Top 10 ministries reaching the next generation in Singapore
A 2014 survey of innovative and influential ministry organizations.
In 2014, OneHope conducted an in-person study of 125 Protestant churches and para-church organizations throughout Singapore, to assess their level of engagement with the next generation. WellConnected is curating this blog series, in conjunction with 4–14 Window, giving you a broad overview of the findings.
Singapore is a nation of growing Christianity. According to the most recent statistics published by the government (2010), Christianity holds the second highest percentage of the population, and grew from 14.6% in 2000 to 18.3% in 2010, while Buddhism/Taoism, the forerunner, decreased by more than 6%.
We wanted to know some of the stories driving that growth. A 2014 OneHope study, conducted in partnership with the Bible Society of Singapore and the Evangelical Fellowship of Singapore (EFOS), aimed to uncover the non-profit and parachurch Christian organizations striving to reach the next generation. The study found found that 50% or more of the Christian organizations they surveyed experienced moderate to strong growth in their children and youth programming (ages 5–16) over the past two years.
The study asked 110 individual churches across Singapore, from a variety of denominations, areas and sizes to name the ministry organizations they believe to be leading the way in influence and innovation.
We ranked the church’s response here:
1. Scripture Union — Their mission is “to be a leading organization in partnership with parents and educators in churches, schools and institutions to reach and raise God-fearing children and young people.” They provide support to churches and mission schools through a number of programs and initiatives to promote discipleship and spiritual growth among children and youth in Singapore (for a unique example, check out Walking with Wounded Children).
2. Singapore Youth for Christ (SYFC) — As shared by their National Director, “We reach all the different kinds of youth for Jesus…We also identify ourselves with the imageries of the gear and the anchor, that is, we are geared to the times and anchored to the rock.” SYFC is part of a larger global organization, Youth For Christ International, that is working in more than 100 nations. They serve through more traditional ministries in schools including prayer groups and evangelism, as well as contextual approaches like sports & adventure ministry and creative arts ministry.
3. Cru — As part of the international organization, Singapore’s Cru is a “caring community passionate about connecting people to Jesus Christ.” Not only do they want to win people to Christ, they want to then build them up and send them out to win others. Overall they are helping the body of Christ through evangelism and discipleship and take pride in doing so in innovative ways. Some of their ministries geared towards children and youth include Athletes in Action and Campus Ministry, in addition to their Media Ministry, which brings many resources to the next generation.
4. Child Evangelism Fellowship — CEF’s purpose is to evangelize boys and girls, edify them in the Word of God, and establish them in the local church. Founded and focused solely on reaching children, they offer strong programs and resources for churches to utilize in reaching children and youth. Additionally, they provide events, including forums and seminars, in which to engage church leaders and equip them to reach the next generation.
5. Arise! — Since its first event in 2002, Arise! has been gathering children across the nations into God’s presence through praise, worship and prayer. They saw a great number of worship events for you and adults, but noticed a greater need for events focused on children. They wanted to “bring worship to and for children.” In their worship events with thousands of children gathered, they focus on developing the heart of worship rather than just teaching principles. Ultimately, they believe a desire to reach the lost is and will be an outflow of this heart of worship. (For an extended case study on Arise’s work, click here.)
6. Youth With A Mission — YWAM Singapore is a part of the global YWAM movement, and aims to “mobilize the worldview church to reach the peoples of Asia.” Recognizing that Singapore is a gateway to Asia, they view themselves as a sending hub in the region. Their ministries cover the areas of evangelism, training and mercy ministry. When it comes to youth, they focus in on the area of training with their well-known Discipleship Training School (DTS).
7. Navigators — Singapore’s branch of the global organization works specifically with “students, professionals, entrepreneurs and church to make a permanent difference in the lives of people around the world through ‘generational multiplication’.” One of their ministries that focuses specifically on youth is called NavTeens where young people gather together to do Bible study, prayer, mentoring and rallies.
8. TheEDGE — This weekly youth service of Victory Family Centre, a large local church, has a reputation of being an organization in and of itself. “Marked by passionate worship, relevant preaching and the craziest games you’ve ever seen, it’s a place for young people to connect with God and each other.” Additionally they offer on-going fun events, a yearly conference, resources and a series of workshops designed to equip Youth Pastors and Leaders called Elevate Youth Leaders Collective.
9. Heart of God Church — This youth organization was developed in the context of a local church. It encompasses all of the “typical” church functions, including preaching, worship, and events, but with a focus on youth and family. Their focus on youth’s creativity, ability, productivity and academic excellence builds the foundation for their belief that “prevention is better than intervention.”
10. Royal Rangers Singapore — In over 65 nations of the world, this Christian ministry serves boys and girls aged 5–18. They offer a “holistic program to meet their mental, physical, social and spiritual needs” in the form of a weekly meeting with mentoring and founded on regular devotions and the study of God’s word. They also encourage the participating children to take up leadership roles and attend indoor and outdoor adventures, all while earning merit-based award badges.
These organizations and many more are working hard to reach the children and youth of Singapore, and in turn, influence a country and a region. To see a complete list, click here for our full report.
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