THE NEXT LAP – Moving Zion Bishan Forward
Dear Zion Bishan Worshippers,
A Blessed New Year to you and your family.
Each new year brings fresh hope, dreams and resolutions. Unfortunately, this year is shrouded by the pandemic and its effects. Foreseeably, this year and probably the next, we will continue to be restricted in the way we live, work, rest, and worship in church. Yes, it is disruptive, but, we have a choice: to be hindered by the restrictions or to overcome them. I must echo Paul:
“…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
Indeed, in Christ we are more than conquerors. As we would know, even during the circuit-breaker period, God continued to use us to bring His love to more peoples’ doorsteps than we normally could. We were also able to help many of our mission partners through the Mission Relief Fund. In fact, our church continued to grow during the pandemic.
There is also another benefit afforded to us by the pandemic. It revealed some of our weaknesses. While being a large church has enabled us to do certain things (e.g. more missions in the neighbourhood and the world); at the same time, many have pointed out our growing challenge to properly disciple and care for each individual and family, as our membership increases numerically.
The pandemic has forced us to seriously confront these weaknesses, and as leaders, we are deeply aware of our accountability to God for each person under our care. Thus, we cannot keep doing things the same, and we now must rethink how best to re-organize ourselves if we want to continue to grow and minister effectively.
Thus, our VISION for the next season will be: From Cluster, to Congregation. Comprising 3 areas of emphasis:
- Church – We believe in-person Sunday Worship is critical to our spiritual growth, and our commitment is to facilitate having each member come back each week in person to meet with the Living God and their brothers and sisters in Christ. This will mean continuing with the 4 English Services, as well as the current arrangement of multiple ethnic services.
- Congregation – In order to better disciple and care for each member, each Worship Service will form its own Cluster-based Congregation, comprising a number of AGs. It will be led by a dedicated Shepherding Team comprising of 1 Pastor & 2 Elders, supported by BOD members and ministry staff, who will collectively be responsible for (1) running the worship service, (2) discipling each individual and family (via their AGs) and (3) taking care of the members’ pastoral needs.
- We note that the ethnic services have already been operating in this manner and this has been tremendously beneficial in terms of pastoral care.
- Community – In order to develop real spiritual relationships, the congregations will be based not on individuals, but on AGs. We gently encourage all AGs to regularly attend and serve primarily in that particular service, as far as possible. We believe that the same community of people regularly meeting to worship, fellowship and serve together is essential for practising Jesus’s ‘one another’ commands.
- We have had the cluster system for some time – but now we take this system forward as best serving our renewed vision.
- Many of the Sunday-based ministries will be re-organized to operate at the individual Congregation level. E.g. Service Ministry Teams, Children’s Discipleship, Hospitality, etc.
- Other ministries will remain centralized for better stewardship of resources, helmed by ministry staff & BOD members: E.g. Youth Discipleship, Missions, Preaching Team, etc.
In all this, we remain ONE Zion Bishan BP Church with ONE MISSION:
As a City on the Hill, and a Light to the Nations, we seek to…
#GetDeep in God’s Word, #GetReal with one another and #GetLost for the Kingdom…
Teaching God’s Word and carrying out God’s Work…
The Leadership Team
Pastor Alby Yip
Pastor Dev Menon
Pastor Zheng Haoren