We were blessed to be able to take a break and visit our daughter, who is currently studying in London, for her 21st birthday. We also caught up with Keith Leong, who is doing his studies in “Faith and Science” at Oxford and Sylvia Ooi, who is doing her one year internship in All Souls Church.
I had a chance to visit a Service at Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB), which brought back many wonderful memories of those years when I was active in leading the Alpha work in Singapore. They have a generous, positive and broad vision. They are mindful of the diversity in the Body of Christ, able to relate to a changing world, keep in step with the work of the Spirit and relate well to the secular world. Their influence is multi-layered and as I recall, I was always inspired by the values behind what is probably the most influential local church in our recent history.
Going back to Jesus’ teaching on being “salt and light,” that is what a local church potentially can be in a very rich and multi-layered way as we remain open to the Lord’s work in our midst. Being deeply creatures of habit and tradition, we are unconsciously bound to the past, especially that of our own experiences. And the more positive they were, the more we cling on to them and hope for a repeat in our days. We will develop a theology that justifies these natural inclinations. What we will need to be very intentional about praying and asking is: What is the Father doing today? We need to go beyond methods and look to the Lord of all times and cultures, and seek to grow ways in which the same values of worship, discipleship and evangelism can work effectively in a changing world.
HTB is by no means perfect but I always move away encouraged because this is one local church which turns your heart and eyes to the Lord and not on methods and personalities. Being Anglican and urban also means that SAC can learn and be inspired from similar parishes around the world.
Without a doubt, Singapore like other world cities like London, has a special sphere of influence. Traditionally, we bridge the East and West but in today‘s highly globalised world, these terms don’t even carry the same relevance anymore.
And with SAC being right in the heart of the city, we need to continually ask - not about what we have become - but what we can be and what He is seeking to do through us. It is not so much about doing more - and we have a knack of starting new ministries - but an orientation of the heart that is praying and seeking. What is His will? How is SAC together in this?
When we have a listening and dependent posture (prayerful!), that is when we hear Him speak: directly, through the local church community and His wider Body.
*1 Samuel 3:9