Since 1991, Hope Singapore has been a part of the Hope movement (re-structured as Hope International Ministries or HIM in 2009). The HIM family of churches has grown together in the pursuit of the vision God gave to us, to fulfil the Great Commission. Over the past nine years, Hope Singapore has grown as a local church to become an international church planting movement. During that time, Hope Singapore has also developed rapidly, building an expansive and solid team of leaders who are multiplying God’s work in many nations.
In recent years, Hope Singapore has developed a conviction to be an Antioch of Antioch churches; to plant churches that continue to plant churches around the world. This vision from God has been received by the leadership team of Hope Singapore through much prayer as they seek to fulfil the Great Commission.
With this God-given direction to be an Antioch church, Hope Singapore initiated dialogue with HIM. Upon careful deliberation and prayer with the HIM leadership team, effective 1st October 2018, HIM and Hope Singapore will part, move forward as kingdom friends, and each pursue kingdom gain in fulfilling the Great Commission globally.
While sad with the parting, the HIM leadership team acknowledges Hope Singapore’s new direction and her departure from the HIM family. We continue to remain as kingdom friends and we pray for their journey ahead as they continue to seek where God moves. We thank Hope Singapore and all her leaders for their contribution, service and partnership over the years.
From Hope Singapore
Hope Singapore is grateful for the partnership with HIM in doing God’s work over all these years. Though we may part, Hope Singapore and HIM continue to have shared roots and heritage in our spiritual history, and in our commitment to fulfil the Great Commission. In this regard, we will always be warm friends in the faith. We thank HIM, her leaders, and especially Pastor Simon Eng, for walking with us in this journey of growth in the past nine years.
We, HIM family of churches and the daughter churches of Hope Singapore, pray for God’s grace that we will continue to grow in God and effectively fulfil the Great Commission.
The HIM Family of Churches bids farewell to Hope Singapore as they embark on a new phase in their journey with God. We thank Hope Singapore for their partnership and contribution over the years in fulfilling the Great Commission. Read on for HIM’s view on covenant and family in view of this parting.
HIM View on Covenant & Family
On Oct 1 2018, Hope Singapore ceased to be a part of Hope International Ministries (HIM). However, some of our HIM members are still confused, some are hurting and wondering with questions unanswered, about this departure from HIM. Ps Simon Eng and Ps Wilson Lim, the elders of HIM, are interviewed below to help clarify some of these questions and tell us about HIM’s plans for Singapore.
How was Hope Singapore a part of HIM?
Ps Wilson: I was there in the end of 1990 when the Hope Singapore pioneering team, was commissioned by Hope of God International.
We restructured to form Hope International Ministries in 2009. Key regional leaders around the world reaffirmed our covenant together as a family of churches. These leaders included Ps. Ben Lee from Singapore and myself from Brisbane. We all recognised Ps. Simon as President of HIM for we saw him as the father figure amongst our family of churches.
Ps Simon: Later in 2009, I appointed Ps Jeff as Senior Pastor of Hope Singapore and Ps Ben was released to another assignment for HIM
So in what way did Hope Singapore leave the HIM family?
Ps Simon: Ps Jeff raised with me privately on a number of occasions about his thoughts on whether or not it would be better for Hope Singapore to not be a part of HIM. We discussed the matter candidly and I thought I had convinced him of the value of remaining and being a contributing member of the family. However, in July 2018, the Hope Singapore pastoral team approached me to formally request leaving HIM amicably. The main reason they gave was that they felt Hope Singapore had a calling to be an “Antioch of Antiochs” and could be more effective in pursuing the Great Commission outside of HIM.
Ps Wilson: The HIM regional pastors and I had not had the opportunity to discuss the issues with the Hope Singapore pastoral team before as most discussions were between Ps Simon and Ps Jeff previously. We did so together in August 2018. Nevertheless, the Hope Singapore pastoral team remained convinced of their choice. We decided it was best to accept their request and release them to forge their own destiny.
Ps Simon: We are grateful for the years together and we do wish them well.
You spoke about being in covenant together as a family? How do you reconcile then the parting of ways?
Ps Simon: In HIM, we consider one another to be a part of a big family. We are linked together, first and foremost as a family of churches, held together by covenantal relationships, which go beyond governance and institutional structures. We strongly believe in unity in diversity where every church can play a part in complementing each other and to advance the Great Commission together. Like a family, we value every relationship dearly and therefore, separation is painful for us.
Ps Wilson: We believe it is God’s heart to develop His family through covenantal relationships. We capture this idea in our core values and teach it regularly. Our family of churches is a subset of God’s universal family. It is difficult to practically develop covenantal relationship within the larger universal family unless we also learn to do likewise within our own HIM family. That should be one of our key motivations to remain in the family God has put us in. Should there be differences in ideas, styles, philosophy etc within a family, it should be worked through biblically, lovingly and honestly.
It is always hard when members of a family decide to separate and no longer be part of the family covenant. It breaks my heart, in the same way a father who sees his child decide not to be part of the family anymore. But no father would want to lock any child in. I believe this is God’s heart as well. So we chose to release them, although with a heavy heart.
What now for HIM in Singapore?
Ps Simon: We have had a presence in Singapore since 1991. As there are those who still choose to remain with HIM, we will continue having a church there. I believe God still has a significant role for us to play in Singapore.
Ps Wilson: Yes, many have established their Christian walk and leadership in HIM. Some truly desire to continue in this relationship. As good fathers, our hearts ache for them and we will provide spiritual leadership and covering for them. HIM has agreed to the departure of Hope Singapore, but not to depart from Singapore. Also, God has been speaking to us about having a spiritual inheritance in Singapore. There is place and part that HIM has in that nation.
Ps Simon: Singapore is a strategic nation by its location and by the freedom to preach the Gospel. Singapore remains a strategic hub for HIM to build in and upon to other nations in Asia. So by the grace of God, we will continue our presence in Singapore through a relaunch of a HIM church in Singapore.
What does this mean for those members who are deciding whether or not to remain in the HIM family?
Ps Wilson: It is important that each individual makes an informed prayerful choice. Ask questions, get the facts, weigh up the matter in their hearts carefully. Above all, seek the Lord. It is always our personal responsibility to make choices that honour God rather than to be passive and simply leave things as they are. For God desires us to be a people of conviction. No matter how uncomfortable the process may be.
Ps Simon: HIM has a clear mandate from God to fulfil the Great Commission. There is a unique call and flavour that God has instilled in us. God has called us to be an ordinary people with extraordinary faithfulness. An ordinary people with extraordinary friendship. An ordinary people with an extraordinary favour from God. We will continue to be faithful to the call of God, build upon our covenant together and walk in God’s favour, in all humility. Those who appreciate this call and flavour, who have experienced it before amongst our churches – are most welcomed to continue in the HIM family.
Should you have any other questions about this parting, please do approach your pastor or you may write in to:
- firstname.lastname@example.org (General)
- email@example.com (Contact based in Singapore)
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Contact based in Oceania)