Connecting to the Singapore's Dream

In our home group discussion on "Pre-Evangelism" (see Pre-Evangelism or Conversational Evangelism and Pre-Evangelism BT Version, a member said that present Singapore generation are not interested in spiritual matter but are more interested in career advancement and accumulating wealth.

The Singapore's dream, is easily remembered as 5Cs. Even foreigners when describing Singaporeans, use the term too. There are various forms of 5Cs, generally, they refer to Cash, Car, Condominium, Credit-card, Country-Club. In the past, Credit-Card is not easy to get and is considered a status symbol but now it is not so. It is better to be replaced by Career. Country Club, a symbol of success, could possibly be replaced by Clubbing that the young people do. There is also a variant form of 1-2-3-4-5: 1 wife, 2 children, 3 bed-room condominium, 4 wheel-car, and 5 figure salary. Whatever the form, the pursuit can be summarized as material success and enjoyment.

There is another part of the Singaporean dream that is not always highlighted but are nevertheless real and important. That is Singaporeans are also very family centred and law abiding. The family value may be eroding at the expense of material pursuit as evidenced by the rising trend of divorces.

How can we then connect to such material and enjoyment mindset? How will they be interested in Spiritual Matter? (I'm not advocating that Spiritual Pursuit means denouncing material wealth and making poverty a virtue. I believe wealth is part of the blessings that God provides for man. I am advocating that man understands the reality of life and be connected to a very real God through Jesus Christ.)

I propose that we connect to the material pursuit by sharing the following
  1. Be Really Successful - Have Higher Goals
  2. Have Better Methods to Success
  3. Imaging
  4. Stress Reduction
Be Really Successful - Have Higher Goals
While we know from the Bible the true need of man, we can't use it to argue with pre-believers as they don't accept the Bible as relevant. We can use the widely available business and sociology references. We have the famous Maslow's hierarchy of needs that show the real needs of every man, from physiological, safety, social (relational), self-esteem and self-actualization. We need to consider what are of greater values than materials wealth and enjoyment. What are the significance and meaning of life? What are man truly worth?

Have Better Methods to Success
All of us want to be successful in the quickest and surest way. Where can we learn the secrets of success? The Bible provides the tested answers for thousands of years. The Church, whether Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox etc are establishment with life span of thousands of years. No business corporations can boast of similar life-span. The golden rule of success is wealth comes from right pursuit. Mat 6:33. Someone put it as "Economic development follows Spiritual Revival". We have seen from history on the development of Europe and US were closely tied with the reformation. We can introduce the wisdom of the Bible for business success to them. A simple way to start is to read Proverbs or follow the Business by Jesus series in the blog.

Another way to stretch the thinking is to imaging if ....
  • If you die, what do you want others to say about you? What do you want other to put on your tombstone? Is it only "19xx - 20xx". What is in the '-' of your life on earth?
  • If a crisis strike, like a lost of job, disability due to accident, death of a loved one, an earth-quake like the China Sichuan, a terrorist attack like the US 9/11, what would you feel and do?
Stress Reduction
All of our stress can be traced to our belief on a Satan's Lie, known as "The Performance Trap"
  • We must perform in order to have worth and value.
You must prove first before you can become. This is the Satan's temptation of Jesus that Jesus should turn the rock into bread to prove that He is the Son of God. See The Temptations of Jesus, "Be-Do-Have" of Grace Based Doctrine.

In Robert McGee's book of "In Search of Significance", he put the lie as
  • Self-Esteem = Performance + Others' Opinions
Because of such a belief, we work from fear, fear of failure, shame and guilt. We either stressed out to achieve or be depressed and give-up when things don't work to expectation. We try to control and manipulate, to cover up, to put up a bold front, to hide our weaknesses, etc. We seek approvals from man instead of from God. This is an important topic that we will spend more time on in future posting.

I hope the above proposals can help us connect to the present generation and bring them towards a search of greater reality and of God.

  • Pro 20:5 The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.

We need all the wisdom to connect to the real needs inside.

Appreciate your additional comments.

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