Faithfulness sets the foundation for fruitfulness. In making disciples, it may seem that our initial efforts to reach out are futile, but as we continue to faithfully sow into their lives, God is also faithful to change both us and them. Esther's story of discipleship is a great example of that!
1. Describe the time when you decided to transition from “regular weekend Christian” to “fully devoted follower of Christ”.
I think it was a just gradual process as I journey with Christ, working to become more and more "fully devoted".
2. When did you become a leader?
9 years ago.
3. As much as you can remember, recollect the initial memories of starting out as a new leader. It must have been an eye-opener! Any funny moments, memorable ones? Any painful memories?
I started as a lifegroup leader in my own lifegroup, DNA with Audrey and Juliana for a very short period of time. Then I stepped down from my own lifegroup and joined the SURGE ministry because I felt God was calling me to reach out to girls who are younger. The initial 3 to 4 years of leading in the youth was tough as my members were either super irregular or didn't want to attend lifegroup at all. Out of lifegroup meetings, it was hard to meet them too. There were a lot of rejections. I struggled a lot and always prayed and asked God, "I've obeyed your call, and did my best, so why no progress? Did I do something wrong? Is it me?" Then God spoke to me and said my focus was wrong, I shouldn't focus on me, but them, because that was His focus and I should still be faithful with what I was called to do. I continued to be faithful and eventually God gave me 4 very teachable girls with regular attendance. That was my highlight then and still is now.
4. How about the best stories that make you feel like, this is all worth it?
It was when one of my members who constantly "rejected" me and "fly my aeroplane" (Chinese term: the person stood her up) told me, "Thanks for constantly reaching out to me even though I kept avoiding you." I remembered we were at this brunch cafe with all these noisy echoes, and when she said that, my heart dropped and I teared. I realised that this is why God had asked me to be faithful.
5. What is the biggest challenge for yourself as a leader?
Communication and facilitation. Language is not my forte, and sometimes I find it hard use the right words to ask the right questions at lifegroup. Till today, I'm still learning communicate and facilitate better.
Faithfulness, Love and Patience, and most importantly to lead by example.
7. Complete this sentence: Discipleship is…
Discipleship is intentionally walking and journeying alongside others towards maturing in Christ. (The DE book definition sums it up better! This is just the simple definition I have at the back of my head, haha.)
8. Enough about you as a leader - let’s talk about you as a disciple. What do you love or appreciate most about your leader(s)?
Auntie Sue and Angie reached out to me when I was a youth. I appreciate most when Angie was there to guide me, teach me about the Bible and show me the way. She was always there, loving me as I am, rejoicing with me through my ups and comforting and encouraging me through my downs.
Rhordan also, in a way, "disciples" all the youth leaders. Whether it was through the Bible or by giving us tools to facilitate lifegroup, there was never a time in his teaching that we did not go back without gaining a revelation, insight or knowledge.