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Plugging Into GBC

What helps new members feel a sense of belonging in GBC? What challenges do they face in integrating, and what makes them persevere to overcome setbacks? Two families who recently joined the church share their stories.

Seng Guan, Karen and Samantha

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Seng Guan (right) with wife Karen (left) and daughter Samantha (centre).

In Nov 2016, we left Malaysia and made our home in Singapore. Finding a suitable church was really important for us as the church is our family in Christ. After visiting several churches and prayerfully looking for a church with a strong emphasis on God’s word where we can feel at home and serve, we decided to commit ourselves to Grace Baptist Church (GBC).       

Since joining GBC, what have been the challenges (if any) you faced in joining the larger GBC family as new members? How did you overcome them?  

We came to GBC in July 2017. We spoke with the elders and deacons to understand more about GBC. They were very helpful and introduced many members to us. We also visited care groups and joined various activities that the church organised. By end of 2017, with the encouragement of Pastor Ian and Sherri, we decided to become members of GBC to enable us to serve in the church ministries. It has been an exciting journey ever since we joined GBC. Our daughter Samantha looks forward to youth meetings every Friday, while the two of us have joined the Evergreen Care Group led by brother Steven Ngiam. Our faith in God has been strengthened through the faithful preaching and teaching of God’s word. Our conviction to serve was also rekindled through witnessing the selfless service of various church leaders and members, setting examples for us to learn from and emulate. We truly enjoy the sincere concern and warm fellowship in small group gatherings and the church at large.  

What advice (concrete and practical steps) would you give to any new member who desires to be part of GBC and feel a sense of belonging?  

Our advice is not to leave the church immediately after Sunday service. Dedicate some time to get to know the leaders and church members in fellowshipping at Level 3. Join a care group and participate in Bible studies available throughout the week. Be involved in the various ministries of the church. Understand that we need the church far more than the church needs us. It also pleases our Lord when we involve ourselves in a church (Eph 3:10-11). It is such a privilege to be part of God’s family that for our part, no effort should be spared in getting ourselves involved and integrated in the church.

 

Eric and Bernie

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My wife Bernie and I were stationed in Dubai for 12 years, where we attended a similar church to GBC, which influenced us to find a like-minded church in Singapore. We came to GBC in Mar 2018.

In your view, what does it mean to you to belong to a church? 

To belong is to be a member of the church, fully immersed in the spiritual lives of brothers and sisters within, and involved in the various activities that support the work of the Lord; be it giving in the form of financial gifts, offering our spiritual gifts in areas of need, or participating in various ministry outreach programmes. Most of all, it is to be sensitive to the needs of GBC members, praying, encouraging and bearing burdens alongside whoever has need. 

Since joining GBC, what have been the challenges (if any) you faced in joining the larger GBC family as new members? How did you overcome them? 

In the beginning, we found it difficult to remember the many faces and names of members who warmly greeted us in the Fellowship Hall after service. We feel it would be useful to equip every new member with a church member directory of some sort, to help newcomers remember names and faces. Similarly, a newcomer’s class would also be helpful in fostering a better understanding of the church, her history and the various ministries that we could serve in.  

What advice (concrete and practical steps) would you give to any new member who desires to be part of GBC and feel a sense of belonging? 

Firstly, you need to know and understand the Statement of Faith of the church. Second, you have to agree with the church Covenant, whereby all members of the church unite in declaring their core beliefs as believers and children of God. Growing as a Christian is not a solo affair. You need constant spiritual oversight from the elders and fellowship with other mature Christians. The best way to be plugged into the life of the church is to join a care group. The constant engagement of sharing lives through the care group helps to smoothen the rough edges that can occur in all relationships, and brings about a deeper spiritual relationship between all members of the church.