Installation of Pastor Eugene Low
10 January 2021 was an unusually great day for us as we celebrated the installation of Pastor Eugene Low as GBC's Lead Teaching Pastor. We thank God for His gift of setting apart Ps Eugene for this unique task of leading GBC; and pray that we will submit to his leadership and love, support and encourage him.
Ps Ian explained that in May 2020, he has recommended Ps Eugene Low to be the Lead Teaching Pastor for GBC and this recommendation was unanimously embraced by the team of elders who saw God's sovereign work in Ps Eugene's life and ministry. The decision was announced during a worship service in September last year as well as during last October's Quarterly Congregational Meeting.
We then had the privilege and joy of hearing God's Word from Ps Simon Murphy. Ps Simon Murphy has known Ps Eugene and Claire for more than a decade and has served together with him while in Redemption Hill Church. He encouraged Ps Eugene from 1 Timothy 1:1-5 to stay true to the Word and to not grow weary of doing good, and urged us to be a church which is faithful to the Scripture and receive the Word of God seriously and humbly, and to love God and His people from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith.
As we entered into a time of covenanting with God and one another, we were not able to invite the elders on stage to pray with Ps Eugene and Claire due to Covid-19 safe management measures, but Ps Ian invited the elders to stand with Ps Eugene wherever they were seated.
Reading from 1 Peter 5:1-5, Ps Ian reminded the congregation that we are God's gathered flock and we belong to God, not to His shepherds. The pastors are stewards of God's treasures, and are called to model submission to the authority of His Word, and to feed, guide and protect His flock. He asked Ps Eugene five questions:
1. Along with your fellow elders, do you accept the responsibility to fulfill this trust in obedience to Christ and His Word?
2. Do you commit to model the gospel in your own family, to lead them and His church out of a deep personal devotional life, and do you commit to a covenantal relationship with Claire that reflects the union of Christ and His church?
3. Do you commit to shepherd God's flock in ways that help us fulfill our mission to disciple the nations for His glory?
4. Will you be faithful in prayer, and in the study of His Word, that you may serve out of the resources and wisdom of Christ?
5. Will you share with your fellow elders and pastors the wise stewardship of the Lord's treasure, and will you joyfully cultivate other godly elders who will join with you to serve and expand God's kingdom in and through Grace?
To which Ps Eugene responded with, "I will."
Following that, Ps Ian asked the congregation to stand as we enter into a covenant with Ps Eugene, his family and our fellow elders. Exhorting from Hebrews 13:17, Ps Ian reminded us to obey our leaders—those who show the way, who are expected to lead by example and not to be bosses or kings. He urged us to submit to them—to allow them to influence our hearts—for they are "keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account".
He asked the congregation if we were willing to make the following covenant:
1. Will you receive this messenger of the gospel sent by the Lord to serve us as our Lead Pastor?
2. Will you pray for him, help him, and honour him in this enormous responsibility to care for God's gathered flock?
3. Will you, in all your conversations, strive to live together in the peace and unity of Christ?
4. Will you commit to receive the Word of Truth from his ministry with open and responsive hearts, and to submit to his leadership as he, in mutual accountability to our elders and God's Word, faithfully pursues his call to serve the gospel in this place?
5. Do you promise to love him and care for his family so that they might be strengthened in faithfulness and the joy of service?
To which the congregation responded with, "We will."
Elder Thian Chye closed with a prayer of commitment, thanking God for His faithful provision of servants to GBC who are faithful to His Word and in leading and teaching His flock; for calling Ps Eugene from the marketplace to be a full-time minister of the gospel and Ps Eugene's wholehearted obedience to His call. We prayed that God will continue to give Ps Eugene a shepherding heart that is tender to His sheep; that he will continue to be humble before God and His people in the way he serves His people; that he will be committed to teach and lead according to His Word; that he will recognise his need to come before God for his daily portion, to immerse himself in His Word and let His Word fill his mind, shape his heart and guide his ministry.
We also prayed that in moments of difficulties and discouragements, Ps Eugene will remember that our God is God Almighty and that He will not forsake him and His flock. We thank God for Ps Eugene and his family and pray that the Lord will protect and watch over him, Claire and their two sons, Zachary and Iain.
We prayed that we would commit to praying for and partnering with Ps Eugene in the gospel; that we would speak to Ps Eugene words of encouragement and healing and not discouragement and hurt; that we would let His spirit empower and enable us to go forth together with Ps Eugene to proclaim the gospel that He has given us. We recognised that we are sinners saved by grace and along the way, we will make many mistakes, but He will never forsake us and will lift us up as an individual and as a church.
Indeed, all glory be to Christ our King!
[Appreciation to Lee Qing Ping for the photos.]
You can watch the service here:
[Read also Ps Ian's article: "God’s Antidote for the Trauma of Transition"]