Archippus Awakening: Partner Me to Reach & Awaken More in the Body of Christ!

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LATEST UPDATE: Chinese simultaneous translation provided!

After a season of being invited by churches to share Archippus Awakening, it is our turn to invite the churches to our very own “AWAKENED. ALIGNED. ASSIGNED.” one-day seminar on Saturday, 3 December, at Sengkang Methodist Church. As shared in Rosh Hashanah 5777, Silver Trumpets & Rehoboth, it is time to boldly trumpet this clarion call of awakening towards kingdom assignments to many as possible.

But this task of rallying and gathering is not mine alone.

“But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; then he blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him. And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, who also gathered behind him. He also sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.” Judges 6:34-35

When Gideon blew the trumpet, members of his clan were the first to gather to him. From these, he sent out messengers to gather even more from the other tribes. Similarly, as I have been sounding the alarm, there have been many who have resonated and aligned with the message of Archippus Awakening. These are to be the messengers who will in turn send out invitations to even more churches.

For sure, I cannot reach everyone. But with the help of fellow Archippuses, with your help, we can reach more!

By God’s grace, registration has been encouraging so far, with representations from more than 40 churches! With so many churches in Singapore, even if only one member comes from one church, the hall will be filled to overflowing! More easily said than done, I know, as Singaporeans are busy people, spoilt for choice where Christian meetings and offerings are concerned. What’s more, those who need to be awakened are the toughest to bring to an Awakening Event!

Even so, if the Lord has already declared this to be a season of Rehoboth, of spaciousness and fruitfulness, then I am holding on to His word and faithfulness. I believe that if we do our part, He will more than do His part to fulfil what He has declared!

Latest Update: Chinese simultaneous translation available!

I invite you to join me in this assignment. I have already sounded the trumpet, and will continue to do so. I’m counting on you to be the messenger to relay and rebroadcast this message for a further and wider reach to both English and Chinese congregations! Spread the word. Share on social media platforms. WhatsApp or email your leaders and friends. Write a blog post. Whatever – just get the message out!

Click image and download JPEG flyer to share via WhatsApp or SMS:
Click image and download JPEG flyer to share via WhatsApp or SMS.

Admission is FREE but registration is required as lunch will be catered for all participants. More information, programme highlights and registration link can be found at the event site.

Thank you for your partnership! See you at the seminar!

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A Programme That Fixes It All? Sorry, No Shortcuts.

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Photo source: http://www.janua.fr/ldap-tools-by-janua

Not too long ago, I wrote an article with this tongue-in-cheek title: “The Believer’s Conference Survival Guide”. In conference- & seminar-laden Singapore, Christians are constantly signed up and attending these events. As such, I thought it’d be good to share some pointers and reminders.

Well, I recently found myself at one of these offerings. I appreciated the topics, the speakers and what they had to offer. Nothing wrong with what was presented or shared. Everything was good, biblically sound. And yet, I came away with a feeling of frustration.

[At this point, please understand that what I am sharing is largely personal. It’s me and where I am at; so please, let not anyone be offended at all, least of all the ones who worked so hard to put everything together, or the ones who graciously made time to prepare their sessions. As a speaker and organiser myself, I greatly appreciate every effort and the desire to help others.]

As I sat there listening and processing, I became increasingly edgy. The points were not new at all. I am sure the participants (mostly ministry leaders) would have heard it all before, and possibly even preached it too. The questions posed were not new; nor were the responses ‘revelational’. I am sure those who asked were totally sincere in wanting to learn. And those who shared were happy to impart something of value and worth. Everyone was saying the right things, and yet, the Church (at large) continues to struggle with the same issues and challenges.

I kept hearing that it’s not about another programme or another activity. And yet, I wonder if each was secretly hoping to discover the programme that would fix it all?! I wonder if we have all become so clueless and helpless that we simply can’t figure out how to live life according to how the Lord would have us live. I mean … Singapore is a nation that prides itself in academic and intellectual excellence. With all our expertise and reputation in efficiency and problem-solving, why do we seem to be going around in circles?

Perhaps, that’s where the real problem lies. Are we trying too hard to fix the system that we have missed the big picture? Are we trouble-shooting in the wrong places? Have we only complicated the process even more? Have we unconsciously replaced obedience with organisation, sacrifice with seminars, discipline with dialogue, maturity with methods, purpose with programmes, assignment with activities?

Once again, I say: I am thankful for conferences and seminars, and deeply appreciative of how I have received good reminders, fresh perspectives and insights from the speakers and organisers. But at the end of the day, there are simply no shortcuts.

As leaders and ministers, we often ask, “How can we help them…”, “How can we get our members to…”, “How do we encourage more to…”, etc. Certainly, we can do our part and we must. But unless these are personally impacted and touched by the Lord, compelled and convicted to live for Him, willing to obey and to sacrifice, our efforts, well-intended no doubt, will not avail much. It will just be another conference, another seminar and another programme.

