Theme and Direction for 2020
This year’s theme image depicts a pair of hands cradling our church building as it prepares to be passed on to a (younger) pair of hands. It symbolizes Church of Singapore, where the young and the old come together to strengthen our calling to be a family church. Starting from the first generation of church members who led, modelled and nurtured, the next generation leaders are now preparing to take up their roles as the pillars in this church.
Let us seek to strengthen our family church that is defined by love, who knows God intimately, where people matter and where we will enjoy the leadership of our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd and the cornerstone.
In 1963, our family church was founded by Bro. Huang Jen Shen, Bro, Cheng Kai Ho, and Bro. Goh Ewe Kheng. Over the years, we have established 4 branch churches in Singapore that are operating independently today: COS (Balestier), COS (Bukit Timah), COS (Admiralty) and COS (Harvest).
When we started, our Worship Service was conducted in Mandarin with Hokkien interpretation. It was attended by approximately 100 members from a diversity of backgrounds – artisans, barbers, photographers, businessmen, professionals and students. About a quarter of them were above 50 years of age, with the rest comprising of young people. Several years later, as more English-speaking people came into our church, English became one of the languages used in the main Service.
Today, we have 4 generations worshipping together across 14 Services that cater to teens, and adults, in English and Mandarin languages, dialects and foreign languages. We also run Children’s Ministry for infants, and children up to the age of 12 years.
Strengthening Our Family Church
From the onset of our church, the leaders have always sensed a very strong call to be a Family Church.
3 years ago, the church leadership formed the Beyond 55 (B55) Committee to purposefully look into and pray for ways to strengthen our call as a Family Church. We praise God that we could one together as one family to celebrate our 55th Anniversary in 2018.
God never intended for mankind to be lonely or isolated. Instead, God has created us for community – calling us into a relationship with Him and fellow brothers and sisters. God’s intention for the church is for her to be a place where the lost, broken and lonely find hope, healing and love; a place where they can call home.
Every local church is to be a community for our Lord Jesus, the Great Shepherd. Church of Singapore, therefore, is a family of our Lord Jesus that is held together by love. This love is not characterised by our feelings, but by our actions.The late Rev Charles Spurgeon, wrote in one of his messages concerning the church:
“The church is not an institution for perfect people. It is a sanctuary for sinners saved by the grace of God. A nursery for God’s weak children to be nurtured and grow strong. It is the fold for Christ sheep, the home for Christ family. The church is the dearest place on earth.”
How can we, as fellow brothers and sisters, worship in different Services, but still function as one family? We take reference from Apostle Paul’s letter in Titus 2:1-10 where he lays the foundation for the disciples.
Paul addresses first, the leaders in the family. He describes the church as a biblical home with the Father as the leader, the Mother in loving submission, and the Children who honour and obey their parents. Any deviance from this order will result in a dysfunctional family, and likewise, a family without proper leadership at its foundation will break down. In the New Testament, there was always plurality of leaders – these Godly men were referred to interchangeably by the terms Elders and Overseers.
The Church is the family of God. There should be engaging interaction, not separation amongst its family members of varying ages. Each life stage will also bring about different opportunities, weaknesses, temptations and distractions. As such, we need to learn to minister to each other lovingly. Titus 2 has instructions for all of us, no matter what life stage we are at – older members to teach the younger members, older women to be reverent in behaviour and teach the younger women, and the younger members to encourage and energise the older members.
Having both young and old together might create some tension but it is God’s design for us to live harmoniously and learn from each other. All this will bring about the result in v10 “… so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive.”
Partnership within the family is vital to the health and the growth of the church. Brothers and Sisters, we urge you to take up your share of the burden and not to be a spectator. The leadership encourages you to read the word of God and to pray daily for wisdom and strength to play our part in strengthening our bonds of love.
May God be glorified.
Brother Foong Daw Ching
Chairman of Elder Board