Challenges Posed By A Changing Church & World
CHALLENGES POSED BY A CHANGING CHURCH
At our Annual Presbytery Meeting on 23 September, our guest speaker Ps Edric Sng (Bethesda Bedok-Tampines Church) addressed the urgent challenge posed by younger and second generation Christians who often do not share the commitment and zeal of older first generation believers. Appropriately, the Moderatorship of Presbytery was handed to a younger and second generation pastor, Ps Benjamin Tsao (Shalom BP Church).
Coupled with the challenge of the younger generation is the concern over an aging leadership. In my annual report as General Secretary, I highlighted the closure of three BP churches in the last five years. Churches with no numerical growth, missing the younger generation, led by an aging leadership, with no succession plans, are likely to face the same sad end. As a fraternity of eleven churches, may the stronger among us help the weaker. Will members from better-resourced churches consider moving, individually or in groups, to help revitalise a brother BPCIS church?
Though the context is slightly different, the principle behind the apostle Paul’s exhortation applies, “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbour for his good, to build him up.” Romans 15:1-2 ESV
Coming together to encourage one another lies at the heart of BPCIS. Good Friday and Easter next year will again give us that opportunity. Mark these dates and times in your calendar:
GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE
29 March, 5.00pm, ACS International, Dover (English)
10.30am, Faith & Zion Serangoon BP Church (Chinese)
Transport will be provided from churches to both venues.
EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE
31 March, 6.30am, MacRitchie Reservoir
CHALLENGES POSED BY A CHANGING WORLD
The recent outbreak of war between Israel and Gaza has unsettled many. Some have taken sides and watch only news and commentaries that reinforce their views. As often the case, truth is the first casualty of war. Christians have turned to social media preachers, often speculative and sensational, for answers. Trending opinions are flying around fast and furious.
What does Jesus say? “See that no one leads you astray. And when you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.”
Mark 13:5, 7-8 ESV
Birth pains only get more frequent and more intense. We are not to be alarmed and be led astray. Jesus repeatedly warns us, “Watch!” “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” Mark 13:32-33 NIV
Beware of those who claim to know even what Jesus professed ignorance. On another occasion when people asked Jesus about those who perished in violent deaths, if they were more sinful, He answered, “No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:5 ESV
Let us listen to Jesus more than to the latest news or views. Our response will be one of repentance and vigilance. Let us not be distracted by the controversial and contentious, but stay focused on the certain:
“We believe in the personal, visible and imminent Return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to judge this world and bring peace to the nations….” (BPCIS Constitution, Statement of Faith, Article 4.3.7).
Ps David Wong
General Secretary, BPCIS
Both Clerk and Treasurer were re-elected to serve a second term: Ps Lawrence Ong (Zion Serangoon) and Ps Daniel Tan (Mount Hermon) respectively.