I think adjusting from my time in the States and trying to engage with what was happening in S.E. Asia was not as easy as I thought. The change in time zone and the long trans-Pacific flight made the adjustment hard, but there was no time for rest as I had back to back meetings. I had less than 30 hours in Singapore, but it was a fruitful trip.
It is always encouraging to see the HMCC alumni. When I see them, I am reminded of the importance of the investment that we need to continue to make when they are studying in the States.
I also met up with some of the people who are interested in the church plant. I am realizing that there is a greater hunger for biblical community. There are many churches in Singapore that do an awesome job with their Sunday Celebrations. But one comment I keep on hearing over and over is the great need for the churches in Singapore to strengthen the small group ministries and even put a greater emphasis on what happens outside of Sunday.
It is my hope and prayer that we will be able to fill that void and display what biblical community can be like in the future.
The meeting with the core group for the HMCC of Singapore church plant went well. I am just laying down the foundation and trying to put the emphasis on what it is that God wants to do in this great city. We have been covering some basic themes in the Book of Acts. So far, I have talked about the paradigm of house churches as we look into the New Testament and also about the work of the Holy Spirit in the early church. Recently, I talked about the Acts 2:42-27 and the importance of biblical community. This passage has been the foundational passage for HMCC.
Some of the key members and I have talked about the spiritual warfare that they have been experiencing. I told them that this is normal because Satan knows that having a church that is focused on building God’s Kingdom and a passion for transformation will not help his cause, therefore Satan will do anything and everything to hinder God’s work. What we need more than anything else is prayer and God’s Word to strengthen us (Eph 6:10-20).
Here are some lessons that I was reminded with in my time at Singapore:
2) We should never grow tired of building up the Church of Jesus Christ because it really is the only organization that will transform the world.
3) A lot of what we want to see happen on the international level will be determined by what our international students experience in the HMCC churches back in the States.
4) Without ownership and sacrifice, we will never be able to see great things happen.
5) Whenever we try to do God’s will, there will always be opposition from the evil one, therefore we should expect it and be more proactive in prayer.
6) God always humbles us and reminds us that it is not our planning and strategizing that will bring transformation, but it is His Spirit.
7) We need to have more people linked up together in prayer for what God wants to do in Singapore.