MFIS Equip Seminar: Prophetic Ministry

The Ministers Fellowship International, Singapore (MFIS) Equip Seminar was held on Thursday, 23rd February 2023 at Covenant Vision Christian Church and the participants were blessed by the hospitality of this church that worshipped at Cemtex Industrial Building.

The MFIS leadership has put considerable thought into the programs that they offered. Their goals of 2023 were to build the 5-fold equipping tracks, form 5 ministry equipper teams, and develop a 5-level ministry training framework. This Equip Seminar focuses on the often misunderstood and underappreciated ascension gift of the prophet, the Cinderella of today’s church. 

After praise and worship, Rev Calvin Lee gave a devotional meditation about what we can do to flourish like a palm tree as a minister. This message he gave never gets out of date. It is a constant reminder that busy ministers in Singapore need to hear again and again. Calvin reminded us of the recent honest confession of Jacinda Adern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, who announced her reason for resignation, “I know what this job takes. And I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It’s that simple.” Thankfully, when Christian ministers do not have enough in the tank, they do not have to resign. They can go to the Lord’s presence and receive fresh power.

He Gave Some To Be Prophets

The devotional word imparted a tenderness and humility in our hearts toward the Lord. We could feel God inviting us to draw near and keep close to Him. It was the entrée that whetted our appetite for the next speaker, Rev Dr Amos Jayarathnam, my favourite prophet, a local Singaporean that God raised as a prophet to the nations. He delivered the burden of the Lord he always carried in his heart. I have heard his heart cry many times when he preached in the church I serve, and in other meetings. THE CHURCH MUST LEARN TO HEAR THE LORD ACCURATELY AND OBEY HIM UNCONDITIONALLY.

He talked about how God’s people are of different levels of faith. Some remain on the land content to have experienced the miracle of five thousand fed by a boy’s lunch. But there are those whose faith are like the disciples’ who went on the boat to the sea and left the safe and dry land. Then there are the few who like Jesus, walked on water, living in the spiritual realm where winds and waves, depths and sea monsters does not bother them. Finally, there are those who like Peter are willing to get out of the safety of the boat and take risks, and fail forward, to reach the level of faith that walks on water. He shared some inspiring stories of radical faith that landed him in great danger, strange adventures, and standing before Presidents to deliver God’s word. 

He bemoaned the two weaknesses of the Singapore church. First, the church’s inconsistency in hearing God accurately and obeying Him. Second, the church’s weakness in demonstrating the full authority and power of God. However, he believes that there is grace and favor upon the Singapore church to turn around and respond to God’s invitation. The message stirred my soul and I could sense God’s invitation to me to kneel and pray with an open Bible, and to seek God. I am sure God was stoking the fire of love in many other ministers too.

Round Table Discussion on Prophetic Ministry

The next session was interesting with the leaders of Ministry Equipping Team(MET) representing the ascension ministries (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher) sharing from different perspectives in a panel discussion about the practice of prophecy in the church. The discussion covered the fears of pastors, untrained prophetic ministers, accountability and biblical boundaries, gifted but immature ministers, restoration of wounded prophetic members and other matters. I loved this session because it answered questions, probed problems, suggested solutions, and promised hope and development. The discussion was practical, balanced and enriching.

After lunch we worshipped and interceded and I felt the presence of the Lord and was refreshed and washed with the Spirit. I saw younger pastors from different churches lead everyone in intercession for the churches of Singapore – revival among young people, marriage and family life, soul winning and discipling churches, and anointing on ministries of preaching and teaching in the churches. 

After a heavy lunch and prayer session, my attention was beginning to fade as Rev Dr Francis Khoo took the pulpit. He looked young for one in his mid-seventies. As he preached on, I got more absorbed and captivated as he weaved his life and faith story into how God loves us and have a plan and destiny for each and every one even at our conception in our mother’s womb. We are Called, Appointed and Anointed. His story was encouraging, whole-hearted, and inspired my faith and hope in God’s sovereignty in the midst of the world’s increasingly uncertain and perilous future. 

I could see that these seminars have been planned with deliberate and intentional steps towards nurturing and encouraging the growth of the five-fold ministry in the church so that they will equip church members to do the work of soul-winning and discipling.

If you wish to catch up with an earlier MFIS event click HERE.

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Pastor Hock Lin & Dora Chua’s Golden Anniversary

What a memorable Golden Anniversary! Pastor Hock Lin and Dora Chua have been married for 50 years. That is 18,250 days, or 438,000 hours, or 26,280,000 minutes of journeying together in covenantal love! Pastor Gabriel Han, the apostolic elder of Ministers Fellowship International, Singapore, gathered pastors for a celebration for the Chuas at the stately Singapore Cricket Club. We were blessed by the fellowship, food, prayers and the speeches.

The Chua’s marriage was marked by God’s grace.  I could see God’s hand upon their life together, as they shared and encouraged us in their speeches. “Out of His fulness have we all received, grace upon grace, blessing upon blessing” (John 1) seem to me to be the verse that best describes their marriage. 

Opposite traits attract before marriage, but after marriage they can attack. This was part of their experience and they were transparent in sharing glimpses of the tension, which resolved with communication, the input of loving community, and sheer patience. This couple was very real in their sharing, and we all could relate to them. 

It was an encouraging, inspiring time as different people impacted by this couple shared their stories. Clearly, the Chuas have ministered effectively to a wide variety of people and situations: singles and couples, ministers and businessmen, church members and those outside of church circles. The one element that marked their ministry was the love of God that they reflected in and through their lives, marriage and ministry. More than one mentioned how personal and caring they were. 

The second element was their gift of ministering the word in season, even when the word was challenging. A pastor shared how Hock Lin said to him, “You have to spend more time with your wife”. The Chuas were tutored at the Lord’s feet and often spoke for Him. “The Lord has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning He awakens; He awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught” (Isaiah 50:4a).

As I reflected on the celebration, three of the memorable quotes I remembered were, “God gave marriage to help us grow in Christ-likeness, but if this was not enough, He gave children”, “It takes a community to grow a marriage”, “The Seawards helped us in our marriage.”

The Singapore Cricket Club is a lovely place with a British colonial feel and the rooftop space offers a vantage view of the Padang and the cityscape. The buffet was superb and as we sat around the table we got to know other pastors and leaders. It was a wonderful evening and I personally felt blessed. 

After the celebration, as we walked to the City Hall MRT Station we could see people lying down or seated on the grass field, watching a light show projected onto the Singapore Gallery (former Parliament building). This relaxed scene was the cherry on top of this lovely anniversary celebration. My wife and I seldom go to the city, and it dawned on us that it could be quite interesting to do so at night. 

If you have been blessed by the Chuas and wish to add your story or simply congratulate them, do add some words in the comment box above.

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