SGM Recognition and Thanksgiving Lunch

Taken place on 19 November 2012

More than 300 Small Group (SG) members and leaders gathered for a time of warm fellowship and lunch at the Furama Riverfront Hotel on 19 Nov 2011.


In his opening address, Rev Melvin Huang said that Wesley Methodist Church is a “Church with Small Groups”. Hence we are unlike the “Small Group Church” model where every church member is required to be a Small Group member. Instead, joining a Small Group is encouraged, whether or not one is a member of the Church. We are also unlike the “Cell Group model” where Groups are required to multiply itself into more Groups like “cells”. At Wesley, it is preferable that Small Group members are “sent out” of existing Small Groups to form new Groups or to lead newly formed ones. 

 
The year marks the change in chairmanship of Small Group Ministry (SGM) from Mr Philip Oh to Mr Henry Tan.  The SGM started in 1985 with only 8 groups and at the end of July 2011, there are 160 groups comprising about 2000 adults and 300 children.  Henry highlighted the importance of SG in a large church, to help everyone find a community he is comfortable with.  The SGM provides training and resources to help SGs including providing the Small Group handbook, recommended curriculum and other study resources and ideas to gather, nurture and flower.  Expanding on the mission of SG to “Grow groups that bear lasting fruit”, SGs aim to nurture authentic disciples of Jesus who will in turn reach out to others.  The mission field of SG is not just the individual, his group but also the church at large and beyond.  Strategy is to create the 3 "environments" of gathering, nurturing and flowering where people are gathered into SGs to be nurtured and discipled, and then helped to flower by serving in the Church in one way or another.

 


Pastor Ivan Tan challenged leaders to follow the example of Jesus who demonstrated servant leadership in washing the feet of His disciples (John 13:1-17).  The Son of God came to serve and give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).  The greatest leader is one who is a servant of all.  Leaders are called to give their lives in sacrificial service for one another, dying to self and giving of their time for others even though it may mean inconvenience to themselves.  Many people are called to be leaders in different areas and at different levels, eg. bible study, prayer, hospitality, etc.  This is the crux of what we do in SGs, different gifts are needed for the groups to grow.

 


 
At the Thanksgiving Lunch, a fairly new Christian shared that her SG has helped her to integrate better, grow in bible knowledge and spiritual discipline.  Others find encouragement in Small Groups as they share each other's burdens and spur one another toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24-25).  Through the Small Groups, members also develop a hunger for God's word and learn to pray together and for one another.  It is also encouraging to know that some members have recently assumed leadership roles in their Groups.

 


Contributed by –

Woo Choi Yin
Volunteer Writer for SGM