Quarterly Congregational Meeting (QCM) 7 Jul 2019
Last Sunday (7 July), we had the third QCM of the year and we are thankful for the strong attendance for these quarterly meetings since it was first held in 2018. During the meeting, the elders updated us on GBC's pastoral plans, the Children's Ministry as well as significant events to look out for in the coming quarter.
The third QCM of 2019 was slightly different from the meetings held before as for the first time, the elders who are currently serving among us were asked to sit at the front – an invitation to members to ask any of the elders questions that they might have.
Pastor Oliver opened the meeting by asking the members to reflect on Ephesians 4:32 to help us prepare our hearts to relate to one another as a body of Christ.
This was followed by a time of thanksgiving for how God has been working in our lives and in GBC. It was a time of recognising that in whatever we do, we do them with full dependence on God. One of the thanksgiving items was the church camp held from 12-15 June 2019. The members thoroughly enjoyed watching a video curating the moments and photos of the camp, lovingly put together by Stanley Yin.
The video also featured interviews with campers Caleb Lee, Pat Chan, Samuel Lum and Ethan Lam on how the camp has encouraged them.
- Caleb expressed how the camp has been a good time to rejuvenate from the busyness and rigour of life, and his gratitude to those who were there for him and cared for him.
- Pat reflected that the camp has been "a very beautiful experience" as she mingled with campers of different age groups. She was very encouraged by and thankful for the younger generations that God has brought to the camp, saying "...they are all gifted and being an older member of the church, I felt a sense of relief that...God has brought in and raised...gifted and God-fearing young people to take on this responsibility to keep the church growing and ministering for His kingdom and for His glory".
- Samuel was thankful for the break from work which gave him opportunity to pause and reflect on the year thus far and God's plans for him in the coming months. He was also grateful for the existing friendships that were strengthened and new friendships forged during the camp.
- Ethan, the youngest interviewee, thought the camp was pretty fun and that it was also a really good time for him to "sink into the gospel". He was also thankful for the good food and "great people that surround me".
After the video, Pastor Oliver mentioned that apart from the sweet moments of fellowship, we are also thankful for how God has led us to three needs on how we can grow as 'Grace Together' during the camp:
1. We need to strengthen our unity as a church.
2. We need to grow one another in Christlikeness intentionally.
3. We need to reach out to the community with the gospel and love of Christ.
He also shared that on the last night of the camp, he saw an older lady (Pat Chan) sitting with a younger lady (Odelia Tan) and having a sweet conversation for close to 45 minutes. He was thankful for how God has brought us together and enabled us to care for one another across generations, have Christlike conversations, and spur and encourage one another on. We pray that the many good things that happened during the camp would continue to resound and echo in our lives as a church.
In addition to the church camp, we are also thankful for the new 3-year term that Pastor Ian and Sherri will be with us. We pray that His sovereign sustaining grace will continue to sustain and encourage them as they serve and encourage the church. We pray that He will bless the work of their hands as they lean on Him in their ministry.
Next, Pastor Eugene introduced 3 new members who have joined us last quarter: Lloyd Teo, Grace Liew and Jennifer Chua. We are so thankful for these precious new members and we pray that we will continue to speak Christ into their lives, help them to grow and build relationships with them in unity and in Christ.
We are so grateful to have Jennifer join us for the QCM.
Pastor Ian updated us that Pastor Samuel will be leaving for Vancouver in August, he will be taking his Master in Divinity at Regent College for the next 3-4 years. Pastor Ian expressed how the pastoral and elder team has been extraordinarily blessed by Pastor Samuel's gifting and minstry, not just among the youth but also in his administrative gifting. Pastor Samuel has been developing policy manuals and writing position papers for the church and he (and his sweet family) will be sorely missed. Pastor Samuel's last Sunday with us will be on 4 Aug and we will be sending the family off with our prayers during our worship service that Sunday.
With the departure of Pastor Samuel, we will have some gaps in our staffing plans. Pastor Ian shared that the elders and deacons will be meeting on the 20th of this month for a time of retreat to plan for the next 3 years in terms of staffing gaps. Noting that some ministry gaps identified a year ago are still present, he mentioned that the leadership team is open to suggestions from the members. During the retreat, the elders and deacons will address these ministry gaps as well as the three needs raised during camp. Let's pray for our elders and deacons that God will give them the desire, sensitivity and wisdom to discern His will and bless them and their time together.
Nursery and Children's Ministry
1. To know who God is and His plans for them by learning His Word.
2. To nurture their faith by modelling faithful relationship with Christ – "teach less, live more".
3. To do so both inside and outside the classroom through community living.
Drawing a lesson from Luke 2:41-52, he emphasised that the Children's Ministry is for all children, both believers and unbelievers. He highlighted that our children can only grow up as healthy Christians if they grow up in a healthy Christian community, hence the importance of the role of parents and teachers. He stressed that the spiritual health of children begins with their parents and the parents would need a support network to be fed and nurture. Similarly, teachers serving in the Children's Ministry need to be fed with the word of God and he encouraged more to join the ministry so that the teachers need only serve for 2-3 months (instead of 5 months) in a year, giving them more time to attend regular worship service and be nourished by the word of God. There are currently 24 teachers rotating on a monthly basis teaching 42 children (1 teacher:4 children). It is the ministry's prayer that the number of teachers would double, both to allow the teachers serving more time to attend worship services as well as in anticipation of more children joining us as the Bidadari estate develops.
Moving on to Nursery, we have about 10 children a week and the number is expected to grow. There are currently 6 volunteers each week with 2 teaching and 4 minding the children. The frequency is once a quarter for those minding the children and once a month for those teaching. He clarified that nursery is not childcare, rather the children are being taught the word of God through songs, stories and Bible verses. He also shared that many serving in the Nursery ministry have been serving for many years and there's a clear need for more and new faces.
Elder Chuan-Xin also elaborated on how the teachers are being equipped to teach and how the ministry involved other members of the church, e.g. during the June school holidays, the elders were invited to share their testimonies and walk with God and these discipling sessions resonated strongly with the children.
Finally, he encouraged all to consider serving in the Nursery and Children's Ministry either as committee members or teachers/minders. He also encouraged the church community to care for the teachers and children: take your children's teachers out for lunch, talk to younger parents, talk to the kids, babysit for someone.
Moving on to other matters, Elder Caleb Yap gave us an overview of the key events and ministry opportunities for the coming quarter, encouraging all to mark these down in our calendars, pray and participate. These include:
- EQUIP – in its second run for the year and will focus on Christian growth. The first class will start this Saturday (13 Jul) at 9.30am.
- Church Matters – also in its second run, this class teaches through what we believe and how GBC do life together as a church. The first class will start on 21 Jul, 11am.
- Baptisms (21 Jul and 21 Aug) – we are expecting 12 baptisms this quarter!
- GBC 60th Anniversary Service – 18 Aug – we will be inviting all of our former pastors to come celebrate and worship God with us, giving thanks to God for all He has done and what He is and will be doing.
- Ordination Service for Pastor Eugene – 21 Sep.
Elder Lup Meng led us in committing the next quarter into God's hands, knowing that "We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps." (Prov 16:9) We are so thankful for all the exciting things to come and look forward to each and every one of them.
We ended the session with a reciting of the Members' Covenant led by Elder Beh. We are grateful for this community that God has given us and we pray that as a body of Christ, we will proclaim the gospel, and love and encourage one another.
If you have any questions regarding the items shared during the QCM, you are invited to approach any of the elders.