT IS A TITHE? “Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.” – Deuteronomy 14:22 God decreed that 10 percent of our first fruits belong to Him. Historically, first fruits referred to one’s harvest or flock. Today, first fruits refer to one’s income (e.g., allowance, salary). In my days as a youth pastor, the topic of tithing was hardly an issue. When the offering bag came around, the youth would tithe their 10 percent without hesitation. When the youth became adults, their perspective about tithing began to change. “Pastor, do I tithe gross or net?” All of a sudden, the calculators started coming out because giving had become a sacrifice, a portion of one’s hard-earned wages. “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse…” – Malachi 3:10a In Malachi, God’s answer is clear: He wants the whole tithe. The Hebrew word for this is kol, meaning “in its entirety,” “everything,” “complete,” “full.”
WHY DO WE NEED TO TITHE? Tithing has nothing to do with God needing our money. The God of the covenant, who has blessed us with everything we have, asks for our whole tithe because He wants to see the posture of our heart “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
1. We have open heavens
First, tithing reveals our heart, our willingness to set aside a portion of our finances and give cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). It’s not about God terrorizing us “to give, or else.” If we truly love God above all else, our devotion will show through a willingness to follow His decree and surrender the whole 10 percent to Him. Second, tithing acknowledges His kingship. In Psalm 24:1, the psalmist declared that, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” This means God is King. When He issues a decree for us to return the 10 percent that rightfully belongs to Him, our obedience demonstrates whether we believe that God is our King. Can God still be our King if we, His subjects, don’t obey Him? Will we submit, acknowledging His ownership over everything, or will we rebel, crowning ourselves as the rulers of our own lives? Third, tithing gives access to spiritual covering. When we break covenant by choosing not to tithe, we walk out of God’s covering and blessings. If you have not been tithing, fear not. We can still return to God’s covering and blessings by reinstituting the habit of tithing. In Malachi 3:7, He promises this: “Return to me, and I will return to you.” In addition to God’s covenant of blessing, Malachi 3:11-12 reveals that five other things will happen when we tithe.
“I will open the floodgates of heaven...” – Malachi 3:10a
FAITH AND FINANCES ARE NOT SEPARATE AND DISTINCT THEY ARE INTRICATELY WOVEN TOGETHER.
When we break God’s covenant of blessing, a lid is placed on our lives. That prevents us from experiencing breakthrough and fulfilment. When we rob God, we open ourselves up to the spirit of robbery that steal His blessings away from us. The moment we choose to tithe, God breaks through every lid and barrier that prevents us from experiencing His blessings. Without these blockades, the floodgates can operate unobstructed and the blessings can flow through to us.
2. We have overwhelming blessings “I will…pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” – Malachi 3:10b Some of us struggle with the issue of lack and the spirit of poverty: no matter how much we squirrel away and save, there never seems to be enough money. That is why we are fearful of tithing – we don’t know if there will be enough for the next day. God’s promise is this: when we give our whole tithe, He will not just trickle down a few blessings – He will pour into overflow! He will empty out the resources of heaven for you! We will have access to His favor!
3. We are protected from the enemy “I will prevent pests from devouring your crops…” – Malachi 3:11a The enemy is quick to put walls around us so that we can’t receive the blessings of God. The devil is on the prowl, looking for opportunities to steal, kill, and destroy. God promises to defend us and stop the enemy from gaining access to us. More than that, God will move forward to push the enemy back. You are protected, your family is protected, and everything you are involved in will be protected.
4. We are connected to Him “…the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit…” – Malachi 3:11b Go to a vineyard in season and you’ll see many grapes scattered on the ground. No longer connected to the vine, they stop receiving nutrients and become useless. When we return our tithe, He promises that this act of obedience will help us stay connected to Him, to abide in Him. When we abide in Him, we are empowered and enabled to bear everlasting fruit.
TITHING WAS INSTITUTED BY GOD SO THAT
MONEY WOULD NOT HAVE A STRONGHOLD ON US.
5. We become His testimony “And all the nations will call you blessed….” – Malachi 3:12 As we experience open heavens, overwhelming blessings, protection from the enemy, and connection to God, we become His testimony by demonstrating His power, grace, and blessing. When we go about our lives, people will ask about the secret to our success. “How is it that everything she touches turns to gold?” “How did he manage to turn a bad situation around?” In giving to God, it is imperative that we do it with a pure heart. It is wrong to believe that we can exchange our money (something God enables us to earn/receive) in return for His blessings. We tithe because we are returning what rightfully belongs to Him. We tithe because we want to demonstrate our devotion and heart towards Him.
We all want to be blessed. Yet, whenever the issue of tithing is brought up, people recoil. Has the pursuit of wealth overtaken God’s place in your life? Have you allowed financial strength to be your king? Have you broken the covenant with God in the pursuit of having more? As a father of two, I never allow my children to out give me. I love to take care of their every need, to lavish gifts upon them. If an earthly father can be so generous, imagine the extravagance our Heavenly Father can pour upon us! Tithing was instituted by God so that money would not have a stronghold on us. Jesus used His parabolic teaching to make our hearts right, to help us acknowledge His kingship, and come under His covering.
Pastor Dominic Yeo is the Senior Pastor of Trinity Christian Centre. Hear this message, and other sermons, at www.trinity.sg (Media > Sermons)
If you struggle to tithe, remember that we can never out give God. He is waiting to pour His blessings into our lives. Today, choose to return to the God of the covenant.
We tithe because we trust His plans, purposes, and economics – all of which defy human understanding and reveal our divine King.
MISSIONS Statistics for Januaryâ€“June 2017
MISSIONS IMPACT TEAMS (MITs)
8 93 43
AT A GLANCE
Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand
FIRST-TIMERS Trinitarians going for the first time
1,271 DESTITUTE CHILDREN
in Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand sponsored
TRAINING AND CONSULTATION^
^Does not include Preaching & Exploratory Trips
China, Indonesia, Japan, Poland, Romania, Taiwan, Vietnam
MISSIONS REPORT April–June 2017
Trinity endeavors to demonstrate a Passionate Heartbeat for God’s global agenda by empowering and equipping churches, organizations, ministries, ministers, and communities. This includes the establishment of, and/or support to, charitable and humanitarian works, as well as the equipping of pastors and church leadership. Every Trinitarian has a part to play when it comes to missions. In the second quarter of 2017, Trinitarians young and old embraced God’s Passionate Heartbeat for the Nations by praying, giving, and going.
TRAINING AND CONSULTATION
SPONSORSHIP OF CHILDREN 1,200 destitute children in five countries (Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand) are supported by the giving of Trinitarians, providing opportunities for them to develop intellectually, spiritually, physically, socially, and emotionally. We rejoice with Reverend Prasad Yao, who organized a Children’s Camp with Sharon Seva Assemblies of God in India with a record attendance of 2,000 children – 80 percent of whom were pre-believers! We thank God for the chance that these little ones had to experience the love and presence of God during camp. Their vision for 2020 is to reach 60,000 children for the Lord. Let us continue to pray and partner with them as they reach out to the lost.
Trinity continues to equip churches around the world through trainings and consultations. This quarter, our pastors went on four trips to four nations (China, Poland, Romania and Vietnam), strengthening and empowering churches as they implement the TCC Cell Church Model. We rejoice with them as they see God’s hand in the growth of their open carecells and leadership.
As part of our commitment to supporting education for underprivileged children, Trinity sponsored textbooks for 105 students in Berastagi, Indonesia whose lives have been shaken by the aftermath of Mount Sinabung’s eruption.
Trinitarians, thank you for giving your hands and heart to the missions field, both locally and abroad. In this Decade of Expansion, continue to be part of Trinity’s growing missions endeavors so that more lives can be touched and impacted for His glory
We thank God for the mighty harvest of almost 2,000 decisions for Christ! It was indeed an amazing harvest. 93 Trinitarians, with 43 going for their very first missions trip, sacrificed their time and talents by going on eight missions trips to Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and one local CCSS trip. Read more about how God used them to impact lives and communities on pages 56–65.
LANGUAGE MINISTRIES Locally, Trinity continues to be a blessing to the Indonesian, Filipino, Japanese, Spanish, and Thai communities through our language ministries.
Trinitarians, thank you for your generous giving to missions. Your funds allow these children access to education, clean clothes, warm food and the chance to know the Savior’s love.
BE A PARTNER FOR TRINITY’S MISSIONS – PRAY, GIVE, AND GO!
Pray • Missions Impact Teams: Journey mercy and God’s favor and anointing to be with the teams • The Children: Strength, joy, and wisdom as they grow in the Lord • Ambassadors and Trainers: Fresh anointing and impactful, lasting ministry 5 5
Thank You Trinitarians for Going to the Nations! In the second quarter of 2017, 93 Trinitarians chose to be God’s hands and heart – 43 for the first time! Let’s continue to pray for the lives that have been touched and decisions made for Christ. May every seed sown be watered and nurtured to fruition!
