EEU 2019 Reflections

Amos Wong

My experience during the 2019 EEU Conference has been phenomenal. For many years, God has imprinted in our hearts a vision to raise up a generation of Christians that reads, understands and lives out the gospel preached throughout the Bible—in other words, turning the what’s in the head into the heart. With this year’s theme of “The Sufficiency of Scriptures,” we aim to challenge a Christians’ spiritual walk—are you reading the Bible as just a fictional book or a rule book to life? OR Are you worshipping a God you do not know? 

There were many things that struck me hard through the Conference, one of them being Rev Sean’s opening to his first talk. Rev Sean gave us his testimony on how a missionary/pastor rebuked him of his fake worship. I am going to try retell his story below: 

Missionary: Sean, are you a Christian?  
Sean: YES of course!  
Missionary: But do you read the Bible? Do you know what the message of the Bible is all about? 

This resonates with me the most. I speak of God to people around me as if I know the God of the Bible. I sing praises to God during song worship, raising up my voices and hands, eyes shut close crying with a deep cry—it seems as though I truly knew God on this spiritual and personal level.  
 
Was the God I thought I knew the God of the Bible? Or was he a god I created from my imagination?  

From the Conference, I learnt that to spend time with God and to experience him is to dwell in his words. My brothers and sisters, I pray that my reflection is able to help you with your walk. If you are like me, lets pick up our Bibles today. I pray that God through the Holy Spirit reveals Christ to us today.

From the Conference, I learnt that to spend time with God and to experience him is to dwell in his words.

Amos Wong

William Ting

This year’s Edify Equip Unite Conference (EEU) has been nothing short of eye-opening. As I sat and saw the leaders of the next generation from within the Chinese Methodist Church in Australia (CMCA) rise up and actively participate, I knew something was stirring within each and every one of us. The call to respond eagerly to the gospel was what I saw, and the need for the youths of Australia to witness the majesty of who God is in his word was the reason.  

Over the five days of our intensive training, we were shown just how immersive God’s word is. I was personally challenged, despite having many years of ‘Bible study’ training under the tutelage of previous pastors, to still look carefully, read earnestly and faithfully administer his word to my youth group. I was challenged in asking myself the question: “Is what I’m saying, truly reflecting his glory?” “Does what I share, not just affect the lives of the youth, but my own life specifically?” I quickly understood from our speakers and Bible strand facilitators that the privilege we have as leaders of our respective church communities is one that truly is a blessing from God.  

With our Bible strand sessions in particular, we wrested with what the big idea(s) are when looking at a passage, looking prior and further on for additional context, and then drawing up implications that were relevant to our specific audience. We were tested, day-by-day by our Bible strand facilitator, and as iron sharps iron, we were tempered into truly experiencing God’s words, albeit a little painfully. As a previous EEU attendee, this truly was an experience I can never forget. There has been such a shift in seeing our leaders come together, wanting to learn, hungry for him and his ever-abundant glory. I saw familiar faces, and faces brought from different continents. It was an experience that has shown me that you do not need to know someone to get to know them, but rather it is your shared love for God that binds us together.  

As we saw EEU come to a close, prayers were expressed across each corresponding city from those who attended, yearning that what we experienced does not stay within us, but is truly equipped, edified amongst our brothers and sisters in Christ, and united under his name.  

If you’re reading this, and you too are someone who longs to see the next generation known of who God is, I encourage you to participate. What has been an opportunity for all, has now become an opportunity. You will not regret it. I hope to see you there! 

Elijah Foo

Over five days, youth leaders across Australia (and Malaysia!) came together to be equipped by God’s word at this year’s EEU conference. Year after year, conferences like this often come with the concern that the fire sparked burns out after a few days, that the convictions felt are forgotten after a few weeks. However, right from the start, EEU 2019 has been quite the exception. I recall walking out of the first Bible strand, thinking ‘this is going to shape our ministry so much from here on’. 

This year, we learned about the Scripture being the sufficient basis of how we are edified, equipped, and united. We initially all thought that the jam-packed programs would be very intense; but in hindsight, not only was the intensity worth it, but necessary for deep convictions to happen. Something that stood out to me is how all the different sessions worked together to help us rethink how we approach the Bible. Rev Sean’s talks on 2 Timothy revealed how we don’t trust and value God’s Word enough; the Bible strands equipped us how to handle Scriptures rightly; Ps Adam’s talks on Psalm 119 showed us how rich and perfect God’s Word is – so that we may delight in his word more and more. The ministry strands also covered various topics relevant to our Chinese Methodist churches – from peacemaking in our Asian church context to renewing our vision for the Methodist movement. It is encouraged to see our leaders beginning to implement what we have learned, for example, my youth has started to reevaluate our song choices and approach to corporate worship. 

Apart from the training, our free time and mealtimes have been scattered with intentional conversations and questions that reflect on what we have learned. It is encouraging to see everyone showing care to each other this way, and depicts an image of the interaction that we’d love to see back in our home churches – one where God’s people speak of God’s words to build each other up. Thank you to all the participants for making this happen! I also would like to thank our brothers and sisters in Brisbane who have shown such generous hospitality – from cooking our meals to sorting out our transport, even to supplying mi goreng! 

