A Pastoral Reflection on the Changes and Challenges Challenging the Church in Singapore (2013 August 06)

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A personal pastoral reflection shared at the Christian Education Seminar of Glory Presbyterian Church Singapore (2013 July 13) and also at the English Presbytery (Singapore) Mentoring Fellowship (2013 …

A personal pastoral reflection shared at the Christian Education Seminar of Glory Presbyterian Church Singapore (2013 July 13) and also at the English Presbytery (Singapore) Mentoring Fellowship (2013 August 06).

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  • 2b. A disconnect between the financial and the real economy. The total value of foreign exchange transactions worldwide amounted to US$1.5 quadrillion (1 quadrillion is 1,000 trillion) in 2010, whereas the total value of international trade was only US$20 trillion, or less than 1.4 percent of all foreign exchange transactions. Says Lawrence Lau, professor of economic development, emeritus, Stanford University, and chairman, CIC International (Hong Kong): “The overwhelming majority of foreign exchange transactions are thus purely speculative, in effect, pure gambles, and serve no useful social purposes.”3 This disconnect between the financial and the real economy produces the financial bubbles that keep plaguing the global economy: the Latin American debt crisis (1980s); the Asian financial crisis (1997); the dot-com bubble (2000); and the US housing crisis (2006–07), which was followed by the world financial crisis (2007–09) and the euro crisis (2010–). Such financial bubbles destabilize the real economy instead of serving it.
  • So how about adding the idea of social boundaries to the picture. Just as there in an environmental ceiling, above which lies unacceptable environmental degradation, so too there is a social foundation, below which lies unacceptable human deprivation.What should the dimensions of deprivation be? Human rights are the cornerstone for defining that – and identifying the most critical priorities is at the heart of debate about what comes after the Millennium Development Goals. But one early indication of emerging consensus on those priorities comes from what governments have put forward in the run-up to the UN’s Rio+20 Conference on Environment and Development. The top priorities that governments have raised form these 11 social dimensions, such as freedom from hunger, from income poverty and energy poverty, from gender inequality, from ill-health and illiteracy. Between the social foundation and the environmental ceiling lies a space – shaped like a doughnut – which is the safe and just space for humanity. If economic development were inclusive and sustainable, it would bring humanity into this space, and allow us to thrive there.
  • Thinking about the quality and impact of GDP growth.No country has ever got its citizens out of poverty without GDP growth.But growth has always been resource intensive so just as it gets people over the social foundation, so it starts heading towards the planetary boundaries.
  • We need new forms of growth which start to decouple resource use from income growth at higher levels of development – and this may look odd, but it is the transformation we need.
  • Countries at different stages of development face different challenges.But we are all developing.The test of green growth is greatest in the high income countries – they must achieve absolute decoupling of resources.Low income countries should aim over time for relative decoupling.


  • 1. EP Mentoring Fellowship Rev Peter Chan 1.30 to 3.30pm
  • 2. • What some of the ideas and ideologies that are sweeping across our world today? • What are the discernible changes and challenges in our world today? • How do they affect our values, attitudes and lifestyles here in Singapore? • What challenges do they pose to the Christian Church in Singapore? • How then should we live and do ministry, individually and congregationally?
