NAVIGATING A CHALLENGING LANDSCAPE
The above is the title of an exposition from 2 Timothy by Pastor Denesh of The Crossing Church at the recent BPCIS Retreat. He called on us to raise the next generation of leaders, to confront gospel dilution and opposition, and to preach the Word. In particular, he urged us to spend time, single-mindedly, one on one, to pass on the gospel.
Amidst the many things that occupy us, we must not forget that our ministry is essentially a gospel ministry. Do our people know the gospel? Are we living it out? Are we passing it on? Churches that fail to ask these questions will face stagnation and extinction. These are sobering thoughts and takeaways for the pastors and leaders of our 10 BPCIS churches.
In our coming Annual Presbytery Meeting in two months’ time, we will pick up these thoughts again. This year, we will not have a guest speaker addressing us. Instead, each church will present a “health report” of how we are doing in the post-pandemic world. How has COVID affected us, and how are we emerging from it? We will spend time praying for one another.
Spending time with one another has been a blessing for BPCIS. It has been our tradition to come together for a post-Retreat “No-Agenda” Lunch. Fifty of us, both those at the Retreat and a few who missed it, will enjoy a sumptuous lunch and hearty fellowship. Each month, we meet for lunch before our Standing Committee meeting, and for Prayer via Zoom every third Wednesday.
We cannot navigate the challenging landscape alone. Staring in our face now is the issue of the expected repeal of 377A, a moral marker in the Penal Code against the gay agenda. Christian leaders have been meeting with government Ministers, and urging them to protect the definition of marriage as a man to a woman. Could this be enshrined in the Constitution or in some form of legislation? Much prayer is needed for our decision-makers as we think of our future generations. As a church, we may need to write into our constitution the biblical definition of marriage, and our stand to solemnise such marriages only.
The landscape ahead is indeed challenging. Many other issues will preoccupy us: the effects of the war in Ukraine, the escalating evidence of climate change, the rising cost of living and the worldwide economic uncertainty. In the midst of it all, the
“gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24.14 ESV).
Let us be about the “gospel ministry”.
(BPCIS stands for Bible-Presbyterian Church in Singapore. Check out website bpcis.org.sg for report of recent BPCIS Retreat and other news.)
Pastor David Wong
General Secretary, BPCIS