Geared to
 the Times,
 to the Rock:
What does 
it mean for
 SYFC today?

It can be difficult to accept or adapt to change simply because we do not like our boats to be rocked. However, with rapid leaps in technology that massively change the way we communicate, we need to understand our times and stay relevant to today’s youth. 

Pray for us as we step out of our comfort zones, pick up new skills and work on thinking creatively.

To better support staff, S.T.E.M* revamped our website. Now, the site has ported over to a content management platform. Cluster head, Li Wenxing, quipped with a big smile, “It’s great because now the site has become mobile-friendly and allows people who have no background in coding or design to upload stuff to the site!”

*S.T.E.M. : Support, Teaching and Engagement Ministries

Our Staff Portal also had a facelift. With its cleaner interface, it is now easier for staff to upload their letters to supporters for tracking purposes, and check on their personal support levels. Older staff find the new staff portal and website useful and informative. 

E.D.G.E* Ministry has embarked on its most exciting project yet, using immersive technology to create interactive spaces to present the gospel in unique and memorable ways! We thank God for the Immersive Room, right in our building. Eric Teo, who co-leads E.D.G.E with Alex Tee Ee Han, said, “We need to create youthful digital content that enables us to bring the gospel to youths in a relevant and fun way.”

E.D.G.E. : Evolving Digital Generation Evangelism

Pray for Eric and team as they ‘immerse’ themselves to come up with at least three more packages in 2020 along these themes:

– Anti-drug
– “You are special”
– Christmas in a new light 

In the last two years, they launched a Christmas package in a mobile immersive booth at Orchard Rd for Celebrate Christmas in Singapore. When asked about her experience, Lee Hui Ting, a SJM staff, excitedly shared, “I really liked the Augmented Reality (AR) sheep and stars outside. It was meaningful to see people hearing the Christmas story. Especially my nanny, her family and an old friend! Thank God! My nanny’s granddaughter was so intrigued by the AR stars!” 

At Maker’s Factory last June, each participant chose from a range of handicrafts and interests to create a product with his own hands. To facilitate gospel sharing, E.D.G.E ran a package for participants along the theme of creation.

Participants having lunch and talking at Maker’s Factory 3 in 2019.

Last December, 125 youths invited by ITE Ministry, Youth Guidance (YG) and an affiliate ministry made it through an ‘escape room epidemic’ immersive experience ! We thank God that 110 of them heard the gospel and seven indicated they wanted to place their faith in Jesus. 

The 15 ITE Ministry participants (including volunteers) found the Immersive Room challenging but fun. “We felt as a ministry, we could do it again,” said Carmen Teo-Chen, ITE Ministry Coordinator. One of the 35 YG youths said, “It was very engaging and exciting. Finding the answer was not too difficult and it was a fun experience.” 

Poly Ministry volunteer, Esther Tan (left), with Carmen Teo-Chen (right), inside the actual game!

We invite youth groups from churches and other organisations to explore the use of these immersive presentations for evangelism.

Not one to miss out on current trends, the Polytechnic Ministry run the events page. This idea came about when some volunteers observed more students spending more time on social media than seemingly anything else. The test-run three years ago met with positive feedback and thus @thatmamashop was born! What better way to reach young people than to meet them where they are! 

It is always pleasant to receive messages through social media from students whom we have not met before, especially when it ends up with them signing up for an event! Curious about what @thatmamashop is up to? Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. 

Glossary of Social Media Apps
– Facebook: An online platform where old friends can reconnect and share lives.
– Instagram: An image sharing platform where one can share snap shots of his/her life.
– TikTok: A popular platform with younger youths to post short entertaining videos.

While nothing replaces the warmth of face-to-face, sincere relationships with young people, we keep up with new ideas in this realm in order to first contact them. SYFC ministries are consciously learning to embrace the difficulties involved while trying our best to bring out creative solutions. 

Anchored to our Rock, we seek to be geared to our times.

Caroline Cheah serves in the Polytechnic Ministry, and most recently, is playing Animal Crossing New Horizons on Nintendo Switch!