Announcements (26 Mar 2017)

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Mar 262017
 

Adults’ SS Class @11.30 am, Chapel.  All are Welcome!

There is No Catechism Class Today.

Stewardship Report 2016: The following Fellowships, Ministry groups and Missions are to send in their reports to the church e-mail gabriel@nlbpc.org by 2 Apr 2017.

  • Fellowships: – YF, YAF, AF, SAF, NBCs
  • Ministries: – Sunday School, AV, Choir, Library, Ushers
  • Outreach: – ROF, New Life Kindergarten, Ju Eng Home, BB and GB
  • Missions: Cambodia, China, India, London.

Op Clean Up (Sat 1/4 Time: 9 – 12pm): Fellowship groups and NBCs are to clean the areas assigned – please see the Notice Board.  Lunch will be provided.

Church Camp (14 to 17 June 2017)

Venue: Avillion Admiral Cove, Port Dickson Malaysia.  Theme: “Reaching out to one another’.  Speaker: Rev Lim Yew Cheng.  Prices: Adult $280 per pax, Child 3 to <11 years old $110 per pax (without bed) and Child < 3 years old FOC.  Registration starts on 23 Apr 17.  Please pray and apply your leave to join us for a time of spiritual renewal!

SAF Meeting on 2nd April in the Chapel from 12:00 – 1:15pm.  Elder Yap will share a short exhortation, and followed by a short discussion among the groups.  All are welcome to attend and fellowship, including friends or visitors as well.

26 Mar 2017 – Christian Courage

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Mar 262017
 

Christian Courage by Elder Sivaraj Prasad

Christian courage is the willingness to say and do the right thing regardless of the earthly cost, because God promises to help us and save us on account of Christ. An act takes courage if it will likely be painful. The pain may be physical, as in war and rescue operations, or the pain may be mental as in confrontation and controversy. We are comforted by Joshua 1:9 which says, “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go”.

In the Bible, courage is the opposite of fear. When God commands us to fear not, to be of good cheer, and to have courage, He is always commanding against fear, which is the opposite of courage. The Greek translation of “courage” and “good cheer” literally means “boldness” and “confidence”.
In the Bible, courage is also called “good cheer”. In Mark 6:50, when Lord Jesus gave the command to the disciples who saw Him walking on the water of the Sea of Galilee and coming toward them, He said, “Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid”. But God doesn’t simply command courage with no reason behind it. In nearly every incident where God says “fear not,” there follows a reason to have courage, and that reason is God Himself, His nature and His perfect plans.

When God calmed Abram’s fears after his battle with the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the captivity of Lot and his rescue, God said, “…Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield…” (Genesis 15:1).

When Hagar was despairing for her life and that of her child in the wilderness, the angel of the Lord told her in Genesis 21:17, “What aileth thee, Hagar? Fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.”

God’s promise to the Israelites in Isaiah 41:14 is similar: “Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye man of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”

In each incident, we see God commanding courage, not because it is natural for man to be brave and courageous, but because, when God is protecting and guiding us, we can have courage because we are confident in Him. We are assured in Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

In the New Testament, we see the angel of the Lord telling Mary to have courage to face the trial of being pregnant with Lord Jesus by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, despite having no husband. Again, the reason for her courage is that the almighty God controls all things: “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God” (Luke 1:30). The shepherds were similarly commanded, “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy…” (Luke 2:10).  Zacharias was told,”…Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard…”(Luke 1:13). In each incident, the courage commanded is the result of understanding the foreknowledge and sovereignty of God, whose plans and purposes cannot be thwarted and whose omnipotence makes every circumstance of life subservient to His will. God’s promises to us have the same rationale. We can be confident, courageous, and of good cheer because of Him. Proverbs 3:25-26 assures us, “Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.”

How then, can we get this courage?

  1. By being forgiven and being righteous Proverbs 28:1; Matthew 9:2.
  2. By trusting God and hoping in Him Psalm 31:24; 2 Corinthians 3:12.
  3. By being filled with the Holy Spirit Acts 4:31.
  4. By God’s promise to be with us Joshua 1:9.
  5. By knowing that the One with us is greater than the adversary 2 Chron 32:7-8.
  6. By being sure that God is sovereign over our battles 2 Samuel 10:12.
  7. By earnest prayer Psalm 138:3; Ephesians 6:19-20.
  8. By the example of fellow believers Philippians 1:14.