The Believer’s Conference Survival Guide

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All Christians in Singapore know this statement to be true:

“There is no shortage of conferences and seminars in our sunny island state!”

Hardly a day goes by without us receiving an email, announcement or invitation to hear the most anointed speakers, to tap into the prophetic realm, to have the most powerful encounter, to experience the biggest breakthrough, to see the most unusual miracles, or to receive the latest download from heaven!

Truth be told, as interesting and promising as these may sound, many of us are experiencing conference fatigue. After a while, we realise that much of this is marketing and advertising language (take it from an ex-adman). This is not to say that such offerings are not good or needful. However, regardless how fantastic a meeting is touted to be or reported to have been, one must question its effectiveness beyond the registration numbers and post-publicity campaigns. Yes, intellects were provoked and emotions were stirred. Then what?

For sure, it cannot be the presentation. After all, these are the world’s best, the most sought after, supported by platinum album worship leaders with extremely impressive lights and sound. Perhaps, then, it is the posture of our hearts we must examine. Hence, as one who has also attended (and organised) more than a few of such events, this is how I personally navigate and survive the conference jungle out there.

RESIST For starters, don’t go running all over the place, attending every meeting however attractive these may sound to you. I am certain every conference that is organised and offered is good. But the truth is, you don’t have to attend each and every one. Simply, you don’t have all the time and money in the world. And even if you do, you want to be a good steward of these resources. Check your heart if you are simply going to get the next high or that you won’t feel left out when your friends tell you how good it was and what you have missed. Don’t laugh, but this actually requires prayer, discernment, focus and commitment; and for some, sheer strength and will power.

REST & RECEIVE Serial conference participants will find this difficult to achieve as these thrive on the spiritual buzz and highs that conferences offer. Yet, as much as these meetings set out to revive or reignite, don’t be overly concerned with man’s good intentions or at times, soulish methods. Don’t get too caught up with the outward but determine inwardly to rest and to receive. It is ok not to go with an expectation of “I must get something out of this!” Don’t get me wrong for there is still an expectation in your heart – to rest and receive; whenever, whatever, however. When you are truly rested in the Lord, that is when you become sensitive to His still small voice, regardless of the level of the sound system or the hype, ready to receive all He has in store for you.

REMINDERS & RHETORICS Let’s be honest. If you are a regular on the conference circuit, you would have realised that most, if not all, of the principles mentioned are the same – intimacy with God, obedience is better than sacrifice, how much God loves you, His amazing grace, God has a plan for you, etc. Even prophetic utterances are not very much different, seriously. Truly, there is nothing new under the sun. Depending on the posture of your heart, these could easily become rhetoric or they could be great reminders. You could come away thinking you have heard them all and be disappointed for having wasted time and money, or you could be duly prompted by the Holy Spirit to address a certain aspect of your walk. For sure, it is not more teaching we need but we must carefully examine what we are doing with all the information we have acquired.

RHEMA & REVELATION Thankfully, there are times when a gem of an idea or concept shines through. These would be different for different people depending on the situation or season you are in. Some refer to this as a rhema word whilst others may consider it a revelation of sorts. Regardless, it is something that caught your attention enough to make you sit up. Hold on to this nugget. Write it down. Don’t let it flit in and then out too easily. Transfer your notes to your prayer journal so that it can be referred to over and over again, along with other revelations you have received in the past. God never speaks in isolation but consistently through various means and times. The rhema you received at a conference may be significant. But the greater revelation of seeing God at work in your life in totality is by far even more amazing!

REVIEW & REFLECT How easy it is to enjoy the experience and then promptly forget it the moment the conference is over. This explains why people flock from meeting to meeting, hoping to recapture that moment or feeling. After all, it is so much easier to have someone else do the hard work for you. However, the way, the truth and the life is not the conference itself; it is the Living Word of God, Jesus. As the speakers are declaring the Word, use that time to reflect. After the event is over, review and reflect. If you have received a rhema or a revelation, then even more so, review and reflect. Keep reviewing and revisiting the points by meditating upon these and praying through. What did God say? What does it really mean? What does He want you to do with it?

RESPOND This, to me, is the most important point. Whilst it does happen, it is not enough to just make your way to the front to receive a touch, to shed a tear, or to spend some time on the floor. To respond really means to put into action all that has been received at the conference after the conference is over. No point leaving only with another conference booklet with blanks filled in and another name tag to add to your collection. Don’t make the mistake of being a hearer of the Word and not become a doer, deceiving yourself. It is not the number of conferences you have been to, or how many great speakers you have heard. It is what you do with what you have received that truly matters.

As we have already established, there are just so many Christian conferences and seminars in Singapore. Add to these, Church-based training and programmes, and we Singaporean believers are, without doubt, spoilt for choice. I pray that the above points would be helpful for you as you consider what to do with that conference flyer you are holding in your hand, or those invitation emails that just arrived in your inbox. [Of course, if it’s from me, you should register immediately – haha!]

Let me close with this verse that describes the explosion of information in the end times, often taken to refer to global travel and the knowledge-based internet economy of our days.