  • 4. 1. Idea about Contemporary IDEAS
  • 5. 1. Idea about Contemporary IDEAS a. Postmodernism: Relativistic / Subjective b. Pursuit of the Esoteric / Mystique c. Pragmatic / Materialistic / Consumerism (commodification culture) d. Amoral generation (no longer black- white-grey) e. Hedonistic (growth of travel, leisure, wellness industry is a testament)
  • 6. a. Postmodernism: Relativistic / Subjective
  • 7. b. Pursuit of the Esoteric / Mystique
  • 8. Emerging Church Worship (EPIC) – Leonard Sweet • E – Experiential. It is not just about listening and thinking, but the idea of “let’s enter into worship as an experience.” • P – Participatory. The idea that worship is not just something you observe, like watching television. You really participate. For example, an important part of worship might be a period of about 20 minutes in which there are stations around the room where people might go to write down a prayer, make their financial offering, or have Communion. • I – Image-based. The idea here is not just words for the ears, but an increased emphasis on things you can see. Because of digital technology you have the capacity to project images, show artwork, use film and video. • C – Communal. A strong emphasis on community. People are saying, “We don’t just want to attend a service and look
  • 9. Examples: (1) Singapore: debate on building of the two Integrated Resorts (IRs). Began with ―gambling‖ to ―gaming‖ – reframing the argument. (2) US: debate on homosexuality or same-sex marriage – began with ―moral-immoral‖ to ―majority-minority‖ rights. c. Amoral generation (no longer black-white- grey)
  • 10. We can see that we have abandoned belief in moral absolutes by looking at one key change in our language about morality: we no longer talk about moral laws, but about moral values. This may seem unimportant, but it is momentous. For laws are objectively real; they come from above us and command us. The formula for a moral law is ―Thou shalt‖ or ―Thou shalt not.‖ But values have no such strong bite, no absolute demand. They suggest something subjective, not objective: ―my‖ values or ―your‖ values or ―society’s‖ values. Values come from us; laws come to us. We invent values, but we are under laws. Values are nice ideals to aspire to if we wish; laws tell us what we ought to do whether we like it or not. We no longer like to talk about moral laws, values, and about moral absolutes. But we do like to talk about morality, a morality without absolutes. But a morality without absolutes is not a morality at all. ―Do as you please‖ is not morality, ―do what you ought‖ is morality. ―Do whatever you think will have the best consequences‖ is not morality; it is calculation. ―Do what works‖ is not morality, it is efficiency. Morality means something different from doing what we please, or what we calculate will turn out all right, or what works; morality means doing what we ought to do. Morality is not optional, like a ―value,‖ but obligatory, like a law. A morality without laws and obligations is simply a confusion, like a triangle without angles. -Peter Kreeft, Making Choices: Pracitical Wisdom for Making Everyday Moral Decisions
  • 11. d. Pragmatic / Materialistic / Consumerism (commodification culture)
  • 12. Vincent goes beyond the popular notion of consumerism. He points out that the subtle but dangerous underlying thing about consumerism is “commodification”, i.e. the act of viewing and valuing everything, material and immaterial things as commodities for consumption (buying and selling; possessing and pleasuring). This leads to the danger of consumerist culture entering into religious or spirituality sphere!
  • 13. Spirituality is big business!
  • 14. In 2010, 940 million people were recorded as arriving in a country from abroad because of tourism. This is worth $919 billion dollars, making tourism one of the world's largest industries. (Source: World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)) e. Hedonistic (growth of travel, leisure, wellness industry is a testament)
  • 15. MegatrendsDrivingGrowth of the WellnessIndustry Cluster Growing Wellness Market Failing medical systems
  • 16. Estimated Global Market Size of the WellnessIndustry Cluster Conventional, Medically-Oriented Approaches (to solve problems) Integrated, Wellness-Oriented Approaches (to improve quality of life) Fitness & Mind-Body Spa Healthy Eating/ Nutrition & Weight Loss Preventive/ Personalized Health Complementary & Alternative Medicine Beauty & Anti-Aging Treatment Paradigm Wellness Paradigm Reactive Proactive The Wellness Cluster Workplace Wellness Medical Tourism Wellness Tourism $276.5 $390.1 $679.1 $113.0 $243.0 $50.0 $106.0 $60.3 $30.7 (US$ billions) A $1.9 trillion global market
  • 17. and wellnesssegments. Periphery Consumer Mid-Level Consumer Core Consumer • Focuson more acute medical conditions– reactive approachto health • Exercise for weight management • Avoid personal care productsonly if they cause sensitivies/ allergies • Focuson avoiding “bad” food/ ingredients • Somewhat preventative approachto health conditions • Exercise for healthbenefits • Avoid “toxic” personal care productsin the home for healthreasons • Focuson avoiding some “bad” foodsbut also seeking whole,real foods • Highly preventative approach,oftenquite broad (e.g.,meditation,yoga,and diet to reduce stress) • Exercise for healthand mental/ spiritual balance • Avoid personal care productsthey believe are harmful to the environment • Focuson “local” foodsand social/ environmental issues relating to food production (e.g.,farming, labor,etc.) REACTIVE& Self-Focused PROACTIVE& Holistic Focus Consumers Evolve Toward a Holistic Concept of Wellness Source: GMDCand TheHartmanGroup, Consumer Shopping Habitsfor Wellnessand Environmentally ConsciousLifestylesStudy: Insightsfor Health, Beauty and Wellness, September 12, 2009.