Here is the promise of God’s superintending care for us, a care that is absent from the lives of those who reject Him. But for those who have placed their faith in Christ for salvation, we are to have no fear because it is God’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom”, (Luke 12:32). In this great promise lies the basis of our confidence, our courage, and our good cheer.  AMEN.

Announcements (19 Mar 2017)

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Mar 192017
 

BB Week: please give generously in support of 58th BB Company – a community service and outreach of New Life BP Church.

Adults’ SS Class @11.30 am, Chapel. All are Welcome!

Catechism Class @11.30am, Kindergarten Office.

Session Meeting Today @1.45pm, Conference Room.

Church Camp (14 to 17 June 2017)

Venue: Avillion Admiral Cove, Port Dickson Malaysia. Theme: “Reaching out to one another’. Speaker: Rev Lim Yew Cheng. Prices: Adult $280 per pax, Child 3 to <11 years old $110 per pax (without bed) and Child < 3 years old FOC. Registration starts on24 Apr 17.  Please pray and apply your leave to join us for a time of spiritual renewal!

The family of the late Mdm Lee Mee Lan (Sis Lilian Lee’s mother) wishes to thank New Life BP Church for your prayers and generous giving during their recent bereavement. They appreciate your kind attendance at the Christian vigil service on Sunday 12/3 as well as the presence of all your pastors and members at the funeral service on Tuesday 14/3.

Maranatha BPC will be organising a 14D Scotland Covenanters & England Puritans Study Tour from 17-30 May 2017. Those interested may contact Ms Angie Sin at angiesinchua@gmail.com or call MBPC office at 65458627 for more details.

19 Mar 2017 – Prayer in the Life of a Child of God

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Mar 192017
 

by Elder Yap Chee Kian

The Bible tells us the importance of prayer.  It is central in the life of a child of God. Jesus before he ascended to heaven commanded his disciples to pray in anticipation of the trials they would be facing. They would need much fortitude and obedience during those times of need.

R.C. Sproul, a Calvinist theologian wrote “Obedience unlocks the riches of the Christian experience. Prayer prompts and nurtures obedience, putting the heart into the proper “frame of mind” to desire obedience.” In simple terms, prayer and obedience work in a virtuous cycle.

Yet there is widespread prayerlessness among Christians. We rather tweet than pray in our busy schedules. Empirical studies tell us everyone in our modern society has less and less solitude. We need to unplug ourselves from emails, whatsApp messages and tweets. This has not included the numerous blogs and professional subscriptions some of us have in both our secular work and even Christian activities. This may lead to the danger of identifying Christian activities with intimacy with God. There is no moment of solitude with God and even self and this can result in decline in spiritual health. We pray only when we need help and we do need help when we realize our hopeless estate.

Why pray?

In his book on Prayer by Timothy Keller, he told the story of the illustration his wife used on him:

Imagine you were diagnosed with such a lethal condition that the doctor told you that you would die within hours unless you took a particular medicine – a pill every night before going to sleep. Imagine that you were told that you could never miss it or you would die. If that was the case, she said, you would never miss the medication. You would never say, I was too tired, or, I didn’t get to it, or, I was watching a movie, and I didn’t leave time. You never would do that. [page 9]

Does prayer change anything?

I find the answer given by R.C. Sproul especially illuminating. Someone had asked him that question in a slightly different manner: “Does prayer change God’s mind?” His answer brought storms of protest when he simply said “No.” But when it was worded “Does prayer change things?”, He said “Of course!” The protest arose from the word repent in Jonah 3:10 in which the Bible says that God repents. In using the concept of repentance here, the Bible is describing God who is a Spirit, in what theologians call “anthropomorphic” language. God does not repent in the way we would repent; otherwise God would have sinned and would need a saviour Himself. The Hebrew word nacham, translated “repent” in King James Version, means “comforted” or “eased”. God was comforted and felt at ease and therefore He revoked the sentence of judgment He had imposed. Another version used the word “relent” but it does not quite capture the full meaning of what is expressed by the Hebrew text. The conclusion is that the mind of God does not change and God does not change. Things change and they changed according to His sovereign will, which He exercises through secondary means. Prayer is one of the means He uses to bring things to pass and that is one good reason why we should pray and pray unceasingly (1 Thess 5:17).

