We moved into the Kabek Hall in the basement for our worship service last Sunday (05 Aug 2018). It is a newly renovated hall that can seat 120-150 worshippers. It is also well-equipped with a PA system and a cry room. What a wonderful provision by the Lord! And yet, our moving into the hall was not by our own choosing or plans.

We have mentioned during the 31st church anniversary for the English Congregation’s need for some room to grow. The seats were increasingly filled during the English Worship Service, leaving only the first row unoccupied.

At the same time, certain changes in circumstances moved the Session to explore alternatives to the third-floor worship hall of Changi Bethany Church (CBC). Plans were being made as to how to go about with the search.

Then on 22 July 2018, we received a request from CBC to move the Chinese service from the second floor as they had some plans for the use of the rooms. It was suggested that we use the newly renovated hall in the basement for the Chinese service. However, as the hall was in the basement with no lift access, it would have been inconvenient for the seniors of the Chinese congregation to walk down the stairs. Thus, it was decided that the English congregation would move down to the basement while the Chinese congregation would make use of the hall on the third floor.

By the Lord’s provision, both congregations now have more space to accommodate worshippers for their Sunday Worship Services. For this, we must thank the Lord.

Nevertheless, while the Lord has provided us with the physical resources to do His work, we must be careful not to fall into spiritual complacency. When the children of Israel were about to enter the Promised Land, God warned them not to forget Him after they have possessed the land. “When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. 11 Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: 12 Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; 13 And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; 14 Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; 15 Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; 16 Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end; 17 And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.” (Deuteronomy 8:10-17)

Now that the Lord has granted us extra space to grow, we must not rest on our laurels, but double our efforts to preach the gospel and the Word of God. Each empty seat in the sanctuary represents one lost opportunity for someone to hear the truth of the Holy Scriptures.

Nevertheless, we must not fall into the trap of equating an increase in numbers with church growth. God’s church is made not of bricks and mortar, but of living stones. It is of little use if a church is large in numbers, but full of false disciples or immature Christians. This would be detrimental to testimony of Christ and His Word. Let us pray that God will continue to help us grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).

God’s church can never be grown using means that are worldly and ungodly. God’s work must be done God’s way. Growth in the church is not achieved by running it the church like a community centre. God’s pattern for growth is by the pure preaching of God’s Word (2 Timothy 4:1-5; see also book of Acts). God would then add to His church such as should be saved (Acts 2:47; see also Acts 13:48). It is the Lord who gives the increase for His church. “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? 6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” (1 Corinthians 3:5-7)

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6b) This is the principle which governs the growth of every local church. And so it must be the case also for Tabernacle BPC.

Lovingly in Christ,
Pastor C. Chew




One of the signs of Jesus’ Coming, insofar as the Church is concerned, is the acceleration of missions (Matthew 24:14) vis-a-vis the triple prolifera-tion of false Christs and false prophets (5, 13, 24).

That we who are of the mission field and our fathers were evangelised by missionaries of the West, are now vigorously pursuing missions in reverse order is something undreamed of before WWII. That the Third World Churches are sending missionaries in increasing numbers is a ‘sign’ of the coming of the end.

To train missionaries for their task, there are the usual channels run by established missionary societies. Special courses like preparing candidates for cross-cultural interaction, even such niceties as how to hold chop-sticks, are given. Special books on Church planting and Church growth are their assignments.

In a certain Theological College in Singapore, I’m told by one of her students, tomes and tomes of the latest books by specialists and experts must be read, not the Bible!

But it is the Bible that theological students and would be missionaries must study. And the Text Book for those who are giving their lives to the mission field is none other than the Acts of the Apostles. So often we miss the green woods for the stunted trees before our eyes.

The Acts of the Apostles especially is God’s Pattern for Church Growth and Missions. Not only are the Apostles infallible and inerrant in their writings (II Peter 3:16), in their preachings (I Thessalonians 2:13), but also in their pattern of work (I Corinthians 11:1; II Thessalonians 3:6,7; Philippians 3:17; etc).

This is our thesis, that every missionary candidate must thoroughly study it, if at all they are to become life-long missionaries. For the casualty rate in missions is too great — how many can say with Paul, “I have finished my course”?

This book, an applied commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, was a three-hour course taught at the Evening Class of Far Eastern Bible College. It is offered respectfully to anyone interested in Church Growth and Missions for their perusal. If it can shed some light on churches and mission policies, the efforts put into its publication will not have been made in vain.