Quarterly Congregational Meeting (QCM) 6 Oct 2019
Last Sunday (6 Oct), we gathered for the last QCM of the year. During the meeting, the elders updated us on membership and ministry matters, as well as GBC's theme and focus for the coming year.
Pastor Oliver began the meeting by inviting Eunice Yap and Fong Li Heng to share with us their takeaways and thanksgivings for The Compelling Community seminar held in August.
Eunice and Li Heng shared that the seminar has taught them to gently and kindly ask questions to understand a person's situation and to slowly lead them to see their sins/struggles from God's word instead of being quick to judge and jumping to offer suggestions. Both of them found the seminar to be very helpful and timely as they are starting a new care group (CG) which would meet for the first time this Wednesday (9 Oct). It is their prayers that they will apply what they have learnt on how to live, behave and respond in a community to their interactions in their CG.
Following the sharing, Pastor Oliver gave thanks and prayed for continuing fruit from the seminar. He also praised God for the desire He planted in Eunice and Li Heng to want to serve the church community by starting a new CG, and started the meeting officially by committing the time to the Lord.
Next, Pastor Eugene walked us through the membership process at GBC.
Newcomers are first encouraged to attend a newcomers' lunch where we will get to know one another and introduce the key ways to plug into the life of the church such as through CGs. They will also be encouraged to attend the 'Church Matters' class where they will be taught through the doctrines that define us as GBC and the Members' Covenant which spells out for us what committed love looks like in community. After the 'Church Matters' class, they are asked if they would like to meet with an elder for an elder chat. During this one-to-one chat, the elder will get to know the newcomer better such as how Jesus saved him/her, how God is working in his/her life and what are his/her pastoral needs. It is also an opportunity for the newcomer to get to know our elders and GBC better. Following this, those who have yet to be baptised will be invited to be baptised, while those who have been baptised are invited to join us via transfer of membership. Finally, the new members will be introduced and welcomed during one of the worship services and QCMs so that the entire church will know them and love them, given we are members one of another.
As it can be very daunting for a newcomer to assimiliate into a community, Pastor Eugene encouraged us to open our lives and hearts to new members so that they will feel truly a member of the family. He also emphasised that the 'Church Matters' class is not just a class for those who want to become a member, it is also a class for those who want to find out more about what we believe and how we do life together as a church. Hence, all are welcome to attend and the next class will take place over three consecutive Sundays next year (January 19, 26 and Feb 2, 2020, 11am-1230pm). If you would like more information, please contact Pastor Eugene at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following that, Pastor Eugene introduced 17 new members who have joined us the last quarter! They are: Jimmy and Crystalle Cheong with their twin daughters Clarice and Jillian Cheong, Gracia Teow, David Voon, Esther Tan, the Loi family (Dr Loi Kuan Long, Siew Hiok, Jason and Joel), Chua Lin Hong, Benjamin Low, Fong Li Heng, Keely New, Steffi Aw and Jeannie Cheang. Pastor Eugene shared some basic information about these new members and the new members who were present at the QCM shared how we could pray for them. Elder Beh thanked God for entrusting these new members to us and committed the church to pray for them and love them.
One of our new members, Keely, sharing how the church can uphold her in prayers.
The next item on the agenda was ministry updates and Elder Beh gave an overview of the different ministries that GBC has and who are the elders and persons in charge of each ministry. We are very thankful to all who have been serving so faithfully in these ministries and it is our prayer that everyone will exercise the gifts and abilities that God has given us to serve, for it is Christ we are serving!
Continuing from that, Elder Thian Chye shared about the Members' Directory that will be launched soon. He pleaded with all to update their particulars and photos with the church office. You can do so by contacting Kok Pui at email@example.com and please do so by October 13, 2019. We could request a softcopy of the Members' Directory from 27 October onwards and Elder Thian Chye suggested that we can go through the Members' Directory and pray for one member daily or if we know from the directory someone who lives nearby, we can also meet up to encourage one another. He also strongly encouraged everyone to sign up for GBC's Watchman Prayer and Grace eNews if they have not done so, emphasising that the Members' Directory, Watchman Prayer and Grace eNews will help us get to know and care for one another better.
Next, Elder Thian Chye introduced the Member Care Ministry which aims to support GBC ministry groups in providing physical care to group members and GBC members. The areas covered by the ministry are:
- Bereavement – this is for young and old and we do not need to know the bereaved to support them. We just need to avail ourselves (no planning nor talking is needed) as our presence itself will be an encouragement to the bereaved.
- Hospital Visitation – for those who are new to hospital visitation and hence are afraid that they might not know what to do, the ministry team will pair them up with an older, experienced adult to observe how the older adult visit and pray for the patient.
- Home Visitation – as some members could not come to church due to various reasons, this ministry area aims to bring the church to them by visiting them once a month. During the visit, we will read Scripture, share Bible verses, fellowship and interact with them.
- Family Support – for those who do not have their families with them and need support in whatever way (e.g. babysitting). As Elder Thian Chye stressed, "If you need help, just call us."
