Read Their Life-Transformation Story
My relationship with Eagles started through Dr John Ng in 2006 when I went for a mentoring clinic he conducted in my church. I talked to him afterwards and was introduced to Emerging Leader Development Program (ELDP) which is an intensive coaching program for emerging leaders organized by Eagles Leadership Institute (ELI). I joined the second cohort of ELDP and started my leadership journey. I also came to know Peter Chao and Michael Tan there.
ELDP was very helpful for the season of my life. I had just recently resigned from a hospital to do part time Bible training. It was a time when I was doing quite a bit of reflection of who I am and my ministry. Those three years of ELDP were very timely in terms of my personal journey in finding my calling and real passion. Soon after graduating from ELDP, John invited me to attend one of Eagles Mediation and Counseling Centre (EMCC) meetings and I joined their Board of Governance. Eventually, I took over the chair of the Board from John.
John continued to impact not just my life, but also those around me by conducting mentoring sessions in my church and helping St Luke’s Hospital in their leadership program for our managers. He also continued to invite me to participate in ELDP and ELC.
What really impressed me about the Eagles community in general was how close they are in serving together all these years. That was very inspiring to me. I like the way that they are being authentic. They are really down to earth so that I can relate to them.
The majority of what I learnt from them is not from what they taught me in theory because I can’t remember most of it, but rather from the way they live it out. They are not perfect, but they really try to live the truth out. That’s what is impactful to me.
I don’t see many communities that are authentic. But for me personally, it’s very difficult to be accepting. I can be quite impatient for under-performers in my team.
Having a big heart is one of the most inspiring things that I learn from John. He has a big heart to help, to accept and to involve people. He has given me a different perspective in looking at people.
My advice to young leaders is to be humble. Part of being humble is to be open-minded and continually be ready to have your paradigm challenged. Be like a sponge, receptive to inputs and learn. That’s another thing that I like about Eagles, they challenge your paradigm.
I was invited along with my worship team from Pentecost Methodist Church to lead the worship at Eagles Leadership Conference (ELC) 2015. In the meetings running up to the event, I had the honor of dining and conversing with Eagles’ founders, namely Peter Chao, John Ng, Michael Tan and William Tang. Their humility, depth of wisdom, passion and love for God was inspiring and was a great draw. I wanted to emulate them.
My mentor, Michael Tan, is probably best described by the idiom “still waters run deep.” A quiet man by nature, but when he speaks for God, he is transformed into a fiery preacher.
The Arete Program which is an intensive coaching program for preachers organized by Eagles Communications and the mentoring setup allowed me to spend time with Michael, both at an individual level and in a group context. He has a very big heart to impart and share his knowledge and resources generously. This jump-started my learning process and I grew in leaps and bounds. I did not have to start from ground zero in preaching, nor the need to reinvent the wheel when it came to techniques and resources.
Preaching is a new ministry for me. And it is a venture into the unknown for the uninitiated. Like learning another new skill, I could read up as much as possible, and then experiment to figure the best possible techniques to suit my style and aptitude. Yet at the end, there is no guarantee I would not fall flat. Mentoring provided me with the guidance and assurance that someone has gone ahead.
He has done the venturing and he will initiate me into the trade. Not only did I save a lot of time by learning from Michael, I now spend the time to build upon what he already has. Beyond the skill, I am connected to the resources and network that Michael has, which is far beyond what I can build for myself. I like that I have access to credible help, someone to correct and point out my blind spots.
Mentorship models are different for differing needs in different seasons. My ideal mentorship model would be regular meetings to touch base, but space in between to act on what has been taught and corrected.
There is no perfect sermon, only a perfect God. Therefore there is no need for me to worry or feel inadequate. I will improve with time if I keep working hard at my sermon preparations and my relationship with God. Once I have done sufficient preparations, I should stop worrying about the sermon, and allow God to work through it. Michael has encouraged and affirmed that I have the ingredients; now the cooking begins.
My relationship with Eagles started when I was a part of the Emerging Leader Development Program (ELDP) Class of 2010. Peter Chao was my assigned mentor as part of the whole program and our mentor-mentee relationship took off. I approached him to coach me in preaching, to walk with me in my faith journey and even with issues that I faced in the ministry. He has been my mentor since then.
I was quite captivated by Peter’s preaching because I am a pastor and I preach. One of my areas of growth is in preaching. I have a particular style that I’m trying to work at, and I think Peter is the one who can help me.
There are many areas that Peter has been helpful. In one of the sessions he looked at me and said, “I’m here to help you clear the fog.”
As a mentee, I’m not here to ask him for solution and take responsibility for my whole life and for the decisions I’m supposed to make. But I definitely need help from someone who can help me clear the fog, so when I make a decision, I make an informed decision.
I would encourage especially young leaders to have a mentor. I think they should start young because firstly, a relationship takes years to build. Secondly as a young leader, they are growing, forming values, and with a mentor during that stage of live they can evade many pitfalls, not only in ministry or career, but more importantly in character.
In our faith journey, we need to surround ourselves with godly people who will walk with us so that you can be encouraged, inspired and motivated to keep moving and being faithful in our walk with God. The faith journey is about transformation, about who we ought to become. It’s crucial to have those people to continue to shape us. I have been very inspired as I came to know the three leaders in Eagles, namely Michael, John and Peter.
I appreciate their authenticity and their life. They are real people doing the real work, they don’t fake it, and I appreciate them for who they are. As much as they are doing good godly work, they are also godly people who give me great pleasure of knowing them. To Peter. I am greatly appreciative of his friendship, and allowing it to develop to mentoring relationship. He has been in a journey with me in my ministry, providing counsel and godly advice that have helped me shape my ministry, my thinking, my values and my being. I know that I don’t have to walk alone. I am grateful to God that He has placed such people in my life in times like this.