Issue No. 21 23-29 May 2011

Book Review

Dr Lai Pak Wah

Beyond Finishing WellMay 2011 is undoubtedly a historical moment for Singapore’s political history, where the country witnessed not only the growth of a strong opposition front, but also a ruling party equally committed to leadership rejuvenation, a conviction well-exemplified by the retirement of its two most senior leaders. There is no better time, therefore, for the publication of Rev (Dr) David Wong’s latest book, Beyond Finishing Well: Writing Life’s Next Chapter, a series of biblical reflections on the importance of succession planning in Christian leadership.

According to Wong, succession planning is one of the most crucial aspects of good Christian leadership. It is with this in mind that he examines the lives of twelve biblical figures for insights into the principles of good succession planning. Wong begins chronologically with the story of Moses, where we learn that spiritual leadership is a feat not to be undertaken alone, but in partnership with others, in this case, with Joshua and the elders of the tribes. In his account of Paul and Timothy, we are reminded anew that good succession planning is not so much so a reactive or a short term decision, but a long-term and deliberate process of spiritual discipleship. Moreover, when one’s successor is ready to take up the reins, a leader must become like an Elijah to Elisha, that is, willing to step aside and allow ‘room’ for his protégé to establish and prove himself. Besides these, crucial lessons may also be gleaned from lesser known figures like the Levites and Asaph. In the case of the Levites, we see the importance of a timely retirement of Christian leaders as a means of facilitating leadership rejuvenation. With regard to Asaph’s ministry, we witness the remarkable role that story and the arts can play in transmitting the leader’s faith and beliefs to his descendants.

Among the biblical figures discussed, there are some who function more as sober reminders of what not to do for good succession planning. This is surely the case for Kings David, Solomon and Hezekiah. David almost failed to follow through his plans to crown Solomon, while Solomon, being complacent, in his later years, did not even think much about succession planning. In the case of Hezekiah, his life was clearly one of missed opportunity since he failed to make good the additional years that God gave him by rising up new leadership.

Besides these biblical leaders, Wong also drew attention to some of the less prominent, but nonetheless, important factors in the continuation of good leadership. The first is the role that mothers can play in the spiritual preparation or downfall of their ruling sons. The second is the responsibility of the believing community in upholding their spiritual heritage and not lapsing into complacency, as in the case of the generation which came after Joshua.

On the whole, Beyond Finishing Well is a well-written, easy and enjoyable read. Moreover, each chapter is also accompanied by a series of reflection and discussion questions, which makes it an ideal resource for bible study groups. Beyond Finishing Well will be available at a price of S$20 at the 20th BGST Convocation on 28 May 2011.

Courses Commencing
Counselling & Community (CO240, 1.5cr);
Guest Lecturer: Dr Rod Wilson (President of Regent College)
Jun 11(Sat 10am-12pm, 12.45pm-3pm),
Jun 21, 22, 23; (7.20pm-10.10pm)
Venue: Clarus Centre
The course schedule for Semester I, year 2011-2012 is now available.
For more information, please visit our website: http://bgst.edu.sg/courses-and-events
Chapel Summary

Dr Edwin Tay gave an exposition of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as recorded in Mark 11:1-11. He argued that one major reason for the Jewish crowd’s change of attitude from one of kingly welcome to one that demanded the crucifixion of Jesus is their failed expectation of Jesus’ kingship. The crowds were expecting Jesus to be their triumphant king who would fight the Roman forces and bring about political and national liberation. Jesus, however, showed himself to be a king who came to bring peace instead of war, liberation from sin’s bondage instead of political freedom. Dr Tay concluded his message by challenging us to examine our expectations of Jesus’ kingship in our lives seriously. Is Jesus our King according to his own terms, or have we framed our expectations of Jesus according to the values of the society in which we live?  

The audio recording of Dr Tay message may be found in: http://bgst.edu.sg/audio-resources/chapel-messages

Ms Makiko Okada will be our chapel speaker on 25 May 2011. Chapel begins at 12 pm. You are welcome to join us.

