Making Space: The Heartland Project
By Ps Ng Zhiwen
Do you know the various home missions ministries at Zion Bishan?
Soccer, Tuition, English as a 2nd Language, The Living Room, Domestic Helper Fellowship, Seniors 360, the Terusan Guest Worker Outreach, and the Bishan Home. We have initiated many ways and means to be a light and a blessing to those around us, and build bridges with the people in our neighbourhood. I really thank the LORD for everyone who has faithfully served in these ministries over the years.
But what happens, say, if someone expresses an interest to know more about Jesus? Of course, it’d be great if one of us comes alongside to journey with this person – perhaps even to read the Bible together. This is called personal discipleship.
And what if our friend is also open to discovering what Christian community is about? In other words, to be part of the Church. Some of you may be thinking: “Oh that’s easy, just invite him or her to attend our worship service.”
That may work well for many. But for some people, there are problems with this approach. You and I may be quite used to the way our worship services are run, and we are always working on improving it. But I think you’ll agree that some will struggle to fit in and follow. The sermons and songs may be ‘too intellectual’ and the ‘Christian lingo’ that we use can be quite mystifying.
For example, consider these words of the Gloria Patri: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen, amen. Consider how much we assume about someone’s ability to understand them, when she or he has no Christian background and a different cultural upbringing.
We must teach and help people understand what we sing. But my main concern is that for some people, there is too much of a leap that must be taken from the get-go. Perhaps “church life” may have to look a little different for them… at least for the start.
Hence, the Heartland Project. It is an attempt to explore what meaningful, healthy church life could look like for the ones we’ve been reaching out to, who can’t quite fit in with our current worship services. Same Gospel. Same Jesus. But a different format to help everyone to know Christ and be like Him. We ran a “pilot test” last Tuesday (7 Nov) with many of our home missions’ ministry leaders, and God-willing, we’ll do more in the year ahead, so that by any means, we may reach more.
If you want to find out more, please feel free to contact Ps Dev, Brother Timothy Ong, or myself.