October is Pastor Appreciation Month! In this second article of our series, three leaders under the guidance of Pastor Bobby Chaw, Pastor Choong Tsih Ming and Pastor Yong Te-Chong answer three questions about their pastor.
The second Sunday of October was originally earmarked as Clergy Appreciation Day, and the whole month of October as Clergy Appreciation Month, for the purpose of encouraging pastors, missionaries and religious workers. Throughout this month, City News celebrates all the pastors of CHC.
PASTOR BOBBY CHAW, AS DESCRIBED BY ANGELINA LIM
1. I’ll never forget when Pastor said… “you have one life to live, so live it to the best of your ability.” Pastor Bobby has always done this, in the big things and in the small. Even as his capacity keeps increasing through the years, I see that he still takes time to think about what the members need, how to increase their faith, how to motivate them to come to church, how to keep them planted, how to encourage them when they’re down. He doesn’t stop thinking about these things: how to build up the church as a whole, or members as individuals.
2. My first memory of my Pastor was getting to know him personally when he came to visit us during a time a group of us were transitioning from our former cell group. He spoke to us individually to see how we were affected by the transition. He did not want to leave anyone out, and he made sure each one was attended to. Before that we had known him from the pulpit, but that time, he met us on a personal basis and really took time to address our needs and concerns. Pastor took the time to personally teach my husband and me and a fellow cell group leader what to do for our cell groups. He taught us the basics of discipleship, down to basics like homiletics and managing the cell group. That period was most precious because we gleaned so much wisdom from him on doing life and ministry.
3. If my Pastor was a food, he would be…bread. Because he does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. He anchors his life on the Word, on prayer and models all he does on Jesus’ life. He is diligent when preparing his messages, not just for weekend service, but even when he gives training to his leaders, when he teaches Bible study, or even in casual moments when we have meals with him. He always takes the opportunity to disciple us, to share testimonies of how good God is, give us anecdotes on how we can be better Christians, disciples, leaders. Every opportunity we have with him is always a golden moment to learn more. We always come away inspired to be better.
PASTOR CHOONG TSIH MING, AS DESCRIBED BY JOSEPH GANAPATHY
1. The most sacrificial thing my Pastor has done: There isn’t just one—it’s a lifestyle for Pastor Ming. He is by nature a giving man who always places others’ well-being before his own. He is always considerate of how others may feel before he puts across his message to them. He is constantly going out of his way to help people—my wife Carol and I have been blessed many times by Pastor. The most recent example was when my wife was down with Covid. Although Pastor Ming was struggling to recover from his own medical condition, he still drove out to get meals for us and personally delivered them to our home.
2. One thing I will never say to my Pastor… is the word “no”, after witnessing the goodness of his heart. Whatever he requests for, I would always try to help him get it. The second thing I will never say to Pastor Ming is not to eat too much. We would venture on food trails together regularly, and our time spent during these “Makansutra” trails are precious moments.
3. That time my pastor conducted spiritual warfare: Pastor Ming is known for his prophetic anointing in CHC and moves powerfully in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But he has been down with a medical condition the past year, and he struggled to attend church frequently. Recently he had a bad attack and was brought to hospital for immediate medical attention—his lungs were filled with water and his blood pressure dropped dangerously low. The doctors had to place him on machines to help sustain him. During this time, God spoke to him through visions and he found refuge and confidence in the Word of God. Now he has come out stronger than ever after this experience.
PASTOR YONG TE-CHONG, AS DESCRIBED BY DAPHNE KOH
1. One thing my Pastor always says is… “It’s nine months to Christmas!” “It’s four months to Christmas!” He is always counting down to the holiday season so he can plan his next overseas trip!
2. My first memory of my Pastor goes back more than 20 years ago when he was one of the lead actors in a production for the former School of Creative Arts. I saw him pacing up and down backstage, practicing his lines seriously and doing his vocal warm-ups. I remember thinking that this pastor is a very diligent man—he not only put in hard work, he put his heart into his work as well.
3. The most sacrificial thing my Pastor has done was during the Circuit Breaker in 2020 when he intentionally took time to connect with every one of us in the Hospitality Ministry in various ways. One of these ways was through ‘Cook And Connect’ sessions organised by Pastor. He would “meet up” with us over Zoom to have cookouts. I joined in one session where we made Japanese Hamburg. Pastor Yong gave us the ingredients list beforehand to prepare. During the session, he would give us verbal instructions and watch our technique through the screen, and we would follow through step by step. For example, he would say “Roll the meat into a big ball and smash it with your hand. After that, show it to me on the screen. I’ll let you know if you’re good to go to the next step.”