  • 18. 2. Globalization and its impacts
  • 19. 2. Globalization and its impacts a. Political 1) Intra: urbanization, pluralistic-polarized, citizenship, loyalty, security and control 2) Inter: historical baggage, economic-political balance (e.g. BRICS, China, US, Japan and EU), power shifts… b. Economic / Financial (economic / financial crises more frequent and shorter cycle) c. Social (migration and immigration of talented and skilled labour) d. Transnational Companies (TNC) that wield more economic and financial influence than local governments e. Ideological (Anti-Semitism, Anti-Western, Terrorism, xenophobia, etc.)
  • 20. 20. Among the less developed regions, Latin America and the Caribbean has an exceptionally high level of urbanization (79 per cent), higher than that of Europe. Africa and Asia, in contrast, remain mostly rural, with 40 per cent and 45 per cent, respectively, of their populations living in urban areas. Over the World Urbanization Prospects: The 2011 Revision Highlights (UN, 2011)
  • 21. 3. Digital Technology and Social Media (FB, QQ, Instagram, WeChat, LINE, Linkedln, etc.)
  • 22. 3. Digital Technology and Social Media (FB, QQ, Instagram, WeChat, LINE, Linkedln, etc.) a. Connectivity, a ―necessary‖ lifestyle and work-life (?) b. ―Uniformity of culture‖ in developed cities, especially youth subculture c. Social-Psychological: space, speed, anonymity, secrecy, virtual self identity d. Moral challenge of integrity in the real and virtual world – a threat to marriage and family because of online secrecy & anonymity
  • 23. ENHANCES A surveillance camera extends the capacity of the human eye and enhances the feeling of security and ―eyewitness‖ accounts REVERSES When pushes to the extreme, surveillance cameras reverse into an invasive loss of privacy and a new feeling of vulnerability OBSOLECES A surveillance camera makes obsolete (or changes the function of) neighbourhood watch and oral testimony RETRIEVES A surveillance camera retrieves the medieval city wall, which both protected and imprisoned its citizens
  • 24. …technology affects (alters) our perception of the world around us and alter our behaviour?
  • 25. A new phenomenon is taking shape: body-less and face-less communication and communities are springing up all over in cyberspace – e.g. Hi5, Facebook, LINE, WeChat and MSN Live Space.
  • 26. Modern media technology can be abused in that it is used to encourage destructive attitudes and values that are untrue and unbiblical (basically sinful) that ultimately seeks to undo us and those around us!
