by Kevin Chew
About three years ago, a few of the leaders from Mustard Seed Service (MSS) were asked if they were willing to be the new cell leaders for the incoming batch of Secondary 1 students when they transited from the Children’s Ministry to MSS. Back then, I was in my cell group, Elohim, and I was very comfortable being a leader among my peers.
So when the call came I was a tad bit hesitant about moving off to lead a new cell group. I did not have any prior experience working in the Children’s Ministry, I did not know any of these kids, and I certainly did not know how to lead a cell for young teenagers. As the new cell would meet right after service on Sundays, it would also mean forgoing lunch with my friends from Elohim. But after much prayer, I felt a willingness to serve wherever God wanted me to and I sensed God challenging me to take on this role. So I accepted the challenge.
The Sec 1s themselves were taking on a new set of challenges as they moved to MSS. It was a different environment for them, in which they were once again the youngest in the service (after having been the oldest in the Children’s Ministry). The service itself was very different for them. No more games, skits or cheers, and sermons were much longer. Finally, they had to deal with being in a cell group for the first time.
So when I started leading the new cell at the beginning of 2012, I had to help them get used to these changes and also build relationships with them. We named the cell El Kanno, the Jealous God, to remind them of how much God wants a relationship with us. And indeed, God has been good. Despite the generation gap, I have learnt to understand them better and thankfully, they too have grown in maturity.
Planning word for cell group also brought about a fresh challenge for the cell leaders. I could not use the same material or style of Bible study that I used among my peers as the Sec 1s would find it too boring or difficult to comprehend. We have recently been using MSS’s comprehensive Bible study material which has been extremely helpful for developing a solid foundation of discipleship. We pitch it to their level of understanding and also try to keep things interesting with creative ideas.
It has been a real pleasure to watch over their growing up years in school and at church. We have always strived and will continue to strive towards helping them grow in their relationship with God. It was also important to foster a sense of togetherness and a sense of identity as a cell group. Future efforts include getting all of them to serve in ministries. Although things are not always easy, I thank God for His faithfulness prompting me to accept the challenge in the first place. It is also great fun and it was a privilege to serve alongside a couple of them in this year’s Tanglin Halt Camp.
Kevin Chew is a mechanical engineer and currently works at a power plant like his favourite cartoon character, Homer Simpson.
This article first appeared in Issue 11, August 2014 CHORUS Magazine.