APRIL 17-24 COLOMBO, SRI LANKA 500 LIVES TOUCHED 208 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST Conducted children’s programs
Engaged in street evangelism
Number of team members: 11 Number of first-timers on the team: 4
APRIL 18-24 PADANG, INDONESIA 5 FAMILIES TOUCHED Constructed five Conducted houses children’s programs Engaged in home visits Number of team members: 9 Number of first-timers on the team: 2
APRIL 25-MAY 1 YANGON, MYANMAR 274 LIVES TOUCHED 202 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST Engaged in street evangelism
Conducted children’s programs, youth program, and life skills seminar
Number of team members: 12 Number of first-timers on the team: 5
MAY 1-8 KOLKATA, INDIA 1,520 LIVES TOUCHED 22 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST Conducted children’s program, youth program, and meal program Number of team members: 8 Number of first-timers on the team: 5
MAY 8-15 HARYANA, INDIA 1,483 LIVES TOUCHED 111 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST Conducted children’s program and youth program Number of team members: 8 Number of first-timers on the team: 4
MAY 22-28 (SILVER FORCE) CHIANG MAI, THAILAND 57 LIVES TOUCHED 48 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST Painted The Champions@Chiang Mai home Conducted children’s program at The Champions@Chiang Mai and The Champions@Maerim Number of team members: 12 Number of first-timers on the team: 5
MAY 22-29 (ALPHATRACK) GUIMARAS ISLAND, PHILIPPINES 74 LIVES TOUCHED 242 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST Conducted children’s program and youth program Engaged in hospital visits, door-to-door evangelism, and night rally Number of team members: 12 Number of first-timers on the team: 7
JUNE 12-19 SIHANOUKVILLE, CAMBODIA 1,050 LIVES TOUCHED 845 DECISIONS MADE FOR CHRIST Conducted children’s program and youth program Engaged in street evangelism, door-todoor evangelism, and evangelistic rally Number of team members: 11 Number of first-timers on the team: 6
JUNE 19 CCSS (CAREHUT), SINGAPORE 6 LIVES TOUCHED Conducted children’s program Number of team members: 10 Number of first-timers on the team: 5
Passport to Breakthrough Carrying a heart for the lost. Boldly sharing the Gospel. Being a conduit of signs, wonders, and miracles. If you want a breakthrough in fulfilling The Great Commission, sign up for a Trinity missions trip! Read these testimonies of Trinitarians who went on our recent missions trips.
and with my husb join this trip to nt mily ’s ta fa si y he m “I was pt ing and ’s st rong prom od G . as w up it t bu me to sign encouraged bles sing s that rrential there was to y of the trip, da st stuck in fir e as th w n O my daughter d an e or MRT. ap rain in Sing me by bus or dn ’t re turn ho ul me co ho e r sh he – school could send someone who ed ’s id od ov G pr God evidence of e, this was an sa fely. For m ng and coveri mbo faithfulnes s Colo 17-24* hile w ily m fa y over m IL and I were *APR my husband over seas .” serving Him
“A fter thre e da ys of st reet evange I experien lism , ced a brea kt hrough. longer fea I wa s no rful of reje ct ion. Inst allo wed th ead , I e Holy Spir it to lead a me to the nd guide people He wanted m His Word e to share wit h. I lea rned to lo my capab ok beyond ili ties and rely on Go and anoin d ’s po wer ting.”
Colom b *APRI o L 17-2 4*
n’ t enjoy “I usually do inis tr y bu t I m s children’ od ar tbea t of G I ha ve caught the he ng this trip. ri du es on tle lit s so e es th r fo d pick up sk ill more open an el y. tiv ec eff e learned to be r to them mor te is in m d ul that I co ere es when we w so many tim w to be ho d There were al ne ar le for people . I called to pray the l, relying on fu more prayer e teach m Hol y Spirit to .” ay pr ho w to
iam Augustin Ch
-15 MAY 8
“There was on e night where I had to impr for the closin ovise g of a youth program. Sitt the stage, I fe ing on lt so lost and useless. Thou had some sc gh I ribbled note s, I was emot wrecked. Re ionally ady to give up , the encour and guidance agement of my teamm ates helped persevere. me to That momen t was memor able for two Firs t, it was reasons. a chance to reach ou t to own genera my tion. Second , it was the ra star ted af te in that r the second prayer, even it was summ th ough er time and there was no for rain. Pa st fo re ca st or Pa ts y shar ed that rain of God ’s bles is a sign sing s falling over the ci ty . For me, it w as God ’s way of reminding this trut h: “I me of f you are will ing, I will use you in w ay s you ha ve ne ver though t of.”
d in ver y “The people we me t live every had y The . ons diti poor con ’s life ut rea son to complain abo believed tha t Jesus ely uin gen ny unfairness , yet ma ns around. There wa s no could turn their situatio d ink ing. I am ver y humble excessive doubt or overth by their childlike fait h. d ly fell ver y sick . I decide During the trip, I sudden to y bod my health and to trust God , commit ting , door to door evangelism our ng doi e wer him . As we the for l wel s wa I and ay my discomfor t went aw there. remainder of our time ed trip. God really expand I wa s blessed to go on this and can He at is and wh my mind to kno w who He formed many per He . ple peo His for will do g sin rea signs and wonders, inc t tha all im my fait h to procla 12-19 JUNE He promised.”
-15 MAY 8
“ I ’m t ha t he in nk f ul for si g h t on ho w JU to en NE ga ge in e ff 12 ec t i v -19 e st e va n ge l i sm re e t – for t h eir ne by fir s t pr a ying eds b sh a re e f o re th p r o ce p ra ye e G o sp e l . edi I di sc d, o ve re n g to p e r so a ll o w in g d tha Go d n , ma t as w to mi ny s t they n i s te e ar co u l d r to t n ’t un ted to cr y he I sa w e ven der s t the p thou and o o wer t hro u gh ur la of gh th ngua is trip God ’s pre ge . s e n ce .”
Aman da Ch eong
Mariella Teiw 6 1
Spurred on to a Deeper
Walk of Faith the
“The missions trip has stretched me. Reaching 60 has subconsciously given me permission to go slow. During the missions trip, I not only painted – I sang, danced, and acted. Painting was not easy for those of us who could not climb, bend or squat but, collectively, we accomplished what we set out to do. It is a testament that we can still do many things for His kingdom and glory, even as we get on in years. It is not about ability but availability because His grace is sufficient for us for His power is made perfect in (our) weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).”
– Cheun Yann
By Wang Look Keah
During the Silver Force’s maiden missions trip to Trinity’s children’s homes (The Champions@Chiang Mai City and The Champions@Maerim) God deposited a myriad of blessings into the hearts of each of the 12 members who went. A deeper understanding of His love, unspeakable joy, and an insight into the urgency to be His light in a dark world were some of the revelations and breakthroughs we received during the trip from May 22-28. The team painted the Chiang Mai home for four days while the children were in school. They also conducted nightly devotions, a full day of games on Saturday, and a Sunday service for the 60 children at both homes. The love of Jesus was taught through object lessons, skits, and games. Jennifer Oliveiro and her co-leader Richard Lee were initially apprehensive about leading the trip but did so because they trusted in God to work in and through them. “We went to paint the Chiang Mai home and share the love of Jesus,” Jennifer shared, “but the consensus was that we had received much more than we had given.” The fruits of the homes are plentiful. The children are disciplined and wellbehaved. This has not gone unnoticed
Silver force in Thailand by their parents and guardians who are also delighted at their good health and physical development. Foo Cheun Yann noted that the children are nurtured not only physically but also socially and spiritually. “We were heartened to see the older ones help the younger ones when we were with them during the various activities.” Suzie Moi-Quek was impressed by how the children were taught the Word of God. They diligently recite bible verses before dinner. One child shared the Gospel with her dad whom she visited in jail. Many asked to pray for the needs of their families who belong to the various hill tribes of the region. During a night devotion in the Maerim home, the children were asked to write or draw something they were thankful for. Cheun Yann noticed that a six-yearold newcomer drew himself surrounded by his friends in the home. The boy, who had only arrived on May 1, had already found friendship and a sense of security. The team was elated when told that he had accepted Christ on May 27. The reputation of the good work of the homes has certainly spread. A truck load
of hill-tribe parents recently went to the Chiang Mai home, attempting to get their children a place in the homes when they heard there were vacancies. Four youths have recently graduated from the homes – one is awaiting to go to university, one has signed on with the army, one is an apprentice and another has returned home. We pray that they will continue to live out godly values and be His light wherever they are placed. This trip has spurred many to engage in a deeper walk with God. Upon returning, Robert Lye and Agnes have started attending Spiritual Parenting classes while Jennifer Oliveiro is training to be a Section Leader. Jennifer and Suzi will go on another Silver Force missions trip, this time to support Trinity@Jakarta. The team applauds Trinity’s leadership for investing in these homes and giving the children a future. We also salute our ambassadors for their obedience and commitment to give their lives to train the children in the ways of God. Observing Brother Steven’s consistent reference to the Champions as “my children” and not “the children,” the Champions are indeed blessed with an earthly father with a stout heart. With a resolve to pray consistently and regularly for the ambassadors and the children, I urge all Trinitarians to pray this verse over the homes.
About Trinity’s Children’s Homes Opened in 2014, Trinity’s children’s homes were opened to give hill-tribe children (ages 6-17) opportunities to develop intellectually, spiritually, socially, and emotionally, growing up to be God-centered leaders and agents of change in their communities. Heading these homes are our ambassadors Brother Steven Leng and Sister Rita Chee (The Champions@Chiang Mai City) and Brother Zhichao Wang and Sister Cal-Lin Wang (The Champions@Maerim).
“I was nervous and felt very inadequate in the roles I had to play. I asked God to fill me with sincere love for the children. God did something in my heart and I was able to fully engage with the kids through the songs, prayers, games, and arts and crafts. I felt young again. Despite my knee surgery and foot fracture, I could run and enjoyed mingling, laughing and playing with the children. I also painted wholeheartedly with the rest of the team.”
– Agnes Hon
“The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” – Isaiah 58:11
L g n i Impact L ives
Led by Pastor Beatrice Kang and Andry Lie, eight Silver Force ladies and one gentleman participated in the inaugural Silver Force-led local missions trip: a three-day camp at the Eunos CareHut from June 19-21.
One CareHut at a Time
By Wang Lock Wui
We were tasked to design and facilitate sessions for two groups of children – lower primary and upper primary. Though many admitted to feeling inadequate, everyone rose to the occasion, allowing God to enable and empower us. Preparations began about a month before the missions trip, with the members dedicating each Wednesday to fast, pray, and meditate on God’s Word. God honored our hearts’ desire to see a crossover and for a divine exchange to take place. Throughout the three days, we were intentional in showing God’s love through our words and actions. We also allowed God to open our eyes and hearts to see the potential in the children through God’s eyes. The atmosphere changed as we showered our love and care on them. Connections were made and trust was built.
