Updated: Oct 31, 2022
We thank God for His blessings and protection upon our fellowship and nation as we emerge from the pandemic. Though not out of the woods, the relaxation of Covid rules has allowed us to resume meetings with flexibility of formats i.e. physical, virtual or hybrid.
We are pleased to now present our mid year report and to keep Gatekeepers abreast on what's happening in the fellowship and to reiterate our strategy going forward.
The vision that God has given specifically to Gatekeepers Singapore i.e to transform the culture of nations is the paramount focus of our strategy.
With rapid digitisation and technological innovations, Digital Babylon has increasingly gained dominance, even among believers. God's Kingdom is increasingly under siege. The culture war between God's Kingdom people and the forces of darkness is intensifying.
This shift in landscape, accelerated by the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, calls for a fresh strategy.
For several years, our activities have largely been geared towards equipping and discipling Gatekeepers on the 'WHY' of the vision and comprehending the gospel of the Kingdom. There is now an urgency to shift the attention from just the 'WHY' to intensifying our activation of the 'WHAT' and 'HOW' of the vision.
The new strategy requires us to confront this spiritual war from a tri-dimensional perspective - IQ, EQ and SQ (Spiritual Quotient) - to harness all the resources God has made available to us.
A nation's culture is predicated on its worldview. The dominant worldview today is driven by a humanistic gospel and relativism. We are living in a post-Christian world that has become increasingly anti-Christian. More than ever, we need to counter the world's culture and confront Digital Babylon.
Hence, our new strategy is directed at:
Restoring the BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW
Living out the Kingdom of God i.e. the PRAXIS
We do this by:
Over the next six months we will flesh out more details on this. This strategy will drive our processes and events going forward.
Leadership & Membership Renewal
We have a rapidly aging membership that threatens the future existence of our fellowship. We believe God's mandate to us - to transform the culture - is an ongoing call and continues to be relevant. Hence, there is an urgency to raise up and disciple the next generation to capture and activate the vision God has given us.
In our engagement with the younger generation, they shared that they are excited at the vision but our focus should not be on what their own churches are already adept at doing. They are looking for:
(a) vocational discipleship to help them live out the Kingdom of God in their daily living at home, community and work i.e the Praxis, and
(b) a community to journey together and share their lives with.
Over the past two years, myself and a few board members have intentionally engaged one to one with a number of promising younger generation believers to challenge them on our vision and our strategy over informal coffee or lunch chats.
We thank God that these engagements are beginning to bear fruit. Over the past one to two years, we have attracted more than 50 new members, mostly in their 20s to 40s. They have added vibrancy and excitement with their passion for the vision in our discipleship and activities.
In January 2022, we launched a new weekly Friday gate, spearheaded by secretary Tom Ong.
As of now, there are almost 30 members in this gate with a regular attendance of around 20. They are mainly successful entrepreneurs or C-suite executives in their 30s and 40s. A few are seniors who help provide mentorship. God has raised this group of gifted spirit filled Gatekeepers who have helped raise the level of spiritual, emotional and thought power in our fellowship.
Similarly, the Women's Gate, led by Director of Women's Gates, Evelyn Lee, was rejuvenated through the successful onboarding of younger ladies in their 30s and 40s to form a new Women's Gate core team.
This new vibrant and passionate core team has in turn over the past few months attracted many other ladies through their series of gate meetings on mental health issues.
The Young Gatekeepers (YGK), led by Sherman Ng and Evangeline Lee, saw a surge of younger members. Besides monthly in person meetings, YGKs are discipled one to one.
As part of leadership renewal, we have invited many of the younger generation Gatekeepers to join the Board and Resource Panel.
The Board together with the Resource Panel meets once every two months. For the first time in as many years, more than half or 62% of those eligible to attend board meetings are in their 40s or younger.
A core team of younger leaders has now been formed for eventual leadership succession. The team is now helping to continue to refine and drive the new strategy. Their involvement marks a turning point in our search for younger generation leaders to eventually assume leadership of the fellowship.
Our fellowship serves across all generations. The role of each generation may differ but we all share a common vision and mission. Whether nations or organisations, preparing the next generation for eventual leadership is a must for sustainability or else we risk extinction. A church leader once said: "The church is one generation away from extinction."
Leadership renewal is already happening in our government, public service, and churches. What is the role of senior Gatekeepers? Besides enjoying the fellowship with the Gatekeepers community, senior Gatekeepers have an important role as mentor, coach and cheerleader to the younger generation. To do so, we need to speak the language of the younger generation and engage them at their level, sharing with them wisdom and in return, to be educated by them in the new technological economy.
The typical local institutional church's strength usually lies in its role as an oikos. Gatekeepers Singapore's specific calling is culture transformation in nations. This is essentially an ecclesia function of the body of Christ and not often an area of intentional focus among the local institutional churches. Our right of existence lies not in doing what the local institutional churches are already adept at doing but in areas that are outside their normal scope of activities. As an interdenominational marketplace fellowship, we do not seek to duplicate the role of the local institutional churches. We seek to complement them, not in competition with them, as part of the universal body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:14 reminds us : "Now the body is not made up of one part but of many."
