They don't just shepherd the flock but father children too. Hear the father heart of our pastors.
By Kristine Lee
Essential has been a popular buzzword recently. Fathers are essential in families, even crucial. God as the Father played an indispensable role in Jesus' life and ministry. God as our Father is central to our Christian faith. Take a glimpse of the Father heart of God through the hearts and wisdom of our pastors who are fathers.
As a father, what makes your heart smile?
Pastor Dominic Yeo
Seeing my daughter step into full-time ministry to serve the Lord with me. Seeing my son take steps of commitment in his Connect Group and growing up to live his life for the Lord. Seeing my wife committed in serving God with me through her Connect Group and Ministry Group involvements, and how God is using her in the market place and ministry.
Pastor Allen Loh
I am blessed to have three daughters and each of them is created special by God. The special moments were the times I used to drive them to school in the mornings when they were younger. It was my time with them. We would talk and I could pray for them before their day starts. Then there were the father-daughter dates. Just spending time with each of them individually, getting to know them and speaking into their lives was precious. The joy now is to see them grown up and becoming women journeying in the destiny that God has for them.
Pastor Johnathan Lee
When my younger daughter, Odelia, first went to Australia to study, I was excited for her. I told her that it wasn't just about her studies. This was an opportunity for her to live her life depending on God, without us being there with her. I am glad that both Hannah and Odelia have their own walk of faith in the love and goodness of God. This makes me happy.
Pastor Joseph Tan
My daughters are gifts from God. When I was studying theology in the US, my daughters surprised me with a banner to encourage me and remind me that I must never give up. The call of God in my life is made possible because of their love and sacrifice.
Pastor Gary Chia
I was very proud of Gabriel when he told me he loved to serve God in church and was willing to be a leader for God. That was a great moment of pride and joy for me.
Brother Ooi Tiat Jin My heart smiles when I see my daughter, Natania, taking the effort to cheer, encourage, help, or simply thank someone. That shows her living out the values we taught her. These are far more precious to me than achievements and accolades, because these values will see her through life.
How do you juggle work and fatherhood?
Pastor Dominic Yeo
Ministry is round-the-clock because we are engaged in the lives of people -- whether visiting, counseling or even staying up late in the night praying and interceding for them!
Therefore there is a sacrifice that comes with the call. The call is not work and it impacts our family lives.
Therefore I try to do what I can to be with my family, especially when they verbalize or hint that they need me.
My family is also my congregation. But there will be times that I have to be dad and pastor. It is about switching between the roles.
Pastor Wan Tat Liong
It is never easy to juggle work and fatherhood, but I try my best. At the end of a day of work or ministry, perhaps what I try to do, is to find time and energy to do what is meaningful and fun for them. It can be playing mobile games together or just working with them on their school work (at their resistance!). On week nights, we have short devotions together while on Saturdays, I would try to have some time for brunch to just check-in on the boys and chill.
Brother Boon Jiahao
My family is my first ministry and being a dad is hard work! But I hope being good at one makes me better at the other.
Fatherhood and work can be at odds at times, but attention should not be confused with importance and priority.
What this means to me is to intentionally plan family time into the daily routine, know what is truly urgent (because while work is important, the children grow up only once!), set and communicate healthy boundaries (especially now that WFH is a norm), make time for the little things (because the little things are the important things!).
Pastor Edward Lim
Much has been said about the need to maintain a work-life balance. My belief is that every role that we play cannot be finely segmented at any particular time of the day.
At any point, I am a husband, father, son, pastor and consultant. Whenever my wife or daughters need me, I will try my best to be there for them, regardless of day and time of day. I am glad and honored to be able to be with them at pivotal moments in their lives, whether it’s a Sports Day or a stint in an overseas university.
So, it’s not a matter of juggling work and fatherhood but about getting our priorities right. It’s about putting God first and He will put everything else into place.
Why is your role as a father important?
Pastor Dominic Yeo
My role as a father provides
headship which brings a spiritual covering
place of security that brings the assurances of God
guidance and mentoring that challenges my children to grow not just spiritually but in life
Pastor Gerald Tan
Being a father is a God-given calling, to raise my kids in the ways of the Lord and to impart into their lives a sense of destiny and identity. It’s about providing a safe environment for them to grow in -- an environment of love, honor, respect and fun.
Pastor David Chng
The role of a father is important to counter the absent father syndrome, which has negative consequences.
Instead, a father is one who is present - physically, psychologically and emotionally with the child.
