Barker Road Methodist Church (BRMC) celebrated her 57th Anniversary on Sunday 19th May 2013. Some basic features of the church have become evident after all these years:
a) BRMC as a BR Campus Church: In the providence of God, BRMC is the church that looks after the spiritual life of all the related educational institutions within our campus grounds. We are responsible for the spiritual well being of ACS (P), ACS (BR) and Oldham Hall. BRMC Pastors serve as Chaplains; Lay Staff are employed to do ministry on behalf of the church; the Laity, also, step forward as volunteers to pray and relate to the parents, teachers and students.
b) BRMC as a church institutionally linked to the ACS family of schools and therefore, to the 12th COY BB. Presently, BRMC has spiritual oversight over ACS (P), ACS (BR), Oldham Hall because of the shared location here in the BR campus.
- ACS (J) when it was previously located in the BR campus, was also then under BRMC’s spiritual care. ACS (Independent) and ACS (International) were under the spiritual care of BRMC when Living Waters Methodist Church and Holland Village Methodist Church were still BRMC preaching points, respectively.
- Moreover, because every Boys’ Brigade Company in the ACS family is to be listed down as the 12th COY and that all the 12th COY will have BRMC as their sponsoring church, it has been exclaimed very often, that: “the church (BRMC), the school (ACS) and the COY (12th); these three are one indeed”.
Such is the institutional connectivity and responsibility that has been part of BRMC’s sense of identity.
c) BRMC has been for a long time, an intergenerational church. Remember the church is not the building and that it is also more than the institution. The church is about the people of God, therefore, it is appropriate to recognize that the church community should always be made up of people of all ages. Consequently, BRMC should have ministry platforms for all the generations. Hence, BRMC seeks to be a youth friendly, adult friendly, seniors friendly, singles’ friendly, couples friendly, and even a children friendly church. May God help us be generationally friendly to all. Being intergenerational should also go with being inter-gender, therefore, BRMC should continue to sustain ministry platforms for both men and women as well.
d) To enrich and enhance our sense of being community, BRMC is a church with small groups. Presently we have 1072 members regularly involved in small groups. Our small groups are divided into 11 parish groupings. There are also 22 additional small groups together with 8 youth small groups outside the main parish group structure. Our Church membership stands at 2,361 (3 May 2013) with regular attendance exceeding that number. Hopefully, our small groups will provide opportunities for God’s people to interact with each other in Christian fellowship and support. In time, small groups ministry will strengthen believers to be the means through which our members and friends will be able to reach out to others beyond the “walls” of the church.
e) BRMC as a church with multiple worship services. As God has caused our tribe to increase, so likewise the diversity and multiplicity of our church worship services has also increased. Those who come to worship God with us, will be able to choose from the options available throughout the week – Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday: English language worship services – 4 contemporary style worship services, 1 traditional hymnbook worship style and 1 charismatic style worship service, 2 Mandarin services, 1 Filipino service and 1 Indonesian service. Not to forget our preaching point conducting a worship service outside of the Barker Road campus (i.e. Bukit Batok). May our inclusiveness of worship styles create an atmosphere of welcome for all who come to worship God with His people through Christ in the power of His Spirit.
BRMC’s Spiritual Direction: To build up the 4 Spiritual Houses
in the midst of our church community. Since 2002, the BRMC leadership has endorsed this vision of building up the 4 spiritual houses, thus providing us with a coherent direction. Together, we build up God’s people in Christ through the Spirit to become
A House of Bread (Isaiah 2:1-5),
A House of Prayer (Isaiah 56:7)
A House of Salvation (Acts 2:47, 4:10) and
A House of Compassion (James 1:27, Gal 2:10)
These 4 spiritual houses will determine the spiritual culture of the BRMC community. Together we build up the spiritual culture that God has placed in all of our hearts: lay leadership, lay staff, committees, active volunteers, local preachers, and the clergy.
- BRMC is committed to releasing the Body of Christ to the world. We want to encourage our members to learn not just to receive prayer but also to pray for others. That they will not just be taught the Word but that they will also be used by God to share the Word with others. That we will not just want to be encouraged but that we will also want to be encouragers, as well. All this will be a wonderful way of discovering the practice of the Priesthood of all Believers amongst the Body of Christ here in BRMC and beyond.
- Finally, together with many of you, my personal prayer is that BRMC will be truly Pentecostal as God pours out His Spirit upon our Land, our Church and this Region, thereby, impacting the regions beyond. Remember also the words of Isaiah: “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness cover the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you, and His glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn”. (60:1-3) Beloved, I feel in my heart that it is right to speak Isaiah’s oracle as a Blessing over BRMC. I hope you will agree in your hearts with me on this. “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all that we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be Glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen!” (Eph 3:20-21).
Rev Malcolm TH Tan, Pastor-in-Charge, Barker Road Methodist Church