12 Years a Servant: Here’s to Forevermore ft. Elder Robin Gan
Posted on 6 Sep 2020 by CERC
CERC Foundation Day Celebration
12 Years a Servant: Here’s to Forevermore
ft. Elder Robin Gan
As a church with a primary concern for Christ-centered, God-glorifying ministry, Christ Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC) reflects this in our commitment to quality word ministry, which flows from the pulpit all the way to our growth groups, various ministries and the individuals being discipled one-on-one. Being a church without compromise for God’s gospel means an active defense of the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and staying faithful to the tenets of historic orthodox Christianity by placing the Bible in its rightful place above any notion of culture and institution, including the church’s.
This Foundation Day, we look to honor and celebrate the ministry of our pastors-in-training and elders, who, as word ministers, humbly derive their authority from Christ’s authority as they work to nurture healthy Christian growth in the people of His church. The life of a word minister is one of full dedication to producing Gospel-committed Christians through creative and sacrificial evangelism by the work of His Spirit, including speaking the truth in love, at every level of word ministry and church operations such that it reflects God’s glorious goals for His kingdom.
Founding Elder, Christ Evangelical Reformed Church (Sep 2008-Present)
Founder, Gospel Growth Fellowship (2007)
Deacon, Anglican Diocese of Malaysia (2006-08)
Curate, St. Andrew’s Cathedral (2005)
Curate, St. Paul’s Kogarah (2004)
Curate, FOCUS UNSW (2002-03)
Bachelor of Divinity, Diploma of Ministry, Moore Theological College (2002-05)
Ministry Training Strategy under Philip Jensen (2000-01)
Regional Marketing for Sony Asia Pacific (1997-99)
Youth and University Work Leader in Adam Road Presbyterian Singapore (1997-99)
Bachelor of Commerce, UNSW Australia (1996)
As the Founding Elder at the helm of the word ministry and executive leadership of CERC, Robin’s ministry experience and years of theological training in different ministerial contexts has driven him to build a church with the uncompromising foundation of faithfulness to the Word of God. This, in turn has enabled the growth of many more young ministers for the gospel, essential to raise up generations of faithful Christian leaders who are equipped to bring the gospel to the masses in Malaysia and beyond.
“The last 12 years of leading CERC has meant living out the reality of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, given the context of Malaysian Christianity and the ambitions we have for God’s people and God’s gospel. When I came back from Australia, I had by then joined the staff team of St Matthias. I had been in Australia for 5 years as a student, 3 years in Singapore, then training for apprenticeship, and the contrast between what I saw in the ministry in Australia and Malaysia was very stark. When I started to understand the history of Christianity and the Protestant character of Christianity, to say that what we need in Malaysia is “better Bible preaching”, is an understatement.
It is so much more than that, what we need is not just content or word knowledge, but a history — a culture of dedication to the gospel. We need ministries that will transform culture. So what we needed was a home for those with a zeal, ethos, passion, and whose raison d’etre was the gospel. Genuine desire to be humbled by the word is uncommon, but very precious, and it has been nothing short of the work of the Spirit through every circumstance that we have people like that in CERC. To be a church unfettered by worldly tradition, structure, or insidious nominalism, whilst at the same time creating a gospel tradition, hierarchy, and culture — that’s the spirit of CERC.”
To be a church unfettered by worldly tradition, structure, or insidious nominalism, whilst at the same time creating a gospel tradition, hierarchy, and culture — that’s the spirit of CERC.”
CERC’s ministry philosophy has always been to raise up people with a concern for God’s glory first and foremost, and this is made apparent in how we aim to never compromise on the time and resources needed to support the rigorous training and up-building of God’s workers for the gospel.
“We want people to be so infused with the Scriptures, that they walk, talk, and think with the Word of God. We invest in theological education alongside apprenticeship at every step of the way. Apprenticeship is extremely important, yet someone training for public office rightly should have the privilege and necessity of a formal theological education, to study the Bible as a literary product of the Holy Spirit for the edification of God’s people. A word minister needs to know how to handle the Scriptures, which includes its biblical theological content, and to have theological thinking, which involves understanding the historical complexities of the church and of our time. Even after a seminary degree, we want them to go beyond being “highly skilled lecturers in the Bible” and instead have the attitude of coming before God on one’s knees, being able to preach in a way that would convict and be applicable to the hearts of men.”
As the people of CERC, we are young and old, and hail from various backgrounds and cultures. This naturally results in various differences, but we have God’s providence to thank for in allowing us to know what it means to be led by a dedicated reverence for Christ and His church, and to be personally encouraged by Robin’s leadership, teaching, and pastoral care. Ministry work is certainly not an easy task and involves learning to love and serve fellow sinful human beings, while being challenged by the gospel. Ultimately, CERC’s ministry philosophy is about being servant leaders under Christ — Jesus is boss above all!
