A time of empowering our Children, Youth and Young Adults ministers.
Openness to change. Opportunities instead of obstacles. Obedience to follow the Lord’s call.
These were the three essentials that Ps Isaiah Fadzlin (Assemblies of God Singapore’s NextGen Commission Coordinator) exhorted ministers to take hold of as Singapore enters the tail end of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was speaking at the end of the local NextGen Commission’s first meeting for 2021, Leverage. An initiative by the World AG Fellowship, NextGen Commission encourages collaboration among churches in order to perpetuate a Spirit-empowered legacy to children and youth.
The session on March 26 saw Children, Youth and Young Adults ministers from 13 churches gather to learn from three passionate panelists on how to navigate the new norm brought about by the pandemic.
Moderated by Ps Amadea Seow (Maranatha Christian Assembly), the panel consisted of Ps Poh-Low Aye Lan (Emmanuel Assembly of God), Ps Reuel Ramos (The Living Word Fellowship), and Ps Lyanna Teo (Calvary Assembly of God).
Challenges and Creative Solutions
For over an hour, panelists shared about the challenges they have faced and the corresponding creative solutions employed when physical services were allowed from Phase 2, as well as the lessons learned for moving their ministries forward.
The first major challenge discussed was finding ways to advance the gospel while keeping to Safe Management Measures. While churches can now hold physical services, group activities remain limited to eight people. This rules out traditional big-scale events such as youth camps and outreaches.
Working around these limitations, and the possibility of accidental slip-ups during inspections by Safe Management Officers can be daunting. However, Ps Reuel encouraged churches to develop solutions, instead of seeing the measures as an opposing force.
An example of not being constrained by guidelines, Emmanuel held youth camp stayovers in the individual homes of their youth in December 2020, instead of everyone congregating at a conventional campsite. Ps Aye Lan shared that this new format yielded a positive outcome and campers gave much positive feedback. Moreover, the decision to hold a camp even during this challenging period was rewarded with almost twice the expected sign-ups because nobody could travel overseas for holidays.
While individual churches can achieve results on their own, the panelists agreed that collaboration has been invaluable in the new normal. Ps Lyanna shared how Calvary partnered with the Children’s Pastor from another church to film videos for their children services just before and after the Circuit Breaker. Indeed, two are better than one as videos for children services were not something Calvary could have achieved with its own resources, and children from the partner church were also blessed by the videos.
Wrapping up the discussion, the panelists shared that no matter the times, there are some basics that remain evergreen, such as the need to build firm foundations which will not be shaken when troubles arise, the fact that discipleship starts at home, and the importance of partnering parents in raising the younger generation up in the ways of the Lord.
Leverage certainly got the attendees thinking about how we can turn the current circumstances into advantages for God’s Kingdom. And in the months and years ahead, Children, Youth and Young Adults ministers in the Assemblies of God will continue exchanging ideas with and supporting one another. We invite you to continue interceding for NextGen ministries to continue leveraging the opportunities risen from the pandemic.
(Photos were taken during Phase 3 subjected to all safe distancing measurements policies. Photo credits: Ps Jay Ong)