Recap of 3Q23 QCM

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We held our third Quarterly Congregational Meeting (QCM) of 2023 on 2 July 2023. The Fellowship Hall was full as members, and even some visitors, stayed to hear of updates in the life of the church, and to participate in prayer.

Since the start of the year, we have also set aside Room 310 for the children, who were kept entertained by an educational video. At the same time, families could also make use of the space at the back of the hall to sit with their children. We hope that more members, even the families or those with children, can be encouraged to also participate in the life of the church in this way.

Ministry Thanksgiving

Elder Caleb opened the meeting with prayer and Pastor Thian Chye led us through a time of ministry thanksgiving. The thanksgiving focused on the recent church camp, and we are thankful to God for the following:

  • A wonderful venue with helpful and accommodating staff.
  • Campers who were patient and kind, even bearing with inconveniences.
  • The many ways that campers have sought to apply the teachings learnt at camp. We heard stories of how church members arranged to do 1-to-1 Bible reading or how some of our seniors took the chance to reach out to others during and even after the camp. 

We had a chance to recap some of the highlights through a camp video.

Pastor Thian Chye encouraged us to continue to seek to do spiritual good to one another. He also shared how he was a recipient of the kindness and genorosity of members recently when he went for a surgery. Many members texted him and also sought to provide practical help, and it was such an encouragement to him. He encouraged us to do so for one another, such that over time, it becomes the culture of our community. 

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Members listening to the various updates at QCM. 

Membership Update

Pastor Eugene took the time to share of members who have transferred to other churches. He reminded us of this statement in our members’ covenant: “We will, when we move from this place, join another Gospel-preaching church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.” He was encouraged that these members came and chatted with the elders before joining another church, and they have now settled at another gospel-preaching church.

Elder Gerald then introduced the new members who have joined us in the past quarter. These members had a time to share a bit about themselves, and how we can be keeping them in prayer. It was encouraging to hear how they have been blessed by the preaching of the word here at GBC, and also warmly welcomed by the members here. It was a wonderful reminder for us that God uses our faithful obedience to Him, be it in the small or big things in life. We hope that members will be encouraged to press on faithfully—for the pastors and elders to be faithful in preaching and teaching, for members to be welcoming to visitors and to persevere in caring for one another. If you’ve not read their testimonies, you can do so here and here.

These new members testified to how they’ve been welcomed into the church by different ones, and it’s a reminder that we all have a part to play in receiving visitors, and also to continue the work in discipling one another and helping each other to grow in the faith. As we welcome them, we are affirming their faith in Christ and also commit to helping them grow.

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New members being introduced. We had so many this quarter, it was hard to fit them all in front! 

To give us a concrete way of expressing this, Pastor Eugene led us to recite the Members’ Covenant together at this point too. We normally reserve it for the end of the meeting, but the pastors and elders thought that it would be appropriate to say it now, as we welcome these new members. We are committing to doing these things for them, and praying that they will do the same for us.

Another practical way to connect to these new members is to get a copy of the Members’ Directory to get contact details and to pray for them, for their growth in Christ and their perseverance in the faith! To obtain a copy, members can contact the office at info@gracebaptistchurch.sg.

Membership Matters

Giving and attendance

3Q23 QCM 3Next, Elder Chuan-Xin gave an update about the attendance and state of giving in the church. Our average attendance is currently around 450, while the membership total is about 650. This means that about 200 of our members are regularly absent from the Sunday gatherings. Our elders have been reaching out to those who have not been regular, but Chuan-Xin also reminded us that the care and concern for each member is also the responsibility of us, the church. He encouraged us to reach out to those we may know who have not been regular—a CG member, a Sunday School teacher, a peer—to find out where they are and how they are doing. If they need further help or prayer, do reach out to the elders too!

Chuan-Xin also shared the state of our finances. We thank God for the generosity of our members who have been giving so sacrificially even in these difficult times.

Staffing Updates

Next, Chuan-Xin reminded us of the aspirations of our church. Everything we do as a church is geared towards these 8 aspirations. At GBC, we believe that we are led by a plurality of elders. Our pastors are called to serve in a full-time way, and they are affirmed by the congregation. Their portfolios are allocated based on our church’s ministry needs. Our aspirations are currently grouped under the categories gospel, gather, grow and go, and our pastoral staffing should also match these categories.

Following a review of our long-term pastoral staffing needs against these aspirations, we think that a stable team should look like this:
3q23 QCM -- staffing

We think this structure suits a church of our size. We have previously done a study and the recommended ratio of pastors:members is 1:100-120. With a church of about 600-650 members, we will need about 5 pastors.

