Recap of 2Q21 QCM
On Apr 11, we held the second Quarterly Congregational Meeting (QCM) for 2021, where we welcomed new members, and were updated about new care groups, new office holders, upcoming sermons series and Equip. Pastor Ian and Sherri also shared with us their plans.
Elder Chuan Xin started the meeting by explaining that we hold these quarterly meetings so that church members can hear about what's happening in GBC. He explained that there's limited time to share these updates during our worship services and hence, these meetings are very important for members to know what God is doing in GBC and in the lives of one another. He then led us in an opening prayer to commit the meeting to the Lord.
Before going into the thanksgiving items, Ps Oliver explained that as with all our QCMs, we want to prioritise the thanksgiving items to remind us that God is the one working in our midst. He is a faithful and generous God who provides and enables, and giving priority to thanksgiving helps to put us in the right place as we turn our eyes towards God and give Him glory.
New Care Groups (CGs)
We are grateful that every quarter, we have new CGs that are being started, and for this quarter, we have three new CGs (two new and one being relaunched):
1. BTS (Bringing it to Sengkang) – led by Aaron and Angel Yong, Benjamin Khan and Bryan Tan. This CG is open to all age group and they had their first meeting just a week ago.
2. Paya Lebar CG – led by Thomas & Julie Hamilton. This CG meets at the Hamiltons' new place which is close to the MRT and to church. The CG looks forward to more members joining (open to all age group) and prays that as a CG, they will build one another up and help equip one another as they look for ways to serve God more fully.
3. MacPherson/East Coast CG – led by Marcus and Audrey Ng. The CG used to meet on Fridays but with its relaunch, it plans to meet on Saturdays at 3pm so that the CG can attend the Saturday 5pm service together and fellowship over dinner thereafter.
Ps Oliver introduced the leaders of three new CGs (clockwise from top right): Aaron Yong, Audrey & Marcus Ng and Thomas Hamilton. They also shared how we could pray for them and their CGs.
We thank God for these new CGs and these CG leaders for their willingness to step up to serve despite their busy schedules. We pray that as we gather to study His Word together and learn to love and care for one another in these small groups, our love for God and for one another will abound more and more. If you would like to join any of these CGs or would like to find out more about how you can be connected with the church community, do email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next, Elder Nehemiah announced that the upcoming Church Matters class would take place this Saturday, 17 Apr from 9am to 1pm. The class would be held in church (Room 310) and would be led by Ps Eugene and Ps Oliver. The class is for everyone who is keen to know about what we believe. Registration is required.
[Watch this video of Ps Eugene sharing what Church Matters is about, with sharing from members on how the class has been helpful to them.]
This was followed by an update on the financial giving for the first quarter of the year. Elder Nehemiah thanked God for His generous provision and the faithful giving by worshippers. The giving in 2021 has exceeded that of 2020 thus far and he was overwhelmed by how God is stirring in our hearts to tithe faithfully. He thanked God for blessing us with the privilege to be part of His wondrous work in our body and encouraged us to continue to give faithfully as we seek to glorify His name in our various ministries.
As Ps Eugene mentioned in his article, "Investing in People", a quintessential part of the QCM is the introduction of new members. For this QCM, as Elder Thian Chye introduced the recently baptised members, he focused on an interesting fact shared by each new member and led us through a humourous introduction of Sherrilyn, Xin Yi, Zhang Jie, Melissa, Christine, Euodia, Nicholas, Zenn and Sheryl.
We thoroughly enjoyed Elder Thian Chye's refreshing introduction of recently baptised members.
This was followed by Elder Jonathan's introduction of those who transferred their membership to GBC recently and how we could pray for them. They are: David, Sarah, Krystal, Caroline, Bi Ting, Matthew, Eugene, Zerline, Rolland, Timothy, Dennis, Daisy and Daniel.
Elder Jonathan introducing the new members and we were delighted to see some of them during the call as they shared their prayer requests: (from top row, L-R) Elder Jonathan, Sarah, Krystal, Caroline, Bi Ting, Zerline, Rolland, Timothy, and (signs and wonders) Dennis and Daisy with their son Daniel.
We are so grateful to God for each and everyone of them and pray that we would seek to encourage one another in our faith.
Next, Elder Jonathan updated that Samuel and Jessica Beh would be transfering their membership to Christ City Church in Vancouver where Samuel would be joining as an Associate Pastor. Elder Jonathan emphasised that this is what we would encourage all members who have moved to another place to do—to join another Gospel-preaching church to serve God and His people.
