Bringing God to Middle Road

Looking for a marketplace group of like-minded Christians? In this Ministers in the Marketplace series, we feature groups that you can get connected with.

by Geraldine Tan // October 27, 2018, 11:40 pm

Tuesday lunch fellowship praying

Lawyer Daniel Goh (left) and the Tuesday marketplace group have seen transformations taking place after prayer.

On Tuesdays, while many in the busy Middle Road area are tucking into their lunch, a financial advisor, a corporate advisor and a group of lawyers have made it a point to meet weekly for the past three years.

“We just talk about life in general. You’ve got problems, I’ve got problems, right? Just sit and talk!” says lawyer Daniel Goh, who started the Tuesday lunch fellowship in 2015.

Simple as the premise sounds, Goh, 51, hopes the lunchtime fellowship encourages the professionals to take God back to their office with them.

“I wanted to see that the Kingdom of God was real, alive and well in the marketplace. I think that must be the starting point because we spend a sizeable amount of our time there, so what do we do in the marketplace that will bring glory to God?”

In fact, Goh did not have any plans to start the marketplace group in 2015. Until God gave him a vision.

The vision

One day, in the midst of tackling a challenging piece of work, Goh suddenly saw a vision of two circles: One marked “church” and the other “marketplace”. They then moved and, in the area where they overlapped, a new word emerged: “Pastorate”.

Puzzled, he filed the vision away in his mind and focused on the work at hand.

A week later, he heard a voice.

“So Daniel, now how?”

"What is the kingdom of God and how does the kingdom of God look like in the marketplace? So that got me going," says Goh, on how he got the ball rolling for marketplace group.

“What is the kingdom of God and how does the kingdom of God look like in the marketplace? That question got me going,” says Goh, on what inspired him to start the Tuesday marketplace group.

It took him by surprise that God spoke to him in such a colloquial manner.

“God spoke to me in a way and in a tone that He knew would make me sit up and listen. I now knew there was something to be done in the church and the marketplace. There seemed to be a gap and a need to bridge the gap,” Goh says.

He told his pastor about the vision he had and his desire to start something in the marketplace, secretly hoping the pastor would say he needed time to think and pray over it.

“Sometimes, be careful what you ask. I just asked and he said ‘yes’. Now I was stuck. What do I do? So, we started from there,” he recalls, eyes crinkling with amusement at the memory.

Ministry over mee goreng

At the last meeting, folks from different walks of life entered the room, one bearing boxes of nasi goreng and mee goreng. They quickly took their seats, gave thanks for the food and tucked in.

Time was precious – they only had an hour to spare, including the time taken to travel back to their offices.

Goh had personally invited them all. For instance, after his consultations with clients, he invited them to the lunchtime meeting.

“What do we do at the marketplace that will bring glory to God?”

“For them to say ‘yes’ to coming to the meeting, presupposes that I’ve done well in my professional job for them. If they like you enough as a professional, then you have a chance to speak them about something closer to your heart,” he says, pointing out the need to strive for excellence in our work as part of our witness. (2 Corinthians 8:7)

That was how he met Dennis Poh, a corporate advisor, who had gone to him to seek litigation advice for a friend in 2016. Poh was a backslidden Christian then, struggling with his faith and with problems committing to church.

As Poh, 29, attended the lunchtime meetings, the doubts he had were addressed and he discovered the value of being plugged into a community of believers as they journeyed along with him through the highs and lows of life. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

“It brought me back to being a believer again,” beams Poh.

We just prayed

With those that God has placed in Goh’s path, he goes by faith.

“We’d talk about the things that are so real in life and guess what? God started to answer their prayers,” he reveals.

Goh recalls the predicament that Poh was in and how God turned the situation around: “He knows that it is the hand of God just helping him in the marketplace. And it is not like we did a lot, we just prayed.”

(Anticlockwise from left) Ethan Neo, Dennis Poh, Goh and other attendees sharing their lives over lunch.

Anticlockwise from left: Ethan Neo, Dennis Poh, Goh and other attendees sharing their lives over lunch.

It is as simple as MELT, says Goh.

  1. Meet the needs of the people. Hear their requests, answer their queries, meet their needs, pray with them.
  2. Eat with them. Half the time, Jesus’ ministry was at the dining table. So fellowship with friends and eat with them. The time taken to share a meal is more than enough time to talk about the things that matter to us.
  3. Light of the world. Believers are called to be the light of the world, with the ultimate objective of bringing the Light of the world, Jesus, into the marketplace and people’s lives.
  4. Transform. When all the above happens, people are transformed.

Three years into the Tuesday lunchtime ministry, Goh notes that he is beginning to see individuals being transformed.

Financial advisor, Ethan Neo, is another whose life has been touch by the Tuesday lunch fellowship. He got to know about the group through his good friend, Poh.

“If the individual is slowly transformed, the cohort gets transformed, their office gets transformed.”

He, too, had the same struggles that Poh faced with his faith.

Due to the nature of his job, the weekly lunchtime meeting worked for him and the fellowship helped his faith to grow.

“Now I attend church more regularly and I feel that I walk closer to God,” says Neo, 26, who has also started to take his wife along with him to church. He has invited Goh to speak to other financial advisors under his care.

“If the individual is slowly transformed, the cohort gets transformed, their office gets transformed,” believes Goh, who revealed that Poh is now looking to start a marketplace group in his own company.

“God is moving so powerfully in the marketplace. Revival will come if everybody does what they’re supposed to do in the marketplace, that industry, that station in life, that office. Desire to mentor people, to disciple them, to love them to bits. If everybody just does that, revival will come.”

The Tuesday lunch fellowship meets weekly between 1 and 2pm. If you are interested in joining the group that meets in the Middle Road area and/or looking for advice on how to start a marketplace group, email [email protected].

About the author

Geraldine Tan

Geraldine is a former news journalist, public relations practitioner and research editor with a penchant for puns, punctuation and a positive attitude. She is always up for the next new adventure and is on a quest to bake the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Geraldine is now Assistant Editor at Salt&Light.