Rev Keith Lai takes over from Bishop Terry Kee as president of NCCS
Salt&Light // July 9, 2020, 11:05 pm
After receiving Christ at 18, Rev Keith Lai had wanted to become a missionary – and was well on a trajectory to becoming one – until God redirected his steps. He has since served faithfully in the Singapore church for almost four decades. Photo courtesy of Rev Keith Lai.
Reverend Keith Lai, the Synod moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Singapore, was announced as the new president of the National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) at its virtual annual general meeting (AGM) today (July 9).
Rev Lai, who has been the senior pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church since 1992, will succeed NCCS’ current president, Bishop Terry Kee.
Treasure uniqueness of different churches
“It’s a great privilege to serve the churches in Singapore,” Rev Lai told Salt&Light after the virtual AGM, adding that his vision is for the body of Christ in Singapore to grow stronger in unity.
“I believe we need to treasure and cherish the unique splendour and diversity of our all churches,” he said.
He recalled particularly fond summer memories at Regent College in Vancouver, where he obtained a Masters in Christian Studies, where a few countries would come together to show off their finest exhibition of fireworks.
“I believe we need to treasure and cherish the unique splendour and diversity of our all churches.”
“Every country wowed spectators with their impressive and distinctive parade of pyrotechnics. But together they marvelled the crowds with their fascinating display of creativity and ingenuity.
“That is what I hope all the different churches in Singapore can do to reveal the multi-faceted dimensions of God’s glory and beauty. No one church or denomination can do that fully. I hope more churches will be encouraged to join in the unity movement.”
Addressing the churches in Singapore, he said: “Let’s learn to embrace one another’s rich contribution to the body of Christ in Singapore. It is also a time to learn together what is the new wineskin for the Church during this pandemic and post COVID-19, and how can we learn from each other’s best practices.”
New wineskin for post-pandemic Church
Rev Lai added that NCCS hopes to continue building and expanding platforms to engage government agencies in matters that concern the Church and our society.
“It is a time to learn together what is the new wineskin for the Church during this pandemic and post COVID-19.”
One of the ways this will be done is through NCCS’s think tank, ETHOS (Institute for Public Christianity), which issues public statements to state its position on behalf of its members.
Noting that this is the first time that a Presbyterian moderator is taking on the role of president at NCCS, he said: “I hope we can add to the richness of our unity from our Reformed tradition and heritage.”
Rev Lai is a graduate of Singapore Bible College and Regent College in Vancouver. He also previously served as an Operation Mobilisation missionary for four years on board its now decommissioned ship Logos.
He is married to Mui Fong, who also serves as a pastor of Family Life ministries in their church. They have two young adult sons, Caleb and Josiah.
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