Journeying Together for Each Young Person
The Secondary School and Junior College Ministry (SJM) constantly reaches out to youths and enables Christian youths to reach out to others. We meet them through LIFE groups (school-based Christian gatherings) and Project Serve (vacation involvement program).
Eve and Esther Lim, from Bethesda Katong Church, first knew about SJM in 2016 when they came to ‘Case Closed’, an evangelistic event engaging youths to solve a murder-crime mystery. Subsequently, they joined a LIFE group. They slowly began to enjoy relating with SYFC staff and Christians there and saw the importance of evangelism.
“Sharing the gospel with friends was quite scary. LIFE group helped us to come out of our comfort zone,” recalled Eve. Esther added, “It helped me learn more about different people and their Christian faith. And my personal lifestyle can also be an evangelism platform.” During school holidays, they attended Bible sessions and Year End Serve evangelistic events.
James Lau, from the same church, was a Year 4 Integrated Programme student when he first knew SJM in 2008. Hoping to start a school prayer group with a friend, he joined a POD group (Prayer, Outreach & Discipleship group, an old equivalent of LIFE group). Having journeyed through that, he encourages students to join LIFE group to “see the harvest beyond student life, know others who are serious about their faith and really learn evangelism.” While in university, with other volunteers, he spent time with college youths and organised evangelistic campaigns, events and seminars that appealed to the youth mindset and sentiments.
After National Service, James joined Project Serve. He came to appreciate the gospel more and realised how central it is to the Christian life. He commented, “It is something very precious to me even until now. It is about living life in a manner worthy of the calling. It is not just a YFC thing. I realised if I believed what Paul said, that there is only one God and one mediator, Christ Jesus, then the undeserving sinner really needs the gospel.”
With their church leaders’ support, Eve and Esther joined Project Serve after secondary school. For James, Eve and Esther, growth is a recurring theme. Interacting with other youths was challenging, yet Eve grew through it and Esther found it rewarding.
In Project Serve, James learnt to talk about his faith and handle many different responses, perspectives and worldviews using different approaches. He continues to use these skills wherever he is. “Interacting with different youths help me connect to youths in my church.” Though a busy working adult now, he makes time for his church youths as their Sunday school leader and contributes in the Fellowship and Outreach Committee.
Loon Sum Loon, an elder at Bethesda Katong Church, spent much time with his youths when he led them for more than 25 years. He observes they were spurred on by those who went through Project Serve and started to serve alongside their peers. Although he no longer leads them, he still emphasises that “when they serve while young, they will continue to do so in their adult years.” He noted that Eve and Esther grew and started serving in the church Audio Visual Ministry “when the time was right.”
There were seasons when James, Eve and Esther encouraged fellow Sunday school youths to participate in SYFC large scale evangelistic events. Sum Loon finds value in collaboration with SYFC in terms of participation in evangelistic events, internship programs, and having SYFC staff teach God’s Word at their youth programs – these are platforms for growth.
For any young person, hearing the gospel is the start of his journey of knowing Christ. Discipleship is reminding him of the gospel and his obedience to Christ. It is a journey where SJM hopes to embark on with more like-minded individuals, ministries and church groups to reach more youths for Christ.