I first heard the name ‘Archippus’ when a friend invited me to attend KINGDOM101. I guess this bears testament to the fact that Archippus is indeed Almost Anonymous that someone who has been a Christian for 15 years had never heard of this ‘fellow soldier’ mentioned only twice in the Bible.
A friend at Bethesda Bedok-Tampines Church, where Pastor Henson Lim had preached a sermon, introduced me to Archippus Awakening. I remember asking which country the message and the speaker were from since ‘Archippus Awakening’ sounded so foreign, and was surprised to find out Pastor Henson was a Singaporean and Archippus a biblical name.
After attending a couple of KINGDOM101 sessions, I was particularly intrigued by this idea of kingdom assignment, and AWE-d (pardon the pun) by the elegance and simplicity of the 1-2-3-4 video detailing what it means to be an Archippus. This led me to sign up for my first-ever AWE, and of course to have the privilege of taking part in the first-ever #awe2020zoom.
At the Alignment WeekEnd, I was indeed blessed to meet brothers and sisters through the breakout sessions as we shared our reflections on the A-R-E-A (Alignment-Refinement-Empowerment-Assignment) framework (shout out to Group 12!), and how we can move from our Assembly Area to our Area of Operation. I like how Archippus Awakening provides us a common language that distills the process of discovering our kingdom assignment into simple aspects that are all focused on Christ, and yet not sounding Christianese since the terms used are simple and easy to remember with the AREA acronym.
These are some of my main takeaways as I learn to align myself to God’s will.
Firstly, to remember that my work and ministry should be about Assignments and not Activities. As a research and programmes executive in the social sector, I can easily assume that to write reports and engage low-income children in education support means that I am serving the Lord in the area of the Marginalised and Needy, and perhaps even Mentoring. However, during this Aligning WeekEnd, God has revealed to me that before being caught up in the doing of all these activities, He wants me to first start with the being, and to find my identity in Him first.
I have realized that sometimes I get so tired from working with the children because I have not started from love, and get bogged down in being a perfectionist to try to get everything done right in my own strength. However, the seemingly paradoxical idea of Empowerment being to Rest in Christ was a great encouragement for me. The world would think that rest is the opposite of power since you seem to be stopping, but what it really looks like is to stop fighting against God’s will and aligning ours to His. If God calls us to do something that seems impossible, not doing it is actually the opposite of rest because we’re pushing against an Almighty will, who honestly could do all things without our help. This week, that realization has helped me to serve with joy and strength that could only come from God.
Indeed, praise the Lord for His desire to partner with us, His soldiers on a mission that He has equipped for every good work. As an Officer in the Boys’ Brigade where we hold ranks from Private all the way to Lieutenant, with Jesus as our Captain, the idea of being God’s soldier really resonates with me (every Singaporean son’s experience in National Service might have something to do with it as well). As soldiers, we are called to ‘esprit de corps’, or spirit of the body – the Body of Christ, and we are reminded that soldiers never march alone, but go together.
I am Archippus – awakened to my identity in Christ, continuously aligning my will to God’s, and moving out on assignment wherever God reveals to me.