November 5, 2023

Annual Congregational Meeting 2023

Written by:
Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy

As announced over the past few Sundays, our church’s ACM 2023 will be held today at 4p.m. in SingPost L5 Auditorium. The ACM documents have been uploaded to our church website for all the church members’ perusal. I urge all church members to be present, as this meeting is to be held, according to our church constitution, at least once annually to consider our congregation’s affairs.

How to Prepare for the ACM:

Pray for reverential and orderly conduct by all participants of the ACM, for the Bible instructs us concerning all church meetings, “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40). 

Please plan and make necessary arrangements to attend the ACM, and come to the venue 15-20 minutes early to sign in to enter the auditorium. This would help towards the counting of participants and the determining of the quorum to proceed with the meeting.

Let us pray for the Pastor and Elders (office bearers of the church), that the Spirit of God would empower them to conduct the meeting with wisdom, and present all reports of the past year as well as plans for the upcoming year faithfully and skilfully. 

If church members have any questions on the reports or plans, please submit the questions early for the office bearers to provide studied answers. 

Though ACM is a business / administrative church meeting, we must be mindful to do all things according to the counsels of God’s Word with great reverence and thanksgiving to God, who has blessed the church spiritually and physically. Let us all gather together with boundless praise for the Lord. “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:31). May our thoughts be about His goodness. Let every heart rejoice and give thanks unto the Lord. “So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:7). 

The church leaders and members must participate in the meeting with mutual love and respect. “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6). We must avoid all belligerent, fault-finding, slanderous, provocative, and quarrelsome attitudes. 

Let us not forget the biblical admonition that we should be “endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). “A house divided cannot stand.”

Our recollection and evaluation of the past year’s ministries (local and overseas), as well as our awareness of the needs and burdens of the present and new ministries, must create within us a humble and ready spirit to serve the Lord faithfully and fervently in the coming year. May we renew our commitment, and consecrate ourselves to serve Him joyfully and enthusiastically.

May the Lord bless our gathering together. May we acknowledge and carry out our stewardship responsibilities faithfully, as we joyfully seek to serve our God out of hearts full of gratitude in thanksgiving for the indescribable gift given to us in His Son!

Biblical Guidelines for Orderly Worship

Paul has laid down much-needed principles for orderly worship services. Sadly, the Corinthian church had been conducting their worship services as they felt best - a kind of free, spontaneous worship service where anyone could sing a hymn, prophesy or speak in tongues. However, Paul sharply rebuked such a disorderly, chaotic conduct of worship and instructed the church with some guidelines. Paul insisted on orderliness and purpose in the church’s public gatherings, as attested to in 1 Corinthians 14:26-40.

Worship must not consist of free-for-all, spontaneous activities: The Corinthian church had not maintained order when they gathered for worship. Everyone did as he liked – hence, Paul asked, “How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying” (v. 26). Our conduct should not distract other worshippers from truly worshipping the Lord in spirit and truth.

Worship services must be edifying: Everything done during public worship must be intended to bring about the building up of the church. Promoting spiritual growth and maturity of the church must be the chief concern of all in the worship services. Nothing should be done with personal promotion or prominence in view but with others’ edification. “Let all things be done unto edifying” (v.26b).

Worship services should not be haphazardly put together: Even if several people have the same spiritual gifts in a local church, Paul did not permit them to exercise their gifts simultaneously. Paul urged that each service element should not be haphazardly thrown together with no order, but with meticulous deliberateness so there will be no confusion (vv. 29-33). We are reminded that “God is not the author of confusion but of peace.” Disorganised services can distract the worshippers from fully focusing on God. Those who plan the worship services must deliberate on what they include and how they order them.

Worship services should be led by those in the church leadership: Women in the church are advised to submit to men of leadership and not to speak in public worship (vv. 34-38). The principle of prohibiting women from questioning their leadership applies to all the leadership realms of the church, especially regarding the worship service. Neither men nor women in the worship should challenge or disrupt the church leaders who lead the worship service. Public worship services and other church activities must be planned and led by church leaders, and all worshippers and members should respect and submit to their authority regarding the worship service.

Worship services should be Word-focused: In vv. 36-38, Paul emphasised the declaration of God’s revelation. Today, the divine revelation received through prophecy is complete and is given to us in the Bible (cf. 1 Cor. 13:9-10; Rev. 22:18-19). So, the declaration and practice of the Word in the church worship service are paramount to God-honouring worship service.

Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church adheres to the system of faith commonly known as the “Reformed Faith” as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
Our Worship Address
SingPost Centre
Level 5 Auditorium
10 Eunos Road 8, Singapore 408600
(next to Paya Lebar MRT station)
Our mailing address
Gethsemane Media Centre
33 Ubi Crescent
Singapore 408584
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