Dear Brethren,

Today 1 July is our Church annual congregational meeting (ACM). Once a year, the church session chairman and treasurer will share to the members the ministry and finance of the church for the past 1 year. The ACM report has already been given to all members earlier so that they can know the details beforehand and ask any questions in the ACM meeting. It is important every member of the Church attend the ACM to fulfill their responsibility and duty as a member of Tabernacle BP Church.

Is Church Membership Taught in the Bible?

Membership in a local church involves commitment to worship the Lord corporately, edifying brothers and sisters through mutual exhortation and service, and holding each other accountable to walk in a manner pleasing to the Lord as a witness to the truth of Christ in the world. We believe that church membership is a wise and helpful path for those who desire to walk together in obedience to the Lord and in a manner that is worthy of the gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27). The New Testament’s teaching about church government and church discipline would imply the existence of ‘’church membership’’ where there is commitment to accountability in the local church.

  • Church Government

The New Testament teaches that the local church has elders (includes pastor who is a teaching elder) who have the responsibility to equip (Ephesians 4:11) and care for (Acts 20:28) and teach (1 Timothy 3:2) the members. The New Testament teaches that the members are to respect (1 Thessalonians 5:12) and be submissive to (Hebrews 13:17) these leaders, but not to treat them as infallible (1 Timothy 5:20) or in the place of Christ (Matthew 23:8-12). They are servants, not masters (Luke 22:26), and their leadership comes from their divine call to serve (Acts 20:28), not from their desire to rule.

  • Church Discipline

Jesus said, “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican” (Matthew 18:15-17).

What this implies is that Christians are to be members of a church where they are held accountable to walk in a way that pleases the Lord. If there were no relationship of accountability, it would be meaningless to “tell it unto the church,” because the offending person would simply say, “That church has no jurisdiction over me.” We see that church membership is implied and taught in the Bible.

The ‘’One Another” in the New Testament

Let me exhort every member of Tabernacle BP Church to be diligent and zealous to obey the following ‘’one another’’ verses commanded in the Word of God. It will mean to deny ourselves and to take up our cross to be able to show such love and forgiveness and kindness to others. Our Saviour Jesus Christ has set the perfect example for us to follow in loving us in such manner. Are we not to follow Him who is our Master and King? May the world see that we are disciples of Jesus Christ by the way we have loved one for another (John 13: 35).

Romans 12:10 ‘Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.’

Romans 12:16 ‘Be of the same mind one toward another.’

Galatians 6:2 ‘Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.’

Ephesians 4:2 ‘With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, for bearing one another in love.’

Ephesians 4:32 ‘And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, for giving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’

Ephesians 5:21 ‘Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’

1 Thessalonians 5:11 ‘Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another.’

Hebrews 10:24 ‘And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.’

James 5:9 ‘Grudge not one against another.’

James 5:16 ‘Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another.’

1 Peter 3:8 ‘Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.’

Elder John Leong

A Passion for Souls- The Life of D.L. Moody  

D.L. Moody was born in Northfield, Massachusetts in 1837. His father died when he was only 4 years old. Moody was raised in the Unitarian Church which was vastly different from the Unitarian Church today, though highly troubled theologically even then. Moody had at most, only four years of formal education. At the age of 17 he moved to Boston to work in his uncle’s shoe store. There he began attending the Congregational Church of Mt Vernon. He became a Christian in 1855.

Moody is known as the greatest evangelist of the 19th Century as untold thousands came to faith in Jesus Christ under his preaching that had worldwide influence. His legacy extends to this day through The Moody Church (originally known as Chicago Avenue Church) and The Moody Bible Institute (originally known as the Chicago Bible Institute). Moody was very productive in his service for the Lord and in a brief review it is impossible to highlight all that he did. There are several highlights of Moody’s life however that I believe reflect the man and his mission.

* A Clear Sense of Calling – Never does it seem that he was seeking position or recognition, but instead sensed a clear call from God on his life. Moody was extremely successful in his business ventures, and would have prospered materially from his natural business sense had he stayed on that track. When God called him into ministry however, he was willing to leave it all behind.

Early on in his ministry, he demonstrated a heart for the poor, the downtrodden, and the hurting. His ministry began in earnest in a community in Chicago known as “The Sands” or “Little Hell”. Few dared to venture there, much less invest themselves in such a place. Moody loved the people and reached scores of people. It is said that his ministry of prayer, singing, and the Bible would often be interrupted by fights, screams, scuffles, and laughing.

He also had opportunity to minister during the Civil War as a Chaplain, many times on the front lines in the most difficult of situations. He cared for the soldiers, and most importantly was burdened for their souls. His willingness to serve in the lowliest of places led to God raising him up for other responsibilities.

* A Love for Souls – Moody spoke of this one thing that he did, in reference to soul winning. Souls were constantly on his mind. He did not compartmentalize his life and win souls when it was convenient and rest at other times. He was constantly on the lookout for people who needed the Lord. This is what led him into places like “Little Hell” where nobody else wanted to go. He certainly received no earthly accolades for this. In fact, he became known as “Crazy Moody” in Chicago but Heaven certainly knew his name and his work.

* A Love for the Ministry – When Moody turned from business to ministry, there were no regrets and no turning back. He had a passion for what he did. The passion was manifested in a tendency to overwork himself nearly to the point of burnout, but he loved what he did and gave the Lord everything he had.

* A Desire to Learn From Others – Though never formally educated much at all, Moody was very much a student. He always wanted to learn from others who knew more than he did. He was a contemporary of great men like C.H. Spurgeon. Moody learned with a critical eye, not simply following someone to be following them. For example, he believed the ministry of Spurgeon was deficient because it lacked focus on children. Yet he absorbed anything he could that would be useful to his ministry as a lifelong learner.

* A Desire to Mentor Others – Moody never clamored for the spotlight. God put him there, but it was his desire. He had a profound impact on others who came behind him and was constantly mentoring, training, and impacting the men he was around. In genuine humility he deflected attention from himself and lifted up others as they served the Lord. This desire is seen in the education movement that Moody became involved with and that has carried on even to this day through his legacy.