What We Aspire to Be
What are your aspirations for 2022? Have you considered what God wants you to aspire to be? Pastor Oliver shares the aspirations for GBC for 2022 as well as his!
Many of us enter the new year by reflecting on 2021 and making resolutions for 2022. I want to lose 15 kg, and I aim to get a blue belt in Brazilian Jujitsu. Some others I know want to travel abroad for holidays twice this coming year or change jobs to something with better prospects, and which is more fulfilling. Or perhaps, we hope to do our devotions more regularly or go to church camp. Many of our resolutions tend to centre on what we hope to do. However, the difficult grace of the COVID-19 pandemic may again disrupt our plans for what we want to do. This real prospect of a lingering pandemic in 2022 prompted me to re-examine my resolutions. Perhaps rather than focusing on what I want to do or achieve, I should focus on what I should grow to be.
What does God want me increasingly to be like in 2022? What character qualities should I aspire towards? What should I value as a believer? What God desires me to be can guide me in my growth even as the circumstances change. The situation, and hence what I can do, can change, but what I value will not.
Last Friday (31 Dec), during the Watchnight Prayer Service, Eugene shared "Our Aspirations" – eight aspirations that Grace Baptist Church should grow towards. The aspirations come about as the Elders spent time in prayer and discussion in the second half of 2021. We let Scripture inform our considerations as we sought to answer the questions: What does God want us as a church to aspire towards? What do we value as a church? What does God want us to be increasingly like in 2022 (and beyond)? What should characterise GBC as a church? There was a unity of mind and spirit as we ended with eight aspirations: two in each of the category of Gospel, Gather, Grow and Go.
Our eight aspirations are:
- Christlikeness: We aspire to cultivate Christlikeness through the transforming power of God's grace in the gospel. (Jn 13:34)
- Gospel-Shaped: We aspire to be increasingly shaped by the gospel as a church so that our relationships are marked by growing humility, love, transparency, compassion, and grace. (Eph 4:32-5:2)
- Unity: We aspire to deepen our spiritual unity, which transcends congregations, language, culture, ethnicity, age, etc., and to display the gospel's transforming power through our unity in diversity. (Eph 2:15b)
- Discipleship: We aspire to foster a culture of intergenerational discipleship, where members of different ages invest in one another's spiritual growth. (Eph 4:15-16)
- Every-Member Ministry: We aspire to encourage meaningful church membership, where every member of the body is actively engaged in ministry to build up the whole church. (Rom 12:4-6a)
- Train and Send: We aspire to develop, equip, and affirm men and women for gospel ministry in the local church and beyond. (2 Tim 2:2)
- Mission-minded: We aspire to grow in mission-mindedness, in local evangelism as well as cross-cultural missions. (Matt 28:18-20)
- Gospel Partnerships: We aspire to strengthen cooperation with other like-minded churches, both along and across denominational lines, to fulfil Christ's commission. (Phil 1:3-5)
Over the next several weeks, we will be writing several articles on these aspirations in our weekly enewsletter. We will further flesh out these eight aspirations and how they can look in the church's life. May we as a church grow towards these eight aspirations, and may they be what we value as a church!
Post note: So what does God want me increasingly to be like in 2022? Joyful patience and diligent attention – I think and feel that these character qualities are what God want me to value in 2022. I aspire to grow in patience as I wait for the pandemic to be over, even as I take joy that even amid the pandemic, God's purposeful sovereignty is at work. I aspire to grow in diligent attention. Despite the uncertainties, I hope to be faithful and diligent in the areas God has placed me while giving attention to Jesus Christ and others. Feel free to ask me how I am doing in these areas in 2022!
1. Members, please join us for our Quarterly Congregation Meeting as we talk about and pray for church matters.
Sunday, 9 January, 1.30 pm.
Meeting ID: 811 3951 2831
2. Join us for an in-person worship service at 5pm this Saturday (8 Jan 2022) or 9am this Sunday (9 Jan 2022). You can register for service here. Livestreaming for the services are also available on our YouTube channel. Let us gather as we look at Daniel 9:1-19 on "C" is for Confession. Pray for God's Spirit to prepare our hearts to hear from God's Word and to change us.