Making The Connection

During my 10 years as a full-time Youth Pastor, I sought primarily to help young people shape their inner lives the way I felt mine was shaped – by focusing on what we thought was wrong with human beings. To me, it was about knowing the sinful nature of man and learning to lean on God’s grace and mercy. I have many stories about my own insecurities and fears, and how God has transformed my life.

I have come to realize now, that focusing on the ‘bad’ is not just inadequate but seems to have a detrimental effect especially when engaging people for the purpose of discipleship.

Many of us (myself included) are often quick to point out the shortcomings of others and then offer solutions (inner healing, counseling, etc.) to overcome them. When we do this, we fall short of empowering people to use their gifts and talents. We may be skilled at explaining the sinful nature of man but what about describing what a victorious Christian life should look like? As a leader, I have discovered that revealing the truth about our human weakness is definitely necessary but to focus on those weaknesses is hardly the encouragement that one needs.

An article in the Business Times on 01 August 2016 highlighted that more than half of Singapore companies have experienced staff who are physically present but mentally absent. According to the research, this phenomenon, termed “inner resignation” has been observed in 57 per cent of Singapore businesses.

Employee Engagement is a key issue in society today. It seems that in church, it is no different. It is not a wild idea to suggest that only a small proportion of church members feel engaged.

In my personal observation, our obsession with human weakness has hindered us in engaging and discipling people in the workforce as well as in church. Similarly in biological families, an increasing number of young people feel the disconnect at home because parents repeatedly only highlight what is wrong. Affirmations and encouragements appear to be a rarity.

Here’s another alarming fact. The World Health Organization has indicated that by 2020, depression will be the number 1 disease with the greatest negative impact on the global community. We are well on the way because depression currently sits at number 2 and by 2020, many of our young people will become adults.

There is a growing realization that in order to know how to overcome depression, we must study people who live meaningful, fulfilled and happy lives. Understanding the factors that are needed to help people stay positive has prompted the development of a branch of psychology known as “positive psychology”.

So, what if we focus on what’s right with people?

In the beginning of this year, I realized that I have spent the last 10 years focused on looking at the ‘wrong’ in people. I decided that I needed to realign my focus on what is right instead and I’ve since left ministry to set up my own company. I now help others discover their strengths through programs on employee engagement and student development using a tool called Strengthsfinder.

I pray that a paradigm shift takes place in our mindsets because I strongly believe that helping people discover what’s right with them is just as important as discovering what’s wrong. Looking at what’s right is critical in learning how to live a victorious life.

With this new outlook, how can we journey forward together as a church?

Focusing on strengths

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul describes the body of Christ, how we are all made uniquely and how we need one another to function to capacity. Each one of us is empowered with God-given talents and gifts to make a difference and be the salt and light in our community.

By focusing on our strengths, we start to respect the strengths that different individuals have so that we can go deeper in living out the concept of the body of Christ. In this way, we can build a culture of honour within the body of Christ. By learning to appreciate our unique talents, we can serve one another and even respectfully admonish and give constructive feedback. We earn that right to speak because people know what they are appreciated for. By focusing on our strengths, we catch people doing good as opposed to only catching people doing wrong.

“A leader needs to know his strengths as a carpenter knows his tools, or a physician knows the instruments at her disposal. What great leaders have in common is that each truly knows his or her strengths – and call on the right strength at the right time.” – the late Donald Clifton, author of Strengths-based Leadership.

Cultivate an attitude of gratefulness

The bible commands us to give thanks to God. Giving thanks changes our inner attitudes and helps us to be positive and hopeful in Christ. In a society where there is so much malice, bitterness and anger, cultivating a thankful heart helps us to appreciate one another. It also allows us to love and to receive love.

Try this exercise of giving thanks, 15 minutes a week. Do this with your family, do this with your friends. Do this for 10 consecutive weeks and observe the effects.

Questions for self-reflection:

  • From a scale of 0-10, how aware are you of your own strengths?
  • Reflect and think about how you are using your strengths for each of these areas: marriage, family, work, ministry.
  • How can you be more intentional in cultivating a thankful heart?

