Last month, we shared how since the beginning of this year, we sensed that the Lord is leading us to resume our Seed Fund Fundraising Journey that was started back in 2018.
Here we will be using the S-P-O framework to share, where S-P-O stands for ‘Spiritual-Personal-Organizational’. It is important is to start from the spiritual first so that we see with theological lenses, and once we catch the spiritual vision, to allow it to impact us at a personal level, so that this Seed Fund journey becomes a personal faith-growing journey too. Finally then do we land on the organizational aspect.
We seldom think about fund-raising from a spiritual perspective. We may think of fund-raising as a necessary but unpleasant activity to support spiritual things, but the Scriptures show us that fundraising is a ministry of the church, just as spiritual as other ministries that grow the kingdom of God.
Therefore, we need to learn to look at our Seed Fund journey with spiritual eyes, especially when wrestling with difficult questions such as: Why resume the fundraising journey now when the economic and geopolitical circumstances are so challenging? Or why not wait until there are concrete plans for a church building in the East then call the congregation to give?
While these are valid questions, this is our conviction: in every fundraising journey that Covenant has undertaken – from Bukit Panjang Centre to Woodlands Centre to ACK Centre which is a discipleship and leadership training centre for the larger body of Christ and our next generation – one constant anchor that has stood out is the fact that we always desire to be led by the Lord in His timing and His direction.
That is why the fundraising journey for BPJ centre was undertaken even in the midst of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, the fundraising journey for WDL centre was undertaken although the global financial crisis was starting to happen in 2007, and the fundraising for ACK Centre was undertaken during the financial crisis in 2012-2013. Even though the circumstances were challenging then as well, and at a human level, many factors would point to the opposite, we chose to trust what is written in Matthew 19:26 that “with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Indeed, for all our property faith journeys, we managed without having to take bank loans due to the generous and faithful giving from the congregation. When these fundraising journeys happened during the most trying and difficult times, none of us could ever take any glory because humanly it was both crazy and impossible but GOD alone did it and He alone gets all the glory!
Certainly, we need to be sensitive to the financial needs of our current times, but at the same time, we don’t want to be desensitized to the move of the Holy Spirit when He asks us to arise and resume this journey.
As for the question of why not wait until there are more firmed-up plans for a church property in the East, it goes back to the fundamental principle on which this Seed Fund journey was birthed: that we are called to give to building His church, and not to a church building. We are called to a vision of returning the church to her disciplemaking roots, and not to man-made plans. We are called to be prepared so that as we prepare to meet King Jesus, we prepare the way for His kingdom to be established on earth as it is in heaven.
So we give now, so that when God’s timing is revealed, we are ready to move as He directs us.
But all these will remain head knowledge until we take it to the Lord in sincere prayer and allow this question to sink into our hearts: ‘Lord, what is my part in this Seed Fund journey?’ This is where the Personal part of the S-P-O framework comes in.
Fundraising is not just something for the rich to do, or for the church leadership to model, but it is for EVERYONE, because we truly believe that God uses everything in our lives to grow us in our discipleship. This includes our money too. Our giving is not something that we do apart from our discipleship – but that giving is a vital part of our discipleship.
As each of us gives from the riches that we possess – whether it is two simple copper coins like the widow in Mark 12, or the alabaster jar of expensive perfume that Mary Magdalene poured on the feet of Jesus in Matthew 26 – let us all work together to build God’s kingdom and to fulfil the mandate that God has given to us in Covenant EFC to be an Intentional Disciplemaking Church in Singapore and beyond.
In John chapter 1, Philip asks Nathanael to ‘come and see’ when he said he has found the Messiah. Earlier in the chapter, Jesus himself says ‘come and see’ when the people ask him where he lives. This Seed Fund journey is also an invitation to come and see: to come and see the amazing and exciting destiny that God has called us to; to come and not just see, but to come and be a part of this faith journey; to come and invest yourself through the resources that God has given to you – your time, talents and even your treasure – in this work to which God has called us.
Finally, here is an update on how much has been collected and pledged so far:
Of the $40m target, praise God that we have received $19.2 million, and since April 2022, the total amount pledged so far from the church leadership – staff, Board and leaders is $1.94 million. That means that we are still some $20.9 million short of our target. This seems like a daunting amount, but we trust that with the faithful giving of Covenantors and the powerful move of the Holy Spirit, we will get there!
For those of us who have already put in our pledges through our microsite, thank you!
For those who have yet to put in your pledges, we invite you to do so as we approach our church’s 44th Anniversary Service. On 4 Sep, we will be asking all of us who have pledged to start giving our pledge amounts from Sep 2022 to Mar 2023. You may click here to proceed to the Pledging page, should you wish to consider making a pledge to the Lord for this Seed Fund Faith Journey.
When the church Board was invited to put in our pledges during our Board retreat in May, I had a figure in mind that I wanted to pledge. But the Lord impressed upon my heart to double this number. And I remembered that at that very instance, I started to think of all the possible reasons why this number is a crazy number: I looked at the economic situation of inflation; I looked at the geopolitical situation of war; and I looked at my own expanded family needs now that we just welcomed our newest addition to the family.
Like Peter who looked at the stormy waves around him when he walked on water, I started to feel fear and found it difficult to say yes to this amount. And I remember rationalizing with God that I already gave a large sum back in 2018 when we first launched the Seed Fund. But like how Jesus stretched out His hand to hold Peter when his footing slipped, the Lord immediately reminded me of how he has blessed me in the last two years of the pandemic beyond the difficulties of the circumstances, which in human eyes would not have been possible, but God made more than possible. And I knew then that pledging double the original number I had in mind initially is the only right response that comes from a heart of gratefulness, obedience and joy. And so I did!
So let me exhort us to seek the Lord individually, and ask Him for a fresh spiritual vision of what building His kingdom looks like, and more importantly, for you personally to pledge boldly and generously towards building the church of Jesus Christ. So here’s our invitation: Come and see!
Irwin See,On behalf of the Seed Fund Faith Journey Committee21 August 2022
Sign up for our fortnightly newsletter to get news and updates delivered directly to your inbox.
This is an opportunity for you to share with us your story and your faith journey. Please send it to us in .docx (Microsoft Word) format, and include a picture.
Copyright © CovenantEFC. All rights reserved.