Permanency: Developing Community & Team
by Nicholas Cheng, Research Fellow, Labourer in NUS Ministry
At the third session of the Asia Pacific Campus Forum, I learnt about the importance of expectant faith and prayer as well as the sovereignty of God in raising up people to labour in the campus ministry.
Firstly, in the message, Simon Cayzer (National Director of New Zealand Navigators) shared with us from God’s Word what we can learn about a sustainable ministry from Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
One of the key factors is heart and affection in prayer:
“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy… God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:4,8)
He asked us to consider, “What is the place of prayer in your own life and your team members’ life?”
During the Q&A session, I had the privilege of asking Simon for some prayer pointers he may suggest in raising up a sustainable ministry. To summarise his answer, it is simply to pray, pray and pray.
I am challenged to consider how much I am trusting God to see disciples and labourers being raised up who will bring the gospel of Jesus to the uttermost ends of the earth.
I thank God for the privilege of having close teamwork with a team of disciplemakers over the past few years. I wrestle in prayer for them, that each may be captivated by Jesus’s heart to give their all in passing on what they have learnt to raise up the next generation of disciples and labourers for God’s kingdom.
Practically, I intend to have regular prayer sessions with them to pray over the vision, calling and values of The Navigators with expectant faith that God will enable each one to be captivated by His heart for the world.
Secondly, in the Bible study on the book of Daniel, we learnt about how God established a community of Kingdom labourers in a pagan land.
We first studied the circumstances that brought Daniel and his three friends together. Despite the Israelites going into exile, the king of Babylon was still interested in bringing Israelites with the following qualities together into his service:
“Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility – young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.” (Daniel 1:3-4)
We learnt that God’s sovereignty was over the circumstances to allow Daniel and his three friends to make a significant impact on God’s Kingdom.
One of the follow-up questions in the Bible study that made me ponder a lot was:
‘Do you believe that your presence in your campus ministry right now is part of God’s sovereignty over your life journey? In what ways?’
This question prompted me to reflect on my life journey.
How did I begin my journey in my campus ministry? Why is it that I am involved in my campus ministry today?
As I reflect upon the many circumstances on how I started joining my campus ministry, I thank God that in His sovereignty, He has placed in my life spiritual mentors who taught me the Word of God and how to practically obey Him. He has used His faithful labourers to pray for me earnestly and rebuke me along the way that my life may be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.
In God’s sovereignty, I see that He will continue to use people to raise up the next generation of labourers for the campus ministry. Practically, I can trust that God will continually raise up people who will labour hard for His Kingdom.
I thank God that because of His mighty power and unfailing plans, I can have a part in this royal mission of raising up people for God’s Kingdom, just as my spiritual mentors have done for me.