Thursday, November 10, 2011

Singapore Slinger

Yes, this is the name of a popular Singapore cocktail, and no I didn't try one while I was there. It was our fourth visit to this remarkable city/state/nation, and from the moment we touched down we hit the ground running, which meant espresso was the drink of choice. The pace was no surprise to us though. We knew from our visit two years prior that Redemption Hill was a church with an intensity that belied its age - a happy community, on a serious mission.

And the Gospel fruit is plain to see, hanging heavy from the branches of the tree called RHC. Its a church that started literally with four people; Simon and Tarryn, a twenty-something couple relocating from South Africa, and a couple they met on the plane on the way over who they invited to their first service. Its grown to over 400 adults in three years since then; a church colorful with culture, ripe with faith, and fragrant with redemption stories. Very sweet to the taste.

So what's the secret? Is there anything worth emulating, or is this simply a happy freak of super-nature? I suspect it's a bit of mix. A cocktail of sorts if you'll pardon the term.

For those looking, the tell-tale secrets of grace in a community are often in its favorite words.

'Gospel' is one. For them its not a buzz word. Not an overworked cliche'. For them its a priceless pearl to treasure, a lens to look at the world through and a hill to die on. It is explicit, not implicit. Gospel centrality has perhaps fashioned them more than any other one thing.

Then there is 'Sovereign.' There is a settled confidence in its twenty-something year-young leadership team, that this community is the work of a Sovereign God. That what has come to pass has been established by the will and the hand of a Sovereign God. This has saved them from the swagger that I often detect in those with early success. Sovereignty is humility and sanity to them, amidst the obvious rush of God's favor.

And finally there is the word 'intentional.' I heard them use it often. Nothing is left to chance. No stone left unturned. Careful thought and diligent attention given to every aspect of their life together. This is not some climate-controlled science lab of a church. They are earnest charismatics. They love to worship and are hungry for the presence of God. But they are faithful stewards, something too often overlooked by us charismatics. They know that 'to whom much is given much is required,'and so they steward gratefully and give tirelessly.

This is not a perfect church, but no doubt its a compelling one. In some ways a complete miracle, and in others, no mystery at all at what God has done. May this colorful cocktail of God's sovereignty and Gospel stewardship be poured out for His glory and the joy of the multitudes.

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