Lay Pastor, Who Are You?
By Rev. Jenny Ching
January 21, 2024
The other day on City Garden Road, I was talking to a worried mother about her teenage son when we saw a lay pastor passing by. For many years, the lay pastor has been working as a social worker in a secondary school. After some brief introduction, I and the mother sought advice from the lay pastor concerning the difficulties this mother and son were in. The lay pastor listened patiently before giving a wise response. We were talking about teenagers who often think they will “never get their fingers burnt” and fall into the swirl of refusing to admit mistakes and “being compelled” to tell lies. The lay pastor gave us some careful guidance, stressing that we must not combat teenagers head on in such situations, nor should we be lecturing them or letting the matter unduly drag on. We can frankly tell them the gist of how we feel. It is a good idea to revisit the topic when both sides have calmed down and discuss how to tackle similar issues in future. The intention is to engage the teenagers, to let them learn to take up responsibility on matters of their studies, video games, etc. The three of us spent more than 30 minutes talking at the roadside. That was some unscheduled service of the lay pastor’s and mine. When we parted, we shared that the road of walking together with teenagers is full of hope. Thanks be to our Heavenly Father who loves this mother and me. In all our puzzlement, He added to our faith, hope and love through our encounter with this devoted lay pastor.
In 2024-25, our Heavenly Father blesses the NPAC family with 36 lay pastors. They are lay leaders who focus on nurturing and caring for brothers and sisters. They complement the pastoral work of the pastoral team, providing more comprehensive pastoring for the whole faith community. Pastors would invite them to join visits to home-bound seniors, disabled persons and the like. They also participate in the services of staff recruitment, attending candidate interviews with pastors. They also join pastors in the ministry of discipline groups to rebuild brothers and sisters. They are essential partners of our pastors.
Where would we see lay pastors? We will see them in worship services, fellowships, Sunday School, training and other classes and ministry groups. Their ministry roles include: serving as Chairpersons at worship services, praying for the congregation after worship services, leading Bible studies and small groups, teaching Sunday School and caring for brothers and sisters. They also serve faithfully in details such as setting up classroom partitions, chairs and tidying up fellowship lockers.
Let us pray for the needs of our lay pastors:
So lay pastors, who are you? The lay pastor who we talked to on City Garden Road has the answer. They are leaders who, working with pastors anytime, anywhere, are devoted to building up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12).