“Under Pastor Beatrice’s guidance, I have grown sharper in my ministry skills. Every pointer and exaltation she shared made a deep impact in my attitude and posture towards serving. Through this missions trip I have been able to practice this principle:
if you can’t share the Word of God, demonstrate it !” –
“Pastor Beatrice shared that though presenting information is important, being able to engage the students is crucial. When I took up this piece of advice,
I began to see change and transformation in the children’s behavior Once they felt that they were being acknowledged, the children became more responsive and respectful. I am truly blessed to have witnessed these transformations.” –
LOWER PRIMARY Based on the theme of “honor,” the lower primary children learned the basics of hygiene, grooming, and manners. Skits drew excited reactions. Children learned how they could use a simple tool such as a piece of cardboard, to fold their clothes. The hand washing action song could be heard during lunchtime as the children diligently washed their hands. When arranged into small groups, each child enthusiastically demonstrated how to display good manners.
attentive when we taught about modesty in grooming, dressing, language, and behavior. Through the Modesty Checklist, a Truth and Bare fashion test, and Style Quiz, they understood the consequences of immodest dressing. During the outdoor treasure hunt, they were fast and furious in hunting for words that represented proper language and behavior.
“I have been blessed by the team ,
On the last day, the children learned what it meant to demonstrate honor in cyberspace: safe surfing, cyberbullying, and addiction to games. During the small group session, several opened up to share their struggles. We pray that the traffic light craft will be a constant reminder of the need to be safe in cyberspace.
On Day 1, songs, role all humble servants of God plays and story telling who esteem others higher helped the upper primary than themselves and willing children learn what it to work together to achieve meant to honor others and God’s objectives for the themselves. Through the students at Eunos CareHut.” toothpaste activity, they discovered how words, once spoken, cannot be At the end of the camp, taken back. The origami heart activity we presented goodie bags and spoke reinforced the truth that honoring others words of encouragement to each of them. meant listening attentively with our ears Before we bid our final farewell, the and whole heart. children presented us with their heartwarming notes of thanks. Many of us were Day 2 saw the greatest breakthrough. teary-eyed, especially when they asked Most children were engaged and that we return to see them again!
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Learning Together Learning in the Dark
“I began to feel more confident when our guide asked us to rely on our other senses of hearing and touch.” *Naomi
14-years-old Current Chemical X youth
“I found the lessons very meaningful, and I always did learn something about myself by the end of each lesson” *Dan
15-years-old Former Chemical X youth
Care Community Services Society (CCSS) brought seven youths from our Chemical X program to the experiential exhibition, Dialogue in the Dark (DID). Conducted as part of its program for youths, DID intends to encourage the teenagers to persevere and activate their strengths in challenging situations. The youths gained greater empathy for the visually-impaired community after spending an hour without the use of their eyesight. A visually-impaired guide brought the Secondary Two and Three students through the exhibition in complete darkness. One participant, *Naomi, though initially scared, shared that, “I began to feel more confident when our guide asked us to rely on our other senses of hearing and touch.” About Chemical X Chemical X was started last year to help youths discover their strengths and develop their self-confidence
and potential. It is now being offered in one school to Secondary Two and Three students with low self-esteem, regularly absent from school, and underperforming academically. The 21-hour program conducted after school in two to three-hour sessions covers topics such as exploring multiple intelligences, discovering strengths, and improving conflict-resolution skills. A certified behavioral and career consultant with a team of Ministry of Education-accredited CCSS counsellors conduct these sessions in school, as well as during out-ofclassroom experiential learning journeys. *Dan (age 15), one of the pioneer batch of students, enjoyed his journey of self-discovery in Chemical X. “I found the lessons very meaningful, and I always did learn something about myself by the end of each lesson.” *Names have been edited to protect identities
Scoring on Sportsmanship
CareHut’s Games Day More than 300 child beneficiaries of CCSS participated in its Games Day. The theme, Be a Good Sport, was chosen to inspire the primary school students, ages 7-12, to compete fairly and work as a team. An eight-year-old participant, Sheryl from CareHut@Queenstown, shared that, “Even if we don’t win, it feels like everyone is a winner because we enjoyed ourselves. It is fun to compete when my friends and I respect each other and work together as a team.”
Students competing in the Captain’s Ball tournament
The children had a great time competing in various telematches and Captain’s Ball tournaments held in Victoria Junior College. The highlight of the day was an upbeat mass dance conducted by professional Korean-pop dancers. Each child was rewarded with a medal for displaying good sportsmanship in the competitions. All participants, mainly from low-income or singleparent families, attend six of CCSS’ CareHut student care centres. The half-day event was made possible with the generous financial support of CCSS’ sponsors. It was run with the help of 20 volunteers from Team Nila, Singapore’s sports volunteer movement and Trinity Christian Centre’s Silver Force, a team of volunteers aged 50 and above.
Students enjoying the K-pop mass dance
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EMBOLDENED EMPOWERED By Chloe Lim, a Camp Champion for Church Camp 2017
There was an atmosphere of excitement in the lead-up to #ChurchCamp2017 as Trinitarians looked forward to being emboldened and empowered. Camp packages were snapped up quickly as carecells, families, individuals, and oikos signed up for the opportunity to come together for a good time of feasting on both physical and spiritual food. From June 5-8, 2,080 Trinitarians gathered at Berjaya Times Square in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to hear God’s word from our three speakers: Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo, Rev Ong Sek Leang, and Apostle Robert Kasaro, whose wife Princess Lindiwe of Swaziland also joined the camp. They preached powerful messages during the morning and night services, stirring hearts and inspiring us to respond to God in obedience and living the emboldened and empowered life.
Camp was also a great time of fun, food, and fellowship. Campers enthusiastically took part in Day 2 activities which included Zumba, balloon sculpting, guitar and drums appreciation, IGNYTE and children’s ministry sharing, and the movie “Miracles from Heaven.” On Day 3, carecells, families, and friends enjoyed a free-and-easy afternoon where they explored Kuala Lumpur or indulged in shopping. For the final morning service, the three speakers concluded with a tag-team style of preaching. Pastor Dominic kicked off by sharing about the three levels of abundant living we as Christians can have, challenging Trinitarians to claim Genesis 17:6 as God’s promise for them.
Preaching from 1 Samuel 17:43-46, Apostle Robert Kasaro reminded us that we, as God’s children, are blessed and programed to succeed. That is why we can allow the Lord of Lords to fight our battles. Closing the tag-team was Reverend Ong Sek Leang who shared about the need to move from impact to manifestation. It is of no use to be impacted during camp and return to life as usual. We must rise up to live the emboldened and empowered life by asking God for new wineskins and committing to grow in spiritual disciplines. From the planning stages to its concluding moments, #ChurchCamp2017 would not have been possible without the tireless work of the Camp Committee and the Camp Champions. We thank God for all who availed themselves to serve God and their fellow Trinitarians.
“I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.” Genesis 17:6
From personal revelation to breakthrough moments, many took away something from the camp. We praise God for the opportunity to be refreshed and recharged for the exciting things He has in store for us! 7 1
“Emboldened, Empowered was an unforgettable camp for the almost 50 people in our section who went. Besides the large turnout from our carecells, we also had five oikos. Melanie invited Ryan’s parents and her sister (Christine, a believer), brother-in-law (Michael), and their son (Canaan, 11). During the camp, different carecell members took turns to share testimonies. Others took turns to be prayer warriors, interceding for their salvation. On the last evening service, one of the Section Leaders (Jason) sat next to Michael. While members went down for the altar call, Jason felt led to pray with Michael and to his amazement, Michael shared that he was ready to accept Jesus! It was such an emotional experience when members returning to their seats found out that Michael had said the sinner’s prayer. Tears of joy abounded and many were charged up in their faith. God wasn’t done that night. After service, when Canaan found out that his dad had become a Christian, one of our Spiritual Parents immediately asked Canaan if he also wanted to accept Jesus. Canaan answered without hesitation –
he wanted to be a Christian like his dad!
During the Chinese track that night, Pastor Albert Khor patiently shared the bridge diagram with Ryan’s parents. Although they didn’t accept Jesus, we believe that the conversation left a deep impression upon their hearts. That night, the carecell interceded for Ryan’s parents’ salvation. Having seen Michael and Canaan come to Christ, they were filled with audacious fervor, believing for more salvations. Melanie then led Ryan’s dad to say the sinner’s prayer in the hotel room that night. Pastor Kelvin Teo, upon hearing the good news next morning, shared the Gospel with Ryan’s parents once more during the Chinese service in Mandarin. Ryan’s father repeated the sinner’s prayer in Mandarin and gave his life to Jesus! All glory to God!” Ryan San and Melanie Ng, West District
(Testimonies have been edited for clarity and length.) 7 2
“Camp was wonderful, special to me in many ways. I have been blessed by God’s words and very deeply ministered by the Holy Spirit. All glory to Jesus. A super-duper memorable camp.” May Huang
“I want to give thanks to God for camp. My dad passed on a few weeks earlier, leaving me with a sense of lifelessness and loss of focus. On the first day of camp, Pastor Dominic’s message gave me new hope. When Pastor Ong preached about the pearl of great price, I found my focus.
Thank you camp for giving me direction again.” Desmond Teo
Nancy Chee, North District
“I thank God for the opportunity to attend camp with my two granddaughters. We had a great time of bonding where I was able to talk to them about many things. I also thank Him for healing my knees, I felt no pain during camp!”
At this year’s church camp, our children stepped out to be emboldened and empowered – learning how to exercise self-control and manage anger, jealousy, fear, sadness, and loneliness. Miranda Zhang shares more.
Over all, over all! My God you are Lord over all! Be lifted on high, be glorified! My God you are over all!
I GREW CLOSER TO GOD
through church camp. So many good things happened here. I am glad that I had a chance to come.
–– Gayle San, 9 7 4
(Testimonies have been edited for clarity and length.)
As the children lifted their voices and worshipped with all their hearts, God’s presence began to move strongly in that little conference room. It was as if the heavens had opened up through their voices. The tangible presence of the Lord could be felt at all six sessions of the children’s track.
With Pastor Priscilla transitioning into a new season of ministry, time was set aside for our children to present her with a farewell gift box filled with thank-you notes and drawings. The love and longing between the children and Pastor Priscilla could be felt from the many hugs she received that day.