The body of Christ is equivalent to an ecosystem of different component groups.
We have been strengthening our church relationship through regular fellowship with church pastors and seminary heads. Together with four other marketplace ministry leaders, I have been involved in monthly lunch fellowship with various pastors and church leaders. Over the past six months, we have engaged with: Daniel Khong (FCBC), Pacer Tan (Lighthouse), Benny Ho (Love Singapore), Lai Pak-Wah (BGST), Tan Hock Seng (Hiding Place), Yang Tuck Yoong (Cornerstone), Edric Sng (Salt & Light); John Ng (Eagles), Jeffrey Chong (Hope Church), Bishop Gordon Wong (Methodist); Ezekiel Tan (Bible Society), and Edwin Tay (TTC).
A few of us on the board have also been involved with Love Singapore activities.The appointment of Pastor Jeffrey Chong as the successor to Lawrence Khong to lead Love Singapore will augur a new chapter in our relationship with the Love Singapore church network. I have been fellowshipping with Pastor Jeff Chong and have also supported his church's marketplace ministry. We look forward to continuing working closely with Love Singapore, especially with their heightened interest to reach the marketplace. There will be more collaborative involvement with the Love Singapore church network.
I was recently invited to a small group dialogue with Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development on Section 377A of the Penal Code which criminalises homosexuality. We conveyed to the minister our concerns and views on Section 377A. The closed door meeting included some church leaders/pastors.
Apart from the regular marketplace and Kingdom gate meetings, three 'public' meetings on a hybrid format i.e. onsite and online were held in the first half of the year. The topics were - Christian Worldview on NFTs & Metaverse, 377A and Let's Talk About Sex.
Aaron Graham Tay was appointed to lead the Education Gate and Norman Ng, the Family Gate.
The monthly 'Watch & Pray' continues to be held on the first Saturday of each month. Brother Tong Sin Sang has been appointed to lead the Prayer Ministry whose role is to encourage prayer among Gatekeepers. We are encouraged by his passion for prayer and is invigorating our prayer ministry. He took over from Brother Tony Teo who has helmed our Prayer Ministry for several years. Brother Tony stood down for health reasons. Please continue to lift him up in prayer for God's healing.
Council of Advisors
Over the past few months, two of our advisors, Canon James Wong and Richard Magnus were promoted to glory. We are grateful for the valuable advice and faithful service they have rendered us over several years. Though sorely missed, they are in a better place and have received the crown of righteousness.
We thank God for the provision of new advisors. They are Gregory Vijayendran, a Senior Counsel, Immediate Past President, Law Society, and Chairman of Lawyers' Christian Fellowship and Prison Fellowship Singapore; and Choe Peng Sum, CEO of Pan Pacific Hotels Group and Vice Chairman of Focus on the Family.
Besides Gregory and Peng Sum, the other existing members of our Council of Advisors are: Papa Khoo Oon Theam, James Lee, Bishop Moses Tay and Jason Wong.
50th Anniversary of Clock Tower
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the ACS Clock Tower 'tongues' event which helped ignite the Charismatic Renewal. Some churches and pastors are highlighting the significance of the anniversary in their sermons. This has renewed interest in the book, 'Unfolding His Story,' authored by Galven and myself. The Church of Our Saviour bought 450 copies of the book for their younger generation members. Salt and Light is also producing a documentary video on the Charismatic Renewal. The video will include interviews with Galven, Evelyn and myself. We are also advising the production team on the video.
Since the cessation of our office at Far East Square in 2020, we have been operating without a physical office. Our dedicated staff team comprising Reagan, Joel and Stefanie were able to maintain operational efficiency, working from home throughout the pandemic restrictions. From May this year, the team adopted a hybrid model, working two days a week onsite at our new shared office at 1 Kaki Bukit Rd 1, #02-14 Enterprise One. Thanks to the generosity of Gatekeepers, Jimmie and Annie Lee, we now have use of their office rent free.
Our vision, mission and strategy are meaningful only if there is a buy-in by Gatekeepers. More important than just events, the process of how we engage each other and journey together towards fulfilling the vision is critical. Your commitment is essential.
The leadership on its part will be initiating events, processes and engagements to equip and build a community among Gatekeepers. As part of community building, Gatekeepers will be encouraged to form 'squads' like Jesus' squad - Peter, James and John.
Last year we held a successful Gatekeepers Dialogue as part of our strategy in restoring the Biblical Worldview. The next Dialogue will be held in the first quarter of next year and will be organised by our younger generation leaders.
To equip believers in understanding the Kingdom of God, our office team together with Sherman Ng is working on a video production for a 'teaching' series called Telos.
After a two year break due to Covid-19, we will be holding our 47th anniversary dinner at Orchard Rendezvous Hotel. More details will be announced later.
The fellowship will be stepping up its advocacy in areas that challenge Biblical truths. In the light of increasing Babylonian activities, all Gatekeepers more than ever need to be also personally involved in advocacy. In particular, the hot button issue today is the push to repeal Section 377A which criminalises homosexual activities.
Our strategy and plans can only be achieved with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. As
Zechariah 4:6 says: "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts."