A Technical Conversation on Serving God Full-Time
God’s full-time call is not limited only to the role of pastoral staff. In fact, many men and women fulfil this call by serving full-time in corporate positions within the church.
By Edmund Tan Ghim Meng
Mention the phrase “full-time call” and what image instinctively comes to your mind? There is a high chance that you would have pictured a pastoral staff. However, God’s full-time call is not limited only to the role of pastoral staff.
Many fulfil this call by serving full-time in corporate positions within the church.
In fact, many men and women fulfil this call by serving full-time in corporate positions within the church. They are the ones working behind the scenes, so that our services and church operations proceed smoothly.
Trinitarian recently spoke to three staff who serve God full-time in such a capacity. Read on to get inspired by their stories of faith, purpose and providence!
First, let's get to know more about our interviewees...
Lighting & Staging Executive in Technical Department
Does stage lighting during events, keeps stage lights in good condition; help with maintenance of video equipment in church (eg LED screens and video camera system)
Six years on the job
Has a diploma from Lasalle College Of The Arts
Used to freelance as stage crew for theatres
Fun Fact: Set up stage light for a "getai" show at a point during his freelance days
Business Analyst in Church Management System Department
Elicits user requirements for IT system, designs the system, works with vendors for system development and testing
Business graduate (National University of Singapore)
Joined since 2019, first job after graduation
Fun Fact: Majored in Finance, was a HR Intern in an MNC, now working in Tech
Leung Kit Mei
Systems Analyst in IT Department
Elicits user requirements for IT system as well, but focuses more on the User Acceptance Testing and system security aspects
On the team since 2011
Was a ".Net" developer before joining the church full-time
Fun Fact: Mother of three
What made you answer God's full-time call?
I knew God’s full-time call upon my life but unsure if it was to serve as a pastoral staff. Previously, I wanted to seek God on this through AlphaTrack, but the program had to be suspended due to COVID-19. Incidentally this job opportunity (and fulfilment of the full-time call) came in 2019 while I was at a Campus Ministry camp in Johor.
With a simple desire to serve God...
The recruiting pastor told me about this opening and asked for my decision as soon as possible. I remembered that Pastor Melvin (former Youth Pastor) and Pastor Janice (former Ministry Overseer of Children, Youth and Campus ministries) prayed over me that my giftings and talents will be used to build God’s house.
With a simple desire to serve God, I convinced my parents within two days and started in this position the day after the camp ended.
I received my full-time call when I was in Primary 5 (at a DiscoveryLand Camp), but didn’t know how (in what way) I would fulfil the call. I only knew later after going through the different phases in life.
Youth Camp in 2013 was a turning point. When Pastor Dom prayed for me, he prophetically asked, “How long do you want to run away from your call?” I have always felt fulfilled being involved in different productions. That eventually drew me in to join as a full-time staff in 2016.
I started attending church as a new Christian in 2009, and I wanted to serve God even though I wasn’t even attending a carecell then. A week after having that thought, I saw a career opportunity in church – it was for a “.NET” developer! I was stunned – like that was a sign from God.
I was stunned – like that was a sign from God.
Despite this, it took me a year and lots of prayer before I had the courage to decide in 2010 that I want to serve Him. I eventually came on board full-time in 2011.
What is a typical day at work like?
Maintenance work takes up 75 percent of my time. By maintenance, I am not just referring to the upkeep of lights and equipment. It also includes rectification of issues that we could not complete during the weekend – eg repair or replacement of malfunctioning equipment.
The remaining 25 percent of my time is spent on supporting the Easter and Christmas productions, as well as on helping different ministries to prepare for their events, such as Leaders Community Empowerment (LCE) meetings, Church Prayer Meetings and evangelistic services by the language ministries.
Early part of the morning is usually spent catching up on emails, while late morning is spent on team meetings and discussions, including meetings with vendors.
In the afternoons, I can usually be found in the pantry either innovating new ideas on how to simplify and automate existing processes, or meeting different stakeholders in our church for requirements gathering or user feedback.
This can be more intense when we are launching new modules, as we will be involved in the testing before they go live.
My typical day is very similar to Gabriel’s since we are technically working on the same thing. The only difference is Gabriel’s focus is on business requirements – eg the ministry needs from the user’s end – while my focus is more technical in nature.
