Time flies, and this Sunday we are having our ACM. Perhaps it is important to remind ourselves again why we are holding our ACM every year around this time.
Is our ACM a routine and boring exercise to hear financial reports in order to comply with the rules of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (ACRA)?
However, we do more than that, we elect church leaders, review the church’s activities and ministries of past year, and set the directions for the year ahead.
So whenever I think about the ACM, I inevitably turn to Acts 6:1-7 where the early church held an ad hoc general assembly meeting.
The context of Acts 6:1-7 focuses on the election of the church’s first deacons which was triggered by the complaint of the Greek speaking Jews that their widows were being neglected in the matter of humanitarian aids. The apostles quickly sprang into action by calling for a general assembly and proposing a solution. The result of this gathering was very encouraging. What could we learn from this passage?
First, whenever we hold our ACM, we are declaring to the world our unity in Christ. The early church took the complaint seriously. This is because inherent in this complaint is the threat of division among God’s people: the Hellenistic Jews against the Hebraic Jews.
Similarly, when we come together for our ACM, let us make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace among our three congregations—Sembawang, Moriah English and Chinese (Eph. 4:3; Phil. 2:2). At the same time, let us be watchful not to allow anything to disrupt our unity in Christ (Phil. 2:3, 4).
Second, the proposal of the apostles reminded us that the ministry of the church is the business of every member not just that of a selected few. God has equipped us differently, each is gifted for a particular task. Every member should exercise his or her gifts. The apostles recognized that they themselves could not do all the work alone. They must focus on their “ministry of the word and prayer,” while other members must step up to serve, in this case, the destitute and widows.
Finally, when the early church functions properly and according to God’s blueprint, they increase in number and many priests became believers. The apostles were free from the mundane duties to preach the gospel thus resulting in the spread of God’s word and conversion of souls.
Let us therefore, keep these perspectives before us when we come to our ACM this Sunday.
Rev. Mark Tay