Telling, Training, And Transforming
Rev. Dr. Clement Chia. November 3, 2021. Telling, Training, And Transforming. Singapore Bible College. Retrieved from: https://www.sbc.edu.sg/.
Amidst the pandemic, on 19 August 2021, Singapore Bible College celebrated our 69th Founders’ Day. On this day, we rededicated ourselves to serve the eternal God, who carries on his mission in and through this humble College and the sending churches and parachurch organizations who have been our unceasing partners.
We reflected on Psalm 78, the longest historical psalm. It encompasses events from the books of the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, and 1–2 Samuel, to the reign of David. It repeats pairs of opposing ideas, such as remembering and forgetting, obedience and defiance, belief and disbelief, satisfaction and complaint, faithfulness and unfaithfulness, uprightness and deceitfulness, and God and idols.
However, the purpose of this psalm is not to focus on the negative aspects or failures of the Israelites, but to testify to God’s work in and through Israel by his election, calling, and shaping of generations of prophets, priests, and kings. How has God worked in and through the SBC community? Psalm 78 draws our attention to three ways.
1. Telling about God’s work
We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.
Psalm 78:4 (NIV)
God worked in the founding members of SBC. Leaders and pastors from local and overseas denominational churches, independent churches, and parachurch organizations joined in the solemn task of establishing the College. Their stories tell us about God’s work, and we intend to share them in various ways, such as the spoken word, written works, videos, and performances.
2. Training of God’s servants
He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.
God’s way of carrying on his mission is to train up his servants generation after generation. The founders understood the far-reaching significance of theological education very well. They established the College to uphold the Word of God and the truth of the gospel in the face of ‘Liberal Theology’, which strongly influenced churches worldwide but erred by denying the centrality of Christ to salvation. Our founders thus committed to equipping the Lord’s workers from this region and beyond with what they envisioned to be a holistic theological education — a strong foundation of biblical teaching and preaching that champions personal evangelism and cross-cultural missions for the vast harvest fields.
3. Transforming through God’s mission
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.
God has been transforming the world in a quiet but profound manner through his people and his church. SBC has had the privilege of contributing to this transformation in the last seven decades, not least through the sacrificial service of our alumni during the ongoing pandemic. As of today, 3,634 from 38 nations have graduated from the College, edifying the church and making disciples in all nations through lives of devotion, faithful service, and vibrant sharing of the gospel.
Looking to God for our 70th Founders’ Day
God’s work in and through SBC continues. We are celebrating our 70th anniversary next August with the theme, New Era, New Horizon. We strongly believe that God through his eternal Word has been shaping our community to envision the New Era of the post-pandemic world order as a New Horizon, enabling us to take on the formidable tasks ahead.
In the coming months, we will share in detail how we are re-visioning a holistic theological education for our future generations. It is fundamentally about the following:
- Participating in God’s mission in this country, this region, and beyond
- Providing theological training in Chinese and English, and encouraging bilingualism in campus operations and our students’ ministry formation
- Building a community of learners that includes both students and faculty, whether onsite or online, residential or non-residential, or with local or foreign members
- Equipping students with multidisciplinary approaches and cross-cultural learning, integrating the head and the heart, theory and practice, and knowledge and spirituality, in order to respond to the needs of the church and the mission fields
- Designing rigorous programmess to nurture pastor-scholars for theological education and scholar-pastors for church and parachurch ministries
Dear friends of SBC, please join us on this meaningful and worthwhile journey.