An example from our Lord

The common understanding is that “Son of God” implies his deity—which it does — and that “Son of Man” implies his humanity. No human has ever a more profound understanding of sovereignty and at the same time prayed more effectively than Jesus. This is recorded for us in Jesus’ prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane [Matt 26:36-46]. This is captured succinctly in v39, when He requested for an option and when the request was denied, he bowed to the Father’s will. The reason we pray is because we believe in God’s sovereignty to order things according to His purpose and our prayers can change things.

In summary, we look at the two reasons for praying in Jonathan Edwards’ sermon titled, “The Most High, a Prayer-Hearing God”:

First, with respect to God, prayer is but a sensible acknowledgment of our dependence on him to his glory. As he has made all things for his own glory, so he will be glorified and acknowledged by his creatures. And it is fit that he should require this of those who would be the subjects of his mercy … [it] is but a suitable acknowledgment of our dependence on the power and mercy of God for that which we need, and but a suitable honor paid to the great Author and Fountain of all good.

Second, with respect to ourselves, God requires prayer of us … Fervent prayer many ways tends to prepare the heart. Hereby is excited a sense of our need, … whereby the mind is more prepared to prize [his mercy] … Our prayer to God may excite in us a suitable sense and consideration of our dependence on God for the mercy we ask, and a suitable exercise of faith in God’s sufficiency, that so we may be prepared to glorify his name when the mercy is received. (http://www.biblebb.com/files/edwards/prayer.htm)

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Mar 122017
 

Lunch is provided only for our Guests from Riverside Secondary School at the Fellowship Hall after the Enrolment/Dedication Service.

BB Week: please give generously in support of 58th BB Company – a community service and outreach of New Life BP Church.

Adults’ SS Class @11.30 am, Chapel. All are Welcome!

Catechism Class @11.45 am, Kindergarten Office.

Session Meeting on 19 Mar @1.45pm, Conference Room.

Church Camp (14 to 17 June 2017)

Venue: Avillion Admiral Cove, Port Dickson Malaysia. Theme: “Reaching out to one another’. Speaker: Rev Lim Yew Cheng. Prices: Adult $280 per pax, Child 3 to <11 years old $110 per pax (without bed) and Child < 3 years old FOC. Registration starts on24 Apr 17.  Please pray and apply your leave to join us for a time of spiritual renewal!

12 Mar 2017 – I need Thee Every Hour

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Mar 122017
 

I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR by Dn. Ronnie Tan

I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;

Every hour I need Thee;

Oh, bless me now, my Savior,

I come to Thee.

(Annie Sherwood Hawks)

Have we gone through each day of our lives without thinking of drawing on God’s strength, wisdom and grace? Have we ever lived as though we do not need God at all, even though we claim to be His children? If this has been how we are living, then it could be symptomatic of our lack of love for Him, to the point where He no longer has first place in our thoughts?

Annie Sherwood Hawks was the wife of a pastor and a gifted poet. She had her first poem published in a newspaper at the age of 14. At age 37, she composed the hymn “I Need Thee Every Hour.” What inspired her to write this hymn? This was what she had to say

“One day as a young wife and mother of 37 years of age, I was busy with my regular household tasks. Suddenly, I became so filled with the sense of nearness to the Master that, wondering how one could live without Him, either in joy or pain, these words, “I Need Thee Every Hour,” were ushered into my mind, the thought at once taking full possession of me…”

This godly lady has set an example for us to follow. As a child of God, she could sense His presence and from the words of the lyrics, it was obvious that she cherished God’s presence and recognised her unceasing need for Him. It is a reminder that we, His children, should not only abide with Christ but in Christ too. John 15:5 reminds us

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

This verse also reminds us that there is nothing to be ashamed of if we rely on Him for our needs. The Bible has many examples of great men of God who clearly relied on God to accomplish great things. Examples include Moses relying on God to perform miracles in Pharaoh’s court prior to the Exodus; Gideon relying on God to win the victory over 130,000 Midianites with just 300 men; Isaiah asking God to use him as the potter would use the clay to serve Him; and Daniel never letting up on his prayer life despite his status as a senior civil servant in Babylon and later, Persia, as well as threats to his life by jealous people, just to name a few. In fact, these men of God knew that they could do all things by drawing on God’s strength. (Philippians 4:13)

Sometimes, we may grow weary in our service for the Lord. We may feel unappreciated, and even our sincerity, desire, integrity, etc. may be called into question. Nonetheless, as the Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” When times are down, let us remind ourselves with the words of the psalmist, “My soul, wait thou only upon God, for my expectation is from Him.” (Psalm 62:5)

God is never far from us. God has reminded us in His word that He will always be with us (Matthew 28:20); He will not leave us nor forsake us (John 10:29, Hebrews 13:5); He will uphold us with His hand when we fall (Psalm 37:24). Therefore, we can always turn to Him for grace to help in time of need when we come to him (Hebrews 4:16) and never be shamed to tell Him, “I need Thee every hour.”