- Transportation – if you own a car, you are eligbile to serve in this ministry! It is also a good opportunity to fellowship with the member who's in need of transport.
- Financial Support – Elder Thian Chye encouraged those who are in need or know of anyone in need of financial support to approach the team. The process will be easy and straight forward.
If you need to call on this ministry, please contact the respective ministry group leaders, church office, any of the Member Care ministry members or firstname.lastname@example.org. The members of the ministry are: Elder Thian Chye, Joel Tang, Chan Kit Wan, Lee-Tiang Siew Ting and Richard Tan.
Elder Thian Chye jokingly added that we could not just depend on the team alone to minister to all these needs as if so, we will be visiting the team instead, to which the entire meeting roared with laughter.
He went on to highlight the Bible verses that the ministry is anchored on: John 13:34-35 and 1 John 3:18, and response slips were also given to all to fill up should they feel led to serve with the team. (You can also register your interest here.) To conclude, he shared a Chinese song that encouraged us to live out the love of Christ and closed the sharing with a prayer that we will love and minister to one another.
After the humourous session by Elder Thian Chye, Pastor Oliver shared with us the outreach opportunities for the rest of 2019. They are:
- Christmas Day Service: 25 Dec
Following this, Elder Song Huat updated that Pastor Oliver's current term will end on 30 November and an EC meeting will be held on 27 October (Sunday) for the re-election. Prior to the EC meeting, there will be a Q&A session on 20 October for those who have questions. More details will be provided in the weekly ministry guides. The ECL is recommending to renew Pastor Oliver's term for another five years from 2019.
Elder Song Huat then committed all the thanksgiving, membership matters and ministry updates that have been raised thus far unto the Lord.
Moving on to the final section, Pastor Ian started by expressing his appreciation to the organising committee for Church Camp 2019. He reminded us that during the camp, we reflected on what we perceived as God leading us with regards to where we should be moving as a people of God, and three perceived needs surfaced:
- We need to grow in our unity.
- We need to grow one another in Christlikeness.
- We need to grow in our outward facing ministry.
The elders deliberated on these and immediately started to reorganise themselves and develop strategies to meet these clear perceived needs. One of the things that the elders started looking at was Prayer Meeting. Pastor Ian expressed that it is a concern that when we meet each month to plead for God's intervention, only a couple dozen of people turned up. Are we depending our ourselves or on God? He stressed that unity (the first need) is a sign of God's pleasure among us and not a result of anyone's work. As such, the leaders have started to relook at our corporate prayer time and will refocus it.
Another area that the elders focused on was member care. Pastor Ian explained that in many growing churches, the frontline in member care would be small group ministry where we can grow and shape one another in His word. As such, he's grateful that Elder Caleb has agreed to take on this signifcant ministry. He also shared that as part of the elder chat for newcomers, the elders would challenge newcomers to consider being involved in a small group.
Additionally, in terms of member care, Pastor Ian mentioned that although we have a very dedicated Children's Ministry team led by Elder Chuan-Xin, we are seeing a growing number of young families and thus the need to look for someone to fill the role of pastor for children or family ministries, and perhaps even a children's ministry worker. He urged the church to pray for God's leading and provision given the importance of ministering to our young families. He also encouraged all to consider serving in the Children's Ministry and Nursery.
Finally, Pastor Ian shared the theme for 2020 which is Radical Dependence. He explained that radical means 'back to the root', and thus the focus will be on God's people being absolutely dependent on God. Though it is the theme for 2020, the sermon series will start with Advent where the pastors will preach through the Gospel of Luke. This will be followed by 1 Samuel where we will see the tension between God's people wanting a different leader instead of God and becoming self-dependent, and God's favour falling on those leaders who are absolutely dependent on Him. The sermon series on 1 Samuel will be intercepted with selected psalms that were likely written within the context of the historical narrative of 1 Samuel.
Pastor Eugene then took the floor to share the focus for Equip 2020. He pointed out that unity does not come about by just being nice to one another, instead from Ephesians 4:13, we know that unity comes about when we are united in the faith and of the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Therefore, in order to build a unity that lasts, we need to be united in the truth and hence next year's Equip will focus on key doctrines and building a common theological understanding. Similar to this year, it will take place over 10 sessions on every second Saturday of the month. All are strongly encouraged to attend. We are also encouraged to attend the last two sessions of Equip 2019 on how God grows us through suffering and conflicts which will take place on 12 Oct and 9 Nov at 930am.
Lastly, Pastor Eugene revealed that the leaders are planning to have one big intake of ministry interns in July 2020. The full-time internship will last 4-5 months. He invited anyone who might be interested to approach him. He clarified that it can be anyone who is thinking seriously of doing ministry or who wants to be better equipped to serve, i.e. the person does not need to be someone who plans to go into full-time ministry after the internship. It is open to both men and women.
The meeting ended with Elder Caleb leading us in the reading of the Members' Covenant to refresh us of what God expects of us as we live in community. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all!