Impetus (April 2024)

Volunteering: Blessing the Next Generation

 

Hi everyone,

I am Kevin, currently serving on the FES Board representing the English Section Working Committee. During my student days at NUS from 2009 to 2013, I joined the Varsity Christian Fellowship (VCF). When I graduated, I volunteered in various FES programmes like facilitating camp workshops, training students in Inductive Bible Study, and supporting the fresh graduates’ programme, Classmates to Colleagues (C2C).

Being in VCF was an eye-opening experience that transformed and added many layers to my understanding of our faith. I learnt about a God who cared not only about my future salvation but was concerned for the present suffering in the world and desired the redemption of broken relationships and healing for those who are hurting. My perspectives in reading the Bible were widened and I was greatly encouraged by fellow CFers in wanting to be salt and light on campus.

Many of you reading this can recall your journey in your respective CFs and remember with fondness how your faith had grown. All of this was and is possible because of the role that our FES staff played and the positive influences they had on us. Their impact was deep enough on me that it still informs how I approach my work as an educator.

I mention the above for two reasons. The first is that the impact that VCF and FES have had on me encouraged me to want to give back as a graduate, but admittedly, this is sometimes easier said than done. As a graduate, the eagerness to give back may not be matched with the time available to meaningfully do so. Being on the Board and in the English Section Working Committee also has presented new challenges. I do find myself on a steep learning curve about issues of governance and feel out of my depth in finding ways and means to help graduates stay connected with each other and with FES. When such ties are present, we can continue to be energised in doing God’s work and support the FES ministry, be it by volunteering or through financial support.

That said, being on the Board has given me greater insight into the challenges our staff face that I had little appreciation of as a student. I have a greater sense of urgency also in gathering the support of graduates for our staff, for the work that they do is not easy. Thus, I feel challenged to overcome my fears, uncertainties and limitations to learn to be courageous to try new approaches to garner more support for our staff.

The second reason is that I hope to encourage more of you to provide constant financial support to FES. We were blessed by our predecessors who supported our staff financially and enabled them to give us the guidance and mentorship that led to our deeper appreciation of the Bible and participation in God’s work. I hope we consider paying this forward to bless the next generation so that our staff can continue to do their good work.

Besides giving financial support, I would like to encourage you to consider volunteering at FES! Perhaps the greatest concern is the management of time. However, as we find our rhythm of time and get used to our work routines and personal commitments, I believe we can find ways and means to commit a small portion of time to volunteer as speakers at large group meetings and workshops, or in other ways. Every time I volunteer, I find that the blessing goes both ways as I am also encouraged and energised by the work of fellow graduates who are in the marketplace doing God’s work.

I hope that the community of CFers that we had been or are still part of, may continue to stay together or reconnect and that we may continually inspire and encourage each other through each phase of life to be the salt and light that we had been energised to do before.

 

– Kevin Chung
Kevin majored in Economics and graduated from NUS in 2013.

 

 



Ministry News

 

A New Journey Begins

 

MELT 2024 team

The Ministry Exposure and Leadership Training (MELT) Programme organised by FES aimed to equip and empower student leaders on their leadership journey. From 2–6 March 2024, 10 of us from Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Singapore Polytechnic English Christian Fellowship (five from each CF) embarked on a five-day training camp in Johor Bahru. The training focused on cultivating a deeper understanding of our mission on campus and in student ministry while fostering leadership skills. MELT not only taught us how to become a leader and lead our members to our vision, but it also allowed us to discover more about ourselves, our team, and our campus. Below, Chloe and Abbie share their reflections on their MELT experience.

Before MELT, my team and I were clueless as to how we were going to work together in the next academic year. We were also worried as to how we could better communicate our direction and vision for the year to our fellow CFers. However, since getting to know each other better through MELT, we are more conscious of our team dynamics. During our Team Dynamics session, we had a texting game where we faced multiple realistic challenges and problems from when we started leading and it opened new perspectives of how we would then deal with them. Though each one of us has different abilities and opinions at times, we are now more able to accept, listen, and understand where one is coming from. With that, we can be more efficient in making decisions and reaching a conclusion that everyone agrees on, as well as finding clarity on how to reach our end goal. We also realise that even though we are leaders who are going to lead the CF, we are also members of the CF who are working alongside the rest of the CF to reach the goal together. Learning more about my team and discovering our working styles and how we deal with stress, may only be one of the many lessons that I took away from MELT, but it showed me how excited I am to start on this journey with them as leaders. I pray that God will grant us wisdom and watch over us as we begin this adventure.

