At the Atrium of Wesley Methodist Church (Wesley) stand two boardswith numerous colourful paper hearts. Displaying handwritten reflections on Scripture, these paper hearts are part of a new year-long Bible Reading Drive where more than 2,600 Wesleyans committed to read the Bible daily in 2016.
The Bible Reading Drive follows a series of intentional discipleship efforts initiated since 2012. When the Rev Dr Kow Shih Ming became Pastorin-Charge, the 7,000-member church had just completed a faith project– ‘Biblethon – to involve every Wesleyan in hand-writing the entire Bible. This opened the door to a church-wide immersion in the Word of God.
To strengthen their foundation in the Word, Wesleyans participated in a church-wide “Meeting Jesus in the Gospels” campaign in 2014, involving sermons, memory verses, Scripture reading and small group studies. The single-minded focus for 40 days forged a renewed sense of oneness in the Wesley church family, and Wesleyans called for more.
In 2015, Wesley delved into a church-wide study of Acts and Paul’s letters to the churches, followed by a three-month sermon and small group study series “Rebuilding Walls, Restoring Lives” centred on the book of Nehemiah.
Said the Rev Dr Kow: “We celebrated Wesley’s 130th Anniversary last year. By learning to be the church described in the Bible and restoring the broken walls in our lives, we want to continue the charge that God has given to us – to be salt and light in the world for, God willing, another century to come.”
At Wesley, discipleship and outreach are understood to be intertwined and symbiotic. The ONE Christmas Service on 25 Dec 2014 (pic below) was a major milestone in spurring the church to grow in its outreach; close to 8,000 people attended the Service, of which 2,600 were guests. This energy and unity then flowed into the Acts 2 Church campaign and subsequently to the Alpha Course. More than 700 people were introduced to the Alpha Course in 2015, with a record number of 363 participants.
At the start of 2016, the leadership has also adopted strategic directions for the next five years, encapsulated in the phrase: “Growing in Christ, Building Community, Impacting the World”. These directions are set to move the church towards the fulfillment of its mission of “glorifying God in Jesus Christ by loving Him, loving one another and loving our neighbours as ourselves”.
On 21 Feb 2016, Wesley will once again gather to rejoice in the promise of God from Zechariah 4:6, given 131 years ago. The road ahead remains uncertain, but by the Spirit of God, Wesley Methodist Church continues to stand upon the promise of God who is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Noelle Tang is Pastoral Team Member (Communications) at Wesley Methodist Church