Lastly, there would be a newcomers welcome meeting this Sunday, 18 Apr at 11am in church. If you are interested, you can register here.
Welcome New Officers
Following membership matters, Elder Chuan Xin introduced a number of new office holders.
First off, he introduced Chong Kang Wei who has been affirmed as Director during the last AGM on 20 Mar. Kang Wei is married to Xiuhui and they have two girls, Jiayin and Jiaxi, you can read his encouraging testimony here. As we welcome Kang Wei to the board, we also thank Peter Ho Lick for his faithful service as Director the past 3 years.
Before introducing the new elder associates, Elder Chuan Xin explained that elder associates are currently members who are serving in various capacities, primarily in teaching. He emphasised that the elders have prayerfully sought them out and have found them to have fulfilled the qualities of an elder as laid out in the Bible and have the giftings to be under-shepherds of the flock at GBC. Elder associates would serve a one-year term and during this term, they would experience the work of an elder by sitting side by side with the elders in their meetings and also assist the elders with their ministry work. In doing so, we hope the elder associates would have better clarity on their calling and if at the end of the term, they felt called to serve as an elder, the elders would put them forward to the church for affirmation. [Read also Ps Ian's article on "Nurturing Pastors and Elders".]
After the clarification, Elder Chuan Xin went on to introduce the three new elder associates and invited them to share how we could pray for them.
1. Andrew Sung (and his wife Esther) have been with GBC for close to 1.5 years and they are expecting a baby boy next month. Andrew has been serving with the Equip team and has taught a few classes for The Gospel at Work series.
2. Huang Weiquan is married to Hui Jing and they have two young girls, Kayla and Amanda. Weiquan currently leads the SAW (Saturday Afternoon West) CG which meets in Holland/Bukit Timah area on Saturday afternoons.
3. Gerald Chua is married to Jo Keow and have three teenage girls: Sophie, Megan and Louise. Gerald currently leads a CG in the Thomson area and is also serving as a teacher in the Children's Ministry.
We thank God for calling (anti-clockwise from top left) Kang Wei, Andrew, Gerald and Weiquan to shepherd His flock and we praise God for their obedience and willingness to serve God and His people.
Moving on to deacons, Elder Chuan Xin prefaced that we follow the biblical model of deaconship which was first established in Acts 6:1-7 where deacons were called to fulfill the practical needs of the church so that the elders could focus on prayer and the ministry of the Word. He elaborated that for GBC, deacons are generally called to fulfill an administrative, service or caring role; and often the deacons who are called have been serving in their respective ministries for a while. Although none of them desire any recognition and would prefer to continue to serve quietly, the elders felt that it is important to call people to deaconship to highlight the ministries and the needs that exist in the church. The term of deaconship is two years and this term can be extended at the affirmation of the elders.
With that, he introduced the two new deacons:
1. Hewlett Chew as Deacon for Member Care Ministry. Hewlett is married to Melanie and he would be working with Elder Thian Chye and the team to meet the practical needs of members and highlight areas where members might need assistance. He would also assist in administering the financial assistance fund which we have allocated more funds to this year to help meet the financial needs of those who might have lost their job or are experiencing financial difficulties due to the pandemic. If you know of anyone in need, do let Elder Thian Chye or Hewlett know.
2. Tan Sze Gar as Deaconess for Welcome and Communications Ministries. Sze Gar is married to Kok Fai and she has been serving in the Welcome Ministry to welcome worshippers and connect visitors and newcomers to the church community. She also coordinates the weekly Grace eNews which is another platform that the church uses to keep the church community at GBC informed of what's going on in church.
Hewlett and Sze Gar sharing their prayer requests.
In January 2019, we commissioned five deacons:
1. Anita (Annie) Set as Deaconess for Welcome Ministry
2. Lee Siang Teck as Deacon for Welcome Ministry
3. Bibianna Yeo as Deacon for Young Adults Ministry
4. Kuan Kok Pui as Deacon for Ordinances
5. Jena Tang as Deacon for Women's Ministry
Elder Chuan Xin informed that these five deacons have completed their two-year term and Annie, Siang Teck and Bibianna would be extending their term for another two years.
During the commissioning in 2019, the elders prayed over (L-R) Siang Teck, Kok Pui, Annie, Bibianna and Jena.
At this juncture, we might ask why do we need three deacons (Siang Teck, Annie and Sze Gar) for the Welcome Ministry and Elder Chuan Xin clarified that the Welcome Ministry is not just about ushering, but more importantly, it focuses on making everyone (be it long time members or newcomers) feel welcomed when they come to worship, as well as keep a lookout for and engage with newcomers, connect them with church leaders and to ease them into the church community. The three deacons thus work in different roles within the ministry.
