MFIS Thanksgiving Dinner 2023: A Milestone in Leadership Change

In celebration of Ministers Fellowship International Singapore (MFIS) Thanksgiving Dinner, on Thursday night, 23 November 23, we were blessed with a sumptuous dinner complete with roast turkeys from Goodwood Park Hotel (courtesy of Mr & Mrs Luar Eng Hwa). We had about 120  pastors and leaders from some 45 churches coming together at Harvester Community Church in Geylang. The program started at 5pm and ended at 8pm. No one was bored, everything flowed according to schedule. We had a great couple Tom and Ethel Cannon as our emcees.

We were particularly blessed by the opening speech by Apostle Patrick Low (Founder & Apostolic Overseer of Christian Community Chapel). He started by asking all of us this question, “What are we thankful for?” We are to give thanks for all the blessings we have received in 2023, but we also need to give thanks for our trials and sufferings. Suffering, is a sign of the true apostolic church. Besides the working of signs & wonders in our ministry, how we handle difficult times in our lives, speaks as loudly as our works.  I felt that this is a word that we all need to hear for this season and to prepare God’s people for the coming season. 

There was a good time of fellowship, and the evening ended with powerful prophetic prayers and proclamations, led by four pastors across the generations. And of course, the celebration highlight was for the birthday boy, Rev Chua Hock Lin, who has been a dear elder brother who always cared and pastored MFIS pastors these few years. He just turned 80! The following landmark announcement was also made by him: “Before I share the message the Lord has put on my heart, I have a short announcement to make. Earlier this year, I felt my time as the first Chairman of MFIS would be over by end 2023. Time for us to transition to a younger person. I shared this with the leadership and they concurred. We also agreed that Ps Sam Gift Stephen, Senior Overseer of Life Centre, would be the next Chairman of MFI Singapore. Ps Sam is on a family vacation and will assume this role on his return. I want to thank Ps Han, our Lead Apostolic Elder, the Apostolic Elder Council, Apostolic Leadership Team and all the members of our Fellowship Teams for their encouragement and support during the last three years. I believe the next season, with Ps Sam at the helm, will move us to a higher level for the mission of MFI Singapore”.

To God be the glory, for Pastor Gabriel Han and the Harvester Community Church team who worked to put this together for us. We praise the Lord since every good and perfect gift comes from above. We look forward to 2024, the year ahead of us, a year closer to the return of Christ.

-A report by Pastor Lawrence Lee (former Senior Pastor of Glad Tidings Church)

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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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MFIS Leaders Seminar: When Angels Tiptoed

The morning of the one-day “I Will Build My Church” seminar was stormy and I was disappointed that I could not take the MRT and ride my foldable Brompton bike to get there. I was anxious as I waited for the storm to wane. I lived in Jurong while the venue was Riverlife Church in Pasir Ris. However I was thankful that the path to the Chinese Garden MRT was mostly sheltered. Even then my pants got wet because of the strong wind. By the time I reached Pasir Ris station, I grabbed the first cab I saw. 

Even then I was late, and entered the hall of about almost 150 pastors and leaders seated in the first worship hall of Riverlife when the church used the current location. The first plenary speaker Senior Pastor Ben Lee of Riverlife Church, was already teaching about the fourth of the top ten concerns about the ascension gifts. I like what he had to say and resonated with what he explained so systematically, clearly and emphatically. 

The second plenary session was delivered by Pastor Gabriel Han, formerly senior overseer of Victory Family Centre. He is the set leader of Ministers Fellowship International, Singapore (MFIS). Already I could see the different impact each speaker brought. While Ben Lee enlightened and clarified, Gabriel inspired and imparted faith. By the time he ended, I was blessed and armed with faith that the Lord himself will build his church, and it will be a prevailing, equipping and glorious church. 

The surprise bang was when the guest preacher was Tan Ye Peng, once the deputy pastor of City Harvest Church. He preached about how radical grace forms the new humanity that is the church. It turns upside down the honor-shame culture of the first century. In this new creation, everyone whether male or female, slave or free, Jew or Gentile, rich or poor is graced with an honor that is founded not on abilities, wealth, job status, lineage, or power, but upon God’s radical grace. The shame is of course removed by forgiveness, reconciliation and the love found in Christian fellowship. Such radical grace is best demonstrated in the way Christians treat each other with honor as bearers of the image of God.

Pastor Tan first began his talk by asking forgiveness for the hurt that the City Harvest Church had inflicted upon the body of Christ. While in prison for two years, he had often imagined himself apologizing to the pastors of Singapore churches. He ended his message the same way he began: asking forgiveness. Everyone could sense the sincerity of his heart, the sacredness of that moment. Even the harps of heaven hushed, and angels tiptoed around the stage as the leaders of MFIS surrounded him with prayer, prophetic encouragement, and Pastor Lawrence Lee even apologized on behalf of the churches. The presence of God was palpable and I was deeply moved by the radical grace that was demonstrated before my eyes.

Pastor Ye Peng also shared how he decided to pursue a Masters in Singapore Bible College and how a monthly Bible study he led grew from a small group of ex-CHC members who ceased attending church, to a fellowship of about 200. He also shared how God is using him to minister to people about to go on trial, those in ongoing trials, others who are already incarcerated, and still others who have come out of prison. These people find it safe to share their woes with him. He has become a wounded healer.

I had a great lunch and enjoyed the hospitality of the Riverlife Church team. However, I had to leave after lunch. I left thinking I could walk to the MRT, since the weather was fine. However, when I saw a bus stop, I decided it was better to wait a while and take the bus. Indeed, it proved to be the better choice.  

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