Before enrolling into Trinity Christian Centre’s Ministry Internship (MI) program, Sister Esther Lau was a Human Resource Executive while Brother Jason Koon was a Creative Manager, designing for company events and weddings. Through their sharing, we see God’s divine leading and providence as He called them into full-time ministry and their journey since.
By Alivia Kan
How did God call you into full-time ministry? What gave you the courage to step out in faith?
During AlphaTrack, a three-month full time discipleship program, in 2007, God spoke to me about serving Him and working in church. I did not understand because working in church was never part of my plan.
Within the next year, God opened the way for me to work in the church office as a Human Resource Administrative Staff where I served for 13 years.
However, over the last few years, I sensed a shift in my spirit to pursue the pastoral call. “Lord, are you sure about this?” In my times of prayer, I felt God’s assurance in affirming me that HR will not be my end destination. “Lord, if not HR, then where?” God assured me that as I surrender to Him, He will be with me.
In my times of prayer, I felt God's assurance.
God sent two sisters to pray for me on separate occasions and each of them released a prophetic vision to me. That was when I knew it was time to respond to God’s call.
About seven to eight years ago, God showed me a vision of me standing on stage preaching to the crowd. I said to the Lord, “lead me if You want me to serve You in full-time ministry. Show me the way.”
My wife was the one who affirmed and encouraged my call to follow the God-given vision I had eight years ago. She assured me that she would look after our son. In obeying this call to full-time ministry serving as a Ministry Intern, I have seen how God has blessed and provided for my family. If it’s God’s Will, it’s God’s Bill.
Did you have any concerns or struggles when deciding whether to become a Ministry Intern?
Having worked as an admin staff for more than a decade, it was daunting to step out of my comfort zone into the unknown. As the only child, I was concerned if I would have enough to provide for my parents. As I prayed, God assured me that He would take care of my family.
I have seen how my family was blessed in the 1.5 years while I was working from home. The blessing came in the form of friends offering to buy us meals. Whenever I came out of my study room, there would always be food on the dining table.
There will be no lack in your house.
God said to me one day, “There will be no lack in your house because I am the good shepherd of your family.”With this assurance, I took a leap of faith and stepped into MI to prepare for full-time pastoral ministry. God is faithful. Since then, there has been no lack, there is always food on the dining table.
Yes! I have a six-year-old boy. My wife and I wrestled with joining the one-year MI program without income. We wondered how we could support our family financially, while paying off our HDB loan. My son will be attending Primary One this year. I was concerned if I would have time to support him with the transition from kindergarten to Primary School.
We wondered how we could support our family financially, while paying off our HDB loan.
God came through the way He promised. On top of the sponsorship allowance that was meant for the first six months of MI, I have been blessed with a double portion of allowance that covered for monthly payment of the housing loan, and my boy’s school fees the entire year while I served. My wife was promoted to full-time staff with pay increment, allowing her to take paid childcare leave to look after our son when the need arose.
What is your favorite or most surprising part of being a MI? What is one Godly encounter or breakthrough you have had since serving as a MI?
My favorite part is MI impartation session which happens every Friday morning with the pastors, covering topics such as ministering, calling and conduct.
Another favorite is the weekly mentorship sessions with my immediate supervising pastor (ISP). Some things are caught rather than taught. My ISP’s pastoral heart for God’s people has inspired and influenced me to carry a pastoral heart to care for others. One key takeaway from my ISP is to always eat my breakfast. Eating well ensures we can run far and long for Jesus.
Being a perfectionist, it is not easy for me to accept failures or weaknesses in my life. Through my imperfections, I cried out to God and God led me to 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. Not only is God’s grace enough for me, but His power is made perfect in weakness. I can be vulnerable before God and admit my weaknesses. God is my strength. Now, I have a shift in my mindset in everything I do, I do not have to be a perfectionist. I do my very best and let God do the rest.
My favorite part is seeing how God uses me to bless other people. One of my greatest breakthroughs in MI was preaching an entire sermon in English for the first time. English is not my first language. I tend to fall asleep reading, which was why I became a designer.
As I was stuck preparing for this assignment wondering how it would ever be possible to write an English sermon, God led me to a random book in the library. That was when He spoke and imparted all the words I needed for a sermon on fruitfulness and salvation. I have then preached on two other occasions.
I was a part of the Thursday pastoral team for weekday services the past year. When I was activated to pray in English, I was at the edge of giving up. My son encouraged me and told me not to give up. On the day of ministry, the Holy Spirit blessed me with the words to say. I was able to pray in English for people during altar call.
On the day of ministry, the Holy Spirit blessed me with the words to say.
I am once again reminded that nothing is impossible for our Almighty God. I shall not underestimate how God can use me for His glory.
Any word of advice to fellow brothers and sisters who may have a full-time call?
Mark 9:23 says, “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Trust and go for it! I am a living testimony that attests to when you trust in God’s leading, He will show you the way. Share and account to your family and mentors. Their support is important when the time comes to answer the call and go.
Acts 20:24 says, “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Embrace the time of preparation and remain faithful to the task given to you. Be ready to go when God calls.
After hearing from Sister Esther and Brother Jason, let us hear from Pastor Mei Yee, MI Coordinator
What is the Ministry Internship (MI) program? Is it a paid internship?
MI is focused on the formation and development of the minister (personhood, perspectives, and practice), the curriculum integrates practical hands-on training with academic theological education.
It is an unpaid one-year internship and applications can be made to Missions Department for sponsorship allowance which helps to defray some living expenses for the intern.
In this one year, ministry interns get to interact closely with the Lead Pastor and the Leadership Team, and receive impartation from them.
Who is qualified for the MI program?
Interested applicants must fulfil the following criteria:
o Acknowledge that he/she has a full-time call to serve God
o Serve, at minimum, as a Leader
o Be aligned to the vision, values, and leadership of Trinity Christian Centre
How can someone apply for MI?
The applicant must first be recommended by their Area/Ministry Pastor and will be interviewed by the MI Coordinator for acceptance into the program.
For those feeling called to full-time ministry, visualize your calling statement by penning it down. Make God’s covenant your focus and starting point, walk with God daily and spend time in His presence to allow the Holy Spirit to guide you and give you clarity.
Ministry is not about us. It is about God and His glory.
Here are some handles to begin with:
o Serve as a Leader
o Speak to your Area/Ministry Pastor to journey with you
o Listen, pray, and keep pursuing Jesus Christ
Ministry is not about us. It is about God and His glory.
Wherever He calls you to, you can trust and put your hopes in Him. God does not always call the equipped, but He equips the called. Humbly submit to God and trust Him to orchestrate His plan for your life in His time. God who has called and chosen you is faithful to fulfil His promise to you.
For those who feel called to full-time ministry, visualize your calling by penning it down in a statement. Make God’s covenant your focus and starting point, walk with God daily and spend time in His presence to allow the Holy Spirit to guide you and give you clarity.
“The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”
1 Thessalonians 5:24
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time”
1 Peter 5:6
Reflect & Respond
What are some burdens and dreams that God has placed on your heart? Have you spent time to pray and seek Him faithfully about them?
Is God calling you to take a step of faith this season? Are there any fears and struggles holding you back from pursuing God’s call in your life?
Are you journeying with anyone who has affirmed you of your calling?
About the Author
Alivia Kan is sometimes whimsical and usually craving a second (or third!) cuppa. She always desires to walk with Jesus and have a well-watered soul.
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