Trinity’s Leadership Team Reveals Ministry Journeys
As part of Honor Pastors’ Month celebrations, hear from Trinity’s seven Leadership Team (L-Team) Pastors as they answer these questions on their family lives and ministry journeys:
Answering the call to serve God often involves your spouse and family. How has that impacted them and how do you balance the demands?
What are some of the God moments that you have experienced when serving Him, especially in difficult times, and looking back, you'd think that God has a sense of humor?
Pastor Dominic Yeo, Lead Pastor
Family free to be themselves
I am blessed because my family understands my intense passion for ministry, so they release me to serve both Trinity and the global church. The positives are wonderful but there are also trade-offs.
My family can be “under the microscope” but I want them to be free to be themselves. I remind my wife Chin Inn that I will not hold her to any expectations as a pastor’s wife. For my children, I tell them it is their personal relationship with God that matters, rather than living under the expectations of people.
God’s Hand in every experience
I can look back at every experience, no matter how challenging, and see God’s Hand in it. In the past, when the Lord led me to discontinue a particular ministry of the church, I had to be open and share it with church members. It was painful at the time. But God was using that experience to train and toughen me. As a leader, I cannot make decisions that everyone will like, but rather what is in the best interest of the church.
Pastor Danny Leong, Executive Pastor and Executive Administrator
I answered God's call to come into full-time ministry when my children were young and I was doing well in my career.
We had to make adjustments in our finances, housing, and lifestyle. We moved out of our condominium to a HDB flat. Long-haul overseas holidays were replaced by short regional ones. Eating out at restaurants became less frequent. I thank God for a very supportive wife Erolyn and understanding children. While we miss each other when I am away for frequent long overseas ministry trips, we are very happy.
Honoring Pastors and co-workers
The first year of full-time ministry was challenging as I had to quickly grow in my spiritual formation. My secular experience and knowledge were valuable in church work but I had to learn to undergird them with biblical foundation. I learned much from my co-workers about serving with humility, excellence, and honor.
I will always remember the time when I told a fellow pastor who was in ministry longer than me to not address me as "Sir" as I was no longer in the military but his equal in ministry. Without hesitation, he answered, "Sir, I cannot do so because I am taught to address my leaders in this way." To me, that was a display of honor. Till today, I am mindful of honoring fellow pastors and co-workers. The last 18 years of full-time ministry has been a great journey of learning, doing, and rejoicing in God's House.
Pastor Gerald Tan, Executive Pastor and Director, Pastoral Ministry
Cherish journey of serving and growing together
Serving the Lord has always been a family affair, so they have learned to embrace the call and demands of ministry. I truly appreciate them because they always had to wait for me, re-arrange their schedules, and sacrifice significant events because of my ministry duties.
I often remind myself not to neglect them and to give them my time so that we can cherish the journey of serving and growing together. It is my greatest pleasure to watch my family embrace serving God wholeheartedly.
Walk in obedience
When God led us out of Trinity to pastor another local church for a season, it was a difficult time of uprooting ourselves from the church we grew up in, got married in, and had our children. As we walked in obedience, it is quite humorous to see how the Lord lovingly led us back to Trinity to be reunited with our spiritual family here.
Pastor Allen Loh, Executive Pastor and Director, Missions, and Human Resource
Create family moments intentionally
My wife, Wai Ling, and I have been serving God since 1988 as laity while we were working in the marketplace. A typical week for us from Mondays to Fridays involves working in the marketplace by day, and serving at Church Prayer Meetings, Leadership Cells, and Carecell meetings (both previously under the Carecell Model) by night. On weekends, we attended service on Saturdays and Sundays, and taught the Youth Bible Class followed by attending Youth Service. Even when our children were babies, we would bring them along when we served – pram, milk power, diapers, and all.
We have been juggling ministry, family, and work for more than 30 years – it is part of who we are. Thus, it comes naturally as we serve in church along with managing our work and family.
We intentionally create family moments to ensure we have good family bonding and to create positive childhood memories for our children. Birthdays, special school events, and family holidays are important.
The key is to have God moments every day, so that God is in the picture every day of our lives. A simple prayer every night with the kids before they go to bed and an uninterrupted time daily with my wife lead to building a strong family.
Yes, we have days that we miss the mark. That is normal but God is always in the picture and therein lies our foundation of juggling ministry and family.
God is patient with me
Coming in full-time as a Pastor was never part of my plan but it is God’s plan. My wife and I know we have a call to the missions field but God took His time with us, to prepare and mould us. He also placed people in our lives to mentor us. I am not sure if God has a sense of humor but He sure is patient with me.