Currently, we have a gap in the “go” category, specifically in the areas of missions and church-planting. A missions pastor is not a new role, and we previously had Dick Hugoniot on staff overseeing this. Chuan-Xin encouraged the church to pray, as the elders continue to seek someone who is suitable for this role.

At our April Prayer Meeting too, we heard Pastor Mark share about his heart to return to the missions field. Mark and his family, together with the church, are praying for God’s will and guidance in this area. At the same time, we are also looking to call a new Pastor of Family Ministry to work with Mark in the interim, and to potentially take over when he leaves.

We have a potential candidate, Jeremy Lee, who has also preached recently on Exodus 20 and Hebrews 2:5-18. Currently, we have not made a formal offer yet, as our hiring process has yet to start. As a potential candidate, Jeremy will have a chance to preach a sermon. There will also be a town hall for the congregation to get to know him. Following that, there will be a chance for the congregation to decide via a vote, and we aim to do it around September. If the vote goes through, we will make an offer, and the candidate then, has the right to reject or accept this offer.

We will also seek to call Beh Soo Hee as an elder. This will also take place at the Congregational Meeting.

There will be a series of upcoming Town Halls, where the church can get to know both of these candidates. We encourage all to attend to find out more about both men, as well as to ask questions of them, if you have any. A formal notice regarding the meetings will be sent out closer to the date.

If you have any questions about any of these announcements, please also feel free to contact any of the pastors or elders! They’d love to chat more.

Looking ahead

Pastor Eugene shared the following events and programmes that we can look forward to in the next quarter.

Growing in the word

We have started a new sermon series, titled, “Jesus is Better”. This series in the book of Hebrews will take us all the way to November.

There will be a variety of EQUIP sessions in the next quarter.

  • Jesus is Better: An Overview of Hebrews (9 July) 
  • Side by Side (16, 23 July and 6 August)
  • Living the Truth: Spiritual Disciplines (13, 20 August and 3, 10 September) 
  • Art of Parenting (Part 2) (17 September, 8, 15, 22 October and 5,12 November) 

There will be another Church Matters class on 15 July, and 21 October thereafter. This is our membership class, so if you are new, or know someone who is new, we encourage you to join us at this session! This is also for long-time members who would like a refresher on what it means to be the church, or on what we believe. Sign up here.

Next, Elder Nehemiah shared about the opportunity to hold regular joint prayer and training sessions with the Chinese Congregation. He sought the church’s prayer support as the leaders gather to pray. Pray that the leaders will be able to get to know one another and encourage each other in the faith when they gather. He also shared how some of the young adult leaders from both congregations are planning to come together to read God’s word.

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Elder Nehemiah sharing about joint congregation training efforts among the young adult leaders.

We are also thankful for the opportunity to serve our Chinese congregation by having Pastor Mark and Eugene preach at their services.

Growing people

As we’ve announced, Pastor Oliver will be with Acts Baptist Church in the second half of 2023. 2 July marked the first week that he began his ministry there. Let us continue to pray that he will be faithful and fruitful in his efforts there. Pray that their leaders will be encouraged as Pastor Oliver spend time there.

Pastor Eugene also shared that Steven Ngiam and Mori Toshiyuki will be coming on as Elder Associates. This is a way for qualified men to learn and observe the elders for a period of about nine months. All future elder candidates are first invited to come on board as an Elder Associate first, especially for those who have not had prior experience in eldering ministry. Pray for their time with the elders, as well as discernment for these associates and the elders moving forward.

From July to November, we will also be holding the Ministry Traineeship. Joshua Shoo and Roy Lam from Acts Baptist Church will be joining this. From Grace, we will have Melissa Fam. Melissa serves faithfully as a Deacon for Children Ministry. Pray for them as they spend time on the traineeship!

Growing the gospel

Finally, Pastor Eugene shared some ways we can grow and share the gospel. Pastor Eugene will be preaching at Bangkok City Baptist Church’s first anniversary on 27 August. At our previous QCM, Elder Jonathan shared our plans to partner with Bangkok City Baptist Church in some translation work. Pray for Eugene as he prepares to preach, that he will also be able to encourage the church. Pray for the church, that they will continue in faithfulness to the gospel.

There will also be another two Pua missions trips for the rest of the year (14 to 18 September and 30 November to 4 December). There is also a Cambodia missions trip from 2 to 6 October.

Small group prayer

We ended the meeting with a time of praying in smaller groups. Elder Caleb reminded us that none of the things that was shared and planned for can be done without God’s power and help. In a similar way, as we reach the end of this recap, we’d also like to encourage all who have read this to commit these things to God in prayer! These are exciting plans but we dare not do all these without God. We pray that in all these, God will be glorified.