Nurturing Elders and Pastors (Part 2)
Pastor Ian explains to us the elders and pastoral staff's recommendation of Samuel Beh – a ministry staff and elder associate – to join the pastoral team as an Associate Pastor. There will be a Q&A session during this Sunday's QCM should you have any questions regarding the elder recommendations.
As we shared last week, the Pastoral Team has decided to take personal responsibility for calling out and mentoring new, younger shepherd-leaders. What does this mean?
It means we have invited several younger men who are seeking to live within the margins of 1 Timothy 3 and 1 Peter 5 and who were already expressing this by shepherding others in and through the ministries of GBC to spend some significant time learning, and serving with the elders. Last week, we introduced two of these men and after a period of prayerful consideration, we will be inviting you to affirm Lam Lup Meng and Ngo Thian Chye to serve as elders.
This does not in any way mean that these men are more qualified than the other elder associates with whom it has been our pleasure to serve. We have simply decided to stagger our recommendations to you so that we can avoid all of these good men transitioning out of elder ministry at the same time.
In addition to our commitment to nurture lay elders, we also sense a strong biblical obligation to discover, develop and deploy those in our midst whom God may have gifted for the high calling of full-time ministry. This means that we may occasionally also ask you to affirm one of these elder associates as an 'Associate Pastor', meaning, this brother has not only spent the last year sitting in and learning from the elders, but he has been serving with the pastoral team, and has been working through the reading, writing and ministry assignments of the Pastoral Development Initiative (PDI). In this regard, the elders and pastoral staff are delighted to recommend to you, Samuel Beh and we unanimously recommend that he be invited to join the pastoral staff as an Associate Pastor. This recommendation comes with the expectation that Sam will continue to pursue seminary training while serving with us.
Please read Sam’s testimony below and earnestly begin to pray that all of our hearts be fully aligned to the Father’s will for these three men and for His church, and that when we come together to discuss these matters, that there would be clear evidence of His presence in and among us!
Below is the process timeline for our prayerful consideration:
Getting to Know Samuel Beh
Greetings. I am Samuel Beh, husband of Jessica Fong, father of Josiah (two and a half years) and Ezra (ten months), son of Uncle Beh and Aunty Kit Wan, brother of Daniel and Sarah. I’ve been working at GBC as a ministry support staff for about a year, prior to which I worked as a management consultant, and as a probation officer before that.
While I grew up in GBC, it was not till I was about 16 years old that I would say I became a Christian. I was involved in serving in the youth ministry at GBC since I was about 17 years old till I left to study overseas in 2009. After graduating in 2012, I returned to Singapore, and took up leadership of the youth ministry together with Jess in 2014.
I have had an inkling towards full-time ministry for a number of years, but it wasn’t till 2015 that I seriously began to consider it. However, Jess and I felt that it was not the right season. In mid-2017, we revisited the issue, and after prayerful consideration, decided that I should go into full-time ministry. Key to our decision were affirmation from trusted Christian peers and mentors, a sensing that my gifting was suited for full-time ministry, the enjoyment we felt while serving in ministry, and desire to serve the family at GBC.
After discussions with the pastors at GBC, we decided to join the staff on a one-year basis, as a ministry support staff under the Pastoral Development Initiative. During this time, I would continue serving in the youth ministry, have opportunities to be mentored by the pastors, learn more about the ins-and-outs of working in a church, test my giftings in preaching and teaching, and develop myself through online courses and reading books. The year would be for Jess and I to further discern God’s calling for us to full-time ministry, and for the pastors and elders to help me clarify this calling.
My year in ministry has been a fruitful one. We have deeply appreciated the guidance and support from the pastoral staff, as well as the opportunities to preach and teach. God has also used this time to teach us both about the joys and challenges of serving full-time at GBC.
After prayer and discussion, the elders have offered me the opportunity to join as an Associate Pastor and member of the ECL. During this time, I also plan to continue my seminary education on a part-time basis, and hope to leave for full-time seminary studies overseas within the next two years.
There are two reasons that I’m not leaving for overseas studies immediately. Firstly, I would like to get more ministry experience that I feel would enrich my seminary education. Secondly, it is to allow my family to have a period of stability. In the past year, both Jess and I have changed our jobs, I entered full-time ministry, we have moved to our own house (finally!), and Ezra was born. Moving overseas immediately would lead to further changes that our young family may have difficulties coping with. Some have asked if I should consider studying at a local seminary as a solution. While we are not completely discounting that option (and the current plan is to study at a local seminary part-time while I continue to work in Singapore), we feel studying overseas would give us more opportunities to learn and grow (subject, of course, to divine direction).
We’re thankful for the opportunity to serve in GBC, and look forward to getting to know more of you better.
Related article: Nurturing Elders and Pastors