In 1994, Eric Teo, a very young Christian, went to a SYFC event, ‘Star or Sotong’. At 13, he was studious, timid and reserved. This event turned out to be the first of many for him. The following year, he became a student volunteer and was involved right up till his polytechnic days. While in the army, he reflected, “What is it that God wants me to do from now till I’m 30 years old?” In 2005, he chose to be in SYFC full-time.
At 40 today, Eric does not consider himself a star and he is definitely not a ‘sotong’ – he is God’s servant, leading with clarity and conviction, strengthening the younger leadership team with his knack of picking up “details of a direction set”. Read more from Eric himself.
Eric, what is your role today among the younger leaders?
I oversee the cluster comprising administration, system administration, property management, accounts team and our Bible teaching programs (this is S.T.E.M. – Support, Teaching and Engagement Ministries). I run our Immersive Room project to explore new platforms for evangelism. I also look out for new staff and organise our staff development initiative.
What is exciting about your work in SYFC?
It is exciting to explore new grounds, think and translate them to bring the gospel in a more engaging manner to young people as well as to challenge millennials to give their youthful years to serve God in their areas of passion. Of course, maximising our Immersive Room for small groups is meaningful.
What lessons did the Lord teach you in recent years that prepared you to be in this younger leadership for the years ahead?
The Lord brought me from timidity to courage, from unwillingness to clarity in leading, from the ‘me’ to ‘we’ mentality.
What is it about reaching young people that both excite and frustrate you?
Young people are still moldable, so when I challenge and see them grow as God changes them, it spurs me on. But it is frustrating when they choose to direct their energies on every other area except God.
How do you personally keep up with changes and trends among youths?
I stay attentive, making time to engage them and hear directly from them. I follow trends and what is going on in society using social media. When it is possible, I help in external programs or projects to observe and learn how others do youth work.
What do you hope to see SYFC moving towards in the next 5 years?
I pray to bring millennials in as staff. They have the energy and relevancy to connect with our current youth generation. SYFC can redirect their passion towards the work of the gospel and establish tangible ways for them to commit to.
In these last 15 years in full-time, what is one high point for you?
In 2015, I was seriously considering leaving SYFC for a while. On the surface, I wanted to resolve a serious family financial constraint. But I was also at a major crossroad; questioning my clarity, usefulness and purpose in SYFC, and getting married. With practical counsel from my ministry leader, Lim Chien Chong, I worked out a viable financial alternative without having to leave full-time. More importantly, I became more settled about my life purpose. By 2018, I was clear how I could continue to contribute in SYFC, desiring to stay on longer.
Who influenced you in your Christian walk and service?
Chien Chong brings clarity to my thinking, helping me see the real me, face it and manage it. My wife, Beverly is very supportive of my ministry and I can cry in front of her without feeling I am being judged.
Eric, Beverly and their son, Ezra worships at Bethesda Bedok Tampines Church. The couple spends time with three young couples. Eric supervises three Young Adults cell leaders and lead eight single working adults.