ONE COULD SAY THAT it was God’s hand which sowed the seeds of ministry that would later become Sengkang Methodist Church (SKMC). How else can we explain why He gave the same vision to three Methodist churches to begin ministries in the emerging housing estate of Sengkang in the 1990s?
Gloria Methodist Church, as it was then known, became like a kernel of wheat which “dies” so that it may “produce many seeds” (John 12:24), as it approved the transfer of all its active members into the new church, SKMC, alongside members from Hakka Methodist Church and Paya Lebar Chinese Methodist Church. SKMC was constituted as a local conference of the Chinese Annual Conference on Sept 10, 2000.
Members of the new church worshipped in the Emmanuel Hall at Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School for two years while their church building at 31 Anchorvale Road was under construction. The hall, situated in the basement of the school, was converted from a former air-rifle range. At that time, the church’s office was situated in a bomb shelter in nearby Hougang. SKMC therefore became affectionately known to some as “the underground church”.
Inspired by two Bible verses, the Great Commandment in Luke 10:27 and the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-19, our mission is: To Seek and bring the lost and bring them into the Kingdom of God and Make them into fully devoted disciples who will continue the mission of Christ. The acronym for our Church, SKMC, is encapsulated in our mission.
Accordingly, outreach work in Sengkang began even before the church moved into its constructed premises. From 2000 to 2002, SKMC organised more than 20 community events such as Christmas celebrations and mooncake festivals to draw and attract residents from Sengkang.
As they conducted prayer walks, members also heard God’s voice to serve with nearby schools and community centres. Befriending work in neighbouring schools started, together with the setting up of the Sengkang Methodist Children Centre (SKMCC) and Oikos.
Community@Sengkang (Oikos), SKMC’s community outreach arm. Started in 2003, the Children Centre’s aims to serve the community through providing quality pre-school education. Today, it has become the preferred pre-school provider within the area, with parents queuing overnight in order to register their children. Oikos, which means “family” or “household” in Greek”, is a family-centred social service agency located in the Sengkang estate to serve the local community. It aims to bring “Hope to Individuals, Unity to Families, and Harmony to Society through Life-Transforming Experiences”. It does so by providing family life education, youth and children programmes, and counselling services to the local community.
All these outreach efforts were built on the pioneering spirit and strong desire among SKMC’s members to reach out to the pre-believers in Sengkang.
As of April 2013, SKMC has a total membership of about 700 – a far cry from the 150 who first moved into the current Anchorvale premises. Ministries for different age groups are available, such as the Compass Ministry (children), D’Anchor ministry (youth), the Adult Bible Fellowship and the Evergreen Ministry (senior citizens).
In the coming years, SKMC aims to continue in its vision of “being a Disciple-Making Church”. To achieve this vision, SKMC strives to develop disciple-makers who will impact individuals, families, the church and community, and extend God’s kingdom.
From inception, God’s mandate to serve the Sengkang community was deeply impressed on the hearts and minds of all the leaders and members of SKMC. Like the mustard seed in Mark 4:31-32 which grows into a large plant that shelters birds in its branches, the church has grown to become a blessing to its community.
As we look back and recount all of God’s blessings upon SKMC and Sengkang, we can only marvel at the grace of God. From the winning of the tender to starting a church in Sengkang, to the construction of the church premises and growing from a congregation of 150 to a sizeable 700 worshippers, it is clear to us that the loving and mighty hands of God are upon SKMC.
Sengkang Methodist Church (Chinese Annual Conference)
31 Anchorvale Road
Sunday services: 9 am (English) and 11 am (Mandarin)
Contact: 6385-9455 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rev Lek Yong Teck is the Pastor-in-Charge of Sengkang Methodist Church. He was one of its founding pastors.