Shine for Jesus

When Rev Terry Kee, Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Singapore (LCS) was first informed that the theme of our Convention would be ‘Learning to Walk Again’, his first thought was, ‘What does our young church that is just learning to walk have to say to a church that has been walking and running for more than 150 years?’

The LCS is a small church, with 3,550 members and 14 congregations, that use a variety of languages in ministry and services: English, Mandarin, Hokkien, and Thai. Bishop Kee sometimes has to translate his sermon into three languages in the one Sunday.

‘Until a few years ago, it was almost impossible to buy a Lutheran book in Singapore’, he explained. ‘Much of our understanding of the gospel and Christian doctrines was influenced by Baptist and Reformed authors.

‘A significant part of our learning-to-walk process is learning what it means to be a Lutheran church, and in this respect our partnership with the LCA is very important.’

In 1999 the LCA hosted a study trip for all LCS pastors, so that they could study with Australian Lutheran College (ALC) lecturers. In the following years several lecturers travelled to Singapore to continue this training.

Enabled and empowered by the gospel, the LCS seeks to provide an environment where every person can grow in his or her love for God.

Bishop Kee explained that, as a relatively new church, the LCS has a large focus on mission: ‘ministries to the nations, and ministries to the underprivileged in our own community’.

The LCS has strong ties with mission work in Thailand. The church began supporting the ministries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Thailand by becoming a member of the Lutheran Missions in Thailand (LMT) in 1988.

‘In 1994 we had the joy of sending our first missionaries to Thailand’, Bishop Kee said. My wife Sally and I followed in 1996 and Ms Rosanna Hutagalung in 2004.

‘In partnership with LMT, we have planted congregations, trained workers and participated in the life and ministries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Thailand’.

The Singapore Lutherans also support missions in Mongolia and Cambodia, and train pastors for this ministry. They send two mission teams to Mongolia each year to participate in medical and dental missions, children’s outreach and youth training, and conduct lay training and Leaders retreats. A church and social centre has been built in Cambodia.

Bishop Kee said that as ‘more and more foreign friends come to Singapore to study or work, God began to show us the great opportunity we have to reach out to them.

‘Often we limit our evangelism to events and programs, but we fail to see the numerous opportunities that are available for us to be light and salt. To me, the Lord seems to be saying, “As you walk…shine”. What an impact we can have when every member’s light, bright or dim, shines for Jesus.’

Reprinted with kind permission of The Lutheran. Visit the website to find out more about The Lutheran or to subscribe.

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