Understanding the connectional church

Understanding the connectional church
Stanley, with his wife, Jade, and daughter, Isabelle

As a former Malaysian, I served in the West Malaysia Chinese Annual Conference under the Methodist Church in Malaysia as a part-time journalist for their bi-monthly publication, Southern Bell. I also had a work stint in Hong Kong for about five years and served in one of the oldest Methodist churches in Hong Kong—the famous red brick church at Hennessy Road. During the World Federation of the Chinese Methodist Churches (WFCMC) in 2014, I met with several pastors from Taiwan. Today I worship at Bukit Panjang Methodist Church.

What struck me about worshipping alongside and working with Methodists in different countries over the last few decades, is that despite these geographical differences, it is the connectional nature of Methodism that links us all as a denomination. We are not just connected to our sister churches here in Singapore—we are connected to Methodists all over the world!

In the Witness & Evangelism board where I’ve served for four years, we’ve noticed that people can be very event-focused but not evangelism-focused. We can invite the best evangelistic speakers and check all the boxes for a successful event. But it is important to carry out post- event follow-up. We need to come back to the heart of evangelism. Sharing the gospel should be a way of life!

Stanley Chang is a Board Member of Witness & Evangelism in the Chinese Annual Conference. He also serves in the Lishi Service Fellowship Ministry at Bukit Panjang Methodist Church. / Photo courtesy of Stanley Chang