Joel Lee Appointed as Newest Council Member | CERC Blog | Christ Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC)

Joel Lee Appointed as Newest Council Member

5 Sep 2021

Joel, his wife, Su Anne and their twin boys

“Being faithful to Jesus in this world is very hard. Our current circumstances [as a church] are a reflection of that. I need to add to our strength, to be a pillar. As much as all our lives are before God, the pastor is a very public Christian. I feel that being in the Council of Elders (CoE) is a move in that direction, there’s an increased sense of responsibility to be a role model. It is a good thing, it reminds me of Coram Deo.” These were Joel Lee’s words when asked how CERC could pray with him on his appointment to the CoE as its newest member. 

The appointment was announced in a Meet the Elder (MTE) session with the church members on 3rd July 2021, along with the planned departure of Elder Sam Ye Han to the UK in pursuit of a Masters in Dentistry in King’s College London this September. Elder Sam has been on tenure with the council since September 2018, together with Lead Elder Robin Gan and fellow elder, Elder Mark Leong.

Elder Mark Leong, Elder Robin Gan and Elder Sam Ye Han outside CERC Central after the elders’ installation (photo taken  16th  September 2018)

The CoE released a statement on Joel Lee’s appointment which reads as follows:

The‌ ‌Council‌ ‌of‌ ‌Elders‌ ‌would‌ ‌like‌ ‌to‌ ‌announce‌ ‌the‌ ‌appointment‌ ‌of‌ ‌Joel‌ ‌Lee‌ ‌as‌ ‌its‌ ‌latest‌ ‌member.‌ ‌We‌ ‌believe‌ ‌that‌ ‌his‌ ‌inclusion‌ ‌will‌ ‌strengthen‌ ‌the‌ ‌eldership‌ ‌and‌ ‌allow‌ ‌it‌ ‌to‌ ‌better‌ ‌serve‌ ‌Christ‌ ‌and‌ ‌His‌ ‌church.‌ ‌Firstly,‌ ‌Joel’s‌ ‌appointment‌ ‌is‌ ‌very‌ ‌timely‌ ‌in‌ ‌view‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌growth‌ ‌that‌ ‌CERC‌ ‌is‌ ‌currently‌ ‌experiencing‌ ‌which‌ ‌certainly‌ ‌demands‌ ‌for‌ ‌more‌ ‌able‌ ‌men‌ ‌to‌ ‌lead‌ ‌the‌ ‌church‌ ‌especially‌ ‌in‌ ‌providing‌ ‌valuable‌ ‌counsel‌ ‌for‌ ‌key‌ ‌decisions‌ ‌affecting‌ ‌the‌ ‌welfare‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌church.‌ ‌Joel’s‌ ‌experience‌ ‌with‌ ‌CERC‌ ‌which‌ ‌stretches‌ ‌back‌ ‌to‌ ‌when‌ ‌the‌ ‌church‌ ‌was‌ ‌still‌ ‌congregating‌ ‌at‌ ‌Elder‌ ‌Robin’s‌ ‌house‌ ‌positions‌ ‌him‌ ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌familiar‌ ‌member‌ ‌who‌ ‌recognizes‌ ‌CERC’s‌ ‌ethos‌ ‌and‌ ‌ministry‌ ‌direction.‌ ‌Secondly,‌ ‌the‌ ‌eldership‌ ‌will‌ ‌benefit‌ ‌from‌ ‌Joel’s‌ ‌innovative‌ ‌approach‌ ‌to‌ ‌solving‌ ‌problems‌ ‌which‌ ‌is‌ ‌unique‌ ‌to‌ ‌his‌ ‌personality‌ ‌and‌ ‌gifts.‌ ‌Joel’s‌ ‌wisdom‌ ‌coupled‌ ‌with‌ ‌his‌ ‌maturity‌ ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌seasoned‌ ‌Growth‌ ‌Group‌ ‌leader‌ ‌assure‌ ‌us‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌dependable‌ ‌voice‌ ‌in‌ ‌situations‌ ‌which‌ ‌require‌ ‌the‌ ‌eldership’s‌ ‌involvement.‌

The CoE functions to protect the church by holding firmly ‘to the trustworthy word as taught’ in such a manner as to ‘instruct’ and ‘rebuke’ for this purpose (cf. 2 Tim 3.15-16) and to maintain the theological spine of the church, providing oversight and exercising a collective authority to ensure that the church remains consistent with its convictions. 

Given Joel’s long and faithful participation in the Growth Group Leaders in-Training (GGLT) since 2008 (the early days of the church meeting in Elder Robin’s living room), his appointment to CoE is but an extension of his current leadership. As both Elder Mark and Sam put it – “Joel’s experience with CERC, which stretches back to when the church was still congregating at Elder Robin’s house, positions him as a familiar member who recognizes CERC’s ethos and ministry direction.” 

Joel also listed a number of reasons as to his nomination, a key one being that he is theologically aligned with the CERC confessions and has been contributing to the shape of the CERC ministry thus far. Another vital reason is that he is not and will not be “theologically innovative,” that is, he has shown a consistency in defending the orthodoxy of the Gospel and the gospel culture in CERC, rather than dilute and risk losing the gospel out of a desire for cultural relevance.

“CERC has known me for a long time. They’ve seen my strengths and weaknesses, shared in my failures and contributions, and they know me; I’m not a wildcard,” Joel said. “I know the challenges and ministry opportunities from the inside by being in multiple roles/departments in CERC, and the leaders and members know my capacity for the Word and works. I’ve also been in CERC since I was a student, then a single young working adult, then married now with children. I would know 90% of what the church’s demographics face,” he said further, referring to the multiple challenges of the Christian life in various seasons. 

“I think CERC is the best place to spend my life as a lay-leader. There is a lot of synergy between the pulpit, the Growth Groups, and other ministries.”

When asked by an older member how he shows affection and love to his wife, Su-Anne, Joel answered that he tries to work out how to make time for her to spend time with other people in church as taking care of their twin sons takes up most of her time. “She can’t survive based on theological conversations with me only,” he says, highlighting the importance of the church body to the healthy growth of a Christian. 

Joel has asked that the church pray with him that he might continue to contribute as a pillar of strength in CERC’s ministry in his appointment.