Each session started with action-packed games where everyone cheered loudly for their teams. After the games, the children opened their hearts to God through worship. Closing their eyes and raising their hands, it set the stage for God to come and give a fresh impartation of His Word through the skits that followed. Dressed in colorful costumes, our DiscoveryLand pastors and ambassadors from our children’s homes (Brother Steven and Sister Rita, Brother Zhichao and Sister Cal-lin) performed skits and taught the children how to exercise selfcontrol when facing situations that may make them angry, jealous, scared, sad or lonely. Together with illustrations and activities, the children learned how to rise above their negative feelings and act in ways that are pleasing to God.
Being very shy, I usually keep to myself, especially in school. I have learned that God will be my comfort and refuge. He will give me joy and self-control.
–– Evelyn Phua, 11
We thank God for a refreshing time at church camp and the opportunity for our children to be emboldened and empowered by God!
During the third lesson, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and touched by God. I hope more people will also be touched by God.
–– Hannah Pang, 12
I LEARNED NOT TO BE JEALOUS.
When others have something I want, I shouldn’t ask my mother for it. Instead, I should be happy with what I have.
–– Gabriel Chia, 8 7 5
YOUTH TRACK ignyte.trinity
“On the way to church camp, I felt a strong sense of God’s purpose for my life. During Pastor Kasaro’s time with us, he prayed for me to break the walls of limitations. That’s when God gave me a revelation to step out in faith – to be bold in sharing the Gospel. I realized that I had never shared the Gospel with anyone!
I THANK GOD FOR GIVING ME THE COURAGE TO DECLARE THAT HE IS OVER ALL!” ignyte.trinity Day 2 #churchcamp2017. A powerful message from Apostle Kasaro this morning at Youth Track. Reminded us of our identity i God. THem importance of having a close personal relatitonship with God and to always desire for more of Him in our lives. Pray for us for tonight’s service for another powerful time.#allforJesus June 6
(Testimonies have been edited for clarity and length.) 7 6
–– Colin Noel Tan
“In the past, I was disconnected from my carecell and didn’t see the need to step out in faith. I was worried about how others will think of me. Camp was a time when God spoke to me about being empowered to break the walls of limitations, daring to step out in faith and release my God-given potential. After camp, I attended both Spiritual Parenting courses and started to serve actively in the carecell. My TAWG became more frequent because I am committed to grow my relationship with Him.”
–– Shaun Wong
“On the first night of camp, God told me to keep James 2:26 in mind: ‘As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.’ On the first morning service, God spoke to me about the favor of the Holy Spirit, ‘You asked for favor and I give it to you, but will you take a step of faith and submit yourself to Me?’ When I responded, I felt heat on my head and in my heart. I can truly say that God’s favor is upon my life and, just like Queen Esther, I will choose to go forth and step up for my generation.”
–– Esther Eso
“Before camp, I had doubts that God was really with me. I even questioned His existence. When I responded to an altar call, He reminded me that He was proud to call me His daughter and that He was with me over all. I thank God for not deserting me even when I doubted Him.
HE IS TRULY A GOD WHO LOVES!” –– Shannon Chow
感谢主，我庆幸有机会来参加2017年的家 庭营。通过这一次的家庭营，让我有机会和 主内弟兄姐妹更进一步互相认识和了解。 更重要的是，通过钱牧师，神让我再次重新 踏出那一步，愿意当那耶和华的鹰重新展 翅上腾，饥渴神的同在。让神使用我成为祂 的器皿。
“Thank God for giving me the opportunity to attend church camp this year. Through this camp, I got to know my brothers and sisters in Christ better. More importantly, through the speaker Pastor Qian, God helped me to become His eagle again: to soar high with Him, to thirst for Him, and become His vessel.”
–– Vincent Lim
(Testimonies have been edited for clarity and length.)
我要与大家分享在家庭营里的体会与学习。 我这次能去家庭营是一个恩典，由于假期不足 打算放弃参加家庭营，心中一直纠结是否要参 加，感谢主因为Ivy区长的一句想去就凭着信心 去鼓励了我与经理商量了假期，结果去了还领受 了很多。感谢主！ 我在这次的家庭营里感受很多，当我出席家庭 营前是心里开始慢慢的冷漠而且开始感觉服事 好累开始有点埋怨起来，就如同电话的电耗尽 了，在家庭营里我慢慢的来充电，回来之后感觉 充满力量。这个营会太棒了。 我在当中真正的感受到我们的上帝的爱，上帝 的医治。每当我闭上眼睛投入的去唱每首诗歌， 感觉一只温柔的手触动我心灵深处，当下感觉自 己得以释放。 我是个很缺乏信心和在乎别人如何看我的一个 人，所以每当敬拜的时候我都会把手举得很低， 感觉怕别人看到，可是在家庭营里感受到，我们 唱的歌是给我们在天上的父听，而不是身边的 人，我就会很不自觉的高举双手来敬拜。就是那 至高无上的上帝，配得我们的赞美。 感谢钱牧师的分享，我很喜欢她分享的服事是 祝福，恩典不是赚取的，恩典是上帝白白给我们 的，而且恩典在我们软弱中显得完全，恩典是拿 来处理我们的不足,处理我们的难堪。我们常常 错认为上帝给的恩典是理所当然的，什么事情 都很计较，这样的想法是错的。真正刚强的时 候，就是愿意承认软弱的时候，每个人都喜欢隐 藏自己的软弱，不愿面对，可是当我们真正来面 对它时我们才能刚强起来不被恶势力打败。 感谢主让我在这次营会当中学习到更多有关圣 灵的知识。
“It was God's grace that I was able to attend church camp this year. Initially I wanted to give up on going because I did not have enough leave. I am grateful for my Section Leader (Ivy Lee) who encouraged me to talk to my manager by faith to ask for leave. Before I went for the camp, my heart was growing cold. I was tired of serving and started to get grumpy. I was like a phone running out of battery. During the camp, my spiritual battery was recharged and I felt refreshed. In camp, I experienced the love of God and His healing. Each time I closed my eyes to engage in worship, I felt God gently touching the deep recesses of my soul and my burdens are released. I am a person lacking in confidence and I care very much about how others see me. When I worship, I don’t dare to lift my hands up high. But in the camp, I felt I was singing to the Lord and not to those around me, and I would raise my hands high to worship Him unknowingly. He is the sovereign God, worthy of all our praises. During one of Pastor Qian’s sessions, she shared that serving is a blessing and how we do not earn God's grace – it is freely given to us. His grace is made perfect in our weaknesses. Grace helps us in our moments of inadequacy and difficulty. We tend to take God's grace for granted and become calculative in our dealings. This is wrong thinking. When we are willing to admit our weaknesses, that's when we are truly strong. Everyone loves to hide their weaknesses and are often unwilling to face them. But when we are willing to face our weaknesses, that's when we can be strengthened and not be defeated by the evil forces. I also thank God for the opportunity to learn more about the Holy Spirit during the camp.”
–– Chong Siaw Chiek
IGNYTE GAMES DAY By Brandon Kit
In this Decade of Expansion, the youth ministry is intent on expanding into new territories! In this spirit, IGNYTE organized its first-ever play day, Forge Forward, on June 26 at Saint Andrew’s Junior College.
daunting. Though nervous, the event committee was filled with Audacious Fervor, praying and believing that all things are possible with God.
Forge Forward was a time to go big. Station games were not enough; we were going to have our own obstacle course! With just two months to plan, design, and build, the task at hand was
On the morning of Forge Forward, 335 IGNYTErs, 45 adult leaders and 159 oikos flooded Saint Andrew’s for fun and games. The completed obstacle course was a marvel to behold. Running through the school, it featured four painted high walls, a Jacob’s ladder, a suspension bridge, and several station games. The competitive side of our IGNYTE leaders and pastors came out in full force as they participated in the relay race. Fueled by our cheers, they
dashed head-to-head against the youth towards the finish line. Games were not the only thing to look forward to at Forge Forward. As the aroma of brownies and hot dogs filled the air, stomachs rumbled and legs bolted to the food stations, hungry for some fuel. No IGNYTE event would be complete without a time of praise and worship. IGNYTE’s talents were on display as Brother Boaz and Sister Esther, along with members of the worship team, led everyone in a time of praise and worship. Pastor Gary Chia ended the event with a powerful message, reminding us to forge forward with confidence, courage, and unity. Forge Forward was a time for our youth to strengthen bonds within and across carecells. From secondary students to those serving in National Service, it was encouraging to see the different zones working together and motivating one another. Truly, as one big IGNYTE family, we will continue to forge forward together, excited to see what God has in store for us as we expand into even more territories!
“As part of the organizing committee, we were the first at the event and the last to leave. I am so thankful that God provided us with endurance and energy to facilitate each segment. When I got feedback that the games were awesome and saw how our oikos were moved by the event, it encouraged me to see people enjoying themselves. Through Forge Forward, God revealed so much about who He is. When we prayed for good weather, God held off the rain until the event was over. It was a reminder that He was also in control of every situation in my life. He’s the almighty God and His faithfulness never fails.”
“Forge Forward was meaningful because I got to know the people inside and outside my zone. The games were nostalgic, bringing up Biblical truths I learned when I was younger. They taught me about teamwork, determination, and enjoying good things together with others. More importantly, the games reminded me to get over fears and forge forward together as one. I’m thankful for the huge amount of effort that made this event possible and for God’s grace that granted us a good weather and an enjoyable day!”
–– Evangeline Goh, 14
–– Sean Lee, 18
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14 8 1
Campus Camp 2017
By Khoo Sze Hern
From June 24-26, 188 campers gathered at Trinity@Paya Lebar for the annual campus camp. The boldness of campus students to invite their friends saw a recordbreaking 21 oikos join the camp. Even though camp was held in church this year, that didn’t stop campers from having fun. One game served as a parable about the busy life. Though many things call for our attention, we must choose to remain focused on our God-given purpose as university students. This year’s workshops focused on healthy sexuality. In the first workshop, Sister Phebe affirmed that God created
humanity as sexual beings. The key takeaway was understanding that every desire and need can be met by Him. “Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – John 4:13-14 In Pastor Wendy Chang’s workshop, campers discovered the biblical basis for healthy sexuality. Though many views were exchanged, what overshadowed all was a deep encounter with God’s truth.