“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” Daniel 12:4

I wonder if this might, in actuality, be describing the running to and fro of God’s people from meeting to meeting, seminar to seminar, conference to conference. And the knowledge that is ever increasing and abounding? Oh Lord, by Your grace, may we have the fruit to show for it.

42 Parents Turned Up For “Raising Christian Families in Today’s World”

I want to give God all the glory for what took place at Wesley Methodist Church today.

At the invitation of the Family Life Ministry, I had the opportunity to share about raising families for Jesus in today’s challenging and ever-changing landscape. A total of 42 parents turned up to attend this talk (from Wesley MC and also other churches).

The morning started a little tentatively with me experiencing some technical and connection problems – interestingly, this tends to happen at Wesley MC … perhaps, it’s time for a new computer (MacBook?) – haha! Anyway, one of the parent-participants, Jonathan, helped me troubleshoot and got everything set up. Truly, God-sent!

With so many things to share, the three hours zipped by so quickly. As far as I could observe, the crowd was attentive and everyone was duly engaged with the SEVEN key points presented, drawn from Nehemiah 4:1-20.

Another high point was that for the first time, my wife Serene was able to join me (albeit a little later). I’ve always felt that we should be doing this together as husband and wife, father and mother. And today, with the children able to stay home themselves, Serene could be present. During Q&A time, the women had a chance to ask questions, which in my opinion, are better answered by my dear wife 🙂

Feedback and responses after were positive, indicating that the participants were provoked to think further and more deeply. Is it all about surviving the rat race, education and academic grades? Or are they raising Christian families centred upon Jesus that these would be purposefully used for God in the advancement of His Kingdom?

I am praying that the Holy Spirit would have convicted the parents who attended, and continue to lead them as their cast their vision for their families and make choices that would glorify Jesus!

Raising Christian Families in Today’s World

At the invitation of Wesley Methodist Church’s Family Life Ministry, I will be sharing this family seminar, “Raising Christian Families in Today’s World”*, on Saturday 18 August 2012, 9am to 12nn. Registration Fee: S$5.00 per person. For more information, you can contact Priscilla Shin at 6837 8610 or priscillas@wesleymc.org

Synopsis: Families today are under extreme pressure as they face new challenges in a fast-changing landscape. The enemy knows that if he hits the family unit, relationships will be broken and the testimony of the church will be weakened. What then are our roles as Christian parents? How do we protect our families from the spiritual and moral decline that is prevalent in societies today?  Indeed, parenting skills are important; but even more critical is a return to God’s Word and His mandate for parents to raise godly families for His Kingdom and glory!

If you can make it to attend, I’d strongly encourage you to; even better if both parents can make it. I won’t position this as a parenting talk, but a talk to and with parents. Feel free to share this seminar with others from your Christian community. It’d be a wonderful time of interaction, learning from one another and being made aware of the challenges that surround the Christian family in these perilous times.

*formerly titled, “Building a Household of Faith”

Singapore Christians: Like Foodies On A Food Trail

Everyone will agree that Singapore is extremely blessed where Christian teaching is concerned.  Whilst this is good and praiseworthy, this has also resulted in less than desirable attitudes in the Church.  Like a foodie on a food trail, we have Christians who hop from church to church, teaching to teaching, seminar to seminar, conference to conference.  And I haven’t even begun to mention the library of Christian books at home yet.

Reflecting on this one day, I am totally convinced and of the firm opinion that it is not more teaching we need.  Instead, it is time to apply what has been learnt and diligently put it into practice.

It’s nice to receive good teaching.  But if we do not begin to work it out in our lives, we will become critical and judgmental Christians.  We compare and contrast one preacher with the next.  We pit one interpretation against another (usually settling for the one that sits better with our own theology and situation).  We decide our church attendance, involvement, membership (and tithe) based on whether we have received revelational teaching or not.  Like the professional foodie, we are quick to complain when the service is not up to mark, the aircon is too cold, the presentation of the dish too simple, the queue too long, the fish is not fresh, the steak too chewy, the calamari too rubbery, the water too watery!  And what is most absurd is that the foodie can’t even cook or serve himself.  Similarly, albeit sadly, many Christians know how to provide an impressive commentary but do not have a corresponding testimony.

Lest I be accused of missing the plank in my eye as I observe the specks around, allow me to plead guilty and promptly address this article to myself first.  I take this extremely seriously, being a teacher and preacher of the Word.  For what right do I have to speak it, if I first do not live it?  I love to teach and also to receive teaching.  But I need to keep reminding myself … what have I done with the Word of God.  If nothing, then what is the use of the most revelatory teaching or prophetic word?  Worse yet, these will be an indictment against me, for I would have heard and ignored a clear instruction from God!  That, in a clear and simple word is … disobedience 😦

Let me state it once again: The challenge in the Church today is not the lack of teaching, but the lack of application.  To borrow a phrase from sports brand, Nike, it is time to “just do it”.  May God prompt and stir our hearts accordingly.

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22