By Asst Ps Timothy Lee
It’s been five years since I started serving at The Bible Church, with 1 October 2023, marking this significant milestone. My eldest son was in Primary 1 when I first joined, and now he's finished his Primary Six PSLE examination. Time flies, and it's been a joy serving at The Bible Church. Thanks to God and the church for the opportunity. I want to thank everyone who has made my time here a joyous experience, especially two individuals who have helped me grow and serve in an even greater capacity.
I want to express my gratitude to Pastor Beh for his strong leadership and team management skills. He values staff development and regularly spends time with the staff team to help them grow. For example, preaching is one of my weaker areas, but Pastor Beh has been incredibly supportive. He identifies my weaknesses and works with me to overcome them, from going through my sermon outline before every sermon to practising with me thoroughly and reviewing my preaching after service.
I also want to thank Pastor Kok Wah, who played a significant role as my mentor when I first joined the church. He took the time to share with me the history of the church and explained in detail the various ministries. His meticulous nature helped me to assimilate into the church with ease. Moreover, we spent many hours talking, and through his calm and step-by-step responses, I learned a lot about dealing with various matters. He will be retiring from full-time service at the end of this year, and I will dearly miss his presence in the staff team.
During my time in this faith community, I learned some valuable lessons and observations that I would like to share.
Being rooted spiritually
Firstly, the church places great emphasis on being rooted spiritually through the study of God’s Word. This is done by going through the book(s) of the Bible every year through the pulpit and Bible study. Within the five years I have been here, we have covered Exodus, Revelation, the post-exilic books - Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, Luke and Acts. Exploring the books of the Bible and studying each chapter in detail aid in comprehending the message of the text within its proper context.
Not only so, but we are also ‘forced’ to explore books (e.g. Revelation) we will avoid on our own.
Being in the community
Secondly, I have observed how important it is to belong to a community. Why do people come to The Bible Church? When we asked around, they expressed they came because of the community here. They are able to connect with others and grow together through the sharing of joys and sorrows, for example in our CARE groups and in the Men’s Bible Study Group. We have experienced a time when we could not meet physically for worship services, CARE Groups and with one another due to the pandemic. Many of us yearned to come back to worship corporately as a Body of Christ. We not only want to come back to worship corporately but also to fellowship with one another through meaningful conversations and interpersonal interactions e.g. meeting up for meals and supporting one another through our life struggles. The strength of the church lies in its community, and relationships are the key. Personal growth and community growth go hand in hand, just as Hebrews 10:24-25 reminds us, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Being discipled and discipling others
Last by not least, I learned the value of being discipled and discipling others. Just as Jesus lived among his disciples and showed them what it means to obey and love God, growing spiritually does not mean growing in biblical knowledge only. Apart from Pastor Beh and Pastor Kok Wah, I have been blessed to have other mature and experienced Christians who have walked alongside me and equipped me for service. Through their guidance, I have learned what it means to be discipled and how to disciple others. They are not perfect but through their lives, they have modeled 2 Tim 2:2. Most of us experienced discipleship in our lives from various individuals, yet that is where we normally stop. We do not go on to discipling others. Building relationships with mentors, learning from them, and in turn discipling others is one of the ways to grow and help others grow as well.
I am thankful to be in this faith community and I hope you are too. As God placed each one of us in this faith community, may we continue to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18)