– Chloe Wong Jia Hui
Singapore Polytechnic, Diploma in Engineering with Business, Year 1

Teaching session

What stood out for me was the Community Building session, which delved into the essential components required to foster a strong sense of community within our CF. Four interdependent components were introduced: Comfort, Connection, Conviction, and Contribution. Comfort emphasises the importance of cultivating a welcoming and inclusive environment where CFers feel safe to express themselves authentically. I learnt that fostering comfort requires not only a warm and accepting atmosphere but also building healthy boundaries to establish a communal identity. Connection underscores the significance of fostering meaningful relationships between CFers, through shared experiences and quality interactions. Conviction highlights the role of shared values and a common purpose in uniting CFers to the CF’s vision. Clear communication is vital in this, as the vision and shared values should be repeatedly communicated to members, ensuring collective understanding. Contribution recognises the importance of active participation and the collective efforts of each CFer in contributing to the CF. CFers should be empowered to contribute, and be aware of the avenues they can contribute in. This insightful session allowed me to recognise how these four components are intrinsically intertwined and essential in cultivating a sense of community within our campus CF. It enabled my Sub-Committee and I to identify areas for improvement and brainstorm ideas to intentionally nurture a stronger sense of community, ensuring every member finds a true sense of belonging within our campus CF. With this knowledge, we are better equipped to build a community in our campus CF, and I pray that we will continue to lean on God and for Him to guide us as we begin our leadership journey.

– Abbie Tan Sze En
Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Diploma in Community Development, Year 1

 


 

Faith Forward

 

Sharing by Victor on “Faith Forward”

On 6 April, the FES Indonesian Ministry (IM) held its 2024 rendition of Family Day at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House at NUS. Over 90 past and present ISCF members from NTU, NUS, and SIM, attended the event which touched on the theme “Faith Forward”, spiritual growth amidst uncertainties. The programme featured fun icebreaker games, an eye-opening sermon by Ko Vibo (Victor Wibowo), as well as a craft activity that involved making a friendship bracelet.

As someone who had attended such an event for the first time, I was overwhelmed by the number of new people I met there. Everyone had a welcoming warmth that turned this overwhelmingness into a great sense of belonging. My highlight for this event was the silly drawing/charades game which brought much laughter to the entire room.

SIM ISCFers at the Family Day

On a more serious note, I can’t help but notice how much the nature of this event embodies the message it is trying to convey. Faith remains the strongest when it stands firm against the weight of the unknown. Though we weren’t producing any external impact on communities with this event, our banding together and looking back at His grace shows how God alone is enough. The event made us slow down and realise that, though at times we can succeed and grow, the testament to our faith is most significant when things seemingly remain stagnant or even when we face what looks like failures.

As FES IM turns 21, just like any other organisation, it will continue to face challenges and hard times such as when our efforts will be unfruitful and unyielding. In those times, I would like to remind ourselves of the verse from Habakkuk 3:17–18, “Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines…. yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”

– Jason Thajeb
SIM, Computer Science (UoW), Year 2

 



Ask a Volunteer

Tell us a bit about yourself and the roles you have played as a volunteer for FES.

 

I’m Yen Ter. I graduated from the School of Computing (Business Analytics) at NUS in 2019 and participated and served in VCF as a student. Since being a volunteer for FES, I’ve had the opportunity to share with several campus ministries about a variety of topics including work and tech. I’ve also served as a Bible Reading trainer at the annual camps.

 

How has volunteering contributed to your Christian growth and appreciation of student/graduate ministry?

