A Moment in BMT, A Lifetime of Ministry
12 Feb 2019
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” (Colossians 3:23)
Meet Soo Jia Ying (left) and Choong Mun Vee (right). Jia Ying and Mun Vee lodge under the same roof, sometimes wear matching outfits to church, and most importantly, share the same ardour for God! In line with that spirit, the two young women have resolved to live under the Lordship of Christ, no matter what paths their lives may lead them down. In order to equip themselves for the arduous path to the outside (Heb 13:10-14), they became the two most recent trainees of our Basic Ministry Training programme (BMT), a full-time programme designed for Christians to experience serving the church as part of the staff for a period of up to one year. We recently spoke with the two of them about their experiences under BMT thus far.
Living Day-to-day as a Basic Ministry Trainee
“BMT trains people to be lifelong servants of God’s church and exposes us trainees to the extent of work that goes into church ministry,” explained Mun Vee, before sharing how her daily routine has been transformed since joining BMT.
“I have had to read a lot. Like, really a lot, to work on and properly understand theology, and prepare myself for ministry, because I came to the realisation that, as a minister, other people’s lives are in my hands.”
Among others, Mun Vee conducts one-on-one studies with new Christians, and runs a group bible study on the Book of Mark at a local university. Nevertheless, as Jia Ying notes, there is more to BMT than just their involvement in word ministry.
“I help Penny, who is currently an apprentice under the Church Ministers’ Apprenticeship programme (CMA) involved in campus ministry to two medical universities in the Klang Valley. But aside from that, I have to help out on the operations side of things at church, such as planning for events like Little People, White Water Summer Camp , and the annual CERC Camp. From time to time, I would also have to assist with other tasks such as babysitting the children of church members, or even housekeeping matters such as measuring the size of the mosquito nets needed at church!”
When asked how a typical day during the course of BMT is like, both Jia Ying and Mun Vee agree that there is no typical day.
“Our schedules revolve around several meetings and can change from day to day. We may be following up with new Christians, preparing for bible studies, or doing other church work. We do what needs to be done,” explained Jia Ying.
BMT – Building the Ministers of Tomorrow
Both Jia Ying and Mun Vee had set goals prior the commencement of their BMT. Among others, they both sought to understand themselves better, but BMT has also been an enriching experience in many other ways.
“I wanted to understand myself and the church better. Before joining BMT, I knew of CERC as a faithful church that stands in the truth of God, and after benefiting much from CERC’s preaching of the gospel, I decided to commit to CERC and re-orient my life around that. And since I am currently waiting to serve my scholarship bond, I thought this was a good time to kick-start my life of service to God by joining BMT and learning how to serve and love the church of sinners gathered by the Gospel. Throughout my time under BMT, I developed skills in paying attention to detail and event management, worked on my theology, understood what it means to have a heart of worship, cast away my cultural presuppositions which were hindering the Gospel, trained myself to be disciplined, and to not be afraid of failing,” shared Mun Vee.
“Once I start working, it would be difficult for me to serve the church in the same undivided manner that I currently can. Hence, it is a privilege to be given this chance to sharpen myself and help out with the church’s ministry. Time and again, I am humbled to see how much I have fallen short of what God deserves, and how much more effort I should put in to better prepare myself for God’s ministry. My experiences during the course of BMT have reinforced my understanding that Christians are soldiers of Christ, and all of us, not just the leaders of a church, should be at the forefront of the battlefield, fighting and protecting the gospel. At times, those of us undergoing BMT have needed to step up and lead, and through those experiences, I learned that being a leader is not just about asking people to do things, but also to instil a culture of discipline in our team to work for God’s ministry. My experiences from working closely with our elder, Robin, have also taught me that even if we are not in a position of leadership, we should support those who are; and one way to do so is by executing the assigned tasks on time, even if it may seem minor or unimportant, because all these little uncompleted tasks add up and become hindrances to gospel growth if they are not accomplished,” shared Jia Ying.
When asked if they had any words of encouragement to offer to other Christians, Jia Ying had the following to say:
“Let us strive to be like Jesus in his love for God and live boldly for God’s will in this present age. Knowing that he is now seated at the right hand of God gives us a sure hope that we will one day be with him in heaven. So, while we are still in this world, let us serve and please God faithfully. In my opinion, everyone should try out BMT, for the sake of our training as Christians, and for the sake of Jesus’ church!“
Mun Vee, on the other hand, shared her reflection of her experience thus far:
“I really thank God that I have been given the privilege to undergo BMT throughout 2018, which also marked CERC’s 10th year anniversary. This was the best decision I have ever made in my life! Through BMT, I have found the Christian pulse of bible reading and lived under the faithful teaching of God’s word, and my experiences shaped how I now perceive God and the church. People of CERC, I really love you all. You have been kind and patient with my mistakes and failure, and by speaking the truth in love and building each other up, your godliness has pointed me back to God. I started out BMT with objectives to learn how to love and serve the church, and I think I have achieved that, because the people in CERC have already exemplified that, and continue to do so. So church, let us continue to pay much closer attention to God’s words, and strive with endurance towards the land of Zion together!”
Upon completing their respective BMT in 2019, Jia Ying will commence her two-year housemanship at a government-appointed hospital, while Mun Vee will enter the workforce. Wherever they go, we hope that their experiences from BMT will stand them and their ministry in good stead.
 White Water Summer Camp (“WWSC”) is an outdoor camp run by a group of Christian volunteers for youths aged 12-20 held in December every year. WWSC is designed to bring youths away from the urban and digital distractions of our modern-day lives, and back to the pure good fun of nature. Although WWSC is not a CERC programme, many of us are involved with this initiative. For more information, please visit its official website.