Elder Chuan Xin went on to update that Bibianna will continue as Deacon for YA Ministry and he highlighted that the YA Ministry has seen a large increase in the number of young adults many of whom are fairly new to GBC. The ministry now has around 100 young adults we pray that God will continue to strengthen and guide the ministry.
Although Kok Pui and Jena would be stepping down, we are grateful for their faithful and tireless service last two years. We trust that they will continue to serve faithfully as they have always been in various capacities.
Ministry Support Worker
Lastly, Elder Chuan Xin announced that Joshua Lowe will be joining the church as Ministry Support Worker for Youth Ministry. Joshua is married to Tiffany and they have a baby boy, Theophilus. We are very thankful that Joshua has come on board to take on this role which we have been trying to fill for a very long time. Joshua will be working very closely with the YA Ministry as well as the Children's Ministry to ensure the church community would remain a key part of our children's formative years as they transition from one phase of their life to the next.
Elder Chuan Xin then lifted up all these new office holders to God and prayed that they would seek His will as they serve. We also prayed that each of them would be disciplined and faithful in their daily walk with God, and that God would guard their hearts and watch over their time for both their families and ministry responsibilities.
Looking Ahead This Quarter
Upcoming Sermon Series
As we look forward to the next quarter, Ps Eugene shared that we would be wrapping up our sermon series on Radical Dependence this weekend, and would embark on a short sermon series on Ephesians, entitled The Church. The series will look at four aspects of church: what does it mean to be a gospel community, what does it mean to gather as God's people, what does it mean to grow together in community and how is God calling us as a community to go forth for the sake of the gospel.
Thereafter, we would be going through Psalms 42-45 on The King and His People which would examine what does it mean to know the King and what does it mean to belong to His Kingdom. He added that these psalms are known to be very encouraging psalms that instil comfort, strength and great confidence in our King. In June to August, we would look at Genesis 1-12 on foundational topics for life, i.e. what the Bible says about creation, work, who we are and marriage etc.
For Equip, we just concluded our series on The Gospel at Work and classes would resume in May. The classes would continue to be held on Tuesdays at 8pm. In May, we would look at The Gospel and Singleness and Ps Eugene emphasised that these classes are not just meant for singles but are pertinent to all of us as we look at what does it mean to encourage those who are single, what does it mean to be faithful in our singleness, and how to use our singleness for His glory.
In June (dates to be confirmed), there would be two sessions on mental health, which would look at what the Bible says about mental health and how do we come alongside those who have mental health struggles; and if we are struggling, how do we invite others into our lives to encourage and strengthen us.
Pastor Ian & Sherri's Transition
Next, Ps Eugene invited Ps Ian and Sherri to share with us their plans and how we could pray for them as they make this transition. Ps Ian thanked the church for praying these past few months and he updated that he has recently been invited to serve as Director for World Missions Center for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and to teach as faculty in the area of Missions. They would be departing for the United States on May 4.
Ps Ian and Sherri appreciated our prayers:
1. that they could be of use to the Lord in this new season of ministry. This is not just a new opportunity for Ps Ian but also for Sherri who would be able to share in this ministry with Ps Ian.
2. for smooth transition given the travel restrictions. And given they would be moving to a new location, they would need to start all over again with new adjustments which are always hard at their age.
Sherri expressed that their hearts are heavy as they anticipate leaving, but they are just very grateful for the opportunity to have been here and to serve the Lord here.
Ps Eugene also invited Sherri to share about her work in Mums Connect and with some of the ladies. Sherri shared that she really enjoyed getting to know the mums in the Mums Connect group (which was started about 3 years back) and she has been blessed to have some of the mothers (now grandmothers) joined the ministry to help her such as Cheng See, Emily, Lye Kean, Kit Wan and Siew Ting. In the last year, the group has been growing with around 30 mums participating in their fortnightly sessions. She's thankful for how all the mums participate in different ways to care for one another and how they have been encouraging one another with lots of great testimonies.
In closing, Ps Eugene led us to thank God for providing the Buntains to serve among us, and prayed that He would fill their hearts with confidence and great joy as they embark on this new season of ministry.
Finally, Elder Chong Tien led us in the reading of the Member's Covenant as we remind ourselves and covenant with one another that we will love God and His people.
With that, Elder Lup Meng closed the meeting by thanking God for His wondrous work. He acknowledged that despite all our plans, God is the one who is in control and He would direct our steps, often working in ways that we could not expect. To God be all the glory!