Our New Lay Leader
Updated: Oct 15, 2020
Leslie Wong shares his approach to faith and service
by Goh Eck Kheng
Leslie Wong was elected Lay Leader of Covenant Community Church during the last Local Conference on 22 September 2020. He began serving on the committee of the Outreach and Social Concerns Ministry in 2013 and became the chairperson in 2014, and remains in that position.
He is married to Amy and they have two children, Bryce aged 15 and Kimi aged 13.
Leslie manages a company which provides geospatial software used for producing interactive and intelligent digital maps and performing complex spatial analysis in 2D and 3D. The National Environment Agency’s dynamic map showing dengue clusters uses this technology.
His hobbies are walking and reading.
During the circuit breaker, he read three books which he found insightful: The Life of Saint Anthony by Athanasius of Alexandria, One Thousand Gifts – A dare to live fully right where you are by Anne Voskamp, and 2084 – Artificial intelligence and the future of humanity by John C Lennox.
Leslie and Amy
Leslie and his wife Amy have been attending CCMC since 2006. This was when Bryce was one year old and they were looking for a church near their home to worship in.
“When our kids began attending Covenant Kids, and when I saw them genuinely enjoy it, they became additional instruments to regular church attendance.”
“After many years of being very regular at Foochow Methodist Church, I began sliding,” shared Leslie. At that time, he went to church or joined a fellowship gathering only about once or twice a year. “But after I married Amy, she became the instrument to prick my conscience to go to church again more regularly,” Leslie explained. “When our kids began attending Covenant Kids, and when I saw them genuinely enjoy it, they became additional instruments to regular church attendance.”
Leslie’s mother enrolled him in Foochow Methodist Church kindergarten. This proved pivotal to the development of his faith as it was there that the seeds of faith were planted. “I remember my youngest aunt, Phyllis, who attended Kampong Kapor Methodist Church, telling my brother and me Bible stories,” he added.
Leslie when he was a boy
As a teenager, Leslie began to attend the youth service at Foochow Methodist Church regularly. Every Saturday afternoon, the teenagers played table tennis together and Leslie would go home drenched in sweat.
“I remember my church friends simply accepting me for who I am. No judgement. I felt safe,” said Leslie about this crucial period of his life. He gradually gave his life to Jesus as he felt protected and watched over by God even in trials and times of disobedience.
This is why Leslie believes that Sunday School and youth ministry are really very important when growing up.
Leslie and his mother
His early fellowship and church experiences shaped his theology and relationship with God. “It was warm, with discipline and encouragement, and no condemnation.”
His early fellowship and church experiences shaped his theology and relationship with God.
Volunteering and seeing other Christians selflessly serve others and help one another also contributed to the way he sees God. Leslie explained: “We make mistakes but seeing Christians help one another regardless, for me, is evidence of Jesus’s power to transform people.”
Personal testimonies from people about how God had touched their lives and helped them to overcome fear and anxiety likewise shaped his belief.
To these, Leslie adds another influence on his getting to know God better: “My wife’s own relationship with Him.”
Leslie’s gut response when he was asked to be Lay Leader was to run away like Jonah! “But Pastor Malcolm was very patient and understanding as were David (Koh), Chairman LCEC and (Tan) Ming Ying, PPRSC Chairperson.” Having the faces of all his CCMC friends flash before his eyes also helped him decide to serve as Lay Leader.
For Leslie, the duty of the Lay Leader is to convey messages from the congregation to the Pastor, LCEC, and PPRSC and vice versa. “I need to be an accurate messenger,” he states. He also realises that he has to be a careful messenger. “Different people come from different backgrounds, so we relate to situations in different ways.” He hopes to learn where the other is coming from so as to convey messages appropriately. Referring to the angst so prevalent in social media, Leslie says honest feedback must be given without anger.
O&SC and Sembawang Family Service Centre Banquet of Love
“I need to empty myself so that I can serve,” he elaborated. “I am wary of mistakes as this is a duty, so I need to be doubly careful. The commercial sector where I work in, with its competition and return on investment, is different from Church. In Church, God has a completely different set of scales: God looks into a person’s heart and his faithfulness. It is about love, unconditional love. He tries to fulfil us more than we try to please Him.”
In Church, God has a completely different set of scales: God looks into a person’s heart and his faithfulness.
Describing himself as being conservative, a sinner, and grateful, Leslie said that being useful is not about anything goes. “I hope there are no planks in my eyes,” he mused when considering that he may be seen as a role model.
“It takes many hands, so we serve with everyone else, and my brothers and sister in Christ will contribute,” believes Leslie. “In this way, the Church community will fulfil our calling to be salt and light, examples to the world.”