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Quarterly Congregational Meeting (QCM) 12 Jan 2020

During our first QCM for 2020 which took place last Sunday (12 Jan), members were introduced to 15 new members and also updated about missions and outreach, Church Matters and Equip classes, care groups as well as leadership changes.

Elder Song Huat began the meeting with an opening prayer, acknowledging that we could not build anything unless God bless it. 


After the opening prayer, Pastor Oliver invited Tom Chandler, who have been with GBC since the eighties and is one of the missionaries whom GBC has the privilege to partner with, to update us about the health situation of his wife, Clare Chandler. Clare was diagnosed with breast cancer and subsequently cancer in the lymph nodes last year. She has undergone chemotherapy and radiotherapy and we thank and praise God that she has reacted well to the treatment and is now cancer free. She will continue chemotherapy until May this year and Tom asked the church to continue praying for her that her health would be restored. Tom also asked the church to pray for his continuing work unto the Lord.


Praying for Tom and Clare Chandler.

Next, Pastor Oliver gave thanks for the Christmas Day lunches hosted by a dozen GBC families across the island for about 50 guests. It was a wonderful thing to see GBC members set aside time for one another and open up our homes and lives to one another. It is our prayer that GBC will continue to welcome others just as Christ has welcomed us.

Welcome New Members

It always gives us great joy to welcome new members during the quarterly meetings where some basic information about these members are shared so that we can connect with them and build meaningful relationships with one another. For this QCM, Pastor Oliver introduced 15 new members who have joined us the last quarter. They are: Matthew Choo, Lorraine Fong, Andrew Sung, Esther Sung, Fong Shi Yi, Nathan Kiatkulpiboone, Koh Kee Ai, Siew Teck Woh, Joanna Marie Tuballes, Nicholas Quek, Ong Khoon Han, Jessica Chen, Cein Chen, Christina Chan and Marcus Koh. 


Matthew Choo being introduced.

We thank God for these precious new members and we pray that as a church, we will love and encourage one another and grow to be more and more like Christ.

Church Matters

Following that, Pastor Ian updated us about the Church Matters class. He emphasised that the class is not just for newcomers but for all who want to know what we believe in and why local church matters. The Church Matters class teaches us through what the Bible say about God, man, sin, the church, church membership etc. Given the importance of having a sound, biblical understanding of these fundamental beliefs, and that not every issue could be covered in sermons, he strongly encouraged all to attend the class. The next class will run from February 2, 9, 16,  11am-1230pm. If you would like more information, please contact Pastor Eugene at


One of the fundamental questions that will be addressed in the Church Matters class is why does the church exist? Pastor Ian stated that we are called to be a missional church and introduced the Missions Committee (MC) and the members' respective roles: 


He expressed his gratefulness to those serving in the MC for helping the church made progress in embracing our missional call, but added that the fact that we have a MC and missions programme reflected that we have not truly embraced our call to be a missional church. He said that it is not enough for us to know who our MC and missionaries are, but it is also our prayer for all to have some experience in missions. He went on to present the planned mission trips in 2020 and encouraged all to mark down these dates and contact the relevant member in charge if they are interested.


He also introduced a new initiative called Short Term Missions Opportunities, a 3-month programme where interested member will start with a time of preparation with the GBC staff, followed by a 2-month period overseas serving with one of our missionaries. The first partner in this short term missions initiative is Kathy’s Home in Pua, Northern Thailand. If you are keen to find out more, please approach Joey Raju (90039664) or Elder Beh (97886171). 

Reaching the Neighbourhood

Continuing from missions, Pastor Ian opined that he would prefer that we increasingly consider outreach as part of missions and not just restrict missions to overseas missions opportunities. He then handed over to Pastor Oliver who introduced the latest outreach efforts in our neighbourhood. 


Pastor Oliver updated us about the Compassion Ministry where currently we have outreach in tuition ministry, Gracehaven, Gladiolus Place and JiaLe (LoveAid). He shared that in a recent Christmas outreach event by JiaLe, we invited a few elderly to one of our homes where a pastor shared the gospel in Hokkien to the seniors and three seniors indicated their desire to follow Christ. We praise God for His wonderful intervention!

In addition, for the second half of year 2020, there are plans to do block visiting for the new residential estates (MacPherson Green and Bidadari) coming up in our neighbourhood. We will be partnering with our Chinese congregation to do door-to-door visiting to introduce GBC to the residents of these new estates. More details will be shared in due course.