Pastor David Chng, Director, Strategic Operations
Family journeys in the call together
I remember asking my wife Ser Ling while we were dating if she would support my full-time ministry call. I’m glad she said “yes” and still does. I am not alone but have my family to journey with me in this call together. I am very thankful for their support and encouragement.
Serving God means my weekend is spent in church while most families may be out together in cinemas, shopping malls, beaches, and parks. This means I must intentionally carve out time to spend with my family without letting them feel neglected, especially since Ser Ling’s love language is quality time. To enjoy date nights with her, I sometimes “park” my son with my parents.
I always believe that you need to manage your calendar or other people will. On my off days, I will block out time to spend with my son. On working days, I will go home for dinner (undisturbed by the TV or mobile phone) to be with my family before weeknight ministry. We also have family devotion once a week.
Teacher of God’s Word
My former principal encouraged me to be a teacher in school since I like teaching. I did try some relief teaching. But God indeed has a sense of humor. He called me into full-time ministry. I often joke with my former principal that I am obeying God. I am still teaching, only now I teach God’s Word.
One of my most difficult ministry roles was to lead a geographical district of carecells (now known as Connect Groups) comprising pastors and leaders who were much older than me, some of whom were in my parent’s age bracket. Some were my former leaders. As a young pastor, I had to “earn my stripes.” I worked hard to build relationships, develop credibility, and mature in a leadership role. Looking back, I am so thankful for the journey. God has a sense of humor because he used this challenge to help me grow the most. He even helped me to grow to become good friends with those that I initially had challenges working with. It was so rewarding to see leaders raised and new carecells multiplied.
Pastor Janice Chng, Director, Corporate Communications
Call for the entire family
I believe that the call to serve God is a call for the entire family. I thank God for a family who understands and supports my call. Since I stepped into full-time, weekends are ministry time instead of the usual family time. Therefore, setting aside time for key celebrations as a family is very important. In my household of 11 people, we celebrate our birthdays together (almost) monthly, as our birthdays fall on almost every month of the year! I know how to sing birthday songs in English, Mandarin, Malay, in different versions and even backwards.
The monthly gatherings of feasting, catching up, and playing games are very precious quality time together as a family. While COVID-19 has brought about some limitations, we look forward to gathering again.
Whenever I am away on an overseas trip, I make it a point to send pictures to my family via WhatsApp chats to keep them updated so that they need not worry. When I was assigned to Trinity@Jakarta for seven months, I was sending so many photos of delicious food that my mom commented, “Is Janice there to eat or work?”
Ministry is about God and the people He loves
God has always been very faithful to speak to me, especially through tough times. Once, I was really struggling to cope with multiple portfolios. I was complaining that there were just too many things on my plate and I was not good at multi-tasking. I was frustrated about not meeting expectations when God sent a friend to encourage me.
With no prior knowledge, my friend shared that she saw a vision of me with a huge silver plate with lots of different fruits on it, and many people, including me, were enjoying the fruits. That prophetic word really spoke to me, shifted my perspective, and enabled me to break through my own limitations to a new level of dependency on God, a new joy, and an increase of capacity. And I am still a mono-tasker today. Well, ministry is not about me, is it? It’s all about God and about people whom He loves. And He is faithful to raise up great teams to serve together with me.
Pastor Wendy Chang, Director, Trinity Academy
Generous giving of time
Answering the call to serve God involves generous giving that includes my family as well. They learn to be generous to give of their time and release me to do ministry work. On weekends when I am involved in ministry, they plan their own activities, but I make it a point to spend Saturday and Sunday dinners with them. We answer and grow in the call together as a family.
I try to give my best in all areas of my life such as family life, ministry, and personal life. I will take leave to spend with my family after a busy season in ministry, giving them my undivided attention. I also take time to have meals with my husband, James. He is the sacrificial one. He takes leave to spend time with me on my off days.
To be still and abide in God
One difficult season was when I was dealing with my vocal cord issue. With the frequent preaching and teaching, my voice quality had dropped significantly. It required treatment with surgery. The recuperation process required me to not speak for two weeks immediately after the surgery, and to minimize speaking for another two months, meaning no speaking engagements. It was a tough time for me with all that inactivity.
On hindsight, I laughed at God’s ways. God was using this season to teach me to rest and be still before Him. The two months became a great period of abiding in God and learning to slow down. I also had to go through vocal cord exercises with a voice therapist. It was funny because I felt like I had to relearn how to speak after so many years. But I now know God used that time to not only give me rest, but to let me learn something new so that I can have longevity in ministry.
Reflect & Respond
Have you been blessed by the L-team Pastors’ ministry? What can you do to honor and appreciate them?
Send in your words of appreciation to our pastors! Check out our Honor Pastors’ Month 2021 Padlet at: www.bit.ly/Trinity_HPM21