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Pastoral 2016

Gethsemane Children’s Ministry

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Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14).

Gethsemane Children’s Ministry (GCM) was established with the dual purpose of meeting the spiritual needs of children within our church, and of reaching out to children outside the church. It seeks to educate believing children in the Word of God (Proverbs 22:6), and to evangelise unbelieving children with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20). We thank God for a committee that has been formed to oversee the planning and execution of the GCM activities. The present GCM committee comprises Pr Kelvin Lim, Bro Kenneth Wong, Bro Neo Kian Seng, Sis Choy Luan Kheng, Sis Winnie Yap, Sis Melissa Mah and Sis Kamalamangai, with Pastor as the Advisor.

The Lord’s Day GCM Activities

(i) The Children’s Choir meets for practice every Lord’s Day from 9.00 to 10.00am (see separate write-up by Melissa Mah).

(ii) The Junior Worship (JW) classes cater to children from 4 to 10 years of age. A special Bible learning programme is prepared for them which takes place during the main worship service (immediately after pastoral prayer). There are 3 JW classes, namely Nursery class, Kindergarten class and Lower Primary class.

(iii) The Children’s Bible Study (CBS) classes are held concurrently with the Adults’ Bible Study on Sunday afternoon. 3 CBS classes are catered to teach the Nursery / Kindergarten, Lower Primary and the Upper Primary classes respectively.

(iv) The Children’s Library serves to provide our children with a precious avenue to read and be edified by good Christian books. These can be borrowed from the book table set up by a team of church librarians led by Bro John Peh.

Saturday GCM Activities

(i) GCM also organises activities for children on Saturdays, during the respective meetings of the Men’s Fellowship, Ladies’ Fellowship and Adults’ Fellowship gatherings. The children are taught Scripture in songs, choruses, spiritual songs and hymns, as well as the Word of God. There is also time for interaction and “bonding” through games.

(ii) Occasionally, GCM organises outings for children in conjunction with the Gethsemane Adults’ Fellowship Combined Outings.

Special GCM Programmes

(i) Daily Vacation Bible School (DVBS) is held during the December school holidays, where we encourage our children to invite their school friends, relatives and neighbours to participate in this annual event to spread the Gospel to them.

(ii) Parents’ Seminars are conducted to instruct parents in our church in the biblical upbringing of their children. Pertinent themes, such as “Nurturing Our Children Biblically” (in 2014), and “Modern Challenges to Biblical Parenting” (in 2015), are highlighted to instil in parents the importance and impact of their indispensable God-given responsibilities.

(iii) Teacher Training Seminars are also held from time to time for the equipping of the GCM teachers.

(iv) On occasion, a Gospel Rally is organised for spreading the Gospel to friends and relatives of our children and their parents who have not yet received the Lord Jesus as their Saviour.

The Lord has blessed GCM with many children throughout the past 28 years of Gethsemane’s existence. Some of the youths and young adults in the church today have grown up through GCM. It is a joy to see them growing up in the church, and actively serving the Lord in various ministries today. Praise be unto the Lord!

Gethsemane Children’s Choir
Melissa Mah

Scripture records an occasion in Jesus’ earthly ministry where he was received by the exuberant praises of children in the temple of God, proclaiming, “Hosanna to the Son of David” (Matthew 21:15)! The Lord Jesus was very pleased with the children’s earnest and sincere expressions of praise. This can be seen from His immediate rebuttal of the scribes and Pharisees’ complaint about the children’s joyful rendering of glory unto Christ: “Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise” (Matthew 21:16)? Our Lord welcomed the children’s praises, and did not brush them aside.

Likewise, the worshipful singing of the children in our church greatly honours the Lord. Gethsemane Children’s Choir is established to encourage the young ones in our church to glorify and praise the Name of Christ from an early age. The Gethsemane Children’s Choir is a part of the Gethsemane Children’s Ministry. One of the main objectives of the Children’s Choir ministry is to teach the children to worship God through the singing of Christian hymns. When the children join the congregation to sing, they learn to “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name” (Psalm 29:2; cf. Psalm 22:22). We prayerfully instruct them to direct their hearts and minds unto the Almighty God in worship. This is an important aspect of the children’s singing during their choir presentations. They should know that they are not singing as in a performance to show off their abilities, but rather, singing in worship of God and to exalt God’s holy Name. We pray that the children in the choir will be spontaneous in their praises unto God. May they always be ready to sing with gladness of heart and declare the goodness of God (cf. Psalm 95:1)!

Singing and memorising the hymns in particular would help them to recall the edifying words of the hymns even when they have grown up. We should not underestimate how readily little children can learn spiritual truths as they sing the hymn lyrics. Certainly, all these avenues for children to be grounded in the faith (cf. Colossians 2:7) are precious and not to be wasted.

An added benefit of participating in regular children’s choir practices is that the children may in the process be instilled (from an early age) with some of the disciplines of Christian service, including consecration of heart through prayer, humility in thanksgiving, courageous faith to witness for Christ, joyful perseverance, discipline and self-denial.

We thank God for a team of sisters who labour to train the Children’s Choir. They are Sis Stefanie Wong (who is presently away in Melbourne), Sis Melissa Mah, Sis Ellyzabeth and Sis Angeline Wong. Please pray for them that their efforts will effectively nurture our children in the knowledge of God’s truth, godly disciplines of worship and service of our Lord. Furthermore, as the choir comprises children of varied ages, temperaments and abilities, pray also for God’s wisdom and patience to be upon the teachers, and that the children will be teachable, obedient, diligent and enthusiastic about honouring God with their singing.

We encourage all parents to bring your children (5 to 12 years of age) to join the Children’s Choir practices every Sunday, 9.00-10.00am. Younger children are also welcome to join the choir, provided they are able to follow instructions.

Just as those children in God’s temple honoured Christ as they came into His presence with songs of exultation, may our children also rejoice to honour God with their songs of praise in God’s church!

 

 

Pastoral Exhortation