GS Desk

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May 2018
 

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ

In the second week of May, the leadership succession for all the Christian Fellowships (CFs) affiliated to FES was completed. We are grateful that God has raised around 150 new student leaders, who typically form the executive committee or Exco of the respective polytechnic or university CF, to reach out and serve their campuses for Christ for another academic year.

As most of them are new to their leadership roles, student leadership training sessions and camps have been and will be conducted in the coming months. Equipping sessions on the vision of student ministry, doctrinal basis, distinctives, as well as the history of respective CFs are conducted, not forgetting the aspects of servanthood, growth, and mentoring too. In addition to these, some CFs will have a series of strategic planning meetings, followed by the cycle of implementing, evaluating, and fine-tuning the programmes throughout the year. By the same period next year, another new student Exco of a CF will again be formed, with the hope they can take the baton and build upon what has been done prior to that.

As their time as a student is limited, it is hard to find many students who are able to stay on in leadership positions for more than one term of office. This means that similar training materials and mentoring sessions must be repeated almost each time the new Exco takes on their roles. Besides the monotony, our staff team may also experience the anxiety of whether the work of building up and bringing continuity to the respective CFs will really materialise. The question is: How do we know that the CF and our students are growing and becoming what FES envisions, if at the beginning of every new academic year we must do the same things over and over again?

After being the general secretary of FES for the past eight years, I find that I am also prone to the sentiments above. Sometimes it makes my confidence in the effectiveness of our student ministry a bit rattled, until recently when I read one parable of Jesus that encourages me.

He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come” (Mark 4:26-29).

The above parable is sometimes called the parable of the ignorant farmer. It interestingly portrays the seemingly redundant repetition (“night and day”, “sleeps or gets up”) and oblivious attitude of the farmer (“he does not know how”), yet the seed “sprouts, grows.… produces grain.” In other words, the parable exhorts us that God is the one who makes things grow and flourish.

This parable is exactly the antithesis of how we in Singapore are used to live our lives. We are obsessed with seeing things happen according to our expectations and within our control. We would like to be completely sure that plans and initiatives work out effectively before we carry them out. The parable teaches us that God could work effectively even though we do not know how, and things seemingly just run repetitively.

Therefore, in whatever responsibilities God has entrusted us, let us continue to work on it, while trusting that “neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow” (1 Corinthians 3:7).

 

In His grace,
 

Lisman Komaladi
General Secretary
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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