This conference has really challenged what we often ‘default’ to: giving our own advice immediately when prompted, choosing songs according to our emotions, doing devotions because we feel like we should. We have had an opportunity to question whether all that we do is firmly rooted in Scripture, and I am sure that God has used this conference to transform our hearts to turn to his word more. My prayer is that our leaders will not be complacent with their understanding and love for God’s word, but to continue in what we have learned and have become convinced of—trusting that his word will sustain us in all our lives. Praise be to God for his living word! 

My prayer is that our leaders will not be complacent with their understanding and love for God’s word, but to continue in what we have learned and have become convinced of—trusting that his word will sustain us in all our lives.

Elijah Foo

Henry Yoo

I was looking forward to EEU from the time I heard about it at AMYC last year. I was quite keen to learn more about God’s words, how to study and teach it to others, as well as to catch up from people I met at AMYC again. The programs at EEU were quite intense and content heavy but also quite useful. There were many things during EEU that spoke to me.  

Firstly, the night talks helped to plant some conviction in my heart. The first night, Adam talked about reading our Bible emotionally and intellectually rather than merely the latter, in a similar way as you would read love letters as the Bible is in one sense God’s love letters to us. About his love shown through Jesus Christ. It really spoke to me because recently I have gotten a bit lazy with reading my Bible daily and even the times that I did, I was often doing it as if I was reading a newspaper article and not feeling the love of God that was reflected through the passages.  

Another thing that convicted me from the night talks was when Adam said “we forget the gospel every day”. It resonated with me as it reminded me of my personal life where I read my Bible, feel convicted for a while and just go back to my usual habits in life. It felt especially relevant because recently I felt like my personal spiritual growth had been stagnant. The talks convicted me to be more intentional in my relationship with God and reading God’s words. Another thing that convicted me was the speakers on the Q+A panel. I was impressed at how they were filled with God’s words and were able to refer back to the Scripture and answer challenging questions. It gave me even more motivation to really take time to read God’s words as it is important in helping me to defend my faith when I am challenged. I do not want to make it all about just head knowledge, as the most important thing is my personal relationship with God but being filled with the knowledge of Scriptures is very useful in proclaiming my faith to people around me and sharing the words of God as all Christians are commanded to do so.  

Also one of the things that encouraged me was when Rev Sean Kong mentioned during the morning talk that the issue is with the soil (people) so we should not tamper with the seed (the gospel). I have recently had times when I shared the gospel with people and was disappointed at how some of them were not very receptive and kept falling into the trap of thinking “Am I doing something wrong?” but this message gave me a good reminder that it is just part of our broken human nature to reject the gospel , so I should not be surprised or discouraged when people don’t accept the gospel, as it reminds me that it is God’s job to change people’s hearts, and I just need to faithfully keep serving God by spreading the gospel.  

I had a great time at EEU and have been convicted of many things and I wish these convictions remain in me and continue to shape the way I live my life for God. Also I would highly recommend EEU to other people as it is a good experience to help one grow spiritually and be better equipped in serving God. I hope I can go again next year. 

Sheena Chen

EEU was one of the best training conferences that I’ve ever been to and I don’t say this lightly. It was clear how much effort and thought had been put into fleshing out this year’s topic ‘Sufficiency of the Scriptures for Life and Ministry’ in the talks and workshops.  

Over the five days, we were blessed to sit under the faithful preaching of God’s word. Personally I was challenged to carefully read and faithfully teach God’s word to my youth to help them understand God’s word for themselves and deepen their relationship with him. I was reminded what a privilege it is to be able to teach God’s word to others but also the responsibility that comes with it. During our Bible strand groups, we were taught how to extract the big idea from the passage and come up with implications that were relevant to our audience. We had a lot of great discussions and together our Bible reading skills were sharpened, sometimes painfully, by our strand leader. We were also blessed with ministry workshops on topics that were relevant to us as youth leaders. They helped us consider the biblical foundations on topics like leadership, worship, conflict management and Methodism.

I was reminded what a privilege it is to be able to teach God’s word to others but also the responsibility that comes with it.

Sheena Chen

For me, this conference was also a rare opportunity to meet brothers and sisters who serve in Methodist churches in other states and have fellowship with one another. We were able to share the joys and struggles of ministry, to pray for one another and consider how we could implement the things we’ve learned into our respective youth ministries.  

I’ll definitely be attending EEU next year with the rest of my youth leadership team and would recommend anyone who is on the fence about this conference to just jump onboard and commit. You definitely won’t regret it! 

Amanda Su

My main takeaway from this EEU Conference is understanding the importance of studying and using the scriptures. Scriptures are important as they are the words of God and can provide the direction we need in our lives. I thank God that through the Bible strand groups, I am able to understand more deeply about the scriptures that I have read and are able to study the word of God more accurately by using different Bible study techniques. This also allows me to lead and teach others the word of God more accurately and also to ensure that others can understand the scriptures more in depth so that all of us who are the man of God, may be complete and be equipped for every good work.

I am thankful for the opportunity to hear from different people and see how God has been working in their churches, in their hearts and in their lives. It’s God’s beautiful plan that I was given this opportunity to join this conference and to be surrounded with wonderful people and that we are able to share the love of Christ, encouraging one another as we face challenges and struggles in life and in serving God. We know we are not alone for God is with us. EEU conference has been a great experience for me, I am indeed thankful that I am one of the delegates for this year. May we keep in prayers that we will always be faithful servants of Jesus Christ, to love and serve one another as one body in Christ. Praise the Lord!