Here is an Everyday Methodist who shares her passion for church music and her strong desire to educate children and youth in the doctrinal principles of worship and music education.
SINCE childhood, I had always dreamt of becoming a teacher. My educational pursuits led me, however, into the field of accounting. I eventually earned a B. Acc degree and worked as an accountant for almost eight years.
Late last year, my sixth year at the company, I felt it was time to leave, but I did not have a clue as to what to do next. I had approached a major crossroad in my life, and realised then that I still had a strong desire to mould young lives, especially in the areas of music and the creative arts.
I thank God for His work in equipping me through the various ministries at my church – church school, playing the organ, and cell group leader intern training. In November 1996 after my baptism, my sponsor, Ms Lily Chua, invited me to serve in church school with her. I accepted, and began playing regularly for worship sessions and assisting the main teachers.
A year later, Mr Lim Swee Hong, who was then Worship and Music Director at Paya Lebar Methodist Church (PLMC), also sent out a church-wide call for keyboardists to serve in the music ministry. After prayerful consideration, I responded.
Last year, my church re-launched the vision of a cell group church and I was approached to consider leading a cell group. I was however, not confident that I was able to do this. One day during quiet time, as I was meditating on the passage of God’s promise to Moses at the burning bush, I realised God was calling me and had promised to be with me. I felt greatly assured and decided to take up the challenge.
In 1998, a liaison was created between Methodist School of Music (MSM) and PLMC. Dr Evelyn Lim, the organ lecturer from MSM, was posted to the church as Resident Organist to play for Sunday services and to train a pool of organists. I started formal lessons in January 2000 under the organ scholarship scheme, which involved a commitment to playing at worship services in exchange for full sponsorship of organ classes. The lessons were further enriched through MSM studio classes, which provided the platform for students to perform and pick up new repertoire.
My teacher continually emphasises the importance of church music, and encourages all the organ scholars to give their best. Her constant pushing has yielded excellent results for the organ scholars, myself included.
Spurred by the realisation about the importance of church music, I wondered how in my own church, we could have a worship and music ministry that is vibrant and pleasing to God. It then dawned on me that the key to this was to educate children and youth in the doctrinal principles of worship and music education. I now believe that God wants me to be that instrument which He can use to teach His children to praise His holy Name.
I am very grateful to my mentors, Dr Evelyn Lim and Mr Lim Swee Hong, who advised me on possible training courses and career options in music education. I inquired about the three-year Master of Church Music (Music Ministry/Organ) degree offered by the Singapore Bible College. As I committed my plans to the Lord, I felt an inward confirmation to go towards that path. The church leadership also endorsed it.
Praise God! The college has accepted me as a full-time student, and I will begin my studies this month (July 2003). I continue to turn to my teacher and resources at MSM to prepare me for the various entrance assessments. The next chapter of my life is just beginning; I look forward to my next three years as a full-time student, and my subsequent ministry among the children and youth, to raise a new generation of “Levites” for God.
The Lord is my Shepherd. He watches over me every moment of my life. I place my trust in Him and thank Him for surrounding me with many wonderful friends whom I can rely on for help and encouragement. God is indeed good to me! Hallelujah!
“For I know the plans I have for you … plans to prosper you … plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11.
Ng Chet Wei is a member of Paya Lebar Methodist Church and an organ student at Methodist School of Music.
MOULD CHILDREN AND YOUTH
‘Spurred by the realisation about the importance of church music, I wondered how in my own church we could have a worship and music ministry that is vibrant and pleasing to God. It then dawned on me that the key to this was to educate the children and youth … I now believe that God wants me to be that instrument which He can use to teach His children to praise His holy Name.’