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1 & 2 July 2023 (Pastoral Page) PRAYER AND OUTREACH

By Asst Ps Timothy Lee

This year marks the start of our church Vision 2028. In the next 5 years, until Jan 2028, we will focus on the Core Areas of greater Prayerfulness, more caring and connected Community, and more prevalent Disciple-making; and strategically in the areas of Phygital church, urgent Local Outreach and Leadership Revitalization.

Every year, there are two major focuses. This year, our major focus is on prayer and outreach.

Since the start of the year, there have been various initiatives to encourage prayer, e.g. 5 Days of Prayer, sermon series on prayer, Lent 40-Day prayer guide, Prayer Course, Church/CG Cluster prayer meetings, praying together in services, etc. I am sure you were involved in at least one of these. How was your experience?

For me, I felt that in the past when we were asked to pray with one another during services, it was kind of quiet and awkward. In contrast to recent weeks, when we were asked to pray with one other during services, I could hear more people praying and I needed to pray louder so my prayer companion could hear me. In services, worshippers were also more active in finding prayer companions to pray with.

Also, at the recent church camp, groupings were arranged intergenerationally. This allowed everyone to interact with people of different ages. I appreciated the chance to connect with young people as well as people of similar ages. In the group that I was in, we were able to share openly and pray for one another. The fact that families (both physical and spiritual), and different generations prayed together after the theme talks is heartening to me.

Overall, I sense more prayerfulness in the community. Prayer that comes out of being and not out of duty. This is encouraging and may we continue to grow in this spirit of prayerfulness especially when we step into July, which is our Outreach month.

In 1 Timothy 2:1-6, Paul urges Timothy (and also us) to pray all kinds of prayers, “petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving” (v. 1) for everyone, including the governing authorities (v. 2). Prayer for everyone will also include our families, our neighbors, our colleagues, our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, etc. When we pray for others, it is good and pleases God (v.3).

And Paul relates the need for prayer to the salvation of the lost. Paul uses “all” in this passage; praying for all people (v. 1) and God wanting all people to be saved (v. 4). Prayer and evangelism are interconnected. We cannot do one without the other. Prayer pleases God and His desire is to have all people saved through Christ. Why does God want all people to be saved? Because He is love and He loves all of us (John 3:16).

When we talk about outreach or evangelism, I am sure many of us are hesitant about it. We may be fearful of how the response will be or we are not sure how to do evangelism or perhaps for other reasons.

So, for the month of July, we have set it as the month for outreach. This is to help us as a faith community (and certainly as individuals) take a step out of our comfort zone and participate in some of the initiatives in reaching out to those who do not know God. You can read more about the initiatives in this weekend’s E-Bulletin but I would like to highlight two:

  1. New Block Blessings @Clementi Peaks on 29 July (Saturday) to distribute gift packs to the residents there. Clementi Peaks is the new BTO flats across the AYE. The demographics comprises mostly young families and we want to take this opportunity to bless our new neighbors. In case you are not aware, our Asst Ps Keet and his wife Lilian, as well as some of our members and worshipers, reside there.

  2. The Alpha Course will start on 11 July (Tuesday) from 7pm-9.30pm and will be conducted weekly till 9 September. It is a course that creates a time and space where we can invite our family members or friends to come together for a conversation about faith, life, and God. Do take this opportunity to invite your family members and friends to come.

The heart of our loving God wants all people to be saved and He has chosen us to bring forth this good news. With various initiatives being launched for outreach, how will you be part of it?

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