  • 27. • Individualism (e.g., gaming devices, mobile communication & entertaining devices, video- on-demand)
  • 28. • Anonymity (e.g. internet chat rooms, virtual communities, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, Skype)
  • 29. • Multiplicity (e.g. multi email accounts and cyber profiles that encourage multi pseudo identities and personas)
  • 30. • Secrecy (e.g. pornography, cyber bullying, dating, flirting and sex)
  • 31. • Lies & Deception (e.g. rumours & internet investment scams)
  • 32. • Slavery (e.g. anonymity & secrecy encourages cyber addiction – gaming, pornography, mobility & status)
  • 33. • Idolatry (e.g. worshipping the powers of speed, space, and mobility)
  • 34. 4. Global Ecological/Social Issues a. Three Challenges: (1) Human Deprivation; (2) Environmental Degradation; and (3) Economic Inequality b. Donut Economics: 1) Nine areas of focus to make global environmental issues comprehensible 2) The crisis: we have crossed over the ―safe and just space for humanity‖ in three areas – climate change, biodiversity loss, and nitrogen and phosphorous cycles
  • 35. CO2 350ppm 15% cropland 4,000 km3 pa 35 m tonnes pa 276 Dobson units 2.75 aragonite 10 species/m pa NINE PLANETARY BOUNDARIES Source: Rockström et al 2009 11 m tonnes pa
  • 39. Low income countries: focused on tackling poverty but without locking in to unsustainable resource use High income countries: the challenge of decoupling economic growth from resource use Emerging economies: high potential to transform pathways of resource use along with rising wellbeing INCLUSIVE AND SUSTAINABLE GROWTH
  • 40. 1. A disconnect between the financial and the real economy. The total value of foreign exchange transactions worldwide amounted to US$1.5 quadrillion (1 quadrillion is 1,000 trillion) in 2010, whereas the total value of international trade was only US$20 trillion, or less than 1.4 percent of all foreign exchange transactions. Says Lawrence Lau, professor of economic development, emeritus, Stanford University, and chairman, CIC International (Hong Kong): ―The overwhelming majority of foreign exchange transactions are thus purely speculative, in effect, pure gambles, and serve no useful social purposes.‖3 This disconnect between the financial and the real economy produces the financial bubbles that keep plaguing the global economy: the Latin American debt crisis (1980s); the Asian financial crisis (1997); the dot-com bubble (2000); and the US housing crisis (2006–07), which was followed by the world financial crisis (2007–09) and the euro crisis (2010–). Such financial bubbles destabilize the real economy instead of serving it. 2. A disconnect between the infinite growth imperative and the finite resources of Planet Earth. The disconnect between the infinite growth that current economic logic demands and the finite resources of Planet Earth has produced a massive bubble: The overuse of scarce resources such as water and soil has led to the loss of a third of our agricultural land globally in roughly one generation’s time. 3. A disconnect between the Haves and the Have Nots. This disconnect has given rise to an extreme inequity bubble in which the richest 1 percent of people in the world (adults with incomes over US$ 500,000) own 40 percent of the world’s wealth while half of the world’s population (50 percent) own just 1 percent of the world’s household wealth.4 The increasing polarization of wealth and income undermines equal access to opportunity and thus erodes basic human rights in society today.
  • 41. 4. A disconnect between institutional leadership and people. This disconnect results in a leadership void that shows up in the widely shared sense that we are collectively creating results that nobody wants. This collective condition of felt helplessness and disempowerment is a hallmark of our systemwide leadership void (or bubble) today. 5. A disconnect between gross domestic product (GDP) and well-being. This disconnect shows up as a bubble of material consumption that does not advance actual well-being. Research on developed countries shows that, contrary to popular belief, higher GDP and higher material consumption do not translate into more well-being, as we will discuss in more detail below. 6. A disconnect between governance and the voiceless in our systems. The disconnect between current governance mechanisms and the voices of the underserved is a governance failure in which people are affected by regimes that they are completely unable to influence or change. For example, many farmers in India have lost ownership of their seeds to Monsanto. 7. A disconnect between actual ownership forms and best societal use of property. The disconnect between actual ownership and best societal benefit results in a bubble in which state and private property, despite their merits, allow the overuse and mismanagement of the ecological and social commons in epic proportion. 8. A disconnect between technology and real societal needs. This disconnect generates technology bubbles that serve the well-being of a few in already overserved markets. For example, most R&D spending by the pharmaceutical industry caters to markets at the top while largely ignoring the needs at the base of the socioeconomic pyramid.