 

The one thing that I enjoyed from my time in VCF was seeing how the body of Christ is so much bigger and varied compared to my church. VCF was filled with so many passionate people with a heart for God and a desire to know him and serve him better, wherever they are. In volunteering for FES, I have the great opportunity to see that again and again and to play a part in helping feed and shape the community of believers that I benefited from as a student. My faith is also strengthened and encouraged as I serve these students and interacting with them also sharpens my ministry in church, as I gain greater context with what the youth in my church are going through. Preparing for these sessions also allowed me to think more deeply about my faith, which I really enjoy.

 

How do you decide between volunteering with FES vs church/work/other commitments?

 

A verse that comes to mind time and time again is Romans 12:1, and I try to live it out with the perspective that all my life belongs to God – if Christ has indeed saved all of my life. I’m thankful that I’ve mostly only needed to give up personal time, rather than church or work commitments, to volunteer with FES. Whenever I meet the students and think back to my time in VCF as well, I see my volunteering as a way to sow seeds for the next generation of church leaders. I believe that our churches will look sorely different without the growth and challenging opportunities presented to students through ministries like FES.

 



GS Page

 

General Secretary

In the February 2024 issue of Impetus, I wrote that amendments were made to the FES Constitution which has since been accepted and approved by the Registrar of Societies and Commissioner of Charities. This was an important and necessary step to refresh the mission of student witness on campus, renew Christian communities on campuses, and improve the overall governance of the fellowship. For this issue, I wish to emphasise the latter point of governance in two ways.

Firstly, governance is crucial to demonstrate good stewardship and accountability. This applies not only in terms of donors and fundraising but even to the lifelong development of staff to maintain our ministry viability in light of society that is constantly changing around us. Therefore, the change to the Constitution is the first step to more improvements that will take place now as it translates into practice.
Secondly, our governance at the Board level is dependent entirely upon volunteers. Volunteers play a crucial role in the sustainability of FES. Again, not only in terms of donations and fundraising but also as graduates who can provide their diversity of experiences and expertise to keep our communities relevant and thriving. Therefore, it is important to acknowledge and highlight the contributions of our volunteers as we have tried to represent them in this issue of Impetus. In this coming year, I hope to develop this aspect of FES more, to improve our volunteer ministry, and in so doing give a better reflection of the community and impact of FES through its over 60 years of student and graduate ministry in Singapore.

 

Upcoming and Ongoing

Engagement Frameworks. FES finished its Staff Conference on 22–25 April where we discussed the development of new frameworks for students and graduates to have a more consistent experience with their time in ministry with FES. The work now is to properly develop these frameworks such that they can benefit our students, graduates, alumni and even churches as well. Pray for perseverance as this will be an intense undertaking for the staff. Pray for joy that as the work is done, it can lead to greater clarity and relevance for everyone who is involved in the work.

Leaders’ Party 2024. The third Leaders’ Party will take place on 17–18 May. Pray for the new generation of student leaders as they begin their preparations and plans for ministry on campus, that they may have grace, love, and hope to help them lead diligently and faithfully in uncertain times such as these.

Attendees at the FES 65th AGM held last year on 25 March

Annual General Meeting 2024. FES will have its 66th AGM on 1 June 2024. The significance of this AGM is that it will follow the new Constitution that has new rules for Board election and representation. It marks a significant turning point in terms of governance and ministry. Pray for a smooth transition of governance. Pray for the new leaders – graduates and students – who will be nominated and elected at the AGM. Pray for a renewed spirit and refreshed community to respond to the new needs and challenges of student and graduate ministry.

 

Finance and Fundraising

For the first quarter of 2024, FES has received $455K against a $2.2M annual budget. Staff costs contribute 75% of this annual budget and represent our greatest need in terms of funding. This is because our campus ministry depends heavily on the staff through which our programmes and services are delivered, and through which our communities and relationships are often built around. If you are interested in learning more about giving to FES and its student and graduate work, please get in touch through the contact information below.

 

Blessings

Jeremiah Goh
General Secretary

 



 

Impetus is published every two months. For enquiries, email connect@fellowship.sg

Upcoming events: https://promo.fellowship.sg/



X