Sources:

Great Christian Hymns: Annie Sherwood Hawks.

http://www.greatchristianhymns.com/annie-sherwood-hawks.html

Great Christian Hymns: Annie Sherwood Hawks.

http://www.greatchristianhymns.com/i-need-thee-lyrics.html

Announcements (05 Mar 2017)

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Mar 052017
 

Please note that there will be No SS Classes Today! 

SAF will meet Today in the Chapel from 12:00 – 1:15pm, after the Fellowship Brunch. SAF Theme:  Upholding each other in walking gracefully with Christ!  All are welcome!

New Life Kindergarten Class Registration for 2018 for children born in 2015 (Pre-Nursery), 2014 (Nursery) & 2013 (K1) opens in Mar 2017.

Documents to bring:

  1. Child’s Birth Certificate
  2. A photocopy of the child’s birth certificate for our record
  3. Photocopies of both parents’ ICs

BoE Meeting on 8 Mar 17 @9.30pm.

Session Meeting on 19 Mar 17 @1.45pm.

ACM/Election 2017.

The following persons have kindly agreed to participate in the coming Election:

Election Co-Ordinator:  Bro. Ronnie Pang (assisted by Bro. Aaron Tan)

Election Commissioner:  Rev Ho Chee Lai (Sharon BPC)

Returning Officers:            1)  Eld Chia Ah Lak (Life/Evangel BPC) & 2)  Dn Leo Tai Suan (Sharon BPC)

05 Mar 2017 – Encouraging One Another

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Mar 052017
 

Encouraging One Another (1 Thess 5:11) by Eld Sim

– 2nd SAF Meeting on 5 Feb 2017

 “Wherefore comfort yourself together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” 1 Thess 5:11

Paul in this passage exhorts us to encourage one other and to build each other up. Comfort (Gk n- parakaleo, v-paraclete) means to call to one’s side, to console, to encourage, to strengthen or to exhort.

Edify (Gk oikodomeo) has the meaning of erecting a building up from the foundation. Literally, be a builder, and seek to construct, to affirm, to build up or to embolden. Interestingly, in John 14:16 The Holy Spirit is sent to be a paraclete (Comforter or Encourager), coming alongside a believer for the purpose of building up one’s spiritual lives.

Encouragement is not flattery, compliments or trite expressions like “Oh, you look nice today.” There is nothing wrong in themselves but they are not biblical encouragement. Biblical encouragement would include the aspects of comforting and edifying as elucidated by Paul. It is coming alongside someone with the aim of building up or strengthening such a one. Briefly defined it is “To instil in someone’s heart the courage to face the frightful situation or threatening world.” To encourage is “To put courage in one.”

Jesus is our model of authentic Christian affirmation. He asked the women caught in adultery “Has no one condemned you? Neither do I, go and sin no more.” He was open to her and gave her the gift of discovering her own self and of receiving the Gospel. Jesus does not condone sin, rather His method of affirmation involves a liberation from sin rather than an acceptance of sin. To try to affirm someone by telling them that it is OK to speak vulgarity, to view pornography or to be involved in illicit sexual activity with the mistaken notion that this will help people become happier, contradicts authentic affirmation as taught by our Lord. Jesus never, ever compromises the moral law to affirm someone.

Examples of affirmation in the Bible. God the Father affirms Jesus at His baptism ( Mt 3:17) and at the Transfiguration (Lk 9:35). Jesus affirms Zaccheus (Lk 19:8), Peter (Jn 21:15-17) and even the woman caught in adultery (Jn 8:10-11). Barnabas “Son of encouragement” ministered to Paul who was shun by others in Act 11:25 and John Mark, rejected by Paul in Acts 15:37-39). Many of Paul’s co-workers were commended and “saluted” by him in Rom chapter 16.

