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Building the Church

Rev Dr Chua Chung Kai


10 February 2023

We’ve often heard that the Seed Fund faith journey is not merely about a church building, but building the church. How does our giving actually lead to the building of the church? And all the more so, since the pandemic seems to suggest that we can function as an online church without the need of a physical building. Allow me to answer the second question first.

We are grateful for the technology that allows us to still meet, albeit in our respective homes, in crisis moments like the recent pandemic. Yet that is not the true state as God intends. Our final state would be in-person gathering of the worship of our King (Rev 7:9 – 12), and there will be no “online” services then. There is a physicality of the church and worship that cannot be replaced by a mere screen. The mutual encouragement we receive by being present with other followers of Jesus in community and worship is irreplaceable. We need that space to gather to worship our Lord together. Of course, this begs the question as to whether we need to buy property versus renting. It is the collective discernment of the leadership that for Covenant, buying property is how the Lord is leading us. It builds for greater stability for our congregations and engages us deeper with our surrounding communities. Consider how the founding missionaries of Singapore had the wisdom to buy land and build schools and churches that exist till today.

Now, more critically, how does our giving grow the church? Consider our Lord’s encounter with the rich young man in Mark 10:17 – 31. Here was someone who had, in every sense of the law, surely been considered righteous. He would well be considered a poster-boy for a disciple today. Yet, you and I know the story: when called by the Lord to “sell all that you have and give to the poor…” he went away sorrowful, “for he had great possessions.” In some sense, this man did not merely have great possessions — he was greatly possessed by his possessions. There is nothing wrong with having great possessions. The danger is that it has such a hold over our lives we cannot really follow Jesus. I wish to say that I am unlike this man, freed from material grip in my life. Alas, I, too, am gripped by material things that hold sway over my life. The Lord is right, I cannot serve both God and money (Matt 6:24.) In calling us to give, God is actually presenting us with the opportunity to deepen His Lordship in our lives. The church grows as more and more of us are set free from the grip of money in our hearts, and Jesus is the Lord of our lives. This is a very critical part of discipleship in our modern materialistic world. May we give as our Lord so directs and find our hearts freed to follow Him more fully. Join us in building His Church!