‘Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it’ Proverbs 22:6
Echoed through the corridor of times, the children sing and adults reflects on the parable... ”the wise man build his house upon the rock… the foolish man build his house on the sand...” What does this warn us about our responsibility to the children given to us to steward?
From our history, the first kindergarten Jubilee Kindergarten was set up 99 years ago by Jubilee Presbyterian church. It marks the beginning of an important mission work amongst preschool children and parents in Singapore. The effort of this kindergarten and other church-based preschools that came along made a big impact in bringing God’s love and the gospel to the children and their families. At one point, church-based preschools catered to 20% of the total preschool enrolment in Singapore. The church had an opportunity to capture the hearts of the young... but is this a precious opportunity about to be Lost?
Today, due to commercialism, competition and complacency the percentage of church-based preschools has dropped to below 8%. In the past eight years, approximately 80 church-based preschools closed their doors. The decline of the Christian Preschool Ministry is played out against the backdrop of a more polarised and secular society. Children are introduced to world views that contradicts the bible. Their understanding of truth, beauty and goodness is distorted. The Christian Preschool Ministry is near collapsing. The mind space of our children has turned from a playground to a battleground. We have a crisis on hand. What will the next generation of adults be like? Will they break the hearts of their elders? Will we weep over the lost opportunities? Can we turn the tide to ensure that the hearts of the children under our care build their hearts and minds on the bedrock of Christ.
Action is needed...
Today, a strong coordinated Christian Preschool Ministry is needed to build in minds and hearts of our children. To build a strong spiritual foundation on which creative and cognitive skills are developed to cope as they grow in the church, community, nation and in the world.
There is an urgent need for the Christian community to step up to strengthen the support and resources so that we can look back in time to say that we have done our best to built on what God has given to us so that the children of yester years can continue God’s work and finish well.
It is with the intention to meet this need that the Christian Preschool Alliance (CPA) was set up in 2019. The mission of CPA is to bring the Christian Preschool Community together to “strengthen the walls” of our preschools and “keep the gates open” so that children can come in and learn the truth, experience God’s love and have a strong foundation in life.
These goals are shared by many. “In scaling new heights of excellence for our young in preschool education landscape, never before have we been presented such sublime doorway of opportunities to access, mould and shape them, our "future", in proportion to the vision and love that flow from Christ to us, for their enduring transformation to bless our nation richly, not only for the immediate future - but generations to come.“ Rt Rev Keith Lai, President of the National Council of Churches of Singapore, Synod moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Singapore
Bishop Dr Chong Chin Chung, Methodist Church in Singapore shared that “Preschools are a very important bridgehead as the church faces the spread of new movements and new doctrines that will affect future generations. He reminded all that in order to establish steadfast values according to biblical truth, it is necessary to have proper and balanced teaching, beginning from the preschools. He urged all to work towards “church to church, or preschool to preschool collaboration…. We must have a kingdom mindset, where we seek one another’s good, combine our resources to run together, for we have a combined stake in the future of the church.”
CPA through Kingdomgarten Preschool Services, a registered legal entity, will provide leadership, staff development, curriculum redesign, shared services and education fund support. A team of full-time staff and volunteers are involved in this endeavour to reach out and equip 30 mission preschools, sharing God’s love to 5,000 children.
Find out more about what we are doing at www.kingdomgarten.org
How can you help?
We need all the help we can get from every church and Christian so that we can overcome current challenges. Though these challenges are humongous, we believe that our Lord is even greater. Like the little boy who offered his meagre 5 loaves and 2 fish to Jesus, we believe that the little that we offer will not be too small in the hands of our great King. He will bless our offerings so that we can minister to 5,000 children every year. That is our aspiration and prayer.
Today, you can help reach 5,000 children in the following ways:
• Make a donation to help underserved children attending our church based preschools ;
• Provide pro bono help in the area of your expertise;
• Provide resources key to developing quality preschool;
• Support someone to become a preschool teacher/principal;
• Join a church-based preschool as a staff;
• Tell others about the importance of Christian Preschool Ministry; and
• Pray for God’s providence.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 87690398
In the book of Matthew, Jesus called out to us to “let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Chairman Kingdomgarten Preschool