Know Your Leaders - Elder Associate Lam Lup Meng
Lam Lup Meng shares how his role as an elder associate has helped him see that shepherding God's people is more important than accomplishing tasks – even tasks related to church ministry needs.
1. Could you introduce yourself to our readers – for example what you do for a living, and tell us a bit about your family members.
I am an electrical and computer engineer by training, and I am currently working in a software company providing technical support of our software for various customers. It’s a challenging job in a difficult environment but I get to meet many people from different backgrounds and cultures. My wife Winnie and I have two teenage children, Ethan (15) and Esther (13), who are part of the youth group in church.
2. Please share with us what you understand your role to be as an elder associate of the church.
The elder associate role was introduced as a way of allowing a person to try out the role of a church elder and to prayerfully consider whether being an elder is something that the Lord has laid on his heart. Having been in this role for the past 10 months, I am thankful for the opportunity for growth that the Lord has provided me in this capacity. The role of an elder is essentially that of an under-shepherd, who leads and guides his flock as he himself follows the leadership and guidance of the chief shepherd, Jesus Christ. In other words, I am to follow Christ even as I urge and disciple others to follow Christ through the example of my life (1 Pet 5:3). Another area which I think is important in this role is that we need to be intentional and focused in caring for the wellbeing (both spiritual and physical) of the flock. It’s something that I have had to ask God to help me to learn, as I am more naturally inclined to be task-oriented and focused on the job at hand. What this means for the worship ministry that I am leading is that it is not just a ministry providing music for the worship services, but a ministry that is made up of people precious to God, whom He has put under my care to guide to a closer and deeper relationship with Christ.
3. How did you come to Christ (your conversion) and how did you come to join Grace Baptist Church?
I received Christ while attending university in the US. When I moved to the US I was received by a Malaysian and Singaporean Christian fellowship group led by a full-time staff member from The Navigators. They helped me to settle down in the university, including helping me to rent an apartment, and assisted me with many other things. I was attracted to the way this group of people responded to life and how they always seemed joyful even in the midst of difficult circumstances at school, and I started to join them in their weekly fellowship meetings. Not long after, one of the leaders invited me to do a one-to-one Bible study on the book of John to help me understand more clearly the work of Christ and the reason for His life, death and resurrection. At the same time, God had been working in my life to enable me to be more aware of my innate sinfulness and my need for a Saviour. After some internal struggle caused by not wanting to give up control of my life, God broke through my stubborn heart and I accepted Christ and got baptised soon after.
After graduation, I got a job here in Singapore and my then colleague brought me to GBC as he was attending the church at the time. That was back in 1996 and the rest, as they say, is history :).
4. Tell us something about yourself that many members do not know.
I have at least conversational proficiency in five different languages (English, Malay, Mandarin, Cantonese and German). :)
5. Could you share with us one of your greatest joys and one of your greatest challenges as a spiritual leader of the church?
One of my greatest joys is seeing how God is working in the lives of the people of GBC. It is amazing how God works even through the trials of life, and all for His purpose and His glory. It is deeply encouraging to know that we are a part of His plan for GBC as we seek to honour and follow Him. What joy it is to be able to be certain that Romans 8:28 (And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose) is really true as we see it worked out in everyone’s life in GBC.
The greatest challenge for me is juggling my time between work, family and church. During some periods, my job requires me to travel overseas rather frequently (sometimes once every fortnight) and that is quite a challenge amidst the various responsibilities at home and at church. But I am thankful for a supportive and amazing wife who holds the fort at home really well.
6. The Bible tells us to honour our leaders. In that light, how can we pray for you and encourage you meaningfully?
Please pray for me and my family as we continue to seek His guidance in our lives, and especially for wisdom on how He wants us to serve Him in GBC moving forward. Pray also that we will continue to seek Him and know Him more through His word. Pray for me also to be intentional in looking for opportunities to help encourage and disciple others in their walk with Christ, and in doing so build up GBC to be a church that reflects the glory of Christ.
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