  • 42. Having briefly and broadly scanned the global changes and challenges, what Gospel themes do you see emerging? 1. Human depravity (Romans 3:23; Jeremiah 17:9 – 10); depravity of human systems as well – social structural or collective evils 2. Humanity and creation in need of redemption (Romans 8:18 – 30) 3. Hope in the Gospel and Kingdom now and not yet 4. How do we do discipleship – individualistic or communalistic? Seeing LC as a New Society of Jesus 5. How does the Church measure up to the mission and
  • 44. 1. What is the Gospel? a. Person: God is the Centre of the Gospel – Father, Son and Spirit – Trinitarian soteriology & liturgy b. Purpose: Conforming to the image of Jesus to the glory of God the Father (Romans 8:28 – 30) c. Process: Ephesians 2:1 – 10  Dead in Sin  Regeneration  Justification  Sanctification (continual repentance)  Glorification d. People of God: engaging and entrusting ourselves to a community of disciples (―learners‖) e. Power for transformation, reconciliation, witness and warfare (Acts 1:8)
  • 45. 2. What is the Church? a. What it is? 1) A revolutionary counter-culture movement, not a monument – the new Jesus Society / New Creation (2 Corinthians 5:16–17) 2) God’s Story and our story (history and traditions and continuing reformation) 3) More than a spiritual reality; it is a social reality – an institution or organisation: a) The Church’s (KOG) mission, vision, and values are enshrined in the Sermon on the Mount (SOM)
  • 46. 5:1‒12 5:17‒47 6:1‒18 6:19‒34 7:1‒12 Redefining Virtues Redefining Righteousness Redefining Honour & Reward Redefining Treasure / Ambition Redefining Judgment & Grace The reverse of what the world values – the kingdom of God focuses on being hungry, meek, sober, righteous, peace-making, and pure Salt & Light (5:13‒14) Imitating God as standard for a righteousness that surpasses that of the Pharisees & teachers of the Law (5:16,48) Looking to unseen Father in heaven who rewards us (6:4, 6, 18) when He sees us give / pray / fast in secret (i.e. not seeking applause from men Seeking God’s kingdom as our unseen / heavenly treasure and trusting Him for our earthly / daily necessities (6:33) Condemning hypocritical judgment; Contrasting with God’s goodness thru prayer; Commending the Golden Rule for graceful relations 7:13‒29 Redefining Wisdom as Obeying the Voice of Jesus (i.e. Discipleship) Taking the road less travelled Going beyond skin deep (character transformation or fruit-bearing) Acting on the knowledge of Jesus’ words (or God’s Word) The Church as the New Creation, the Jesus
  • 47. b) Social Reality of the Church – Polity, processes, powers, and personalities Lee G. Bolman and Terrance E. Deal, Reframing Organizations, 4th Edition.
  • 48. c) Organisational health and growth: i. Moral leadership crisis – governance as leadership ministry ii. Leadership development and succession iii. Followership – active and meaningful membership  loyal, active, collaborative
  • 49. d) Historically, Christianity has and still to a large significant extent, locked in Western culture. But geographically today, more than two-thirds of Christians are in Asia, Africa and South-America. Europe, traditionally, the stronghold of Christianity, is now more atheistic and religious diverse than any periods of European history. North America is the last frontier of declining Western Christianity; it’s also showing signs of troubles.
  • 50. 3. What it does? (Acts 2:42 – 47) a. A worshipping community (e.g. God-sensitive and not seeker-sensitive friendly worship) – also means being a learning community (Greek: disciple = learner) + sacraments (Lord’s Supper and baptism) b. A witnessing community – practicing and proclaiming the faith c. A working community (using our gifts and talents) d. A waiting / hopeful community (parousia)
  • 51. 4. What is the Mission? It’s ONE – TWO – THREE! a. ONE consuming passion: Living for and to the glory of God (i.e. enjoying God) [LIVE as Jesus lived] b. TWO commandments: Loving God and loving humanity [LOVE as Jesus loved] c. THREE concrete legacies: Leaving behind Faith, Fight, and Family/Friends [LEAVE what Jesus left behind] – 2 Timothy 4:6–8 SUM: To equip and establish every believer mature in Christ (i.e. Christlike)! (Ephesians 4:1–16)
  • 52. 5. What Should Be Our Priorities? a. Pray the Disciple's Prayer continually – reminding ourselves that we are a worshipping, working and waiting community for the Return of the King!
