From the Board of Elders
Dear Members in Christ,
It is a Privilege and Honour to Serve the One True and Living God.
We are Saved to Serve
Christians, as living testimonies, come together as a Church to worship, fellowship, learn, serve and bear good witness and testimony for God on each Lord’s day. The world sees the physical Church as a place for “once a week” worship only. What about us? Are we also having the same belief of “once a week” gathering only?
Broadly, the Church is 1) to preach, teach, share and defend the Word of God 2) to keep the sacraments of the Church 3) to build up the faith of the believers 4) to encourage, edify and provoke one another unto love and good works 5) to reach out to the lost unto salvation 6) to bear good testimony to the unbelieving world.
We also need to examine ourselves, whether we are participating in the Lord’s work or are we “not bothered” or “let others do so” or “we are not called” to do the Lord’s work. No matter how elderly or young we are, we can all serve. The Lord will be pleased.
We know from the Word of God that every child of God, the moment he/she is saved, is given at least one gift or talent from the Lord. This gift is to be used for His service and not to be put aside and ignored. “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 1 Peter 4:10.
Yes, the work of the Lord is expected from all believers! They are not for the leaders only BUT for all! Do remember that all believers are members of one body. As Paul in the book of Romans wrote “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.” Romans 12:4-8.
The Bible is the Word of God. It is for ALL and not just for the leaders. We have often heard from the Pulpit that we are all saved to serve. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10.
Are you serving? If not, why not? Are you just being contented to do nothing for the Lord? Are you not required to use your God given gift/s for the use of His kingdom? If you think that you cannot do much, please pray for God’s leading. Meanwhile, you can just begin by taking the first step in the ministry that the Church needs you to serve. God will reveal the gifts that He has given to you, in due time, as you continue serving.
There are many ministries in the Church e.g. the “Ushering and Greeters”, “Choir and Music”, “Teachers in Sunday Schools”, “Library & Bookroom”, “Kitchen”, “Tracting, “Missions”, “Fellowship groups” etc. Do ask the leaders of these ministries. They will surely be pleased to welcome your contribution in service. On your own, you could also bring in new worshippers and unbelievers to the Church, for example, your family members, colleagues, neighbours, friends etc.
In summary, everyone can serve in God’s kingdom. All of us have the qualification to serve the moment we are saved unto His kingdom. The question is “whether you are willing or available”. If the answer is “yes”, God will enable and equip you. Look to God and NOT to man as you serve, and persevere in service, for all the things of the world will grow strangely dim. You will surely be blessed and you will find that there is much joy in serving the Lord. “... for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10.
It is a privilege and honour to serve the One true and living God. All Christians are called to serve. You will surely be blessed.
Elder Choe TS
We might have noticed that every Christian gathering or activity begins with a request for an opening prayer. In our Lord’s Day worship, immediately after the opening hymn, the worship leader will lead in the opening prayer, a prayer often referred to as “the invocation.” We see the “Invocation” appearing in matrimonial services, and some special services. What is the invocation? Is every opening prayer an invocation? Are there any aspects of the invocation which distinguishes it from an opening prayer? The following excerpt from the “Biblical Pattern of Worship” (pp 25-26) explains the history, the significance, and some distinctive aspects of the invocation.
The Opening Prayer or Invocation – Calling Upon God
The meaning of “invoke” is to call on someone, usually in the religious sense, especially a call to a Deity for help. The etymology of the word has its origin in the Latin words “in vocare” meaning to “call upon.” In Christian prayers, the invocation often refers to the prayer said at the beginning of the service, usually a short prayer calling upon God to bless the worship service. The invocation may also refer to a form of words such as, “In the name of the Father” introducing a prayer, sermon, etc. The Oxford dictionary defines it as a call on a deity or spirit in prayer, as a witness, or for inspiration. “It is a humble calling upon God to assist us in our offering of worship. The traditional invocation in churches is a short prayer of a few lines, praising and exalting God and calling upon God to bless the assembly of His people to worship Him.
What is clear from the definition are the elements in the invocation. There is a spirit of petition for God to bless the assembly, and there is an opening expression of praise and exultation towards God. In the Christian context, the invocation is a prayer at the beginning of a service which calls upon God to attend to His people as they gather to worship Him. An invocation addresses God in an appropriate manner as the Heavenly Father, the covenant God. This opening prayer ascribes all goodness to God, and praises Him for His mercy upon His people. There are some examples of prayers of invocation in the bible. The prayer by Elijah for God to reveal Himself to His people is one such invocation. In this confrontation with false prophets of Baal and Ashteroth, Elijah’s invocative prayer is found in 1 Kings 18:36, in which he says, “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.” The entire Psalm 67 is an invocation, in which the psalmist calls upon God to bless His people. This psalm is an example of a doxological invocation. It begins with “God be merciful unto us, and bless us…” and ends with “God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.”
The element of praise is emphasized also in approaching God. In Psalm 43:3, 4 David expresses his praise as he comes to worship God. King David’s employment of praise in the opening address as he approaches God is significant. The concept of the expression of praise or exaltation before one approaches a king or sovereign would be well understood by someone like King David. Many other examples abound in the psalms. Psalm 99:1-3 again highlights praise before the presence of God, it exalts the greatness and the holiness of God. In Psalm 100:4 the worshipper is exhorted to enter into His courts with praise. The assembly of God’s people in Psalm 107:32 is coupled with praise, even the assembly of the elders. Psalm 111:1-3 is an exhortation to praise God in the assembly and the congregation.
The expression of praise in the invocation is central to worship. It is the starting point of one’s approach to worship. It is the seed upon which a worshipper develops a call upon God to bless the assembly of His people as they come before Him in collective worship.
Note: This excerpt is taken from “Biblical Pattern of Worship” pp 25-27.
Dn Lim Seh Beng