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The General Secretary's Heartbeat
By Rev Tan Cheng Huat – General Secretary (Designate)
Sep 2014

What would you say to your NEXT generation?

The position for General Secretary in the Synod of the Presbyterian Church in Singapore was never in my plan. For many years, I have realized that my calling to be a missionary ended in “Standing in the GAP”. When I returned in 1997 as the Regional Director for Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) in the Asia Pacific, Covenant Presbyterian Church sent me to Ang Mo Kio to stand in for Rev. Maggie Low who was away on sabbatical. The stand-in took 3 years. Then Rev Dr. Graham Ng, who responded to the Swansea call, asked if I could stand in at True Way Presbyterian Church. This stand-in lasted 14 years.

God’s way is better than my way. I was approached by the Synod GS search committee for the role of General Secretary and I knew there were many outstanding issues waiting to be resolved. Who would want to take these challenges? Well, by the grace of God, the search ended when I was compelled to say YES. Officially, my term of 4 years will begin in January 2015. In fact I have already started serving as GS designate on a 2-day week at the Synod office.

The words of Moses in Deuteronomy 6:21 kept resonating in my ears: “What would I say to the NEXT generation?” In this passage of Deuteronomy, the first motive Moses mentioned of Israel’s obedience was to love the Lord. (Deut. 6:1 – 9) and the second is gratitude – a way of expressing love (Deut. 6:10 – 25) In Moses’ farewell message, he frequently referred to their deliverance from Egypt. Warren Wiersbe wrote: “Had Israel remained in Egypt, there will be no nation, no sanctuary, no priesthood and no hope but the Lord delivered them and brought them into their land and fulfilled His promises.” That is why the Jewish Fathers were commanded to teach their children the meaning of the Passover and the laws of God so that the NEXT generation would understand how to trust God, love Him and obey His laws. When our children are ignorant of the past, they will have no hope for the future.

Here we see Moses was equipping the NEXT generation to enter and claim the Promised Land and he knew that Canaan would be a place of temptation as well as a place of triumph. Once the Israelites conquered the land of Canaan, they would inherit vast wealth and would be tempted to forget the Lord. Here Moses warned the people not to test the Lord as the older generation had done (Ex.17:1 – 7) Now allow me to paraphrase this a little in reference to our HUB development. I have heard of some murmurings: “Why do we need to have a HUB?” “Are we caught up in competing with….?” Let me say that if the Synod remains Status Quo, there will be no HQ, no worship, no ministers and no hope but the Lord has long ago given us Telok Kurau Land and is waiting to fulfill His promises through our generation. The question is: “Have we been good stewards of what God has blessed us with?” Like Moses we need to equip our NEXT generation to build and develop TK land. It will be a place to testify of God’s glory but let us not do it all by ourselves. We must turn to the Lord for help and God will supply.

The way we respond to the HUB development will indicate what is in our heart because what life does to us is what life finds in us. If we love and trust the Lord, we will leave the matter to Him and do what he tells us. In God there is no mistake but mysteries. If we DO NOT want our NEXT generation to be ignorant of the past and have no hope for the future, we need to act today to make a difference. Developing the HUB is for our NEXT generation to continue to be the BEACON to the community that we belong to the Lord and desire to please Him. What would you say to your NEXT generation?


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