“Ever since day one, Robin was the one who evangelized me and has been pastoring me till this day. Over the years, I’ve learnt what patience and grace meant practically by watching Robin and how he leads the church and his family. He’s a visionary leader, and his insight and ministry experience has borne much fruit — we’ve grown from a small church of 12, to evangelising children and adults, discipling many in campuses, and running parachurch conferences and workshops! Even more remarkably, I see young people devoting their lives to ministry. This is what it means to be convicted by the Word of God, and I’ve been driven to put off any sort of lukewarm attitude I’ve had for the gospel.
Through ministry in CERC, I’ve also been challenged to understand what “unity in diversity” means, that although the church is made up of people from different backgrounds, we are gathered by Christ to do His ministry, and to put aside pride and individuality with one impulse for the glory of God. We’re all called to be servant leaders under Christ, and Robin reminds us again and again that even he, the Founding Elder, has a boss, and He is Jesus. We’re all working for Him, and our ultimate loyalty is to the Lord!”
– Natalie Phee Lee, CERC member
We are gathered by Christ to do His ministry, and to put aside pride and individuality with one impulse for the glory of God. We’re all called to be servant leaders under Christ.
Never one to shy away from difficult sermons and clear exhortation, CERC’s primary concern has always been for a God-glorifying and Christ-centered ministry, as made apparent in the ministry priorities and gospel delivery in CERC.
“I certainly appreciate Robin’s directness. Some might find it abrasive, but I would rather have someone be honest with me and tell me how I’ve fallen short — and of course it hurts — than to have someone who stays silent or sugarcoats it. Staying silent and sugarcoating things aren’t love if you think about it. It’s about being honest and speaking the truth in love — no fluff — and this has helped a great deal in how I care pastorally for the ladies in our growth groups too.”
– Natalie Phee Lee, CERC member
As part of CERC’s work to raise up faithful ministers for the gospel, Robin also personally leads and mentors CERC’s Church Ministers’ Apprentices.
Robin helped me to understand that ministry is not just about reading the Bible, preaching and operating the church, it is about being who we are — the people of God, who are zealous for God to be glorified and seeking ultimate joy and comfort in Him. So, it’s about giving up everything for Him à la Matthew 16. Hence, even though we are still sinful at times, it is no longer about ourselves and what our heart desires, it’s all about God, His glory, His kingdom, His people, that we are living and striving for. Having realised this, ministry looks like bringing God’s rule and authority through His Word, being faithful in gathering and feeding His sheep.
Hence, reading the Bible without sanctifying each other by pointing out our sins and spurring on each other to keep conforming to the Son’s image; preaching without heart cutting; doing ministry without magnifying Jesus’ lordship; operating the church without striving for the best standards that God deserves — these are shameful compromises.”
– Christine Chong, CERC Church Ministers’ Apprentice
Ministry is not just about reading the Bible, preaching and operating the church, it is about being who we are — the people of God, who are zealous for God to be glorified and seeking ultimate joy and comfort in Him.
Members of the church know Robin personally to be a dear brother, friend, loving husband and father, and servant-leader in Christ above all.
“I’ve known Robin for more than 15 years, and I love him dearly, as a brother, my pastor, leader, and elder. Back then, he was the only person who was willing to help me do the tough job of confronting my sin, and through the years, I’ve seen this same uncompromising attitude of being God-glorifying, and never self-pleasing, reflected in the ministry that he leads. I look up to him as a man, in how he leads and loves his family and his wife Joy — whom my wife Melissa and I, dearly love as well — and we’ve shared many a meal with them at our home. As a brother who has his own flaws and imperfections, Robin has always encouraged us to challenge his views because ultimately, it is for God’s glory and God’s glory alone, that we serve and love in CERC and God’s church today.”
– Jeremy Johnson, CERC member
Thanks be to God for calling His servant Robin to this ministry in CERC, the Klang Valley and Malaysia, and may the Lord persevere and keep him throughout a lifetime of service and dedication to the cause of kingdom building for our Lord Jesus Christ.
“When we preach Christ crucified, we have no reason to stammer, or stutter, or hesitate, or apologise; there is nothing in the gospel of which we have any cause to be ashamed.” (C.H. Spurgeon)
This Foundation Day, we celebrate and thank God for the quality of the preaching in CERC, as we treasure the gospel that has been passed down to us. We are committed to preserving its purity and to fight against heresy and the false gospels of today. We thank God in his sovereignty, and are grateful to men and women who have invested much of their time and resources in their love for this church in a small region of the Klang Valley.