National Youth Apologetics Training (2)
On the first day of 2021, GA Youth Affairs conducted a nationwide online training course on Apologetics for youths (Topic–Ecclesiology; Speaker–Dn Isaiah Phan). There were about 70 online participants in total.
2021 4th Year Youth Theological Training Course
11th – 15th April 2021 (Sunday to Thursday)
In the period of the ferocity of Covid-19, many activities in the church were forced to shift to online platforms to be conducted; this round’s 4th Year Youth Theological Training Course was no exception. Relative to physical contact, we realised that lessons conducted through the computer screens were no simple task indeed. There was a need for breakthroughs and adaptations in the lectures, interaction amongst the students, and how the students stayed focus during the lessons. However, we thank the Lord that this round’s 4th Year Youth Theological Training Course was able to be conducted smoothly through God’s guidance, the lecturing of the speakers, and the students who were humble and teachable.
During the 5-day course, there were a total of 3 sisters and 3 brothers (4 from Central Region, 1 from Southern Region, and one from Perak Region). Besides the biblical lessons taught by the preachers (Pr. Hosea spoke on the epistle of 2 Corinthians and Pr Nehemiah Ooi spoke on an introduction to the minor prophetic books), topics about campus life spoken by a group of Tertiary Steering Committees were also arranged (e.g., Campus Life, Time Management and Procrastination, Brief Introduction to Central Region University/Campus Fellowship, and Campus Evangelism). Contents related to university course selection, Christian career planning, application and more were also included to allow the students to better understand themselves and to make the correct choice for their course later on. The planning of these lessons was definitely“tailor-made”to the youths who were about to enter into tertiary life. Therefore, it is hoped that the church and tertiary youths would be able to take note and participate in future 4th Year Youth Theological Training Course.
Lastly, may the youths who are preparing to enter tertiary education have a bright future and a prosperous spiritual life!
Central Region Youth Program Planning Workshop
The Central Region Youth Affairs organised an online Youth Program Planning Workshop via zoom platform for the Tertiary and Working Youth Committees from the Central Region on 25 April 2021. The session was also opened to brethren from the Northern Region. Approximately 50 Youth Committee members participated in the workshop. The workshop began at 9:00 am with Pr. Nahum sharing the basic theory on program planning including a step-by-step guide in designing the program. In the afternoon practical session, participants were divided into groups to design a program based on the information given. Each group was given a fictitious scenario and tasked to plan a 3 months program based on the scenario. At the end of the session, each group presented their program .Pr. Nahum together with the Central Region Working Youth Steering Committee members evaluated their presentation，provided comments and suggestions to the participants.
During Pr. Nahum’s sharing, he focused on:
●The importance of having an outcome driven program to help the development of our youths.
●The step-by-step guide in program planning and things to consider.
●The analysis of the scenario before going into the program planning.
●The designs of individual sessions with specific purpose.
Preacher Nahum encouraged the committee members to pay more emphasis in designing program so that at the end of the day, youths will be edified and be able to learn the words of God more systematically. He added that generally Youth Programs today are designed without a proper process, hence there are rooms for improvement.
Online National Tertiary Youth Fellowship
An online Tertiary Youth Fellowship was organized by the Youth Affairs Unit on the 23rd of May 2021 from 9a.m. to 4p.m. The theme for this fellowship was “What’s next?”. There were five sessions, with Pr. Nahum Lim leading four of them. The last session was a team-building activity. After each session, there was a 10-minute break and the lunch break lasted for one and a half hours, from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm There was a group photography after the third session and the fourth session resumed after the lunch break. Thank the Lord that 60 participants attended this fellowship.
During the lessons, Pr. Nahum Lim recounted the state of faith of our brethren during in this pandemic. Being unable to attend physical services has affected our attitudes towards worship and our faith has also deteriorated. In fact, one reason behind this deteriorating faith was because we have established our faith based on friendships, activities, divine works, divine workers etc. but not on the truth of God. A few examples were provided – Some members came to the church just to attain a sense of achievement through the execution of divine works while some reckon divine works surpass worshiping and even depreciated praying, listening to sermons and also communicating with God. Such believers are prone to be unhappy with the church due to the reduction of divine works during this pandemic. In addition, Pr. Nahum also brought up the issues concerning gender identity with a prominent example – LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender). Mankind often quotes science to prove that sexual orientation is something innate. However, this evidence could not be authenticated and it only meant to “self-deceive”. The truth in the bible teaches us that these (LGBT issues) are things forbidden by God and more affirms that He will not create something presumed to be “innate”.
Due to the Movement Control Order (MCO), everyone can only attend online services in their respective houses. Nonetheless, we still lack a sense of fellowship gathering in the chapel. This causes many brethren to be easily distracted and had a hard time concentrating during online services. This lesson was akin to a siren arousing us to “wake up” and to reflect on the state of our faith. We ought to constantly readjust our attitudes to march forward this journey for we might not be allowed to return to the church yet in the near future.
The last session was a team-building activity consisting of 3 mini-games. Prior to this, all participants were divided into 6 sub-groups, each being headed by a facilitator and there was a self-introduction. The first game was an tive question and one participant was selected to guess how many participants in his/her group would fit the description in the question. After that, any participants in the group who fit the description would raise their hands to reveal the actual number of participants who fit the description. The answers did not matter since the main purpose of this game was to enable group members to understand each other better through the various descriptions in the questions. The second game was likened to Pictionary (guessing a word based on a player’s drawing). Respective facilitators would privately message one participant and this participant must draw something based on the contents of the question within 20 seconds and the rest would take a guess. All participants including the facilitators took turns to draw and everyone had an opportunity to demonstrate theirdrawing skills. The final activity was a 3-second biblical quiz. The questions allocated were not difficult, nevertheless it was still nerve-racking due to the time limit. We might know the correct answers, yet we could not respond due to our nervousness. Even so, there were still some who managed to provide the correct answers promptly. We thank the Lord that all participants were willing to switch on their videos. Everyone took part in the games proactively, enabling our relationship to be further enhanced.
The online fellowship concluded with a prayer at 4 p.m. We thank God that this event was carried out smoothly. We hope that the Lord will continue to guide our path ahead.