Beyond Comparison Towards Assignment

Daryl Tan

I had been serving in the youth ministry in my local church since 2011. I was also a Boys’ Brigade (BB) officer and towards the end of 2019, I was invited to take up a new appointment to chair the officers’ training. To make room for the new appointment, I made the decision to step down from serving in the youth ministry. However, this transition greatly reduced my interaction with the youths, and although I had thought that this would give me more time to minister to the boys, Covid-19 struck which further drew me away from the boys. I started feeling a disconnect and experienced a sense of loss, questioning myself whether I was still doing the Lord’s work and at times feeling inadequate as His servant.

In March 2020, I found out about Archippus Awakening and listened to my first Kingdom101 teaching by Pastor Henson, also the first one done over Zoom. Being inspired by the clear teaching of Kingdom101, I went on to attend the Awakening WeekEnd (AWE) to find out more about the message of Archippus Awakening.

One key point stood out for me, that God calls each of us into assignments facilitated by the strengths He gave us, and it should be these assignments that we pursue, and not the ‘ministry’ of keeping busy with activities. This made me realise that I had been going about doing ministry the wrong way. I had thought that only when I was interacting with people directly that work had value. In reality, God has created each of us uniquely suited for His purposes.

I had also become misaligned in doing a lot of comparison with others which led to me feeling I was not good enough, resulting in low self-esteem. I saw how my former fellow youth leaders naturally built relationships while I struggled. I had bought into a narrow view of ministry and I was trying to be on par with, if not better than my other friends.

Looking back, God brought me to Archippus Awakening so that my view might be refocused onto Him. Instead of always looking at what others were doing, desiring to be like them, I learnt to rest in my identity in Christ to empower me for my own assignment – mine, not anyone else’s.

Now, I realise that I am still blessing the youths, but in a different way that is more aligned with my strengths. As I look at how BB officers can be equipped, what I have learnt makes me go beyond looking at what skills they need. I begin to ask how we are helping these officers in building the kingdom and advancing it among the youths. The fact of the matter is God can use anyone in any way, and we may be working in the same realm of influence but serving different functions – some reach out to the youths, others train those who are reaching out, and still others create material to make it possible. I still come in contact with the boys, and I recognise that it’s not about the programmes we run, but to align ourselves with God so that we may be a role model that reflects Him. This has also helped me learn to better discipline them just as God disciplines a child in love.

Dear Archippus…

It is so easy to fall into the trap of comparison. Like Archippus, we are almost anonymous, but God knows us intimately and calls each of us by name. We need not compare with others. We need not be superstars or celebrities to know and fulfil our kingdom assignments. Be secure in how God has created and gifted you, and in who you are in Christ. Henson writes in Alignment Check, “I cannot begin to tell you how many readily agree with the message of Archippus Awakening only to doubt, rationalise and justify when it comes to their own identities and relationships with God. Misalignment!”

That is why the Lord is using the person of Archippus to awaken and encourage the saints. Are you also struggling with your own identity? You are known to God by name and you have a kingdom assignment to fulfil!

About Daryl

Daryl joined the BB when he was a 13-year old chap and is proud to say his blood runs blue, sure and steadfast even as he hits the big three-zero this year. He works as a researcher with Fei Yue Community Services, helping to evaluate programmes and figure out what works best so that “the least of these” may be blessed and supported. He loves taking risks with food (the exotic kind of risk, not the food poisoning kind), and enjoys leisure cycling especially along rivers.