Please note that there will be no BGST Chapel for the month of June.






The Council, Principal, Faculty, Staff & Graduating Class of
 Biblical Graduate School of Theology
cordially invite you to join us in celebrating our
20th BGST Convocation & Thanksgiving Service
11th TENT Graduation

 Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church
77 Prinsep St, Singapore 188649
Saturday, 28thMay 2011

Lunch Reception at 12.30pm followed by
Service at 2.00pm sharp
(Please be seated by 1.50pm)
Rev Edmund Chan,
Senior Pastor, Covenant Evangelical Free Church,
will give us the Convocation Address entitled
“Living With Intentionality” 
(based on Psalm 90)
R.S.V.P. by 20th May 2011, Friday
Tel: 6227 6815 x 222; Email: bgst@pacific.net.sg

TENT 2011 Modules
Tentmakers Equipping 'N' Training

Biblical Basis for Tentmaking Mission
Tues. May 24 & 31; 2011 (7.20-10.00pm)
Facilitator: Mrs Leong King Teng

Theology of Work
Tues. Jun 7, 21 & 28; 2011 (7.20-10.00pm)
Facilitator: Dr Toh See Kiat

Understanding Culture & Country Profile Studies
Tues. Jul 5, 12, 19 & 26; 2011 (7.20-10.00pm)
Facilitators: Dr Ng Peh Cheng & Miss Valerie Lim

Religions of Asia
Tues. Aug 2, 16 & 23; 2011 (7.20-10.00pm)
Facilitator: Dr Jeanette Hui

Personal Ministry Skills: Practical Considerations for a Tentmaker's Ministry
Tues. Sept 6, 13 & 20; 2011 (7.20-10.00pm)
Facilitator: Mr Toh Kai Hua

Tentmakers & Ethical Issues
Sat. Oct 8 & 15; 2011 (9.30-11.30am; 12.00-2.00pm)
Facilitator: A Former Singaporean Tentmaker

Coping with Stress
Tues. Oct 11, 18 & 25; 2011 (7.20-10.00pm)
Facilitator: Mr Yam Keng Mun

All TENT courses will be held at 37 Jalan Pemimpin, #06-05 Blk B Clarus Centre (former Union Industrial Building)

For more information on TENT courses, please visit our website: http://www.bgst.edu.sg/courses-and-events/tent

Church-Based Lay Training Modules
2011 Modules offered at
Yishun Christian Church (Anglican)

What Do We Do With Four Gospels?
Wed. April 27, May 4, 11, 18 (7.30-9.30pm)
Lecturer: Mr Quek Tze-Ming

Reformation Theology: Its Significance & Relevance for Christians Today
Wed. Jul 6, 13, 20, 27 (7.30-9.30pm)
Lecturer: Dr Edwin Tay

The Message of the Song of Songs
Wed. Sep 7, 14, 21, 28 (7.30-9.30pm)
Lecturer: Dr Philip Satterthwaite

2011 Modules offered at
Mt Carmel Bible-Presbyterian Church

Dynamics Of Counselling: People Skills To Connect And Support
Thu. April 28, May 5, 12, 19 (7.30-9.30pm)
Lecturer: Mr Yam Keng Mun

The Message of the Song of Songs
Thu. Jul 7, 14, 21, 28, Aug 4 (New Date) (7.30-9.30pm)
Lecturer: Dr Philip Satterthwaite

Beginnings: Opening the Gospels
Thu. Sep 1, 8, 15, 22 (7.30-9.30pm)
Lecturer: Mr Quek Tze-Ming

For details about the modules & registrations, please visit:
or contact
 Biblical Graduate School of Theology
Tel: 6227 6815 Fax: 6227 6816

Email: cblt-ycca@bgst.edu.sg (Yishun Christian Church)
cblt-mcbpc@bgst.edu.sg (Mt Carmel BP Church)

37 Jalan Pemimpin, #06-05 Block B, Clarus Centre, S(577177).
Tel: 6227-6815 Fax: 6255-3686 Email: bgst@pacific.net.sg
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