This years prayer summit was held on January 6-9 at the Equatorial Hotel in Malacca. The theme was Jubilee. There were about 500 pastors and leaders from Singapore in attendance. The speaker was Peter Tsukahira and his theme was the kingdom of God and the marketplace.
The prayer summit this year was Word rich. I suppose there were pastors who attended because of the guest speaker – they wanted to hear his teachings. He is of Japanese origin, speaks with an American accent, and has an Israeli passport. He is married to a Messianic Jewess and both of them lead a ministry and Messianic community in Haifa. In fact the last thing we did during our holy land trip was to visit and support his ministry. I saw pastors who never attended the pastors’ summit attend this summit giving attention to all the teaching sessions. Peter Tsukahira did not disappoint. He spoke about the formation of Israel, and its relation to the return of Christ, the gospel of the kingdom of God and how these give the framework for the marketplace ministry. I was blessed by the teaching it stirred me to return to my favorite writer on the kingdom of God, G. E. Ladd, a professor from Fuller Theological Seminary. Read an excerpt of his concept of the kingdom HERE for an example of his concise writing and clear thinking and grasp of a difficult subject with many different interpretations.
This year they also re-introduced pastors Lawrence Chua and Guna to do the stand-up comic thingy. They are two members of the team steering the Love Singapore churches. They are pastors with hearts for community service and have led their churches to be models for such a ministry in the heartlands. They have somehow discovered a chemistry between them for stand up comedy. They brought the house of God down with laughter. Humor is serious business. You need a gift to get pastors in a sober “prayer summit” to laugh shamelessly. So used are pastors to being serious about eternal and earthly issues. Kudos to Lawrence and Guna for their gift of getting all the stressed-up pastors laughing. However, they would do well to expand their range of subjects. They seem too constrained to introducing the chairman and the speaker or the organizing church in humorous ways. They can evolve into a stand-alone act that can help pastors and leaders laugh at themselves and alter some perspectives of church ministry and relations.
The pastors’ summit is one of the best places to keep in touch with acquaintances and other pastors. I met two of my cousin’s daughters: cousins once removed. One morning I had breakfast with Lindy Chee and Dara Chee. Lindy worked with YWAM for many years. Now she is in training and facilitating. Dara Chee is a trained social worker who was in Vietnam for a few years with the Anglicans, and now a residential manager for Highpoint Dayspring, a residential treatment center for abused women and teens. It was encouraging to see young people with a passion for Christ’s kingdom to be realized on earth as in heaven.
This year I roomed with priest Vincent Hoon from True Light Anglican Church. We met years ago when we were randomly put together to share a room in a similar conference. We gelled and this was the second time we roomed again. Vincent drove us all to Malacca -me and pastor Kenny Fan from Woodlands Evangelical Free Church and pastor Thomas my colleague. They were such pleasant company the road trip seemed shorter. On the way back we stopped by Yong Peng, and later, at a Gelang Petah seafood restaurant popular with golfers. Ahhh…Malaysian food.