12 Jan 2016 Year In Review: 3:16 KIDS
2016 was a special year for 3:16 Kids. It was a year that seemed to fly by and yet, so much happened. Transition is a good word to describe our year; Not only did we see changes in the ministry but changes in the kids themselves. It was a year where we said goodbye to old faces and hello to new ones, goodbye to old places and hello to our new home.
2016 was a year where the praise and worship culture took a dramatic shift. I will never forget the one Sunday where God simply unlocked the worship culture at 3:16 Kids, it was a Sunday where the kids were totally engaged in the worship experience; they were jumping around, hands raised, eyes closed, kneeling and praying on the floor… It was awesome. It was a great victory for the ministry after taking the kids firstly through sing-along video worship with dance moves, then the big decision to worship together with the main congregation and finally a Bible Teaching Series on “Worship”… I believe all this laid the good soil for our worship tree to bear fruit.
2016 was also a year where we began to see the kids take on more spiritual ownership. It was a year where we actively encouraged the kids to embrace their spiritual gifts and exercise them. In line with 3:16 Church’s Year of Kingly Influence, we saw the kids pray and prophesy more over each other, sharing their dreams and visions and they interpreting it for each other. I recall one Sunday where I could sense that the Kids Teachers weren’t spiritually aligned with God and hence not ready to serve the kids, so I called the kids to form a circle around us and asked the kids to lay hands on all the teachers and pray over us. Sure enough, the spiritual atmosphere changed after that. What a wonderful picture, that it was no more a norm for teachers to pray for kids, but for kids to pray over their teachers.
In the second half of the year, we also taught and trained the kids how to share the gospel using a simple colour method, and we witnessed kids using this method to share the gospel with other kids… Amazing!
There were many other highlights but I will share just two more that were big victories regarding one of our core values. At 3:16 Kids we firmly believe in the importance of family in shepherding kids. We believe that parents are the first and most important shepherds in a child’s life. Two events encapsulated this perfectly. Last year we saw five of our kids being baptised. At our baptisms, we had the parents baptising their own children. This was to recognise the role the parents had played in bringing their children to Christ: What a wonderful joy and privilege for any parent to have!
The second event was when we had our 2015 Christmas outreach at Paya Lebar Square. We had several families going around, blessing strangers and giving out Church invites and Christmas cards to strangers. As a ministry leader, I was so happy to see the parents setting such good examples for our kids to follow, and the kids must have been so proud of their mummies and daddies, it was extremely encouraging and a wonderful memory.
One of the main challenges we faced in 2016 was manpower. I am so thankful for the faithful 3:16 Kid Volunteers like Lydia, Heather, Daniel and Malcolm who served continuously throughout the year, but many times we didn’t not have enough volunteers to rotate inside a month, resulting in Meishan and myself having to serve most of the time.
One of the personal challenges I had was how to build a team around me for the ministry. It was only after our Strengths Finder course that the tide started to change. The Church leadership sent Dawn Teo, a dear sister whose Strengths and Personality are very different from my own, to “coach” me on how better to lead the ministry. Despite our differences, we actually seemed to complement each other pretty well. The Lord also moved in another sister’s heart during the Strengths Finder course, Jan Ng, a gifted teacher, to come alongside me and join the ministry. Towards the end of the year, Jessie, another sister whose “Includer” strength (one that I lack) really helped bring in more labourers for our ministry. So as you can see, Strengths Finder was a key milestone in helping the ministry, not just in it’s timing but in application.
I really thank God for my wife, Meishan who has been a constant support and a willing listener to any problems I had. With her support and encouragement, I was able to press on. I remember a counsel she gave me late one sleepless night, a word she spoke over me unlocked and exposed a lie that had a big stronghold in my heart… It was a very important personal breakthrough. Of course my personal thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the best gift God gave me last year, Faith, our daughter. The personal joy and happiness of being a father is a completely new one. Thank you Jesus for such a beautiful and cute baby girl.