For instance, if the ministry determines that a certain piece of data needs to be captured, my work will focus on how best the system should be designed and set up to make the execution of the task simple and efficient.
From your viewpoint, could you explain how your work builds God's house and advances His kingdom?
Most people may not take note of how the stage lighting is programmed during events and services. What I do prepares the service halls for worship.
My work also involves preparation work to set up the upcoming new centers by ensuring that the equipment we bring in are good and value for money.
I hope my work can also inspire the next generation to rise up and serve
I hope my work can also inspire the next generation to rise up and serve. I was inspired to learn stage lighting when I was a teenager.
In a nutshell, it is simply to help the pastoral team with ministry follow up, and to help people get connected to the church.
Let me build on Kit Mei’s succinct reply. I think many of us remember the (paper) “connect cards” for First-Time Visitors (FTV) to our church. Those who have served in leadership will also remember the Electronic Carecell Administration System (eCAS) which served us well for 20 years.
This new system will bring us forward in this Decade of Expansion
The previous process was manual, both for transcribing the FTV’s information into eCAS and for assigning the FTV’s follow-up to a Connect Group (CG) via eCAS. Today, we have fully automated this entire process. The FTV could be assigned to a CG within seconds of filling in their information.
Furthermore, the assignment takes into consideration the FTV’s address, demographics and stated preferences. This new system will bring us forward in this Decade of Expansion.
What challenges did you encounter in answering God's call? How have you overcome them?
This being my first job, my first challenge was convincing my parents. They were expecting me to get a “good job” – in a bank or multinational corporation – given my degree in finance.
Saying to God, "Yes, I'll serve you full time, "... is something I need to do every day.
The ongoing challenge is to die to self every day. I graduated from finance and my peers are doing very well in a worldly sense. In fact, two of them could even afford to buy condominiums.
There are times when it is hard not to compare. In this light, saying to God, “Yes, I’ll serve You full-time,” is not a one-time thing. It is something I need to do every day.
I have also faced pressure – not from my parents because they also serve in church but from other relatives. Meeting them during festivals and family reunions is like evangelizing to them – explaining to them why I chose to serve full-time.
But this is good. An uncle and aunt came to accept Christ because of this. They saw how my family chose to serve Christ.
An uncle and aunt came to accept Christ because ... They saw how my family chose to serve Christ.
Additionally, I also used to be impatient and hot-tempered. I have learnt to deal with it so as not to be swayed by emotions. I told myself that whatever I do, I do for God, and that I portray the image of God to whoever I interact with. This has made me more joyful as I deal with requests and issues every day.
My biggest challenge has always been finances. I have three kids and there have been several times when I was concerned about covering the additional expenses. I would pray to God whenever these challenges came as I still want to serve Him full-time.
Each time, God has been good and He answered in His own way. He has also opened the door for my husband to get a new job with a higher pay that would cover our additional expenses.
What is one memorable moment you have had serving God through your job?
For me, it is not a specific moment per se. Rather, it is the interaction with my colleagues.
In a way, I grew up in Trinity Christian Centre and I know many of the people who are now my colleagues. It is memorable working with people who will encourage and spur you on, colleagues who will prank one another, team-mates who will work alongside you towards a common goal, and friends whom I can hang out with and have fun together.
Though we have done numerous productions over the years, I remember the World Assemblies of God Conference in 2017. I was so caught up working that I forgot about letting go and worshipping God.
That special moment when God chose to touch me – and took away all stress and tiredness – was backstage while the Spanish version of Your Presence is Heaven was sung. I always remember that moment whenever I am tired.
I remember this particular time when all user requests came in, and we only had a short runway – only three weeks – to do the necessary.
During that time, I somehow managed to develop a system for ministry request in just two weeks. That was on top of taking care of two kids at home then. I do not think it was possible by my own strength. I believe it was God who enabled me to pull this off.
What is your advice to those who are struggling with answering God's full time call?
Take courage and do what God tells you to do.
Don’t miss it! Answer first and be surprised by God.
If you’re not answering God’s call now, then when? YOLO (You only live once)!
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
Reflect & Respond
How could my talents, gifts and experience be used to build God's house?
What is God's call upon my life? What am I doing about it?
About the Author
Currently with SK323A, Edmund has been a Trinitarian for 27 years. Married and a father of one, he also regularly serves as a Traffic Marshal.
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