ACV 24: Starting and Building a New Church (Pastor Tan Huai Tze of One Covenant Church Singapore, Part 1)
By Paul Tern
Pastor Tan Huai Tze discusses what to expect from a theological seminary education, and the challenges he faced growing a new church from scratch from his living room.Tze is the Lead Pastor of One Covenant, a church he started in his living room (since outgrown) together with his wife, Cindy and 2 young daughters in 2016. He has a passion for preaching Christ from all parts of the Bible, and for making connections between the good news of Jesus Christ and everyday life. Tze grew up in Malaysia, and came to Singapore to study at age 15. He then went to the UK for further studies before coming back and making Singapore home.Before becoming a pastor, he worked in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and before that in IT Consulting in Accenture. A few years ago, Tze and the family spent 1.5 years in Australia, where Cindy did a medical fellowship, and Tze finished his Master of Divinity in Presbytarian Theological College in Melbourne, Australia. 3 Things I Learned:There is no template for life - Tze says there is no need to mechanically plan out one’s life, or use his experience as a model for their own. It’s all about putting faith in the small things, building the right relationships, and having faith in God for things you can’t control. Theological study is not a ‘four year passion conference’ - it’s hard work, filled with assignments and exams like any other training program. But, even though it is a vigorous exercise, it should not be done without heart. Seminary study cannot be done in isolation, and sustains on an active relationship with one’s Church and Bible. Be prepared to have your heart broken - like any startup or new venture, 80-90% of new Churches fail. Pastor Tze’s Church is his whole life, so setbacks have rippling effects. But this pain ultimately makes him a better Pastor.