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 August 24, 2019

9:00 am: Korean Style Bouquet Workshop

Annyeong! Come join us for a fun DIY Korean-styled Bouquet Workshop. We will be using fresh flowers to create a korean-style wrapped bouquet. All materials and tools will be provided.

It cost $80 per participant, or $150 for 2 pax if you are bringing a friend.
As sharp tools will be used, the workshop is suitable for participants 12 years and older.

Dates: 24 & 25 August 2019
Time: 9am to 11.30am (24 Aug), Room 302
1.30pm to 4.00pm (25 Aug), Room 201
Location: Room 302
Click for more events

9:30 am: An Overview of the OT (Session 2 of 4)

An Overview of the Old Testament
For more information, visit https://www.coos.org.sg/church-life/christian-education/
Location: Room 217
Click for more events

2:30 pm: English Service : Pastor Mark Tho speaking

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
Click for more events

4:00 pm: COOSkidz Birthday Party - Robot

Click for more events

4:30 pm: Youth Service : Guest speaker Max Jeganathan

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
Click for more events

5:00 pm: Waggy Walk with Your Furkids!'

Calling out to all COOS members who own a pet dog/s to join us in this gathering to walk our dogs which will take place on the 4th Saturday of each month. Invite your friends and neighbors so that we can also promote bonding which each other! Meeting point and ending point at COOS Plaza. We will be walking along the Alexander Canal for our first walk on 24/8/19. Register through this link and QR code.
Location: Meeting point and end point in COOS Plaza
Click for more events
Events on August 25, 2019

8:30 am: English Service : Pastor Mark Tho speaking

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
Click for more events

10:45 am: English Service : Pastor Mark Tho speaking

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
Click for more events
Events on August 29, 2019

7:30 pm: Choir Performance

Location: Church of Our Saviour, 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
Click for more events
Events on August 31, 2019

9:30 am: An Overview of the OT (Session 3 of 4)

An Overview of the Old Testament
For more information, visit https://www.coos.org.sg/church-life/christian-education/
Location: Room 217
Click for more events

2:30 pm: English Service : Pastor Joseph You speaking [Holy Communion]

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
Click for more events

3:00 pm: Flea Market

Volunteers needed for outreach initiatives to our community for the Flea Market! Gather your family, church friends or cell members, go into our neighborhoods (Stirling, Dawson and Mei Ling) at your own time and invite the residents for the flea market event on 31/8 and 1/9. Every flyer has a $10 value coupon attached so that they can exchange for the items at the flea market! Contact Tan Choong Meng at 81235996 for any enquiry.
Location: Atrium
Click for more events

3:00 pm: Flea Market

Looking for volunteers to set up booths to run a flea market in COOS! Gather a few friends or cell members, collect unused clothes and accessories, mend a stall at the atrium. Proceed of the sales will go towards the Geylang Ministry in COOS! If you are interested, please register at the admin counter or at this google link. Contact Tan Choon Meng at 81235996 for more information.
Location: Atrium
Click for more events

4:00 pm: Alpha Parenting Teenagers Course

A course for parents with children from 11 - 18 years old. It equips carers of children with strategies and tools in building a healthy family life. It is relevant for people of all faith.

Date: 31 Aug, 7, 14, 21, 28 Sep, 5 Oct
Time: 4pm - 6pm
Venue: COOS

Register at admin desk or scan QR code or thru this link: https://bit.ly/2vq7ClL
Location: COOS
Click for more events

4:45 pm: Evergreen Fellowship Talk

Evergreen Fellowship is organising a talk by Mr Benny Ong on "Understanding the difference between Advance Medical Directive (AMD), The lasting power of Attorney and The will.
Location: COOS AUDITORIUM
Click for more events
Events on September 1, 2019

8:30 am: English Service : Pastor Joseph You speaking [Holy Communion]

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
Click for more events

10:45 am: English Service : Pastor Joseph You speaking [Holy Communion]

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
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.