My Key Learning Points in Preaching for the First Time

Haven’t been writing for a while… I always tell people that I hate writing, and yes I really don’t like to write because I can’t seem to write very well, but I do have a thing for blogging. Maybe because this is my own space and I have the freedom to write about anything and everything that my heart desires.

“Lord, what do you want me to write about?” I caught myself asking this question as I stared at my computer screen. I was eager to write a post but I had no idea what to write. Too many things have happened the past 3-4 months, and when I asked the Lord what to write, He brought to mind my first preaching experiences in my youth ministry. So here goes…

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The first time I ever preached was in Sri Lanka. I could still remember vividly the sermon I preached, and the feeling of sharing the word of God to the crowd. Initially I was nervous, but as I started speaking, I found myself enjoying it and in fact it was right after I finished preaching the sermon that I felt the Lord say this is what He will lead me to do in the future. At that point, I didn’t really know what God meant – all I knew in my 19-year-old understanding was I’m going to serve God with my life.

Fast-forward to about 6 years later, with much difficulty yet by the grace of God, I am finally in the place where God had been preparing me for – R-AGE, my very own church‘s youth ministry.

I have preached in other countries, taught in children’s church, taught in youth cell groups, but never preached to a youth group in Singapore before. The first time I preached on home ground was on the 23 April 2016. I felt so stressed during the time leading up to that day, especially the few days before that day. I was stressed for the following reasons:

  1. That I couldn’t deliver the Word of God accurately to the young people
  2. That I couldn’t make the Word of God relevant for the young people
  3. That I couldn’t hear God properly, resulting in sharing an untimely message to the young people
  4. That I couldn’t articulate the thoughts properly to the young people

Even thought I surrendered these fears to God before I went up to preach, it wasn’t until recently after I preach my second sermon to the younger youths, the pre-teens, that God showed me a revelation of serving Him in this area of preaching.

  1. Preaching is not about how good a speaker I am, but how great a God He is.
  2. Focus on preaching the Word of God accurately and precisely, not on persuading the congregation with flowery words.
  3. The response of the congregation does not determine whether I have done a good job because what matters to God is my obedience in delivering His word and delivering it accurately.

To sum up, God wants our obedience when we serve Him (not only in the area of preaching). And when we have the privilege of sharing His word, to share it accurately.

my BIGGEST struggle: incompetent leaders

It was another crazy day at work – having to meet the expectations of the boss even though my logical mind says no. Perhaps many people think that having the ability to think logically is good, but working with a boss that cannot really think logically, sometimes makes me wish that I am not that logical so that I can survive better working with her. In times like these, I thank God for a spiritual mentor (SWJ) for keeping me sane, and for helping me to re-align myself to God. If not for a mentor like her, I don’t even dare to think what could have become of me. Haha..

I found out that my greatest struggle is with incompetent leaders at the end of NTU Year 1 when I was deciding whether to re-run for NTU Sports Club. The past 5 months of work in this organisation affirmed me of this struggle, and tonight’s conversation with SWJ made it definite. Perhaps I might still be able to work WITH incompetent leaders, but I really cannot tolerate working UNDER incompetent leaders!!!

“Incompetent leaders are part of God’s creation”, said SWJ, “and there’s nothing we can do about it.” I was like #facepalm. But hearing SWJ’s experience made me feel better because at least I know that I still have hope that something good might grow out of this.

Be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. -Matthew 10:16b

God, teach me to keep my carnal being quiet and let my soul be still in all situations. Give me wisdom to respond and not react, and give me love that I may be gentle towards her. Open my eyes to see beyond who she is at work, and let me catch a glimpse of Your heartbeat for her.

