Century Christian Fellowship: love endures all things

CCF seated in heavenly places

An extension of the Chapel of the Resurrection

This was one of the many extensions started by the Chapel of the Resurrection. It was started in April 1991, with two house groups sent out as the core of a new church. It has been twenty years now and they now have about 60 members. Once they were once the verge of achieving “parish” status (120-150 attendance and 3 consecutive years of financial stability), but some setbacks held them back. This extension church has gone through some challenges including nomadic moving from one location to another. They deserve a reward for their doggedness and perseverance. May the Lord fill them with renewed grace and power.

John and Joyce Seet - CCF die hards

A rare breed: die-hards

They still have members from the original house groups sent to plant the church:  John and Joyce Seet, Christiana Tan, and Susan. These veterans are what we call “pah see buay chow”(die hards). We need such people in every church.  They are a rarity – perhaps an endangered species in these modern days. May their tribe increase!

New pastor : Peter Chang

The current leader is Pastor Peter Chang. Before full-time Christian vocation, he Pastor Peter carrying grandson Darrylwas a sales and marketing manager in the software industry and had worked in  China too. CCF had been without a pastor and had managed with lay leadership for close to a year, but with his appointment, there is a fresh stirring of hope among the people.  Peter and I got to know each other in a CRMS Focusing Leaders Network Retreat. When he invited me to give the talks at the camp I readily accepted and saw it as an open door to ministry to the larger body of Christ.

my favorite piece of claywork

Camp talks and experiences

giving insights into God's heartFifty people were at the church camp held at the Golden View hotel near Batam Center. It was a tight schedule: starting on Vesak Day and ending on Sunday morning. There were 5 teaching sessions and I spoke about how the church was deeply loved and accepted, transformed by grace, made righteous in Him, and called to serve with towel and basin, with God-recycled dreams. The teaching felt like I was downloading some new or updated drivers into their laptop so that itfeet washing can function better. I shared about my home church’s experience of revival. We also had some experiential moments of interaction with God in some creative prayer using clay. And a bonding and healing experience which involved  feet washing. During ministry, the Lord confirmed His word with his presence, power and prophecy. My wife received a word and I gave it to them, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).

In my intoduction talk, I told them my home church prayed for them to experience revival and anointed me to go. My continuous prayer for Century Christian Fellowship is for her to be filled with a surplus of His love, and to experience a revival of living loved, and giving love.

Preaching to change lives

Tim Keller

Is secret in the method?
Some say that the secret of life changing preaching lies in verse by verse preaching, and preaching through the Bible, book by book.  It is still vaunted that expository preaching is the only way to change lives and grow a church. Then recently Rick Warren have popularised the user-friendly sermon. Of course, accusations of compromise and watering down of the truth swirled around this method. Preaching of the Readers’ Digest sermon with its practical “How to” themes, made sermons more accessible to unbelievers and even believers too but did it really change lives at a deeper level?

Content not methodology
I noticed a cry in the wilderness in recent years. It is a cry for preachers and pastors to preach a gospel-centered and Christ exalting message. I hear it mainly from the reformed and other charismatic pastors. They point us to content not to methodology. There is something here all preachers need to really grasp. When they do it will bring much blessing to their congregations.

Tim Keller on preaching the gospel
Listen to this teaching by Tim Keller. I first heard him at the Global Leadership Summit, Singapore. He gave a word that affirmed what God had been stirring in my heart about the need for Singapore churches to be more “indicative” in their preaching and less “imperative”, as they tend to be now. Tim Keller was speaking at a conference for pastors and the main outline of his talk is that good preaching must be (1) Gospel-centered, (2) Christ-centered, (3) Life-changing on the spot, (4) Culturally transforming. Its about an hour long, with questions and answers at the end.

Tim Keller Feb’09: Preaching the Gospel from Newfrontiers on Vimeo.