Moving on to the next item on the agenda, Pastor Ian highlighted that Equip is one of the platforms that the church uses to help us be better prepared to have a gospel response to the rapidly changing culture that we see happening around us. You can find the Equip 2020 schedule on GBC's website. He invited all to attend the class and highlighted that one of the challenges the organising team has is how to schedule such an important event in a multi-generational church. The first class which took place on 11 Jan from 3.30-5.30pm saw one of the best attended sessions to date, however, given the afternoon timing, it attracted mainly the younger adults. Hence, the team is still deciding on the time that works best for most people. We would also like to thank Eddie Tan for recording these classes so that those who could not attend the classes could still watch the classes online. 

Care Group

Next, Elder Caleb shared that there's a demographic change going on in our church where we are seeing more younger adults joining us. We thank God for this healthy growth but it also means that we need to adjust the way in which we do church to accommodate this demographic shift. As such, every quarter, we hope to introduce new care groups to create more space and capacity for relationships in church. For those who have yet to be in a care group, there will be two new care groups starting in the coming weeks. One of the groups will be led by Yuxi and Xueyang together with Joy and Daniel Beh and Pastor Eugene and Claire. The location to meet has not been fixed ("somewhere between River Valley and Ang Mo Kio") but it will be announced soon. The other group will meet in Punggol and will be led by Kenneth Poon, Priscilla Tang, Mike and Aris Yeo. Elder Caleb emphasised the importance of being plugged into a small group so that we can build up one another. We have now ~30 care groups spread all over the island, and if you would like to find out more, you can email for more information on where and when these care groups meet.  

Leadership (Service) Matters

Finally, Pastor Ian informed us of the upcoming changes in the leadership of the church. Providing some background, he reiterated that he considers the team of elders to be the pastoral team and it includes both pastors and lay elders, as elders is a role and pastoring is what elders do (1 Peter 5). He mentioned that pastoring is a lot more challenging for lay elders because of their full-time work, hence, these lay elders are worthy of our honour given their commitment to feed and tend God's sheep.

Going on to the changes, he updated that Elder Song Huat's term will end on 28 Feb 2020 and he will not be extending his term due to family commitments. The leadership is blessing reluctantly Elder Song Huat's decision to not extend his term. 

Furthermore, Pastor Ian elaborated that three years back, we have launched an initiative to specifically and intentionally develop elders and the leadership mainly looked for two characteristics in these elders: 1. those already shepherding, 2. those modelling the characteristics expected in Titus and 1 Timothy 3. For the past year, Jonathan Tan and Nehemiah Chong have been serving in this capacity as Elder Associates and they have been attending the ECL (English Congregation Leadership) meetings and observing the work of the elders.The English Congregation (EC) leaders have since approached them to ask if serving as an elder is something that they feel that God has gifted them for and if it is also something that they are willing to serve in. Both have expressed their willingness to serve the Lord by helping to shepherd the flock of God. The ECL then discussed and arrived at an unanimous decision to recommend both Jonathan and Nehemiah to serve as elders for a term of 3 years and members will have the opportunity to steward God's voice in response to the recommendation on Feb 16 where an EC meeting will be held. There will also be a Q&A session on Feb 9.

Pastor Ian pointed out that this also means that our elders are getting younger and younger, and though it is a reason to rejoice, it is also a reason to grieve as we do need a good balance of young and old in the pastoral team. He expressed that having younger elders saying 'yes' to God in the 21st century is good news of God at work, but we also need older elders as there's no replacing of wisdom gained from experience, heartache and brokenness. He urged us to pray along with the leaders that there will be some older ones who will answer the call. 

During the EC Meeting on Feb 16, the ECL will also be recommending Pastor Eugene Low to serve in the pastoral team for another 5 years. Pastor Ian clarified that though it has not been our custom to have pastors serve on 5-year terms, our Articles of Association allows for a term of up to 5 years.


Important dates to note for ECL Elder Recommendation:

Q&A session: Feb 9 (11am)

EC Meeting: Feb 16 (immediately after service)

Furthermore, there will be a rotation in the chairman of the ECL. The purpose in rotating the role of chairman among the elders is to disciple each elder to chair and manage a meeting. The chair will be rotated to Elder Song Huat this year till his term ends on 28 Feb and Deputy Chairmain Elder Lup Meng will take over from 1 Mar.

Lastly, the ECL also rotates the person in charge of liaising with the directors so as to get the elders experienced in relating to directors. The directors have the responsiblity to ensure that we abide by Singapore law and for GBC's directors, there's one additional responsibility of ensuring congregational unity (between EC and Chinese Congregation). This year, Pastor Ian will be the elder liaising with the directors.

The QCM ended with a reading of the Members' Covenant led by Elder Song Huat. We thank God for the well attended (but we are praying that even more will attend) and fruitful meeting. We pray that all members will uphold the above matters in prayer and also serve and participate as the Lord leads.