Quarterly Congregational Meeting (QCM) 7 Oct 2018
As a church, we want to practise biblical membership so that each one understands what it means to be joined together by God’s Spirit in the body of Christ. One of the primary ways we express that unity in Christ is through our Quarterly Congregational Meetings (QCM). On 7th October, we gathered for the final meeting for the year to note the thanksgiving, concerns, and movement in the body.
The meeting opened with thanksgivings as we heard from our Worship team on how the Reformation Concert is fostering interaction and fellowship among church members and from our First Impressions & Assimiliation team about what God has been doing to make us more hospitable.
Aaron Lum shared how God is using the reformation concert to allow the older and younger members – both in terms of age and years with GBC – to have more interaction and fellowship. He commented that it is very encouraging to see everyone helping one another to learn the music and interacting with one another, practising the unity in Christ. He also praised God for not making the team complacent, even though this is the third concert that the team is organising. Instead God has made the team lean on Him even more in all aspects, even from selection of music and how we want to glorify God through the music. Aaron asked the church to pray for patience for all who are participating in the concert, be it the choir with the team leading or the choir and musicians being patient with one another given the difficulty of the music and the large number of people invovled. Most importantly, that the singing and expression through music will be based on the truths that are being sung and be an encouragement to those who come and those who are singing, with the ultimate focus on God and on glorifying Him.
Lim Eng Khin shared how she was encouraged by the enthusiastic support from members in taking turns to greet worshippers and to host the hospitality table in the Fellowship Hall. She also shared about the sacrificial service from team members like Robert Oei, Ryan Wong and Tan Sze Gar who serve the church faithfully. From greeting worshippers at the door, to always coming early to set up and coordinate refreshments, to manning the hospitality and welcome table for guests – each one of these has helped change the visitor culture of GBC. A special mention went to Ben Wong, who faithfully helped to wash the dishes, sweating it out to help us conserve water. As a result of these labours, Eng Khin shared that we have had 150 visitors in the last 6 months, a third (about 44) of which have become regular worshippers, and about 20 or so who joined us as new members to GBC. She encouraged all of us to look out for newcomers, connect with them, take them to lunch post-service, or look for appropriate ways to invite them to return. Most of all, pray for our visitors, we were told, that they would hear the gospel, return, and by faith, join the body of Christ.
Pastor Ian shared that as part of the leadership development efforts at GBC, the leaders would recommend the ordination of Pastor Eugene. In response to questions about what this meant practically and the biblical warrant for ordination, Pastor Ian shared that this was largely a practice that has arisen out of tradition and cross-cultural ministry, and that it was the leaders’ conviction that only God can gift and call a man for ministry, but the church could recognise that gift and call through ordination to affirm what God has already done. Moreover, ordination would allow for our pastors to minister more effectively in contexts which felt more strongly about ordination. He described the process, and offered to respond to individuals if they had further questions.
Pastor Ian also took time to clarify the roles and work of elders and deacons in the church. Broadly, he reiterated the church’s stand that elders or pastors were one office, and deacons were another. Elders were to feed, guide and protect the flock at Grace, and deacons would serve through care and administration. Though required by the government, the role of directors should be understood similarly as the administrative ministry of deacons.
Looking ahead into 2019, Pastor Eugene shared about the changes to the EQUIP classes, which would transit to the fourth Saturday mornings of each month. Pastor Eugene shared that there would be 10 sessions next year, with the first half anchored on how to study the Bible, and the second on the practice of ministry in the church. He explained that EQUIP’s vision was “whole church” equipping in pursuit of a common practice and ministry culture, and he encouraged us to participate across ministries, groups and demographics. Responding to a question about circulating the resources if some were not able to attend, he said that interested folks should write him so that he could share the materials and also, see if there was enough demand to hold an alternate session on another day like a weeknight.
Pastor Eugene began talking about the new members’ process by reminding us that church membership means, as the sermons in 1 John have taught, the practice of a committed love. The elders have taken initative to model this by caring and knowing members in the body. He encouraged members to do the same and pursue one another, especially if there were some who were going astray – to contact them and express concern and affection in Christ. He then announced the changes to the new members’ process in 2019 – there would be two cycles in January and July for the membership classes, which would open with a welcome lunch, and then be followed by a few weeks of classes about what we believe about the church and membership. He encouraged older members to attend as well, as part of learning more about meaningful membership.
Continuing in the theme of membership, Pastor Eugene announced the movements of members who were leaving GBC to join other churches, one local and one overseas, and Pastor Ian addressed the removal of a member who was under church discipline for unrepentant sin. He stressed that church members should always welcome and even encourage this person to come to church, worship and hear the preaching of the gospel in the hopes of repentance, and he urged us to pray for the heart of this individual. Pastor Eugene also introduced new members who had joined us in the quarter and reminded us that these are God’s treasures for us to love and esteem. Joyously, we welcomed Emily, Jian Hui, Sam, Grace, Patrick, Jason, Frederick, Steven, Gek Noi, Aaron, Alicia, Fellisia, Yan, Stanley, Hewlett and Margaret in the body at Grace.
With no other matters, the congregation stood and recited the members’ covenant as an affirmation of our relatinoship with and responsibilities to one another.
Written by Caleb Yap