CHURCH BUILDING UPGRADING
BY NG ZHI-WEN
Our church vision (shown above) was cast back in 2020 when the pandemic first hit us. Despite the challenges faced, by God’s grace we are bearing fruit. The Church is growing.
From 2017 to 2020, our membership has been steadily increasing by 40 – 50 a year. As of February 2021, our membership (communicant and non-communicant) is 1,746. We are constantly receiving new visitors and regular worshippers. At this rate, we will soon exceed the limits of how much our premises can accommodate.
Indeed, we are bursting at the seams already where the use of our whole building is concerned. Even with services spread throughout the day, our Sunday morning room bookings are “maxed out” (even if all safe management measures were dropped, we still cannot expand our Sunday morning activities). Our room usage on Saturdays and weekday evenings is also substantial.
We are also limited in the scope of events that we can conduct. Apart from the sanctuary, we currently have only 2 rooms that can seat more than 50 persons (Chapel and Auditorium). Our ethnic congregations are constrained in their capacity to grow. We are also limited in our ability to hold retreats, conferences, and other events that require large rooms. This includes the hosting of events by other Christian groups.
As we venture into church-planting – (https://www.zionbishan.org.sg/
2022/04/why-plant-churches/) this will result in greater demand for facilities in the interim. If our efforts result in the transplanting of members into a new church plant that meets elsewhere, it may only be a short-term “relief”.
As the LORD wills, we will continue to grow.
When we developed our premises back in 2012 – 2013, it was done with the aim of facilitating growth. Back then, we maximized our gross floor area based on the permitted plot of 1.4. However, just prior to the start of construction, the allowable plot ratio was increased to 1.6. Decision was made then to future-proof the building so that we can expand our facilities later on to accommodate further growth.
The leadership of the Church has been praying and deliberating on upgrading our premises. In the coming weeks, we will share more details with you and host dialogue sessions, as we look towards our upcoming Annual Congregational Meeting (ACM). At the ACM, we may have to make some important decisions. We pray that it will be our desire to faithfully steward the resources God has entrusted to us for the growth and well-being of the Kingdom of God.
Expect more details in the coming weeks. The ACM papers (with FAQs) will be released in a fortnight. A dialogue for church upgrading is scheduled for 14 May 3.30pm. Save the date and time!
The Next Lap Team