In last week’s Pastoral Page, our new Council Chairperson Lynette wrote about entering into new beginnings: the Easter acknowledgement of victory over sin and death, the symbolic waters of baptism, a new Council term, and a new Vision for the Bible Church, amongst others. This week, we sit down with Lynette for a session of 20(++) questions, to get to know her better.
Let’s start off with an easy and obvious question. Describe yourself in 280 characters.
I love the outdoors, and spend time walking in parks and cycling a few times a week. I am quite ill-disciplined, especially in the food I eat and how I spend my time. I am a big fan of the superhero genre, and have watched most of the MCU and DC movies. However, I do recommend discernment in watching some of these shows and avoiding those with themes that do not honour God. I am also a big sports fan, and have my favourite football, basketball and baseball teams.
This was 379 characters, but I will let it pass. What are three (perhaps surprising) things that you would like people to know about you?
That I love to drive, that I love to cycle, and that I officially have 6 godsons and 5 goddaughters. My parents, who are both 86 years old this year, have been with the church for decades and still come to church every week. I also love having interesting and/or deep conversations with people, reading a good book, sitting by the beach, or just sitting on a bench and watching what goes on around me.
That was about eight things – thanks for being so willing to share! A related and slightly more personal question is: what is the one thing you wish people understood about you?
That I am approachable and would like feedback, advice and correction where needed. That I believe each of us has a role in personal evangelism, because the person you can reach out to may only have you as the one inviting them to Christ. That I am also on a Christ-ward journey, and have many struggles, that, but for the Grace of God, I would be buried by.
Tell me about a defining moment in your life.
The realisation that God loves me. This has been gradual, not a definite moment. But to truly know in my heart that God loves me and sees me is transformational. I am still on the journey.
Who do you look forward the most to meeting in heaven (don’t say Jesus)?
My grandparents and Corrie ten Boom.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
Wake up, have QT, get ready for work. Go to work, which includes sometimes running a clinic, sometimes attending meetings, or just doing a lot of work on the computer! Then to Gardens by the Bay for a walk or cycle. Dinner out or at home, then watch something silly on Disney+ or surf the internet. Do the Examen but often fall asleep mid-way.
Speaking of the Examen, I know that reflection and prayer-ful mindfulness is a big part of your life and that you also go on retreats regularly. Tell me more about these retreats?
I love my retreats. I try to do this once a month, and I go to either Montfort Centre or Lifesprings. I spend some time napping, and the rest reading the Bible and talking to God as I walk around the grounds of the retreat centre. Both these centres have a labyrinth, and I walk the labyrinth each time I am there. This helps me to centre my thoughts on God and quieten my heart to hear Him. I have since used our new retreat room at Jubilee and love it! Please do try it!
As the new Council Chair, what are your hopes and dreams for the church in 2023 and beyond?
One of the initial mottos of The Bible Church was “In and Out”. I think that is still relevant today. Our inner life must be healthy, with each of us walking close to Jesus. Out of that will naturally spring the fruit of the Spirit and the life God wants us to live. Among the things that I wish for the church is that each of us is committed to sharing Christ with someone once a month, and that we care more for the West Coast community.
I love this phrase “in and out”. It encapsulates so many things, including the fact that we ought to be both in the world and out of it. What do you think is the most pressing thing facing our church / the Church today?
The assimilation of worldly values, not holding fast to the unchanging truth of God’s word. Examples would be the rise of individualism and that truth is relative. We need to stay true to the Word of God, and at the same time be relevant to the society we live in.
Closer to the practical realities of being a church in Singapore, one issue facing our church is that our land lease will expire in 2042, and we need to seek God as to what He wants us to do beyond that.
What do you think will be your biggest challenge as Council Chair?
Talking too much at council meetings.
How have you seen the church change since you first starting serving in the Council?
The church has changed over the years. More newcomers, but we have lost people who used to worship with us regularly. There are many more opportunities for people to serve the community these days. However, we do not know each other that well. I would encourage each of us to ask – if there was someone I had to call because I needed help, would that person be from our church? We also have more full-time staff in the church. This is a good development, but we must not forget that we are all members of one body and must serve each other and volunteer where needed.
I could not agree more. I have seen the best bits of our church community really come to the fore in times of crisis, emergency, grief. It is the only kind of place, I think, where if you pick up the phone to ask for help, it just presents itself, no questions asked.
The best bits of the church are, I think, community. The meals we have together. The years of friendship we have built – and in some cases, decades.
What are the bits that we need to work on the most?
Prayer and love for each other.
Where does the Council want to see the church going in 2030 and beyond?
We are still discussing this! Please give us your thoughts and comments, and pray for the church.
One final question. What are your thoughts about the role of the church in Singapore society today?
The church needs to be the salt and light of the world. Jesus came to redeem humanity. The church is now His hands and feet and we need to show the world the love of God. In Singapore, we have many churches, we can worship openly and evangelise freely. This is a blessing from God that we should not take for granted. The church also needs to speak up and address the needs of the society, such as the influence of social media, inflation, mental health… the list is long.
Now let’s do some quick facts.
1. Favourite hymn: How Great Thou Art and His Eye Is On the Sparrow
2. Most revisited Bible passage(s) or verse(s): There are so many. Ps 131, Hab 2:14, Gal 6:14, Ps 23, 2 Cor 3:17. My life verse for the longest time was Gal 6:14, but I think it is now Romans 8:37-39#.
3. Current read(s): The Power of Pause by Terry Hershey and Surrender to Love by David Benner. I usually read 2 to 3 books at one time.
4. Fondest memory growing up in the church: Of going to the homes of various aunties and uncles, and staying there for hours!! Sometimes even staying overnight.
5. Favourite West Coast delicacy: Black carrot cake!!
6. Apple or Android? Android by a mile.
7. Number of years on Council: This will be my 13th year.
8. Most memorable / impactful overseas trip: India on a mission trip in 1999. There was poverty, but also hunger for God’s truth.
And lastly, what do you think about:
1. ChatGPT: Only tried it once. I think it is a good thing if used wisely, as with most things.*
2. ACS moving to Tengah: I have a good friend that sits on the ACS board, and he explained the reasons for the move to me. I think it is a good thing as the school will be able to impact a new housing estate.
3. Subject-based banding: Huh?
4. Screen time: Absolutely no for children under 2, and minimal for children under 5. For me, it needs to be less!
5. Junior doctors’ workload: The hours are not as bad as before, but they have to deal with computer systems that are not always intuitive. And much higher expectations from patients these days.
6. Shopping: I dislike it very much. I tend to do my shopping in spurts.
7. Liverpool: As a lifelong fan of Manchester United (since the days of Frank Stapleton, Bryan Robson, Norman Whiteside), I don't.
8. Everything Everywhere All At Once: Have not watched it yet, but will do so! My favourite movie of all time? The Sound of Music, Avengers, LOTR trilogy, The Incredibles, Up.
* Author’s note: No, AI did not write this interview.
# “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39