Redeem One

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About 6 months ago, PJ and I met to catch up and he shared with me his vision of Redeem One over lunch. I was excited but I don’t recall saying yes to be a part of it. 2 months after the meet-up, I see a WA group “Redeem Movement 2014” appeared in my WA. I was like “huh? win.” but I did it anyway 🙂

The conference ended yesterday, and today marks the first day of the movement; low and behold, I am eternally grateful to be a part of this vision. We saw God move from the first day of conference to the last day of conference – surely God is faithful. He met with the young people just as He has promised – “Draw near to me and I will draw near to you.” and “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”. It is God’s promise to us to when we seek Him with all our hearts, He will be found by us. He will meet with us. And yes, we did right there at the conference. The spiritual atmosphere changed from what felt like a heavy dark cloud hovering above us on the first night, to a light hearted joyous celebration on the last night at the conference – it was simply amazing, and I could only stand in awe of what I saw.

In the words of PJ – “Finally. Finally the young people of R-AGE knows the true meaning of their youth group – to Redeem A Generation for Eternity.”. I am excited to think about R-AGErs growing in the Lord and R-AGE growing for the glory of God. Indeed every opportunity to serve in the youth ministry makes me want to go back to the ministry so much more, but I have so little capacity right now.

Lord, if it is Your will, I pray for greater capacity. Greater capacity to love the young people, greater capacity to have compassion for the young people, and greater capacity to minister in this area.

因为一个人的以为,十二个人的聚集,神创造了“Redeem One”的可能。

Ohana

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Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten. -Lilo & Stitch

Just watched this show for the first time in my life and I thought that it’s quite a good show to learn about family. I love Disney movies because regardless of what age you are, you’ll certainly enjoy it. 🙂

I enjoyed finding out how love changed Stitch – from a wild little crazy alien,  to a gentle loving human-like creature. I guess that is the power of love. Love, having the power to change a person into someone better.

This reminds me of the love of God. Human love can make a person change, what more the unconditional love of God? The unconditional love of God is certainly the most powerful. Not only can it cause a person to change, it causes the person to change to become more like Jesus. Food for thought.

 

I love young people

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This young man here is my ex-tutee from three years ago. Met him today for lunch at Jem because he’s enlisting next Tuesday.

My impression of him is still the secondary school boy that doesn’t wanna study. Haha. But I guess as time passes, he’s definitely grown up. (:

When I first started teaching him, I felt there was something more to this than just teaching. I didn’t know what was the ‘something more’, I just did what I had to do.

3 years down the road, his mum still calls me to talk to me about things…and he still cares to share life with me. So I’d believe that the feeling of ‘something more’ is not from me.

After meeting him today, I realised that I still enjoy meeting young people. I like to hear about their lives and how they’ve been growing. I like to be a part of their lives and to be in a position of influence to them. Not just like, I think I love young people. (:

1 month as an FYP student

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I’m into the 2nd month of being a final year student and I think I’m slowly starting to feel the tension of juggling FYP and the other modules that I have this semester. I was enjoying FYP quite a bit but I guess I’m starting to feel frustrated because I’m not getting the results that I want, and I need those results.

Mid-terms are in 2 weeks’ time but there just isn’t enough time in one day to do that many things. Well, actually there is time to do many things in one day but too much time is spent in the lab. Really.

It’s 2126hrs now and I just left lab about 10 minutes ago.

God knows best

Ok, so my FYP mentor told me to meet her at 10am today in the lab. We were supposed to grow the cells today but it turned out that the cells weren’t growing very well—we’ll, at least the colonies couldn’t be seen and so because of that we weren’t able to grow any cells today. So we made new agar gels and that’s all for my lab today. It ended at about 10.45am.

Hmm, on one hand, I am quite sian that the cells didn’t grow because that means that we will have to do ligation again next week, and that would mean that more time is required for me to learn what I need to learn. On the other hand, I am thankful because I was worried yesterday (and still worried this morning) that I might need to stay late for lab and not able to make it for cell. I am leading worship today so I need to go to cell earlier! Haha yupp, so thank God that I can go to cell earlier today because of whatever that happened 🙂