With the privilege accorded to me to write in our Sunday bulletin’s “Reflections”, I have tried to share something of the stimuli and often also the joy and challenge associated with looking somewhat closely at some aspects of our church life. Particularly prominent in the past year or so has been the providential provision of leadership and direction for PSPC. Almost in parallel has been the way we have been led to be an Intentional Disciplemaking Church. Over the last few years, we have seen growing numbers of members attending the annual IDMC (Intentional Disciple Making Church) Conference. This message on DISCIPLESHIP also came loud and clear in recent Church Camps, first from renowned IDMC Founder, Rev Edmund Chan, and then from Rev Dr Chris Chia. Even our seniors resonated with this clarion call when 2013’s SMF Retreat speaker, Rev Graham Ng, stressed on DISCIPLESHIP, MENTORSHIP and FRIENDSHIP. These three terms are not only inter-linked but can be deemed to be critical components of an Intentional Disciplemaking Church.
Even earlier, in the 2012 SMF Retreat, our then SMF Pastoral Advisor, Rev Chiam Cheng Kiat, set the tone at the opening session with exhortations and emphases on the expectations and experiences of living and working closely together. He gave us a picture–perfect portrayal of the PORCUPINE getting all bristled up so readily. It is all too easy for Christians to be cutting in our various ways and words as well as competitive, even combative, in attitudes and actions. So instead of resembling and behaving like the porcupine, we should be like the PANDAS – cute, cuddly, and comfortable to be with and comforting to one another. This was followed later by a message on “FORGIVENESS – The Key to Healthy Relationships” by our own SMF Chairman, Eld Lambert Chiang.
It is significant to note that the importance of RELATIONSHIPS was touched upon by Rev Dr Tan Soo Inn who was our guest speaker on last Sunday, 16 November. In introducing our guest preacher, our Senior Pastor also shared the exciting news that our Church will be partnering with Rev Dr Tan to take another step forward in the journey to be a Disciplemaking Church. This is yet another aspect of the wise and insightful leadership we have been blessed with. It is one thing to aspire or desire to be a Disciplemaking Church, but it is another to adopt a strategy or plan of action or implementation to meet this objective. Rev Dr Tan is an ideal choice. He is academically and theologically qualified, experienced, tried and tested. He has already made a mark in our Men’s Retreat this year. His emphasis on FRIENDSHIP as fundamental in all our work and relationships is proverbial. We can thus look forward to PSPC being not only a DISCIPLEMAKING CHURCH, but one where every member is, or at least longs to be, a discipler or disciple-maker.
In our aspirations to be, and work towards being, a DISCIPLEMAKING CHURCH with members committed to, and involved in, making disciples, I believe we will be part of a spiritual wave, if not tsunami, that is sweeping much of Asia if not the world itself. The Lord is using various leaders to share this challenge to His Church increasingly. One such leader is Dr Billie Hanks, the first intern and life-long friend of Dr Billy Graham and who later mentored Rick Warren. He is Founder and President of the International Evangelism Association who shares and leads various vision-casting seminars wherever the Lord leads him, including to Asia and Asians. Following Matthew 28:19, he is passionate about one-to-one, life-to-life disciple-making. This is where healthy biblical relationships ensure that more mature Christians spend quality time with a younger believer, showing her or him how to walk by faith, develop godly character and ministry skills. Combined with small group teaching, Dr Hanks believes that great spiritual growth will take place.
In an earlier “Reflections”, I have made reference to the part of prayer in our individual and church life. In going forward to meet our God-given mandate and goals, let us not slacken in our prayer lives. In fact we in PSPC, more than most and more than ever, should be always found rejoicing and full of praise and thanks to our Heavenly Father. We should be unceasing in our intercession for both ourselves and others – especially those beyond our shores and those who have come here for various reasons that our Sovereign Lord has deemed. To this end I hope, indeed appeal, that all in PSPC may give full support to our GDOP 2015, termed and specially designated “JUBILEE DAY OF PRAYER (JDOP)” on Sunday 5 July 2015. May we be found numbered among, even leading, fellow Christians in Singapore, to give GOD all GLORY, PRAISE and THANKS for His exceeding faithfulness to us as individuals, as a church, as a Christian community and as a country.