by Serene Ng, Samuel Stephens, Shirley Bong
CHORUS sends our publication team members to spend some time with three of our ministries and investigate what they are all about.
Dwelling Place Ministry
Having heard so much about the “Dwelling Place” project from church members, I finally had the chance to join them some weeks ago. “Dwelling Place”, an outreach initiative of Tanglin Halt Ministry, offers weekly tuition to children living in the Commonwealth neighbourhood. It is entirely run by COR church members from different services. The volunteers dedicate their Wednesday nights to help the children, mostly from low-income families, with their schoolwork and exams preparations. Volunteers are each assigned a child and they will usually start the session by nding out how the child is coping. Sometimes, a prayer will follow after the chat. The first half hour will then be allocated to any unfinished schoolwork and the rest of time will be spent on practice questions in assessment books and mock exam papers.
It was indeed a privilege to witness these faithful volunteers in action, patiently teaching the kids and reaching out to them with love and kindness. I think this is what Jesus would do if He were here on earth, for He said: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 18:16) May God use His servants mightily and bless the work of their hands to impact the lives of these little ones!
Behind the smiles that great us each Sunday lies a deep desire to serve God humbly, even in the mundane tasks of distributing bulletines and collecting offertory. Duty is often punctuated by sacrifices such as coming to church early or staying back after service. The welcome ministry comprises a few groups that handle specific tasks that are invaluable for the running of services within COR. These groups are namely Greeters, Ushers and Information Desk.
Greeters – These friendly and amicable people have the task of welcoming both new and old- comers with a warm smile and greeting.
Ushers – The ushers follow up on the good work of the greeters by distributing the bulletins and guiding those who are punctual and not so punctual to their seats. In addition, they collect the offertory and tithe, and count them after service.
Information Desk Receptionists – This desk acts almost as a central repository of knowledge for anyone with queries.
Altar Preparation Group – A special group of members faithfully arranging the communion table and the sacraments fortnightly.
All in all, the Hospitality Ministry is a ministry of service. It is service through small actions that require nothing more than a willing heart; an act of worship that is beautiful in our Lord’s eyes.
Ordinarily, reels of wires, microphones, unfriendly looking knobs on a soundboard with no instruction menu attached would have me cringing with much apprehension. Fortunately, I only need to watch the capable sound technicians at work and thankful not be a part of all that action! Four major components of their duty include setting up sound equipments, doing the sound check for the Psalmist team, controlling the sound system to ensure it was functioning properly with the sound quality remaining optimal at all times and ensuring the sermon was recorded properly. As I watched from the sidelines, I gleaned two lessons from my very short time with them:
A) Seen and Not Heard
Without much notice and appreciation, these members worked contentedly and quietly in the background, having minimal interaction with the congregation. It was only when glitches arise do some people give them a cursory glance. Would most of us be happy being “invisible”? Just quietly serving God with no additional attention shining on us?
B) From Beginning To End
Certainly the first to arrive and almost the last to leave! While most of us would be happily catching up with friends after service, the team had to stay back to pack the equipment. Would we be able to serve God amidst distractions, seeing things from start to end without complaining?
These lessons certainly leave us much to think about. In whatever way we are serving, let’s “work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically”. (Romans 12:11)
This article first appeared in Issue 11, August 2014 CHORUS Magazine.