Pastor Daniel shares about his Faith and Ministry
Updated: May 30, 2020
The Rev Daniel Terence Yeo was posted to CCMC from 1 January 2020 at the November 2019 TRAC annual conference.
His wife, I-Hui, is a ministry staff of Agape Methodist Church. His son, Newman, who is starting work in digital marketing, serves as a guitarist in CCMC’s Chinese service. His daughter, Prudence, who works in an application software development company in the construction industry, worships in an independent church.
PROFICIENCY IN THE CHINESE LANGAUGE
I attended Chinese-stream schools before my Junior College education. I have also been assigned to pastor the Chinese service in every church I have been appointed to as a TRAC Pastor.
But the truth is that I am still struggling with my Chinese every day, not to mention my English!
SURRENDERING TO CHRIST When I was an Accountancy undergraduate in the National University of Singapore in the mid-1980s, I felt an urge to check out the Bible as I was pondering over the meaning of life.
One day, I went to the library, took out a Bible and flipped through it. I read the following verses:
Exodus 20: 3-6 (NIV) 3 You shall have no other gods before me. 4 You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. At that time, I was angry with God for the plight and life of my family. We worshipped traditional Chinese gods, but managed quite badly in life. Our beliefs did not improve our lot in life at all. I then realized that it was a result of our sins and disobedience to God and our worship of idols. Verse 5 with verse 6 impressed upon my heart. The God of the Bible, our Creator God, punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Him, but show love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.
At that time, I was angry with God for the plight and life of my family.
There and then, I was convicted and moved by the Spirit that I should turn to the God of the Bible for help and solutions to my life issues. I sought out a Christian classmate and informed him that I was ready to trust the God of the Bible. So my friend led me to say the sinner’s prayer and brought me to his church.
THE SHAPING OF SPIRITUAL LIFE I met my 'spiritual father' in the early 1990s, He had served as the principal of a now defunct seminary in Taiwan that my wife had attended as a student. Later, he became a missionary living in the United States. I met with him on many occasions when he came to Singapore. He shared with me that Christianity and salvation is fundamentally about how Christ lives in us and how we are led by the Spirit of Christ in our walk with the Lord. As Galatians 2:20 states: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
I used to know Christ just as the historical Jesus of the Bible. But He was resurrected and was brought to heaven by the Father.
Knowing that Christ lives and He lives in me just gives me a revelational and renewing approach to the Word of God and Christian living. Because Christ lives in me, I am assured of His guidance and leading in this earthly life. My salvation comprises not only the atoning sacrifice of the historical Jesus on the cross, but also the living Christ Jesus in me. Praise the Lord!
Knowing that Christ lives and He lives in me just gives me a revelational and renewing approach to the Word of God and Christian living.
That ‘eureka’ moment was not a matter of intellectual knowledge and understanding, but a result of enlightened faith and personal relationship with the living Christ who lives in me!
PASTORAL CALLING I had wanted to serve the Lord full-time for quite a long time. I sensed God’s call even before getting married to a woman who was pastoring a church. Then Pastor David Koh, the Chinese pastor of my home church, the Methodist Church of the Incarnation, came to hear about it from my wife when we were active members of the Chinese service. Pastor David keenly guided me towards the path of full-time ministry in the Methodist Church. So, I was led to attend Trinity Theological College.
I sensed God’s call even before getting married to a woman who was pastoring a church.
After I completed my seminary training, I was admitted to Trinity Annual Conference (TRAC) as a pastor because The Methodist Church of the Incarnation is a member church of TRAC.
PASTORAL AND MINISTRY HISTORY I have served in four Methodist churches so far: CCMC, Cairnhill MC, Barker Road MC and Paya Lebar MC – serving as an associate pastor working alongside the Pastor in-charge.
I have been tasked to serve in most ministry areas except for the Finance Committee, that is normally under the purview of the Pastor in-charge. What an irony for me as I was formerly a Certified Public Accountant!
Before I became a pastor, I served as the chair of the Chinese ministry in the Methodist Church of Incarnation, my home church then.
SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLES OF PASTORAL SERVICE
This is very personal and pertains to a pastor’s perception of His call and encounters in ministry. The general Methodist view is that a pastor is called to the Word, Order and Sacrament.
I view the local church as a spiritual body more than an institution. I think we are blessed with very capable lay leaders who can guide the church as an institutional body. Personally, I would like to devote myself to prayer, the Word and guiding our members to live a life in Christ, following the leading of the Holy Spirit, and experiencing the work of God in our life.
I view the local church as a spiritual body more than an institution.
I reckon that our Christian growth in the Lord is very much experiential, spiritual and relational by the grace of God.
PASTORAL ROLE IN CCMC I am tasked to oversee these ministries: Discipleship & Nurture, Family Life, Small Group, Missions, and Prayer. I am also the chaplain of Methodist Girls’ School and the school’s Girls’ Brigade. In addition, I am the administrator of Baptism and Membership classes and oversee Pastoral Care and Visitation to our members and friends.
My focus will be to build up the Chinese service. I am now preaching on first and third Sundays on two series concurrently: Gospel of John and basic Christian life. I intend to focus more on outreach when the current Covid-19 situation is over.
The Chinese ministry was started with a lot of help from some members of the English congregation and the co-labour of our Chinese ministry staff, Ms Du Qin and other staff members including Mr Anton Chan and Mr Joseph Lim.
Certain English congregation members have chosen to stay on and formed the core group of the Chinese worship service. Other congregants have joined us through our personal ministry.
Besides Sunday worship service, we have started a Saturday Bible class since March this year. We are now using Zoom to meet online and study the Word every Saturday morning at 9 am. We also intend to start an Adult Sunday School when we can meet physically in church on Sundays.
I would like to encourage Chinese-speaking members of CCMC who are not serving actively in the English Services to join the Chinese service and serve in this new vineyard of the Lord.
Chinese service baptism candidates
For Prayer ministry, we have a very devoted and passionate group of committee members. I hope to provide a Word-based approach for our prayer meetings. Our Christian faith and prayer ministry have to be Word-based in order to be effective and fruitful.
Our Christian faith and prayer ministry have to be Word-based in order to be effective and fruitful.
I have also shared with the CCMC Small Group leaders during our SG Leaders’ Appreciation Lunch that though SG activities are very much fellowship-based, we should also centre around the Word as Christ is the Word made flesh.
For Discipleship & Nurture, I encourage the use of the Disciple Bible Study Programmes as the vehicle for nurturing discipleship.
For Family Life, I hope Christ will be the Head and Lord of every family in CCMC. And since Christ is the enfleshed Word, the Word should be the basis for all family members to live under the Lordship of Christ.
IMPRESSIONS OF CCMC
CCMC is a loving and passionate community of believers. Whenever I talk to our members about service and ministry, I can sense their eagerness to serve in the ministry of the church with joy and love. Our church is at a strategic location which has a lot of potential for growth and ministry. To God be the Glory!