Convictions were strengthened as campers saw the importance of forming one’s foundation on the Word of God. “The four dimensions to defining sexuality helped me form a framework for discussions on sexuality and wholeness. I am better equipped to explain why Christians have such strong beliefs regarding sexuality. I am also more convicted to uphold God’s standards.”
–– Lee Yun Ting (NTU, Year 2) During services, Pastor Dennis Lum exalted campers to be gripped by God’s passion, power, and purpose: to make room for God, to seek God’s purpose, and to remember His love for us. So powerful was Camp Gripped that one oikos made a decision for Christ on the last evening service. “Pastor Dennis shared how he was gripped by God’s purpose for his life. Though he was a top student in NTU, able to pursue other aspirations, he chose to obey God’s call. He also reminded us of The Great Commission, the mandate that God has given to us. That helped me understand the importance of discipleship, and affirmed God’s purpose for my life. Indeed, we should give God our very best!”
–– Hannah Tan (NTU year 2) Truly, when we seek God, we find Him. So great was the outpouring of God’s tangible presence – His warm, loving embrace – that the altar was filled with campers surrendering their lives to God’s passion, power, and purpose. All glory and praise to what He has done in Camp Gripped.
Prior to camp, campers were briefed on a special outreach activity that would happen on the second day. Some made plans with oikos so that they could share God’s love with them. Others went out for street evangelism. Many experienced breakthrough in sharing the Gospel and the campers also helped seven people make decisions for Christ.
“My experience from street evangelism convicted me of the power of the Gospel. God reminded me that the deep work was done by Him alone. His mighty power can be felt through even the plainest and most ordinary of words.” – Lisette Tan (NUS, Year 1)
“I asked my dad out and shared my testimony with him for the first time. Though a prebeliever, he was open to hearing about what God has done in my life. It was truly a breakthrough moment for me!” – Chloe Chan (NUS, Year 3) 8 3
’ s r e h t o MDay
On the weekend of May 13-14, Trinity’s mothers were honored for their unique role in the family. Loh Dan Lin, mother of Annette (2), shares more about that special weekend.
Coach. Mentor. Caregiver. Chef. Driver. Encourager. Comforter. Prayer Warrior.
The heartwarming presentation given by our IGNYTErs acknowledged and appreciated the many roles that mothers take on in the family. In his exhortation, Pastor Wilson Teo reminded us of the awesome privilege and honor of motherhood. But beyond caring for the physical and emotional needs of our children, we were reminded of the responsibility to pass the baton of faith to the next generation. “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” – 2 Timothy 1:5
Children will walk closely with the Lord when they see their mother’s steadfastness and unwavering faith. Therefore, we are to continually strengthen our faith, inspiring our children to pursue God always. The exhortation ended with Trinitarians across the Sanctuary extending their hands to mothers seated around them. Prayers for strength and wisdom filled the air – that they would continue to be a pillar of strength and the blessing that God has created mothers to be. I was greatly moved and encouraged by Mothers’ Day weekend. As a mother of a toddler, I know well of the various roles we juggle. It is easy to get carried away with the busyness of caring for my daughter: making sure she’s well-fed, well-clothed, clean, well-rested, meaningfully engaged, and meeting her developmental milestones. However, Pastor Wilson’s exhortation reminded me that there
is one role that is far more important – being a role model of faith. The most precious thing I can pass on to her is my trust in our Almighty God. There are many mother role models in Trinity that have been a great source of encouragement and inspiration. More than giving me parenting tips, they have shown me that it is possible to continue serving God in the midst of family commitments. When we place God at the center, everything else will fall in place. My prayer is that Annette will be able to catch my faith as she sees me reading God’s word, praying, serving, and worshipping the Lord. In His goodness, God has given me little signs of encouragement. Annette knows to give thanks before every meal. She raises her hand and sings when we worship during our weekly devotion time. “We are going to church! To worship the Lord!” she exclaims after her Saturday naps. More than that, God has used my little girl to remind me to focus my eyes on Him. In this difficult season of transitioning from a full-time stayat-home mom to a full-time working mom, my stress from work has been compounded by her frequent illnesses. One morning, she came down with a high fever (40.2⁰C). I was already late for work but she was crying for me to carry her. In that moment, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed and helpless.
“Mama, sing a song.” “What song do you want Mama to sing?” “Over All!” With tears and croaky voices, we began to sing. In the midst of all my trials When all seems to go astray I’ll turn to the One The Almighty God In His presence I will stay
“ Those who refresh others will themselves
Over all, over all My God you are Lord over all Be lifted on high, be glorified My God, You are over all
be d.” e h s e r f re – Proverbs 11:25
God had used her as a reminder to press in and focus on Him in the midst of all my trials. After the song, I asked Annette if she wanted to spend some time worshipping the Lord. “Yes!” she replied enthusiastically. My husband took out his guitar and we filled the morning with songs of praise. Though I was late for work, I wouldn’t trade in that time of soaking in God’s comforting presence for anything. To all mothers, God is with us in the midst of the trials and the joys of motherhood. He will enable us to be His blessing to our families. Let us continue to press in together and pass on the baton of faith to the next generation.
f o a e d I God’s
y l i m a F 2017 y a D rs’ Fathe
In addition to a time of celebration, Fathers’ Day is a reminder for all Christian men to stand firm in their God-given role as husbands and fathers. Mack Eng, father of Deniece (23), Kayleigh (19), and Jillian (15), reflects on the message shared during that weekend.
Thank you for giving me life Thank you for showing me good from bad I guess I’m only really trying to say
Thank you for being my Dad 8 6
After a musical tribute to all fathers, commemorating their positive impact in the lives of their children, Pastor Wilson’s message was a timely reminder of our irreplaceable role in the family.
AUTHORITY AS THE HEAD OF THE HOUSEHOLD “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior.” – Ephesians 5:23 Fathers must exercise their authority at home, providing headship, protection, and leadership for his family. Financial provision is not enough – we are called to be involved in our children’s development and
growth. If we fail to lead our children, Pastor Wilson warned, the vacuum we create will be filled by other forces, often undesirable and ungodly. It is our responsibility to shape our children’s views and values, as well as to help them understand the concept of authority.
INTERDEPENDENCE AND ONE-NESS “Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.” – 1 Corinthians 11:11 In this dual-income society, both men and women have opportunities to be successful in their careers. In an environment where both husband
and wife are capable of financial security, it is dangerous to believe that we do not need our spouses.
1. Fathers are responsible for inculcating godly values in their children.
“Do not let independence destroy your marriage relationship,” warned Pastor Wilson. God’s intent for marriage is for a man and a woman to live in interdependence where two capable individuals decide to join their lives together to complete each other.
During our child(ren)’s formative years, it is tempting to focus on our careers because of the pressure to provide. However, we cannot forgo our responsibility as our children’s role model and teacher.
“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24 When a man and a woman decide to live in one-ness, their vow is sealed through sexual union. Here, Pastor Wilson implored all singles to abstain from premarital sex because of the risk of co-dependency – a state where one or both parties are plagued with insecurity and unnecessary emotional turmoil over the relationship. In marriage, one-ness can be threatened when children come along. While children are precious, Pastor Wilson reminded all couples that they are secondary in the marriage. Security, strength, and stability for the family comes when there is one-ness between father and mother. As I listened to Pastor Wilson, I reflected on my journey as a father. I could still vividly remember cradling each of my girls in my arms. How time flies! After 23 years of fatherhood, I have learned two valuable lessons.
Though I may send my children to DiscoveryLand, IGNYTE, and Campus, the inculcation of godly values cannot be left solely to teachers, leaders, or pastors. There is absolutely no substitute for a father’s guidance. We have to live out the Word and lead by example. It’s not just what we say but what we do and how we carry ourselves. What our children see and hear carry more weight than we think!
2. A father’s role will change over time. While our role inevitably shifts from caretakers to mentors, it is never too late to reach out to them. As my daughters are exposed to the realities of the world, praying God’s protection and wisdom upon them has become a daily exercise for me. In times of divergent views and breakdowns in communication, I come before the Lord for guidance and perspective. Remembering my Heavenly Father’s grace and patience with me has influenced how I manage such difficult situations with my own children.
“Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
– Proverbs 22:6
Fathers, we play a critical role in raising a godly family. The keys to a happy marriage and family are before us, it’s up to us to take the lead! 8 7
y t i n a i t s i r h C o Many
s e o D y Wh
? s n o i t a n i m o n e D S e v a H
By Rev Lily Lim, TCA College
1 Some believe that the Church of England (the Anglicans) should be considered a fourth branch of Christianity. For purposes of this paper, we have subsumed this as a denomination under the Protestant branch.
2 The Protestant branch of
Christianity includes hundreds of denominations. For purposes of this paper, only a handful will be discussed.
3 For purposes of this article, the terms “church” and “denomination” will be used interchangeably and synonymously.
4 David B. Barrett, George T.
Kurian and Todd Johnson (eds.), World Christian Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001).
Roman Catholic. Eastern Orthodox. Episcopal. Anglican. Brethren. Lutheran. Methodist. Presbyterian. Baptist. Quaker. Assemblies of God. To some, the level of denominational variety within the Christian faith can seem unnecessarily complicated. Why are there so many forms? Does this variety actually serve to weaken the truth of Christianity? To answer these questions, we start by defining the term denomination.
WHAT IS A DENOMINATION? The word denomination comes from the Latin word denominare (“to name”). Ron Rhodes defines this as “an association or fellowship of congregations within a religion that have the same beliefs or creed, engage in similar practices, and cooperate with each other to develop and maintain shared enterprises.”