  • 53. b. Persevere in making disciples, not attracting the crowds (Matthew 28:16 – 20; 14:22; Mark 6:45). Be wary of the argument of drawing the crowds so that we may disciple; when the crowds are drawn in by the senses, they will not subsequently open to becoming disciples! Or when the crowds are in and the budget is big, we lose our focus on making disciples! Jesus didn’t go about His ministry attracting the crowds; they came to Him. And when the crowds became a distraction, Jesus dismissed the crowds so that he may spend time alone with the Father and His disciples (Mark 6:45; Matthew 14:22).
  • 54. c. Preach the Word faithfully and prophetically – i.e. preach the whole counsel of God (not favourite proof texts) to the whole person (mind, body, and soul) to the whole society (addressing social, political and economic issues) – placing spiritual truths in the everyday life of social realities (e.g. Matthew 6:19 – 34) d. Proclaiming Christ’s uniqueness in a pluralistic society. Religious Harmony Bill poses the challenge for us to be more responsible, respectful, and creative, investing in personal and longer-term relationship for evangelism – e.g. friendship evangelism. Do Singapore Christians opt for a more ―lazy‖ way of evangelism through distributing tracts, mass events, and even ―commando-raid‖ style on campus? e. Provide training/help for Christian Marriage and Family (better still, model for them the way) – raising families as a discipleship process that is part and parcel in fulfilling the Great Commission.
  • 55. THE FOURFOLD PURPOSE OF MARRIAGE? God created marriage so that a man and a woman would become ONE to… To MIRROR God’s Image (Genesis 1:1, 26–27) To MULTIPY Godly Legacy (Genesis 1:28a) To MUTUALLY Complete Each Other (Genesis 2:18) To MODEL Christ’s Relationship to the Church (Ephesians 5:20–33) and the Trinity (equal and distinct)
  • 56. We mirror God’s character… In Marriage Perfect love When we choose to believe the best about each other (1 John 4:19) Commitment When we do not QUIT when the going gets tough (Hebrews 12:1–3) Forgiveness When we learn to forgive just as God has forgiven us in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:32) Unity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) When the husband lovingly leads and the wife willingly submits that their oneness in marriage reflects the unity within the Godhead (Ephesians 5:20–31).
  • 57. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:28 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2:14 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. (2 Timothy 2:2)
  • 58. D I N K problem in our churches? Is the Church suffering from infertility or ―infidelity?‖
  • 59. f. Perpetuate and strengthen the practice of Infant Baptism and Confirmation in our Presbyterian & Reformed Churches. This reinforces the understanding that raising godly families in our midst is also fulfilling the Great Commission! g. Place leadership and membership under strict accountability (preventing and dealing with misbehaviour in the church). The Church of Christ in Singapore has its fair share of bad publicity in the press over questionable conduct in financial matters! h. Practice discerning and doing God’s will in the church, especially within the leadership group – i.e. Pastoral Team / Session Elders / Elders and Deacons Court (EDC) – we have to steer away from debating and discussing, adopting the views of the loudest and/or the most convincing views – Leadership and congregational meetings are about discerning and doing God’s will
  • 60. i. Put ourselves in the service to society and community that God places us (e.g., James 1:27). We must put a stop to the artificial dichotomy between social and spiritual aspects of evangelism – the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a FULL GOSPEL! There is no integrity and credibility of a Gospel where we are more interested in saving souls and not individuals, families, and societies! If the Early Church were interested only in saving souls, it would have died (humanly speaking) from irrelevancy and impracticability – of heavenly use but of no earthly good! Also, it betrays the compassionate character of God, who declares Himself as the defender of widows, orphans, aliens and the marginalised!
