Hermon’s under-shepherds

Last week’s ACM election was significant as we elected two under-shepherds for Hermon: Rev Luwin as our Assistant Pastor and Sim Chow Meng as our Elder-elect. Isn’t it wonderful that the Lord enables us to live out Ephesians 4:11-12 while we go through the book of Ephesians in our pulpit sermon series?  It is cause for rejoicing and for giving thanks to God for His gift of grace to the church. He is indeed our Ebenezer.

Rev Luwin’s election into the shepherding ministry in Hermon comes seven years after mine, but Elder-elect Chow Meng’s comes 18 years after Elder Peter’s! Both of them have been God’s answer to the fervent prayers of our leadership over the past decade. Let us observe that God is in this wonderful process of renewal. May this also encourage us with the assurance that God has definite future plans for Hermon. God is giving Hermon these shepherds so that we Hermonites can be equipped for the good work that Christ has purposed for us.

So, as we celebrate God’s goodness and grace to Hermon, may we hear the heartbeat of Elder-elect Chow Meng.

Q1. Elder-elect Chow Meng, could you share with us how the Lord led you to Hermon and about your journey in Hermon so far?

“Prior to coming to Hermon, my family and I worshipped in another BP church for almost 20 years. While searching for a new church, we came to know that Brother Eric Chan and his family had been worshipping in Hermon for some time. He invited us to Hermon. When we came to Hermon, we felt at home with the worship style as it resembles our formal church’s, though the songs were considered more contemporary. Preaching was also Word-based as the Bible was held in high regard. We felt that it was a sound church for us to consider settling down in. So in 2008, after about three years in Hermon, our family decided to transfer our membership to Hermon.”

Q2. Thank you for answering God’s call to be His under-shepherd. Could you share how He has placed this call upon your life?

“In August 2018, Pastor Daniel invited me for coffee and talked to me about the role of Eldership in Hermon. We had a follow-up meeting in February 2019, at which I told Pastor Daniel that I would not be able to serve in that role for two reasons: at that time, I had not joined a CG yet; and my wife was not totally on board with the idea. I believed that this role required my wife to be a supportive partner, and until she was totally supportive, I would not be able to serve in the role of Elder. Since then, both these issues have been resolved and my wife has expressed her full support for me assuming this role in Hermon. The tipping point that finally caused me to make the decision happened in a dream in early January 2020. In the dream, Elder Peter Seah asked me if I would accept the role of Eldership and I said, “Yes”, without hesitation. I kept the dream to myself. Then, on Sunday, 19 January 2020, I met Elder Peter Seah on the way to the church office. He was walking in front of me when he suddenly turned around to tell me that he was praying for me. At that moment, I told him that I had already decided to answer God’s call.”

Q3. We praise God for placing in you the desire for this noble task (1 Timothy 3:1). Has the Lord given you any particular passions for your shepherding ministry?

“The core of my life’s ministry, both here in Hermon and in my previous church, has been with the Sunday School. My joy is to see saints being transformed to become more Christ-like through the study of Scripture and living out the truth. Moving forward, I hope to expand my ministry to become more broad-based, and to embrace the whole church in meeting her pastoral needs. My desire is echoed in Paul’s words in Philippians 2:16 -17: ‘Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all’ (KJV).”

Q4. This noble task of being God’s under-shepherd is a heavy responsibility. How may we support you and your family in prayer?

“Scripture reminds us that we are in a spiritual war and we can only prevail if we remain faithful to His Word and prayer. Please pray for the spiritual wellbeing of my family and that they too may be worthy witnesses for Christ. Scripture gives us good guidelines on how we all can pray for our leaders. Please pray for me according to Titus 1:7-9: ‘For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.’”

We thank Elder-elect Chow Meng for sharing God’s call upon his life with all of us. Let us all give thanks to God for His continued faithfulness towards us, graciously providing us with both lay and full-time under-shepherds.

–  Ps Daniel Tan