THE NEXT LAP CONTINUES
BY PASTOR ALBY YIP
Grace and peace to all at Zion Bishan!
Last year, we renewed our church vision to be A Christ-witnessing Church with Multiple Congregations, to serve Communities
Thus as the government restrictions ease and the country moves to an endemic state, we will continue our vision of having multiple congregations, each with its own shepherding team to look after the pastoral care and discipleship of all our members.
As we move forward, there will be some changes coming up:
1. The Cantonese and Mandarin congregations will decouple to better minister to their respective congregations. Their services will be shifted to the 4th floor from May 2022 – as they requested. The timings are as follows: 830am Mandarin service at the Chapel; 9am Hokkien service at Auditoriums 1&2; 1030am Mandarin-English service at the Chapel & 1030am Cantonese service at Auditoriums 1&2.
2. The 1pm congregation will shift to worship at the main sanctuary at 8.30am. This congregation will pair with the 10.30am congregation to ensure smooth operations of both services, and together work out growth, discipleship & pastoral care plans.
3. The 3pm and 5pm congregations will likewise be paired – for smoother operations, and to work out discipleship and pastoral care plans together.
4. In addition, the 3pm & 5pm services will evolve to train our next generation to #getlost for the Kingdom, as we prepare for a church planting season in 2-3 years’ time. More details will be made known at the upcoming ACM.
Thus, post-covid, Zion Bishan will have 9 congregations in total, 4 English, 4 Chinese and 1 Tamil, looking out for almost 1500 members – posturing ourselves for further kingdom growth.
May the Spirit of God continue to lead us in every season.
Pastor Alby & The Zion Bishan Next Lap Team
1 Apr 2022
1. What does it mean that we are now a church of multiple congregations?
It means that each worship service is a dedicated community made up of various AGs, families and members, looking out for and serving one another, led by a dedicated Shepherding Team that cares for this specific set of people. The ethnic services have been running this configuration for some time, and now the English services are following suit.
Thus, we strongly encourage you to regularly attend the same worship service as your AG, get to know the Shepherding Team, and serve at that service.
2. What would it mean if I want to shift the time I attend worship service?
If the entire AG would like to shift to another worship service / congregation, please have a conversation with your CST pastor first. No matter what, we are committed to ensuring that everyone is cared for.
3. Why is the 1pm congregation shifting to the 8.30am timeslot?
The 1pm timing has proven difficult, especially for older folks and newcomers. As such, the entire congregation will shift to the 8.30am timeslot, as per their request.
4. Why are we not combining some of the congregations/worship services?
The primary reason is that we have seen substantial benefits with running these smaller congregations and want to continue reaping them. Our primary aim is spiritual growth rather than service timings. We will take care to manage the resource burdens that come with running multiple services.
Secondly, as mentioned, the 3pm & 5pm will be evolving to train the next generation (and any others interested) to become a planting church. We hope to send out planting teams from these congregations in the next 2-3 years, as the Lord leads.
Thirdly, the room usage on Sunday mornings is at capacity – which then limits the growth of our dedicated classes, especially Children’s Discipleship. There is plenty of space on Sunday afternoons, which will allow these ministries to expand.
Finally, we want to ensure adequate capacity for all our members and visitors to come for in-person worship, while working within safe restrictions & noting that the restrictions could be reversed should a new variant emerge.
5. What are the future plans for the church?
On all the pastors’ hearts is the desire for spiritual growth. We are deeply aware that sin wants to make us insular and comfortable, and thus we need to constantly fight those impulses – not just as individuals – but in the way we organize the church. Hence we are (1) maintaining our multiple congregations, (2) considering expanding our facilities and (3) preparing ourselves to become a church-planting church.
6. As per the latest Govt SMMs, what are the changes for our church?
While we look forward to relaxed measures that will considerably enrich our gathering together as God’s people, we intend to take a measured approach to implementing changes so that we maintain a level of public health safety in all of our on-site ministry activities. After all, we must continue to care for the elderly, vulnerable members and unvaccinated children who join us for our on-site ministry activities.
Here is a summary of the key changes for our church family:
a. Group size limits will now be increased from 5 to 10 persons.
b. The whole church premises are deemed to be ‘indoors’. Everyone should thus be masked upon entering any of our gates.
c. Masked Congregational singing is permitted for worship services.
d. Rostered Routine ART testing is no longer required. However, we emphasize personal responsibility in all our conduct. Do continue to refrain from in-person ministry activities when you fell unwell.
e. We plan to gradually reintegrate the consumption of Food & Beverages. More details to come.
Do refer to the latest ZB Covid Taskforce advisory in its entirety here for full details: https://www.zionbishan.org.sg/2022/03/zb-covid-19-taskforce-advisory-31-mar-2022/