My 3 Challenges As An Associate Pastor In GPC 1

By Rev Dr Forest Koh


Challenge No. 1: Don’t Lose That Love

1st August 2022 marked the beginning of my third year in GPC. I remember that morning, Rev Goh and the elders sent texts to express their appreciation for my service for the past 2 years. I wondered what I had done to receive their appreciation over these two Covid years.


I responded with a word of thanks and said, “Two years is a short time compared to all of you. I pray that no matter the circumstances in which I am caught, God will strengthen me to keep on loving Him and His people.”


The two great commandments of our Lord Jesus are to love our Lord with all our hearts, soul, and mind, and also to love our neighbours. (Mat 22:37-39) Continuing to love God and His people in GPC is always a great challenge. I wonder how the long-lasting elders and those who were born in GPC endured over the years? 


It can be very stifling in a traditional church. The previous church that I pastored was a traditional church with a history spanning slightly less than 142 years. When a traditional church becomes overly focused on tradition, it is very challenging to love. As traditions become entrenched, tradition becomes the truth, unchangeable. When this happens, efforts that attempt to change the traditionalist take a lot of courage and patience.


This is the test: whether we compromise or keep on pressing. When the majority takes

tradition as unchangeable, we can become very toxic as we miss the mark of the truth. We no longer feel the urge to renew ourselves into the likeness of Christ, because we tag along with the prevailing tradition. We are no different from those who are going with the trend in the secular world.


We need to detox; otherwise, we will also become toxic and no longer feel the need to love. Consequently, everything becomes operational, like a machine that keeps on going efficiently but without a heart. We function on the surface. Deep down we are dead because we have lost our heart. We function according to the rules that cannot be broken rather than according to the love to be lived. We function without love, and we lose our first love for God and His people. This is what Jesus warned against the church in Ephesus: they stood up and fought against the false apostles and endured patiently without growing weary, yet they had lost the love they had at first. (Rev 2:4)


Pastoral work can be very dangerous because when the work becomes just work and duty, we are just going through the motions! I need your prayers! Don’t lose the love that led Jesus to die for us. How wide and long and high and deep is the love Christ has poured among us. “Don’t Lose This Love” - this is my first challenge.