Our Church Library Has Reopened!

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Yanadi shares about the library ministry that has resumed after three years! He shares about the goals of this ministry, the books available and also how the church can participate and help. 

We have now reopened our church library after around 3 years. Those who are newer to GBC may be more familiar with our Book Table which sells good books. However, we had a library service before COVID and the resulting restrictions that limited in-person gatherings in our church building.

Before the pandemic, the library ministry was headed by Helen Yeo and Wendy Chan, and their team of volunteers that ran the library's operations. Since last year, Yanadi took over the library ministry and recruited a team of volunteers who worked towards this year's reopening!

The importance of reading

Reading is an important part of the Christian's life for sanctification and edification. Through the years, Christians have both written and have benefitted from good books. Through both the Book Table and the library, we wish to put good books in the hands of our members.church library 2023 quote 1

With the reopening of our library, members now have the additional option to also borrow books, on top of purchasing them. We recognise that naturally, some may not wish to purchase every book that they wish to read and not many of us read the same book repeatedly. Some of us may also need guidance when it comes to picking and reading good books. We hope that our library can be of help to our members, to make good books available to all freely. 

Books available

Members might be curious about the books that we have in the library. Here is the list of general book categories that we currently have:

  • Bibles and Commentaries
  • Bible Study and Teaching
  • Biblical Theology
  • Bible Overview, History, and Characters 
  • Christian Beliefs
  • Christian Living
  • Devotional
  • Discipleship
  • Relationships
  • Parenting
  • Prayer
  • Counseling
  • Life Issues and Stories, Autobiography and Biography
  • Missions
  • Religions
  • Worship

The library has children's books, however, they are not ready for loan yet. The volunteer team is still in the process of sorting and labelling these books. 

A ministry that builds up the church

We hope that this ministry can grow and build up the church. Since this has just resumed, our initial goal is to simply open and make the books available for loan. The team of volunteers are also getting familiar with the book collection, and hope to help members with borrow and returning the books on time. 

Sometime this year, we hope to have a book table that displays curated books for loan. The books will be intentionally curated to supplement our sermon series, EQUIP classes, the various Bible study groups that are happening in our community, and even to highlight some issues and topics that members might find helpful. 

We also hope to improve our book collection and include more authors from a wider time period. 

A ministry that involves the church 

Since this is a relatively new effort, we do need more volunteers in these areas.

  • Volunteers to help run the library on Sundays.
  • Volunteers to help prepare the books so that it's ready for borrowing. This involves sorting, labelling and registering the books into our library system and can be done on weekdays. 

Some members have also offered books. We are thankful for your generosity, but unfortunately, we've also had to reject some of it for now because we are unable to sort them out. Thus, if you are available to help in these areas, feel free to contact me (yanadi@gracebaptistchurch.sg)! 

Since we are still in the early stage of our library reopening, we seek the church's understanding and patience! If you happen to have books that were borrowed from before the pandemic, you can return them to the library on Sunday. We also hope you don't mind if the team sends reminders to return overdue books. We promise we will do it gently and generously, as how our Lord has treated us.

Reading as a ministry for all 

Some may say that they are not readers. We hope that this ministry will encourage all to be better readers of the one book that is important—the Bible. Good books can help us to be better readers and learners of God's word. 

If it is too daunting, perhaps you can consider joining or starting a book club. This is usually in a small group or a 1-to-1 setting. A book club could provide motivation to read the chapters slowly but surely, and build up a habit. Perhaps from this discipline you may learn the joy and benefits of reading good books. 

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Secondly, audio books can be a good alternative. We are living in such a period of convenience and technology. Unfortunately, our library does not provide any audio books currently, but this is another option to get started with reading. If you are not a reader, you can always be a listener.

Thirdly, ask someone to recommend books. It could be daunting to start reading, because where should one start? Ask our pastors, elders, your CG leader, or a friend to recommend a book. Get them to summarise the book and share their key takeaways  for you. That could pique your interest and get you started to read! 

By now, you might wonder how we can go about borrowing these books. You can check out our collection from the online portal https://gbcsg.libib.com. On Sundays, you can check out the church library located at the Fellowship Hall on Level 3 (near rooms 310 and 309). Volunteers will be around to help you find the books and to borrow it. 

We hope that you'll be encouraged to read, and also consider helping out with this ministry.