By Elder Tan Chin Tiong
What is 5G? It is the 5th generation mobile network. It is a new global wireless standard that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects and devices. This new network will have greater bandwidth, giving higher download speeds and the connectivity is expected to reach the world’s population by the billions.
As a church, perhaps we need to have a 5G network with its unique features so that we too can effectively reach out to more people for Jesus Christ in such unprecedented times.
1st G – Gratitude
In recent times, we have been bombarded with more bad news than good news. Somehow, we are not looking forward to the next day. We dare not plan too much in advance because we are expecting something to disrupt our plans and spoil our appetite. Therefore it is not surprising that we find ourselves grumbling and complaining more than usual.
Yet, it is precisely in such situation that God wants His children to be different. Apostle Paul, while locked in prison, challenged us through his letters to the churches; “Be thankful”, “with thankfulness in your hearts to God”, “giving thanks to God the Father through Him”. While in prison, he sang and worshipped the Lord. He refused to let circumstances turn him into a sour and grumpy man. His heart of gratitude came from his focus on his God who is sovereign and in control all the time. He has been faithful in the past. He will continue to be faithful now. So let us ‘Give thanks”.
2nd G – Grace
Col 4:6 “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
It is in challenging times like now that people have many tough questions in life that they are looking for answers to. As believers, we can either add to their misery through our unkind or careless words or we can speak words of grace that not only answer their questions but heal their souls. So let us extend grace to all in Jesus’ name and witness a miracle in the lives of these ones whom we seek to reach out to. Let us be a Grace-filled church that will bring about healing and point people to Christ.
3rd G – Generosity
For the past 20 months, financial hardship was prevalent among many segments of society due to poor business sentiments. Yet many of you continued to give faithfully and generously. There were no appeals and reminders to keep up with your tithe to God. You simply gave cheerfully.
As a result, the church was not only able to serve you but also reach out in small ways towards the needy both overseas and in Singapore.
4th G – Gather
All social ‘movements’ or ‘causes’ often start with one person but it always ends up with a march of hundreds if not thousands of people sharing the same conviction. There is tremendous power in the gathering of many who share one singular purpose. Likewise, the church is a collective gathering of brothers and sisters who share the same faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Together, we are a force to be reckoned with.
For now, it seems like the church is rather scattered and weak. But let us not be discouraged. In spirit and in truth, we are together, regardless of physical locations. Of course, visually 50 groups of 20 people in different places will not be the same as 1000 people gathered in one location. Nonetheless, given the unique situation we are in, 50 groups of 20 people may bring about greater impact than 1000 together. In fact, we are already seeing some positive outcomes as small groups become more intentional in their effort to serve one another and reach out.
So the message is clear; don’t go into hiding and be a solo Christian. It is not helpful to you and at the same time, you are depriving the church of your unique contribution that God has called you to do. So be part of a care group that the church has established in different parts of Singapore. Offer to serve in church one way or another. And when the time is right, we will definitely celebrate together more often as one body of 1000 people!
5th G - Go
Regardless whether it is 4G or 5G, the key is network. It must eventually spread out to connect to as many people as possible. So it is with the church. The church exists not for the members alone. It must rally the members to embrace the Great Commission to ‘GO”. Any church who does not take this commission seriously will eventually die. This is a fact that can be seen throughout the history of the church.
So moving forward, The Bible Church will be taking this missional call very seriously. Different initiatives will be rolled out towards the last quarter of this year. The ‘Good Neighbour’ is one such initiative that will be launched soon and the goal is to bless our community with simple acts of kindness. And this project will be expanded to cover more people over the next few years. It is our prayer that we will move out of our comfort zone, rise up and ‘Go’.
So go ahead, Bible Church - Live a 5G life and make a difference for the Kingdom of God.