Formerly a Youth Pastor and now, Founder of Strengths School, Victor is passionate about discipling the next generation. He enjoys writing to equip others and writes regularly on his blog (victor-seet.com). His vision of “seeing every generation live out their full potential” empowers him to be a marketplace minister.

WHAT'S ON IN COOS

Events on June 20, 2019

7:30 pm: Caregivers-to-Caregivers Education Programme

Details Description: - C2C Programme provides training to caregivers of persons with mental illness. This unique training programme is free of charge. You will be supported through 2.5 hour 12 sessions and be empowered in your caregiving journey. 2 May - 18 July, every Thursday.
Location: Room 217B/305
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Events on June 21, 2019

9:00 am: FIN-SJSM INCLUSIVE ARTS WORKSHOP

Family Inclusion Network (FIN for short) invites you to a 2-Day Inclusive Arts Workshop. Experience Dance, Contemplative Music & Prophetic Art in this Space of Honour. Discover Singapore’s 1st integrated community space where people with different abilities can move independently; where they can feel accepted for who they are, and be valued for their contributions.

Registration has closed. For enquiries, please email fin.every1in@gmail.com
Location: Enabling Village, Singapore
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7:30 pm: Alpha Cycle Two Run [5 of 8 sessions]

Alpha Cycle Two runs for a total of 8 sessions, plus additional two sessions of Holy Spirit Day & Celebration Dinner.
Location: COOS Room 308
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Events on June 22, 2019

9:00 am: FIN-SJSM INCLUSIVE ARTS WORKSHOP

Family Inclusion Network (FIN for short) invites you to a 2-Day Inclusive Arts Workshop. Experience Dance, Contemplative Music & Prophetic Art in this Space of Honour. Discover Singapore’s 1st integrated community space where people with different abilities can move independently; where they can feel accepted for who they are, and be valued for their contributions.

Registration has closed. For enquiries, please email fin.every1in@gmail.com
Location: Enabling Village, Singapore
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2:30 pm: English Service : Ps Lee Seng Yan Speaking

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
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4:30 pm: Youth Service

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
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Events on June 23, 2019

8:30 am: English Service : Ps Lee Seng Yan Speaking

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
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10:45 am: English Service : Ps Lee Seng Yan Speaking

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
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Events on June 25, 2019

7:30 pm: Talk on 'Journeying with Persons with Same-Sex Attraction'

How should we engage and respond to those struggling with same-sex attraction and those in the LGBTQ community? How do we balance grace and truth? Gain a better understanding by attending a talk by Choices Ministry on 'Journeying with Persons with Same-Sex Attraction'.
Location: Chapel
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Events on June 26, 2019

3:00 pm: Cafe Oasis cupcake workshop

Anyone and Everyone is welcome to express themselves through food! Come learn how to customise your cupcakes. The workshop will cover basic techniques, 2 cupcakes to decorate and a prize for the best looking cupcake!
Location: Atirum
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Events on June 27, 2019

7:30 pm: Caregivers-to-Caregivers Education Programme

Details Description: - C2C Programme provides training to caregivers of persons with mental illness. This unique training programme is free of charge. You will be supported through 2.5 hour 12 sessions and be empowered in your caregiving journey. 2 May - 18 July, every Thursday.
Location: Room 217B/305
Click for more events

SERVICE DETAILS

MAIN SERVICES (ENGLISH)
Saturday | 2.30pm
Sunday | 8.30am and 10.45am
YOUTH SERVICE (ENGLISH)
Saturday | 4.30pm
*Except every 1st weekend of the month, where youth joins main services.
SERVICES & OFFICE LOCATION
130 Margaret Drive Singapore 149300
It is a 10-minute walk from the Queenstown MRT Station.The bus-stops nearest to the church are served by
SBS Bus 51, 111, 145, 186, 195 and 32 and TIBS Bus 970.

The office is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays, 9am to 5.30pm.

Click here for more service details.