While the New Testament church experienced some sectarianism (e.g., 1 Corinthians 3:3-7), there is no biblical mandate for the establishment of denominations. However, this does not mean the use of denominations is unbiblical. The development and use of denominations has been important throughout the history of Christendom by providing structure and accountability to support churches, benevolent work, missions, and institutions of learning.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF FORMAL DENOMINATIONS There are three main branches within Christianity: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant.1 The following section provides a very brief history of their origins, as well as the origin of several Protestant denominations. 2
TOUGH The Post-Acts Church Following the great councils of the 4th and 5th centuries, from Nicaea in 325 to Chalcedon in 451, the early church was governed by bishops who gave strong leadership and organization, promoting a great sense of unity within the church. Over time, the unity started to disintegrate and by 1054, an event known as the Great Schism resulted in the formation of the Roman Catholic Church in the West and the Eastern Orthodox Church in the East.3 These would become the dominant forms of Christianity for the next millennium. The Protestant Reformation and further breaks from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century When Martin Luther nailed the Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the Wittenberg church in 1517, this act of “defiance” forever changed the course of Christianity. While this was happening in Germany (the German Reformation), something similar was taking place along the border of Switzerland with Ulrich Zwingli (the Swiss Reformation). Both Luther and Zwingli came together in their attempt to agree and unite the two movements. The resulting Protestant Reformation would ultimately see a segment of the Roman Catholic Church break
away to form the Protestant branch of Christianity. Twenty years later, King Henry VIII of England would also break away from the Roman Catholic Church to establish the Church of England and the Anglican denomination (known in the United States as the Episcopal Church). Expanding denominational differences in the 17th century New Christian movements with roots in Protestantism expanded rapidly in the 17th century as the Puritans (also known as the Separatists) sought to emphasize what they called “experiential religion.” From the Puritans came denominations such as the Baptists, Presbyterians, and Quakers. Awakenings in the 18th century Influenced by John and Charles Wesley (members of the Anglican denomination), the 18th century saw a movement known as the Great Awakening in Europe and the United States. With an emphasis on extending the Gospel and strengthening the church, this movement saw the birth of the Methodist denomination. Revivalism in the 19th century The Restorationists and Holiness Movement of the early 19th century saw revivals of the faith in the Second Great Awakening, emphasizing a need to
“purify the faith” by reverting to practices modeled by the New Testament churches. The Rise of the Pentecostal Movement in the 20th century At the start of the 20th century, a new wave of Christianity spread across the United States. At the Azusa Street Revival of 1906, many individuals experienced the “baptism of the Holy Spirit,” paralleling the experience of Jesus’ disciples on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-3). Out of the Azusa Street Revival emerged a number of Pentecostal denominations, including the Assemblies of God. Initially shunned, the Pentecostal experience would find its way into mainline denominations during the charismatic renewal movement of the 1960s and 1970s as traditional mainline churches began to experience and operate under the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Today, Pentecostalism has been described as the fastest growing global religion of the 20 th century, having grown to over 500 million adherents in one century.4
Below is a high-level summary on the general focus of each denomination or movements mentioned above. Roman Catholic
Emphasizes sacrament and tradition
Highlights liturgy and mystery
Centers on the Word of God and faith
Clings to the sovereignty of God and covenant theology
Focuses on worship, as formulated in the Book of Common Prayer
Prioritizes Scripture, conversion, and baptism
Appeals to the inner life
Proclaims a heartfelt religion and spiritual disciplines
Stresses on piety and separatism
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Emphasizes on reverting to practices modeled by the New Testament churches
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
Proclaims the power and manifestation of the Holy Spirit (e.g., speaking in tongues, prophecy, healing)
The Apostles’ Creed I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth,
born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell.* The third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic^ church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.
AGREEING ON THE FUNDAMENTALS While there are differences, what unites the various denominations is the agreement and acceptance of four fundamental truths, established in the Councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon. 1. The existence of God in three persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit – the Trinity) 2. The authority of Scripture as the inspired and infallible word of God 3. The deity of Christ and His atoning work for humanity
4. Salvation by grace through faith * This line is debated among denominations. ^ The “holy catholic church” does not refer to the Roman Catholic Church, rather, it refers to the universal church whose members have placed their faith in Jesus Christ.
The principles contained within the Apostles’ Creed are also generally accepted by each branch of Christianity, recited in hundreds of thousands of churches around the world, regardless of denomination.
REASONS FOR THE DIFFERENCES Beyond the four fundamental truths of Christianity, most disagreements that happen between denominations are due to differences in scriptural interpretation. The finite human mind is unable to fully comprehend the thoughts of an infinite and all-knowing God. Though certain biblical passages are without debate (e.g., the four fundamental truths), other passages have been debated by biblical schools for hundreds of years – subject to a variety of sound interpretation due to a common desire to live out the purest form of the faith. One example of a widely-debated topic is baptism. Can it be performed on infants or must the individual make that choice on his/her own? Is baptism by sprinkling sufficient or is full-immersion required? Is baptism even a requirement in Christianity? Some denominations advocate baptism as a symbolic act of burial
and resurrection, the conduit for supernatural transformation of one’s spirit life. By contrast, Baptist and Calvinist groups advocate baptism as an initiation into the Christian faith. There are also denominations that require “re-baptism” upon joining their church, even when one has already been baptized. Each denomination has its own doctrine regarding baptism, all supported by sound, Scripture-based defense. Another example concerns the role of women in the church. In some denominations, women are not permitted to hold positions of authority because of a certain interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:11-15. Taking a less literal view, other denominations believe that women are biblically permitted to be church leaders. Today, we see more Protestant denominations relaxing this constraint, with many Charismatic and Pentecostal churches embracing the ordination of women into positions of leadership. Still another area of debate is the doctrine of cessationism. Passages from various parts of the New Testament – chiefly Acts 2:43 and 5:12, 1 Corinthians 13:8-10, and Hebrews 2:3-4 – have led some denominations to subscribe to a belief that spiritual gifts (e.g., speaking in tongues, prophecy, healing) ceased after the Apostolic Age. 5 However, these same passages have also been interpreted by other denominations to form the doctrine of prima Scriptura, teaching that our interpretation and application of the Bible can be enhanced by church tradition, reason, ordinary Christian experience, and supernatural
experiences that come from the manifestation of spiritual gifts.
TOUGH QUESTIONS ANSWERED
These differences demonstrate that no denomination holds a monopoly on God’s truth. Different groups have been given different perspectives in order to emphasize different things to different people.
“None of us have got it together but, together, we’ve got it.” – Canon J John, Evangelist Though some doctrinal differences have produced serious perversions of the Gospel – views and practices so widely interpreted that they cannot be biblically justified – the multifaceted interpretation of Scripture have produced many positive outcomes, including a variety of practical approaches to Christian living. Thus, Christians must exercise discretion to determine whether denominational or congregational practices are grounded on a sound interpretation of God’s Word.
WISDOM FROM PAUL Paul’s letters to the New Testament churches have a great deal to say about maintaining unity within the body of Christ. In Ephesians 4:2-3, Paul exhorted the church of Ephesus to be forbearing with one another in love, “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Diversity within Christianity is not a sign of disunity and weakness within the faith. Despite differences, genuine
5 The period of Early Church
history, during the life and work of the original apostles, which extended from the day of Pentecost to the death of John. 9 1
believers are “all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28), united with Him, and therefore united with one another. “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.” – 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
LIVING IN UNITY How, then, can we promote loving relationships in the body of Christ? How can we keep different segments of the body from competing against and judging one another? First, we must recognize that our differences are miniscule when we consider our common foundation. Regardless of denomination, every Christian is in agreement with the four fundamental truths: belief in the Trinity, submission to Scripture as the infallible Word of God, and faith in work of a divine Christ. Second, we must remember our common purpose. Instead of fighting over our “miniscule” differences, we must instead turn our attention to collectively living out the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40)
and Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20), thus exhibiting the special kind of unity that would be a testimony to the world. “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. 22 I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are one – 23 I in them and You in Me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.” – John 17:20-23 In order to live out our common purpose, the onus is on us to unite by having greater understanding and appreciation of denominational differences. Reading a short article like this is not enough. Choose to study reputable commentary or have an open-minded discussion with someone from another denomination. Take ownership to understand the biblical basis for various denominational practices and adopt a posture of humility to see the strength and value of their convictions.
“No denomination holds a monopoly on God’s truth.” 9 2
“I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.” – John 10:16 The truth is this: our “one shepherd” is not an earthly vicar, priest, or pastor – it is Jesus Christ. Moreover, the “one flock” is not referring to a single congregation, denomination, or earthly organization – it refers to all who put their faith and trust in Him. In an age of growing tolerance and inclusivity of worship, Christians cannot allow denominational differences to reach a point of pride and discrimination, dictating how people can experience God and grow in their walk with Him. God, the creator of man, is Lord of every nation, tribe, and tongue (Revelation 7:9). His desire is for humanity to worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23). So long as individuals, congregations, and denominations adhere to the four fundamental truths, grounding their practices on a sound interpretation of Scripture, God will use humanity’s multifaceted worship and obedience to demonstrate who He is – a multifaceted God who reaches out to all. “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all…” – Ephesians 4:4-6
Sources consulted a. Anderson, Allen. An Introduction to Pentecostalism: Global Charismatic Christianity. UK: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
TOUGH QUESTIONS ANSWERED
b. Barrett, David B., Kurian, George T., Johnson, Todd (eds.), World Christian Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. c. Elbert, Paul. “Pentecostal/ Charismatic Themes in Luke-Acts at the Evangelical Theological Society: The Battle of Interpretive Method.” Journal of Pentecostal Theology [serial online]. April 2004; 12 (2): 181-215. d. Frame, John M. Evangelical Reunion: Denominations and the Body of Christ. USA: Baker Book House Co., 1991. e. Noll, Mark A. Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity. Third edition. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2012. f.
Rhodes, Ron. The Complete Guide to Christian Denominations: Understanding the History, Beliefs, and Differences. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Pub., 2005.
g. Shelley, Bruce L. Church History in Plain Language. 4th ed. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2013.
Rev Lily Lim has been a faculty member at TCA College since 2006. She earned her Th.M in Asian Christianity from Trinity Theological College, Singapore and is an ordained minister of The Assemblies of God of Singapore. Lily’s teaching interests include missiology, world religions, and church history.
