So many wonderful things were said at Summit 2023.

If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even our whole office would not have room for the books that would be written (we probably do have the space lah!).

So we’re not gonna do that, and instead highlight two memorable insights from our time with your pastors in Malacca.

Pastor Jeff Chong (HOPE Singapore): Empower the youth and don’t look down on them

Newly installed as the Chairman of LoveSingapore, Pastor Jeff delivered a message on Summit 2023’s first night on what’s to come in the season ahead and the need for unity. The following is adapted from the second point of his sharing, about winning youth for Christ.

Pastor Jeff speaking at Summit 2023.

Apollo 11 landed on the moon on July 1969. It was a mission that many thought was impossible. It began with a speech by JFK in 1961, who carved a clear vision of a lunar landing by the end of the decade. And many of us would know the first man to step on it โ€” Neil Armstrong.

But not many of us may know that the average age of the control centre staff was 27 years old. 27 years old!

Most of them started as interns five years ago, when they were 22. And their job was to give tours of NASA, who forced them to know the precise function of each department.

These young people said that their internship enabled them to succeed as they had first-hand exposure to the workings of NASA.

Those who were associated with the project revealed that Apollo 11 was successful because young people were placed in key leadership roles.

Youth pastors’ hangout at Summit 2023.

Eventually, these young people were the ones who pushed ahead when veterans would have pulled the plug.

Just 13 minutes before the landing, they almost aborted the mission as they did not want to lose Neil Armstrong and the crew.

But 23-year-old Jack Garman played a significant role in those vital minutes that kept the mission on course, whose judgment was trusted by his superior.

Unburdened by old ideas and old ways, the young saw things in a fresh way and were ready to solve new problems with new ideas and new methodology.

If this is true when it comes to the moon mission, how much more should we empower the young for God’s great commission?

Youth pastors’ hangout at Summit 2023.

Just like Paul and his young prodigy, Timothy, I pray that all of us will have the same heart when we look at a younger person.

We should say this to them: Don’t let anyone โ€” including myself โ€” look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

Reflection: What are some ways we can empower the young in our churches? What does bringing them into leadership roles and spaces look like? List down 5 strengths you see in younger believers around you.

Joseph Chean (Antioch21): Live missionally and make the most of your youth

On the third day of Summit 2023, Joseph Chean led a session on blessing the nations. The leader of the newly-relaunched Antioch21 (LoveSingaporeโ€™s missions arm) raised the remarkable example of young missionary Sarah Chan, who lived missionally while holding on to her calling for 18 years before being sent by God into Timor-Leste.

Joseph Chean speaking at Summit 2023.

Sarah was at Joshua 21 when she was 12 years old. When we made the altar call, Sarah ran forward to the altar crying and weeping.

She was weeping and weeping, and she didn’t know why. But she just said to God: “I want to give my life to the nations.”

For 18 years, Sarah did not stray. When she went to polytechnic, she even picked electives that would help her when she went out to the nations.

In time, God began to introduce her to Timor-Leste through mission trips and speak to her about serving there and staying.

But for 18 years, Sarah continued to serve in Singapore. She became a youth worker in Covenant Evangelical Free Church (CEFC), faithfully serving the church.

Until one day, she felt a question in her heart: Would I be willing to give up my missions call and serve the church?

On the day she finally said yes, that was when the Lord said “now it’s time for you to go” โ€“ just when she thought that she would stay in Singapore!

For 18 years, Sarah did not stray. When she went to polytechnic, she even picked electives that would help her when she went out to the nations.

With the blessing, counsel and prayer of CEFC’s leadership, they released and championed Sarah to go into Timor-Leste.

Today, Sarah is one of the team leaders there, and will be joined by two more young people who are also going to serve God in Timor-Leste.

Reflection: What vision or dream has God planted in your heart? What lengths would you go to, to see it come to fruition?

From academic decisions to lifestyle choices, what does aligning your life to more effectively fulfil God’s purposes look like?

We hope these words get you thinking โ€“ even better if you’re fired up for the Great Commission!

Whoever you may be, however old you are, whatever you’ve got โ€“ God can use all of that when you put it in His hands.

Little is much when God is in it, so let’s start with willingness and take a step forward!

The next article from Summit 2023 that we’re doing will take a look at some survey results about the younger generation as well as reflections from a panel of youth pastors. Keep a lookout for that!

  1. What spoke to you in this article? Why?
  2. What does intergenerational unity look like in your church? How can you help to foster it?
  3. What are some practical ways you can empower a younger person in your church?