A new Family Taskforce aims to help build Christian families with piety and trust, while a new Board of Family Ministry will foster stronger family and biblical values through courses and talks.
The urgent need for pastors and youth ministers, better utilisation of church premises, and fluid international relations – these were some key challenges highlighted by the Rev Dr Chong Chin Chung in his President’s Address at the 39th session of the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC).
Speaking at Toa Payoh Chinese Methodist Church on 11 Nov 2014, the Rev Dr Chong thanked God for His blessings over the past year. He singled out the “Church Pioneer Generation” and their pivotal role in the current ownership of church premises as well as range of language services and ministries. In appreciation of the pioneers’ faithfulness, foresight and sacrifices, a reception banquet will be held in their honour during CAC’s next Session in November 2015.
In response to God’s goodness, the CAC President called for greater commitment in the year ahead. With the quadrennial theme of “Take My Yoke, Learn from Me”, the CAC is adopting “Jesus, the Peacemaker” as its theme for 2015. This is particularly apt as the world needs the gospel of reconciliation in view of the chaos of nations against nations, people against people, and tribes against tribes.
At the local level, a challenge is to maximise the usage of church premises. This may mean churches considering having additional worship services on Saturdays and weekdays, the Rev Dr Chong added.
The urgent need to recruit youth workers to minister to youths and mitigate falling youth attendance and membership is yet another challenge. The Rev Dr Chong urged church youth workers to work closely with the Board of Youth Ministry to facilitate the sharing of resources and strategies.
Similarly, to address the perennial shortage of pastors, local church pastors and lay leaders will identify and nurture outstanding local preachers to assist with pastoral work. More responsibilities may also be given to local preachers according to their gifts and talents.
“The influx of Chinese immigrants and members has placed much pressure on our pastors. At the request of the Board of Ministry, Shanghai’s Fudan University will conduct a 10-day intensive course on Chinese culture and
history for our pastors in March 2015. Such a learning opportunity will definitely benefit our pastors. I hope that the local churches will give their support to this programme,” said the Rev Dr Chong.
As for fresh initiatives and opportunities, the President shared that the CAC is looking to set up a Punggol Preaching Point this year. Moreover, the family unit will be a focus in the CAC’s plans. A new Family Taskforce aims to help build Christian families with piety and trust, while a new Board of Family Ministry will foster stronger family and biblical values through courses and talks. Having organised several family education seminars, the Board of Discipleship and Nurture plans to continue developing this ministry to strengthen families.
— Chia Hui Jun