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f o r e w o The P
Honoring Your Pastor A By Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo
It’s important to understand that the
concept of honoring our pastors is biblical.”
A pastor never gets to say “It’s after office hours, I’m off work.” There is no punching out at 5.30pm. More often than not, pastors have to miss countless family outings or have them interrupted to minister to hurting people. They play multiple roles – from mediator to organizer, or cheerleader to teacher, they juggle many roles and responsibilities when caring for the congregation. A pastor is often seen as strong, never tired, with an endless amount of passion, never discouraged, ever ready to pray and minister. Yet, they do have struggles you know not of, and fears that are never publicly displayed – only reserved for pouring out unto the Lord. The call of a pastor extends beyond the individual; it also involves their families. Many times, a pastor’s family is deprived of their father, mother, son, or daughter. Weekend family gatherings are almost
impossible for pastors. For many, turning up for these gatherings after an exhausting weekend is hardly being present at all. Family holidays are just as difficult to arrange. Church camps take place during the school holidays. Special church events are held on public holidays. Christmas? You get the idea. Spouses become part of the waiting ministry as 10-minute conversations extend into hour-long counseling sessions. Children face intense scrutiny as their lives are measured against the yardstick of godliness. The pressure to be perfect is compounded by expectations from the congregation. The sacrifices made when individuals answer the call to serve the Lord and His people in the ministry are not to get a pat on their backs. It is driven by a call higher than themselves. Their life motto is to serve. Their end goal, to glorify God. Their
reward is received in the form of transformed lives, and souls saved for eternity. Giving of themselves to their congregation or their ministry helps to equip and grow the church in loving God and doing His will. Their times of prayer in solitude provides spiritual covering for the church. Their deep study of the Word provides spiritual food for a strong church. Their leadership gives direction so their congregation is not scattered. For the sake of the call, pastors do much for their sheep at great expense of their own lives and their families. Two decades ago, Focus on the Family started the annual Clergy Appreciation Month, choosing the month of October to be a time for congregations to intentionally appreciate their pastors. Some might wonder if it’s necessary. After all, pastors are just doing their job! They knew what they were getting into! It’s important to understand that the concept of honoring our pastors is biblical. In 1 Thessalonians 5:12, Paul commands us to “acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you.” Moreover, they are to be held “in the highest regard” (5:13) and are worthy of “double honor” (1 Timothy 5:17). Honoring and appreciating our pastors don’t just benefit them, it is also for those who receive their ministry. In fact, being thankful is powerful!
FIRST, BEING THANKFUL PROTECTS US FROM TAKING OUR PASTORS FOR GRANTED. I would not be the leader I am today if not for my mentors who believed in me and saw past all my shortcomings. When we reflect upon the goodness we have received from our pastors, we learn to appreciate that our growth in the Lord is not in our strength or ability but by the Lord’s provision of men and women to teach and disciple us.
SECOND, BEING THANKFUL PREVENTS A COMPLAINING SPIRIT FROM SPREADING. “The new worship pastor is too loud.” “The preaching was sort of lackluster today.” “The Word is not deep enough.” “The church is getting too big.” Complainers think grumbling is a form of discernment. It’s not. Rather, it is a toxin that spreads to others.
“Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” – Ephesians 5:4 (ESV)
Give thanks and allow the Lord to change your focus and renew your mind and heart.
THIRD, BEING THANKFUL PLEASES GOD AND RELEASES HIS BLESSINGS. When we obey God’s command to us to honor our pastors and leaders, divine alignment happens and opens up the door for continued blessings in our lives. I look forward to see how our hearts of thanksgiving will change the atmosphere in our hearts and in our churches. 9 7
Honoring astors Ou r P
Pastoring is more than a job –
it’s a God-given calling.”
Stepping onto the brightly lit stage in a fitted suit and polished shoes, the pastor opened her Bible on the pulpit and began her message of hope and deliverance. I squinted to see the petite figure on the stage before closing my eyes for the usual morning snooze. Then came a missions impact trip to India. I saw her again, this time in a traditional dress and sandals. With a Bible in one hand and gesturing with the other, she preached about the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus Christ while villagers responded with raised arms and repentance. Months later at a funeral wake, she appeared once more, narrating a eulogy to commemorate the deceased before closing with a Bible verse to comfort the grieving. I could not help but think that,
By Kwek Wei Ren
“This pastoring job sure takes a person places!” In its original Latin form, to “pastor” means “to shepherd” – to protect, lead, and ensure nourishment. Is shepherding still relevant in this day and age? Isn’t this like any other job carried out by us “regular folk?” Why don’t all of us become pastors and go places? While they share in the joys of life – holy matrimonies, new births, and baptisms – they must also handle some of its most devastating events: marital breakdowns, deaths, and apostasy. In times of crisis, they are often the ones people turn to for help, even in the wee hours of the morning.
“Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.” – 3 John 1:4
For the rest of us non-pastors, church life is limited and contained. There’s weekend service, weekly carecell meetings, and the occasional evangelistic event. Lay leaders have a few more commitments such as ministry meetings and carecell preparation. But even after all that, it’s a wrap – we move on to our “other life.” I don’t mean to diminish the importance of the “other life” – many of us wake up each day with a list of countless to-dos, ending the day in exhaustion and anxiety about the next day. With the troubles and worries of life, it’s easy to push aside the need to nourish our spiritual being – to seek and include God in our everyday life. When the nourishment of the congregation is at stake, pastors cannot help but make it their personal mission to realign us to God. Ezekiel 34:5-6 demonstrates the consequences of a flock without its shepherd, scattered and lost. When we understand the responsibility God has entrusted to pastors, we start to realize that pastoring is more than a
When the nourishment of the congregation is at stake,
pastors cannot help but make it their personal mission to realign us to God.”
job – it’s a God-given calling. To this end, we must not make the mistake of seeing the role of pastoring as something for just anyone. Our pastors go places – places where there are needs and lack, places where the “other life” doesn’t exist. 1 Timothy 5:17 (ESV) exhorts us to, “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.” As members of the flock, let us take every opportunity in October to honor and appreciate our modern-day shepherds who serve to protect, teach, and lead us. When we see our pastors in church, take time to bless and encourage them. When we don’t see them around, remember that it’s because they have gone places to do likewise. To those that labor among us: thank you for accepting the call. Our God who has called you is faithful (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24), He will see you through the trials of ministry.
Here are just a few ways you can honor and appreciate your pastors.
The greatest form of support you can give your pastor is prayer. Even Paul urged the church to pray for him so that he could continue to be an effective leader. Here are some areas where you can cover your pastor in prayer. • Provision for every need • Quality rest and good health • Strong family relationships • Wisdom and discernment in ministry In addition to praying in your own time, encourage your pastors with your presence by attending weekly pre-service prayers and monthly Church Prayer Meetings.
“I urge you, brothers and sisters…to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.” – Romans 15:30
“During one Church Prayer Meeting, the Campus students were told to lay hands and pray for the pastors. As a group of students gathered around me, I was touched by an immense outpouring of God’s love manifested through their earnest prayer. I take godly pride that Trinity is able to raise this next generation of faithful young men and women who are bold to exercise their spiritual authority.” – Pastor Leslie Lam, East District
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“I have a carecell leader who texts me every Tuesday to ask how she can pray for me. I am touched and ministered by this act of love.” – Pastor Melina Hee, Chinese Ministry
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” – 3 John 1:4
Write notes of
Just as a farmer must wait patiently for their crops to bear fruit, pastors wait for weeks, months, even years to see their members grow. Don’t make your pastors guess whether their ministry has made a difference. Share how they have impacted your life by writing them an encouraging note! Thank them for times when they have ministered to you after “office hours.” Share specific instances where they have helped you become more like Jesus. Affirm that their work matters! “I received a very encouraging and affirming note from a missions team member. It was not an off-the-shelf printed card but one painstakingly handwritten by her. That’s what made it so special.” – Pastor Beatrice Kang, Vice-President of CCSS “I received a card from a former TCA student who thanked me for “DEW-ing” him more than seven years ago. I display this card at my cubicle as a reminder that my ministry is meaningful and that God is still transforming lives through me.” – Pastor Patsy Wong, DEW “This year, a youth wrote a card with a prophetic word for me. That was particularly encouraging and refreshing because it reminded me of God’s faithfulness and how He uses people around me as reminder of His appointed time.” – Pastor David Sashi, IGNYTE
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” – 1 Peter 4:10
The task of running a church doesn’t fall on the pastors alone. We all have skills, talents, and gifts that can be used to build up the body of Christ. From serving in a Ministry Expression to rising up as a Spiritual Parent, partner with your pastors to create a Vibrant Atmosphere in our services, prayer meetings, and carecells. If you see a problem, don’t complain about it – be part of the solution! “I enjoy serving alongside the congregants at Trinity@Bukit Batok when we set up and strike set for the service. The camaraderie and esprit de corps is amazing.” – Pastor Melvin Lim, North District “I am encouraged when members serve alongside me as a team to fulfill the ministry. It shows that we are a team and that everyone plays a part in building the Kingdom of God.” – Pastor Lee Mei Yee, East District
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“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” – Hebrews 13:7
Pastors are very much human and are equally imperfect beings like any of us. Their struggles are real and we can allow their lives to inspire us in following Jesus and living out a life that obeys and honors the Lord’s commands. Learn from their example. Imitate them as they imitate Christ. “When I receive notes that say, ‘I remember you said this…’ or ‘I learned this from you and it helped me overcome this situation…’, I often well up with tears because it reminds me of how good God is to the writer, how blessed and privileged I am to be a channel for God’s blessings, and that our God is a good Father!” – Pastor Chung Kah Fei, DiscoveryLand “It excites me to lead missions teams because I have the opportunity to inspire members to catch a passionate heartbeat for the nations. When we come together to pray and trust God, faith arises and we allow God to use us. When members grow in their faith, it is more often caught than taught! It blesses my heart to see them return charged up for Jesus!” – Pastor Melanie Tan, South District
While it’s great to be able to agree on everything, that doesn’t quite happen in reality. People are bound to have differing views and opinions. Recognize that leadership is appointed by God. Choose to respond in a manner that honors God and the leadership. It’s important to talk about differences, clarify misunderstandings and hear their heart for you. Ultimately, trust that your pastor desires God’s best for you and choose to align to God’s purpose for the church to remain united.
