EMMANUEL Tamil Annual Conference (ETAC) members have been asked to focus on five areas in the coming years.
The call came from the ETAC President, the Rev Dr Vinson Samuel, at the 27th Session of the ETAC Conference at Short Street Tamil Methodist Church. He said that “our emphasis and energy should be redirected” to a:
* Systematic structural renewal;
* Shift from membership to discipleship;
* Development of prayer networks within ETAC churches;
* Strategic focus on neighbourhoods; and
* Promotion and recruitment of volunteers.
Mr Richard Jeremiah, an ETAC stalwart, was elected the new Vice-President of the Conference.
The Rev R. Prabhu, Pastor-in-Charge of Short Street Tamil Methodist Church, was appointed the new District
Both Mr Jeremiah and the Rev Prabhu are members of the Methodist Message Editorial Board.
On the need for a structural renewal, the Rev Dr Samuel said that a “one church” model with interdependence
would be the key to the future. “Such a strategy will inevitably strengthen the body of Christ.”
On the second point, he said that an introduction to a systematic study of the Word would lead people to be
disciples of Christ.
The focus on neighbourhoods would involve working in partnership with churches on evangelism in neighbourhood towns. “There is a need to implement new patterns of community work in our neighbourhoods,” he said.
On the recruitment of volunteers for ETAC’s various ministries, he said: “We cannot hope to reach all of Singapore who need Christ unless a growing number of ministry volunteers become involved in sharing Christ.”
Elaborating on structural renewal, the Rev Dr Samuel pointed out that “team building” had become a major activity in organisations in the secular world. Teams, like organisations, needed to be structured to accomplish the task at hand.
The word “union” or “teaming” was not a newcomer in the Christian arena, he said. The revival of Methodism called for a movement towards the uniting of the churches.
“Hence, church teaming is important in today’s context. This model will help us to strengthen our leadership base.”