How Do We Get There?
The Vehicles for Our Vision
Written by Rev Dr Clement Chia
ost Singaporeans enjoy travelling for leisure. They frequently surf travel websites for tourist attractions and places of interest for their next vacation. They probably surf with a similar set of questions in mind: Where should we go? How should we get there? Which package would be the best value for money?
In many ways, our pilgrimage through life is concerned with similar questions about the direction and destination that would give the best “value” in the eyes of the Lord our God. Thus, it is no accident that our God has given us pilgrims the meaning, dignity, and direction of our earthly journey:
The Lord saying to Abram:
“Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you …”
(v.1 of Gen 12:1–3 NIV)
The resurrected Lord Jesus commanding his disciples:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations …”
(v. 19 of Matt 28:19–20 NIV)
The Holy Spirit saying to every living soul:
“Come! … Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”
(Rev 22: 17 NIV)
Yes, as the most precious gift from the creator God, life has a purpose. God desires us to live a life with meaning, dignity, and direction! This is the way we ought to live and the good news we get to share with others!
In the same way, Singapore Bible College was established by God for a purpose—to edify the church so as to evangelize the lost. This is the mission that defines our very existence. Last year, led by this new principal, the faculty and staff came together to ponder deeply on the mission.
Standing on the shoulders of our predecessors, we could see the new horizon of theological education. We are here to train the faithful servants of Jesus Christ, the students called by God and entrusted to us by their churches. In view of the new horizon, we are to strive to equip them to be servant leaders, effective communicators of God’s word, as well as creative and integrative thinkers. This is our vision!
Our co-workers are excited by this vision. It has opened our eyes to perceive our mission with a definite direction and clear outcome. At the close of last semester, the leadership team spent three days praying, sharing, and working on this vision that God has revealed to us. Once again, we saw what we are to strive for in the coming decades, and we understood that we needed vehicles to take us from this point to the next.
What are the vehicles that would carry us toward our vision? The first vehicle must be our focus upon the Giver of the vision. God has given us the vision even as he has mandated a mission for us to fulfil. He enables us to see clearly the direction and destination before us. Thus, we should not lose sight of the vision Giver, lest our toil and moil are in vain. At all times, we are to seek God’s guidance, provision, correction, and empowerment in prayer, worship, and our meetings.
The second vehicle must be our teamwork as Recipients of the vision. The leaders and co-workers of each domain, school, and department are to embrace the values and vision wholeheartedly, and work together with mutual trust, respect, and integrity that testify to a unity in the bond of love. At every level, each work team should weigh prudently the labour, expertise, finances, assets, and partners involved, so as to work out strategies and goals in line with the mission and vision of this college.
The third vehicle must be our equipping of the Bearers of the vision. This means cultivating an ethos of lifelong education within a community of learners. Who are these learners? They are the faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the SBC community, and also our extended community—the members of churches and mission agencies in this region and beyond. What does the ethos of lifelong learning involve? It involves endeavours in research and development (R&D), including academic research, reading, writing, presentations, discussions, as well as developing practical knowledge, spirituality, and ministry skills.
We have identified the equipping of co-workers, alumni, and partners for long-term effectiveness and efficiency in their ministries as an indicator of excellent holistic theological educations. It is clear then that R&D is crucial and should be second nature in our lives and ministries. Moreover, for the sake of the church and mission fields, the results of R&D should be shared with the wider community of learners whether within or outside the college.
Will you join us in carrying out our vision through your prayers and giving, so as to achieve SBC’s mission of theological education?