“I feel really honored to have the DEW workers, to know that they are in alignment with what God is calling us to do. They have made themselves available whenever they are being called upon. These activities can include church events (such as serving as Celebration Hosts and Spiritual Parents); co-teaching and ministering; co-ordination and administrating; going on DEW missions trips; and initiating care, fellowship, and relationshipbuilding. This willingness is a reflection of the love that they have for Jesus and the love of God in their hearts for others. It gives me great confidence and courage to fulfil my commitment to the Lord to minister to the church.” – Pastor Johnathan Lee, DEW 1 0 2
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” – Hebrews 13:17
Honor your pastors by showing them how much you care. If you live close to them, offer a ride home after service. If their family enjoys watching movies, bless them with tickets.
language “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.” – 1 Timothy 5:17
Discover their love language. Find out their needs. Then, love lavishly. “These two Pre-Teens wrote me a little card and gave me sweets to encourage me. Their small care acts have greatly blessed my heart.” – Sister Lorraine Chee, DiscoveryLand
Regardless of their love language, you can bless your pastors with gifts or a meal! Consider simple gifts (vouchers for a local bookstore or restaurant), personal gifts (a new pair of shoes, a new suit or dress), generous gifts (an all-expenses-paid trip, or a staycation for their family), or practical gifts (an iPad, coffee capsules, sports equipment that he/she might enjoy using). “There was a time when a Trinitarian blessed my family just in time to meet a financial need. It is amazing how the Lord moves!”
“Someone noticed that I wear necklaces and gave me some. I was so blessed by her generosity.”
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” – Proverbs 11:25
– Pastor Wendy Chang, Campus
– Pastor Alan See, East District
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Honor your pastors by loving the ones closest to them. Every family has its own struggles, including your pastor’s family. Don’t expect them to be any more perfect than your own. Eliminate unrealistic expectations and regularly extend grace to your pastor’s spouse and children.
“[A]s God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another... Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” – Colossians 3:12-13
“I felt loved and supported when various Trinitarians took time to visit and minister to my father when he was unwell.” – Sister Eveleen Ng, Chinese District
As a minister, there’s nothing more disheartening that hearing members speak ill of the church. Remember that the body of Christ is made up of imperfect people. Extend the type of grace you would want extended to you.
– Pastor Danny Leong, Executive Administrator
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– Pastor Joanna Teo, AlphaTrack
Speak well of the
Instead of complaining and criticizing, comparing and critiquing, speak well of the bride of Christ. Lift up her strengths, live out her values, and embrace her God-given vision. “When a member tells me that they have been blessed by the church, I feel that we have served them well.”
“One carecell leader regularly volunteers to check on my mother when I am away on missions trips. I am thankful for the generosity to watch over my aged mother so I can serve God with a peace of mind.”
church “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Romans 15:5-6
with l a n o rs e P d n a e s lo C Up
d r a o B s ’ Trinity In addition to being leaders in the marketplace, nine Trinitarians have a God-ordained role in this house as members of Trinity’s Board of Directors. For Vision Month, we interview the two members primarily responsible for building and maintaining the places we call home. D
Tell us more about what you do in the marketplace.
D I know only one thing: real estate. After obtaining a degree in Real Estate from NUS, I’ve progressed through various real estate-related positions. Currently, I serve as the Chairman and Group Managing Director of a real estate services company, a role that requires quite a bit of travelling to the various offices in Asia.
I’m conscious of the fact that I’m doing more than running an organization. I am His salt and light in the marketplace. That makes it so important for me to lead with integrity and demonstrate Christlikeness in my words and actions.
I’m the Group CEO of a publiclylisted packaging company where I work with leadership in developing business strategies and maintaining the bottom line.
this leadership position is my belief that our God is interested in the details. I bring a lot of my Christian values into the workplace and I do not shy away from making a stand for my faith. That has earned the respect of my clients, who know that I am a person of strong conviction and principles.
In a realm where compromise is a very real struggle, what keeps me going in 1 0 6
D I came to Trinity in December 1976 in my first year of university. One of my classmates invited me for an outreach event. At that time, Trinity was renting a hall in the RELC and they were holding the event in a ballroom at the Shangri-La. The first thing I noticed about Trinity was its Vibrant Atmosphere. Most of them were young and carried a Passionate Heartbeat. I also witnessed Incredible Unity. They were extremely warm, like a big family. These few attributes were the reason I committed to the weekly services. I got plugged into Trinity very quickly, starting with the Youth Ministry. Being a small congregation that rented facilities, we had to serve in many areas. I started as an Usher (today, we know them as Celebration Hosts). I would attend two services every Sunday, one to serve and
one to hear the message. After lunch, there would be bible classes – almost everyone attended them! Those were the days where we would go to church at 8am and come home at 4-5pm. We all enjoyed it because we enjoyed the fellowship. I never thought of going to another church: Trinity is my home.
What is your Trinity story?
Since my university days, I have served Trinity in many ministries from outreach events to logistics. When home cells (the predecessor to carecells) were launched in the mid-eighties, I served in the organizing committee. I also hosted home cells for a season. When Trinity@Adam was completed, I served as the Chairman of Estate Management Committee. Today, my role as the Chairman of the Building Committee is my primary form of serving.
A I was introduced to Trinity by a former colleague who invited me for Watchnight in 1980. I’ll always remember that night for two reasons. First was the guest speaker who was a Native American pastor dressed in the traditional regalia, feathers and all. Second was that I went with my then-boyfriend, now-husband, Patrick. We were from very different denominations and his traditions were much more conservative, worship was solemn and didn’t involve the raising of hands. He was very persistent in his ways and I was worried that this difference would be a deal-breaker in the relationship. That night, I prayed to God for a sign: if this guy would join me in raising his hands in worship, then I knew that this church and man were for me. Thankfully, he did!
We integrated into Trinity very quickly. By the second service, we were serving as Ushers and then I joined the Sanctuary Choir while Patrick joined the Trinity ensemble. We started attending trainings to be Altar Workers. There was the Singing Christmas Tree and the Singing Cross. Looking back, I don’t know how we had the energy to serve in the Choir where we had to sing for four services! During the weekends, we were basically living in church with setup, practice, serving, and Bible studies. We could start as early as 6am and, after sending the equipment back, reach home at 11pm. Currently, in addition to being on the Board, I also serve as a Celebration Host In-Charge, as well as a carecell host and Leader. For Patrick and me, actively serving in Trinity is a big part of who we are as individuals and as a family. 1 0 7
Describe your role in the Board
D I’ve been serving in Trinity’s Board of Directors since 1987. Since my background is in real estate, I have been serving primarily in the Building Committees, overseeing the potential acquisition and construction of Trinity’s properties. When the church leadership has a vision and direction for growth and expansion, the Building Committee facilitates this by searching for land/ properties that are suitable for church use. When it comes to design and construction, we work with many parties to make sure that we’re on time and on budget: the Finance Committee, various users (e.g., Creative Ministry), consultants, and contractors. All of this behindthe-scenes work is to ensure that the finished product is a building that
meets the specific, long-term needs of the church. My role as Chairman of the Building Committee would not have been made possible without the expertise, wisdom, and guidance of many Building Committee members and church leadership who supported and served alongside me over the years. Assisting me in the core team are Pastors Steven Tay and Thomas Lee who are responsible for the day-to-day tasks. I thank God for their support because they made it possible for me to serve as Chairman on top of my responsibilities in the marketplace and at home. Looking back, I could see God’s plan for me to serve Trinity in this capacity. I am very thankful for the opportunity to contribute my time and talents in this way.
A Since the last Annual General Meeting, I’ve taken on a new appointment as the Chairperson of the Estate Management Committee. I’m still a member of three other Committees: Enterprise, Audit, and Building. Estate Management Committee works with the Estate Management Office (EMO) in the overall maintenance of the properties and maximizing its full potential. EMO
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will also come to us if they feel that certain retrofits or renovations are required, submitting suggestions for our discussion and approval. We’re also involved in building projects like the redevelopment of Trinity@Adam, looking at the maintenance issues and highlighting where they may incur higher costs (e.g., labor costs) in the future.
D In early 1980s, the church leadership, led by Pastor Dowdy, identified a plot of land along Adam Road. Since I was in the real estate industry, I was brought in to assist in the purchase and start the design and development process to complete the construction of Trinity@Adam.
From negotiations with the authorities to completion of the integrated complex in two phases (three blocks: Institutional, Education-TCA, and ReligiousSanctuary), Trinity@Paya Lebar was 10 years in the making.
Trinity@Adam was completed in two phases – 1990 and 1995. After that came my next “project” – Trinity@Lavender, which we completed in 1998.
With the redevelopment of Trinity@Adam, my role continues, for now. I’ve served for 30 years in this capacity and I certainly look forward to pass the baton to the next generation of board members. Until then, I told the Lord this, “If I am given the opportunity to serve, I will do it to the best of my ability. As long as there’s a new building project, I am happy to serve You in any capacity.”
A year later, the plot of land where Trinity@Paya Lebar now stands came up for sale. God’s hand was surely upon us – Trinity’s bid was just a whisker higher than the second-highest bid. We didn’t have to pay any more than what was required to win the tender!
A In my early days in the church, I was given a piece of advice, “Never be a spectator, be a participant.” When one stays a spectator, they’ll soon walk out of the door. There’s no ownership, no vested interest in what the church is doing. I always encourage people to be an active participant in Trinity. Whether
it’s through serving or being part of a carecell, all these build ownership because the church becomes a part of you. When we reach that level of ownership, we will support the Vision Faith Promise wholeheartedly for if we are invested in this church, we will want to do our part to ensure its success.
Tell us about your journey of building since Trinity@Adam
How is a Vision Faith Promise an expression of embracing the vision and values of Trinity
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