Who is responsible for the ministry of encouragement? In short, every Christian should be involved in this ministry – Preachers (1 Thess 3:2), teachers (Acts 15), elders & pastors (Titus 1:9), gifted brethren (Rom 12:5); eg Barnabas (Acts 4 and 11), and entire body of Christ (1 Thess 5:11)

In New Life, we salute the many co-workers for their labour of love in the Lord. My favourite list:

1) Those who serve in the ROF, Ju Eng Home ministry (I like to single out Joseph and Puay Lun for their faithfulness), 2) those serving quietly – in the flower arrangement, PA crew, Library, music ministry, choir, vehicle ministry, Christalite Home (Ernest Sim) and Children’s ministry, 3) Sunday School teachers and helpers 4) Sister Ai Yen, 5) BB & GB ministry, 6) Usherers and finally those unsung ones whom God alone knows.

When do we encourage? (Heb 10:24-25) Firstly, in an assembly. The primary reason Christians assemble is to encourage one another which is a command of the Lord. It is not possible to obey this command in isolation from other Christians but it is possible in an assembly. Secondly, we must encourage one another at every opportunity, even daily (Heb 3:12-13).  In the body of Christ, it is not possible to be personally connected to every other Christian on a daily basis or even on regular basis, therefore we need to network with others. It is everybody’s responsibility to encourage daily. You need to be connected to somebody, and they need to be connected to you to such a degree that you have virtually daily contact. We need to have brothers and sisters in the Lord who love us and know us, spurring us on every day.

Why do we encourage one another. Firstly, because of the deceitfulness of sin (Heb 3:13). Body members severed from the body die. What temptation is Satan trying to use on you right now – is it pride, lust, discouragement, fear, uncontrolled anger, doubt, guilt or rebellion? Satan is determined to make us fall into sin. His ultimate goal is to cut you off from Christ’s body and the flow of His life-saving blood. We cannot take our spiritual health for granted. That’s why we need to encourage one another to help overcome the deceitfulness of sin. Secondly, we can defeat Satan’s temptation and deceit, if we encourage one another, give prayer support, meet for regular fellowship, keep His Word and walk the Holy Spirit. A hot coal separated from the burning heap will eventually die out. We need each other’s help and encouragement to defeat Satan. Lastly, this fallen world is filled with suffering, pain, trial and trouble. God has allowed it to stay. Often we are not given the reason why we suffer but one thing God has made clear: He has allowed it to happen so that we will grow through it and understand how badly we need Him. Simultaneously, we also learn how badly we need each other for comfort and support.

There are brethren who desperately need encouragement. But they will only take off the veneer, open up and let you know they need encouraging if they really sense that the ministry of encouragement is taken seriously. We must be genuine in our desire to comfort and edify.

How do we encourage one another? We need to encourage one another as long as it’s called today? Firstly we remind each other of God’s promises (1 Thess 4:13-18). Paul states these magnificent promises about the resurrection hope of saints and the coming of Jesus to encourage the sorrowful and confused Thessalonians. When encouraging someone, we should avoid using trite statements or preaching, but remind him of God’s promises — to always be with us, hear every prayers, take away our sins if we confess them, supply strength in time of need, and never allow us to bear what is beyond us. These reminders will give the person courage to go on. Secondly. granting genuine forgiveness to one another. In 2 Cor 2:7, Paul noted that a repentant brother was kept at arm’s length by some Corinthians. He chided them “Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.” Here we learn that forgiveness has to be visibly extended in order to be received. We should not make the repentant feel like second class Christians. Lastly, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Heb12:1) This verse reminds us that there is a great cloud of witnesses including Abel, Noah, David, and many others, who are cheering us to “press on” in our spiritual race. What an encouragement to know that we are not alone. Let us, therefore, run this spiritual race confidently with one another and finish it triumphantly, always looking unto Jesus “the author and finisher of our faith.” (Heb 1:2).

In summary, we are obeying God’s commandment when we encourage one another regularly and in assembly. We do so with humility and love, mutually giving and receiving the grace and promises of God. When we affirm one another we do not condone sin, we defeat Satan’s temptation and deceit, receive genuine forgiveness & recovery of personhood in Christ. Together, in our spiritual race, we cheer each other to finish it triumphantly in Christ.  Amen.

Discussion Questions

Q1.      Why is it important to have a culture of encouragement in our relationship in New Life?