Fathers need to build relationship and trust with quality and quantity time.
I hold Deuteronomy 6:4-9 close to my heart. It reminds me to take every opportunity to disciple my child in the ways of God and point child to God the Father who is so much more than me as an earthly father.
Pastor Kenny Sng
The lack of a father figure is devastating. It has a lot of psychological and emotional ramifications on children. Conversely, being a role model and someone whom my kids can relate to, will add to their confidence not only as they are growing up but also when they have their own families.
My sons will go on to raise their own children based on what they have observed and experienced from their father. The kind of legacy passed down the generations starts with me! And it's Joshua 24:15 I want to see lived out.
What is the biggest sacrifice you have made for your kid(s)?
Brother Stanley Yow
When it comes to children or grandchildren, the things that I do or give up is no longer called sacrifice. For me, giving up my interest to spend extra time with them and look into their preferences is all part of being a father and grandfather as my expression of love for my children.
Pastor Kelvin Teo
It is not really a sacrifice. Working around my schedule, being the ever-ready driver cum delivery man brings me the greater joy of spending time with them and serving them -- even if it means adding white hair on my head!
Pastor Alan See
I asked my daughters the question you posed me. This is their list:
Caring for them when they were young and my wife Melina was working.
Bringing them out for dinner and catching up with them after a long day at work.
Forgoing proper rest when they were unwell.
Running errands for them during WFH/HBL so they could focus on their work.
As they shared these, I pondered "why did I do these?"
The answer is that I do not want to miss these precious moments. There is no REPLAY button!
I am not a perfect person/dad but neither do I want to look back years from now with regrets.
Pastor Carmelo Dolendo
I would say waking up early in the morning, then driving them to school and picking them up in the evening after school activities. But like other dads, I don’t consider it as a sacrifice but rather a delight, because they are done out of love.
It was a delight for me to spend time talking with my kids and just simply being involved in their lives. Those times are godly moments where I can impart biblical truths and godly values in an informal setting.
As I reflect upon how I delight spending time with my kids as a father, I think of how much more for our Heavenly Father? I believe our Heavenly Father delights spending time with us during our time alone with Him as He wants to be involved in our lives not just in times when we need help from Him but in times of joy and gladness.
What is one advice you would give to new fathers?
Pastor Danny Leong
One advice for new dads – “love your wife even more, take care of all her needs, share the night shifts, come home early, and enjoy bathing your baby.” (pictured above with grandchildren)
Pastor Leslie Lam
A father’s role as the head of the family is vital for the children’s well-being. Making time for his children is important. Children feel secure when their fathers meet both the children’s physical and emotional needs.
Never be presumptuous. Instead provide a listening ear and stay alert for moments to impart values, rather than offer a quick-fix solution.
Since there is no perfect father, except God, dare to be authentic and credible! Do not provoke and turn them away but communicate truth in a firm yet gentle manner. Not easy, but possible! Be mindful not to demand results but to inspire them to perform at their fullest potential.
As your children look to you for guidance and correction, you command the spiritual authority to speak into their lives. But with God as the head of the household, bring your children before God in prayer, asking for His guidance.
I pray for all fathers to be the pillar of strength for our children. May the bond of love be strengthened and fortified, all for the glory of God!
Brother Poon Chong Lin My firstborn son is more than a year old now.
Early in her pregnancy, my wife was diagnosed with mild pre-eclampsia and the condition potentially endangered both my wife and my son’s lives.
There were a few health scares where baby’s growth slowed down and plateaued nearing the estimated delivery date.
I learnt that life is really fragile and in God’s hands, God taught me through the challenges to turn to Him in prayer always and entrust my family into His hands.
Although my son was delivered early at 36 weeks and was just 2.44 kg at birth, he is now healthy and weighs beyond 97 percentile for his age!
We will continue to trust God for His grace and covering.
Pastor Victor Toh
One advice I’ll give fathers... don’t be an absent father. Be there for your children. Our children need us physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. When they grow up, may not all that they remember of you be your busyness and absence. May they never learn all about life from someone else other than you, their father. We can never turn back the clock. Just as God the Father spent time with Adam and Eve in the garden, may we also learn the simple value of quality and quantitative time with our children.
Reflect & Respond
How have you encountered the Father heart of God through your father? What is one thing you can be thankful about for your father?
As a father, how have you spoken into your children's lives and encouraged them the way God speaks blessings and encouragement?