What is one’s calling? If you heard God calling you, would you obey? How do you go through the different seasons in your life while still staying on track with God’s calling? Jessica found some answers to these questions in a CHORUS interview with Jacqueline (Jac), who is a full-time staff member of COR.
BY JESSICA EWING-CHOW “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 (NIV)
Before entering full-time church ministry, Jac was an educator with experience in public schools and curriculum planning in the Ministry of Education (MOE). She served as a member of the pastoral staff in the Mustard Seed Service from 2013 to 2014 before switching to her current role in church administration and finance.
Do you think God has given you a calling or a purpose in life?
Yes. I know he has called me to teach. I also know that he has called me to be a parent. I know that I am a servant of God.
What motivates you and why? My motivation is to obey God and to fulfill His call for me in each season of my life.
Have you always wanted to serve full-time in church? Not really. I wanted to teach. I still believe that teaching is something I am called to do, but it may not be in public schools. I can teach in church and cell group as well. Working as an administrative finance officer is something I never expected myself to do. With hindsight, I can see how God has shaped and prepared me to perform this role. I was trained in accountancy and taught book keeping when I was in MOE. This role is also quite suited to my personality and it fits in my current season of being a mother to a young child.
Was there any moment when you felt that you had made a wrong decision to serve full-time in church? I don’t think that I made a wrong choice. But there have been occasional self-reflections where I’ve asked myself if I should continue.
How do you feel about having to balance work, ministry and family commitments? I was initially frustrated but learnt to be easier on myself. It’s become more difficult to find time for all the people who matter. Personal time, time with my husband, catching up with friends, talking to cell members, etc. have all been reduced. Life is just much more streamlined now. But more importantly, I just want to obey God.
Who do you feel supports you the most in your transitions? I am blessed with good mentors. In my pastoral role, I enjoyed working with and learning from Rev. Christopher Chan and Rev. Jeremy-Joe Tan. I also appreciate Rev. Daniel Tong’s guidance in my journey as he took time to give me detailed feedback.
In my current role, I am blessed by Dr Leong Soon Kai’s guidance and patience with me. I have learnt a lot from him; in terms of knowledge and governance with heart.
At home, my husband is very supportive of what I do. My parents support me greatly in their care of my child so that I can carry on working.
Jac’s answers have truly given me much food for thought. Many liken our faith to running a marathon with God by our side. After chatting with Jac, I realised that our relationship with God could also be like a game of baseball. At times, God throws us a curveball (an unexpected situation) which He wants to see us catch with confidence and to run single-mindedly back to home base with it. Jac said it really well; that in our various seasons of life, with the accompanying challenges, only one response matters the most – our obedience to God. Thankfully, He will never fail us.
Jessica worships at the Saturday Praise Service with her husband Paul and two daughters, Elyssa and Emma. She dreams of being a celebrity makeup artist and considers painting “Owlette” masks on Emma’s face and creating fanciful hairstyles for Elyssa as training.
This article first appeared in Issue 18, July 2018 CHORUS Magazine.