Group answers:

  • Just like members in a family encourage one another, the church being the body of Christ where members are brothers and sisters in a “larger” family, all the more members in New Life should encourage one another.
  • Lack of encouragement over long period will lead to discouragements and disappointments.
  • Bear testimony. It is a good testimony for the Lord, as when visitors to our church sense of belonging, care, warmth and love amongst members, they will be more inclined to visit our church again.
  • Setting examples. By cultivating a culture of encouragement, we are setting a good example for our youths. When faced with problems, our young people can rely on the older members of our church for counsel and advice instead of turning to outside sources, which eventually may lead to them leaving church.
  • It is a command from the Lord to uplift and mutually encourage one another, because we all face trials and tribulations at one time or another.
  • Building relationship. To help build relationships to enable openness, which is the preamble for bonding and encouragements.
  • To foil Satan’s plan in tempting & deceiving believers to lose their faith.
  • To edify. We edify one another through encouragement and strengthen our faith in God.

Comments on why there is lack of encouragement:

  • Men less inclined. It is more difficult for men to share, especially emotional matter and so they are less open in encouraging each other. Another group observed that men tend to leave after the church service, and the issue is “How to encourage them to stay behind for fellowship?”
  • Judging others. Sharing in prayer meeting and then being judged instead of encouraged or helped. Must create a “safe” environment.
  • Some just needed financial help without intention to divulge details, so it is difficult to encourage henceforth without deeper engagement.
  • Personal problems. Some left because of pride, bitterness or disagreements, and so there is no opportunity to encourage, help or reconcile.
  • Personality issue. Some personality tends to be quiet and so pray for ability and opportunity to open up.

Q2.      How can we encourage or affirm each other in New Life? Give some        concrete examples.

Group answers:

  • Be proactive. Learn to be open to share, so that others will be able to encourage or help. Be proactive in approaching others, especially newcomers.
  • Build relationship. Attend SAF meeting as an example to build relationship first, and sharing will be much easier. It is important to build relationship first. Do not stay in isolation and attending NBC is another avenue of encouragement that is not visible to many.
  • Be intentional. Encouragement must be intentional and needed initiative to follow up and do. One needed to be affirmed and encouraged, then only can affirm and encourage others. Affirm one another’s importance in the church, regardless of one’s wealth & occupational position, we can all participate in menial task like operation clean up & visitation to the less privileged.
  • Be present. It may not take a lot of action to encourage someone, for example, just being present to support in an event will encourage the organizers and fellow attendees.
  • Planned visitation is another example of encouragement, and not just cyclical or ad hoc basis.
  • Practical actions such as: 1. One sister was down with chicken pox and was visited by a member who cooked food for her. 2. A member gave two sisters with knee pain bottles of rose hips. 3. A member recommended one sister with high cholesterol a health supplement. 4. One sister visited another who was hospitalized to minister to her. 5. Showing care, concern & affection with handshake, a pat on the back, a smile or hug in the Church or in public.
  • Sharing & prayers. Sharing spiritual experiences and pray for others, follow through and follow-up, and share how the Lord has answered prayers to our problems.
  • Personal testimony. Sharing own trials, life experiences and testimonies in order to encourage and advise others on how to overcome.
  • Buddy system. Pray to God for opportunity and build a buddy relationship with one person first.
  • Keep in touch. Build connection to help each other, start from home. We should try to text one another, e.g. One brother was very encourages when he receives a text message from a deacon asking about him when he did not see him in church.
  • Listen, not gossip. Listen genuinely and put others first. Arrange for a meal together. We must not spread gossips.
  • Exercise gift. Discover another’s gift/ abilities/ strength & encourage him to use it to serve God in church. Can encourage someone to join the choir or teach in Sunday school.
  • Genuine love & concern. Forgiving the weaker/ offending brother & show genuine love by inviting him to your home or fellowship group.
  • Not judgmental. We should not ‘shut down’ someone, e.g. someone was told that he struggles with his needs because he does not have enough faith in God.
  • Directory. We need to have a directory of members to facilitate contact with each other.

Other comments:

  • Be sensitive to other’s need. Some felt it’s okay not to connect with everyone; as there are just some people that do not have chemistry together. However, another sister felt sympathetic for an unpopular colleague and reached out to her, despite having challenging relationship with her. So we agreed that we should seek God’s will on whom we can reach out to.