  • 61. j. Public square engagement – we must bring out Christian faith to the public square – discussing and debating on public policies that affect morality and social justice – i.e. be the moral conscience of society (Matthew 5:13–16). Of course, we will have to use a ―common language‖ that is shared by our nonbelieving friends; though our motivation and argumentation are grounded in biblical authority!
  • 62. k. Process-driven CE rather than program-driven, the former provides a systemic approach (i.e. that CE is a process that is inter-generational and covers all of life aspects, from the pulpit to the bible studies in cell groups) – 2 Timothy 2:2; Deuteronomy 6:1–9; Ephesians 4:1–16. The GOALS of CE are twofold: Spiritual Maturity Spiritual Multiplication
  • 63. PAUL TIMOTHY RELIABLE MEN OTHERS …heard me say… …entrust them to… …also be qualified to teach 1 Timothy 2:2 The diagram on the right illustrates both patterns of discipleship – synchronically (here and now) and diachronically (there and thereafter).
  • 64. Process Meaning Possible Programmes Come and See Here we gather and interest you in Christ. Befriending newcomers Evangelistic talks, bible studies, and musical. Come and Follow Me Here we train/edify you. To be a self-feeding Christian. Learning the basics of Christian living. Come and Be With Me Here we let you lead / serve through apprenticeship. Here we also identify and train future leaders. Selective one-to-one (or smaller group) focus is needed. Moving from “listen to what I say” to “watch what & how I do”. Remain in Me & Go MAD Here we unleash or send you. Assess God’s call to fulltime mission or ministry work. Send him/her out to serve Christ at home, in school & marketplace CE Process at Generational Ministry Level
  • 65. l. Practice the priesthood of all believers – institute rites and practices that help members of congregation know they too are called to fulltime ministry. There is an unspoken dichotomy between those who serve God in fulltime ministry and those in the marketplace (Galatians 3:28). We must differentiate ministry function but not our ministry worth. The Christian Church has no direct influence and impact in the marketplace through its pastors or clergies but her members who faithfully glorify God through their vocation in the marketplace!
  • 66. m. Preparation for and practice of pastoral ministry needs rethinking. i. Few challenges today: late entry point; spiritual formation issues; confusing signals ii. Need to redefine role of pastors – this requires non-pastoral church leaders to understand their own roles and how they may strengthen the pastor in shepherding the church iii. Need to restore and respect the Pastor’s role as Pastor- Theologian, an astute reader of culture and trends and apply God’s Word accordingly. Church leadership and congregation need to respect the pulpit as a platform for convicted preachers to proclaim God’s voice and not charismatic preachers to ―entertain‖ and motivate us! iv. Need to nurture, develop and train from within. We need to partner seminary in the training of our pastors (more than financial giving and prayer) v.Need to refocus more on character than competence and
  • 67. 6. How Should Be Our Strategy? a. Clarity – biblical/theological thinking b. Ecclesiology (Church) – larger than our labels and prejudices c. Unity – internal and external witness d. Generosity – willing to accept our differences – i.e. unity in diversity (1 Corinthians 12:12 – 27; Romans 14:1 – 4) e. Integrity – Christian witness must involved social engagement – we must go beyond our pet moral talk – homosexuality and abortion – e.g., to include issues pertaining to migrant workers f. Culture Sensitive and counter-cultural
  • 68. CONCLUSION We know how the script and how the story will end! The Book of Revelation: a letter of comfort and hope written to the people of God who were suffering severe persecution and were wondering if Evil would indeed triumph! The Book of Revelation is also a book of hymns and choruses. One of my favourites is Revelation 11:15–18,
  • 69. 15 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ―The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.‖ 16 And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying: ―We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. 18 The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small— and for destroying those who destroy the earth.‖