Questions And Answers
Here are our answers to some frequently asked questions:
Questions on FCF:
1. What is the ‘Fisherman of Christ’ Fellowship? Is it a church? What denomination does it belong to? Why are you called ‘Fisherman’?
Ans: The ‘Fisherman of Christ' Fellowship Ltd is an independent evangelical church based in Singapore. It is not affiliated or belonging to any denomination.
In the 1950s, a group of Chinese-speaking Christians went together to a retreat in a fishing village during which many of them were spiritually revived. They felt the need of fellowship particularly when they came across the verse in John 1:4 "And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." They felt very strongly that as Christians they should not be interested in the grace of God alone, but that they should also be able to search the Scriptures, to know and practise the truth.
After the retreat, they started to gather in a group for fellowship. In the beginning they met at the Botanical Gardens for a short time, then in a member's home. Later, a primary school classroom was used. In 1957 they moved to premises in Prinsep Street, and so on.
Right from the start, the fellowship was burdened to reach the unsaved. The Bible verse that gave much encouragement and challenge was Mt 4:19 "Come, follow me", Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." This verse was the basis of the formation of the Fellowship, and from which its name The 'Fisherman of Christ' Fellowship was adapted. It calls all believers to cast everything aside and earnestly follow the Lord and become fishers of men like the first disciples, preaching the Gospel wherever they are to bring souls into the Kingdom of God.
The Fellowship's aim is therefore to serve the Lord by spreading the gospel and observing and practising the teachings of the Bible.
Our vision is to build a church that emphasizes outreach, and where every member is a fisherman of Christ actively engaged in evangelism.
Our statement of faith is published in every issue of FISHERS on the inside back cover page.
If you need more information about the church and our beliefs, you can write to the FISHERS Committee or contact the staff workers at the Queenstown centre at 132 Margaret Drive, Singapore 149301 (Tel: (65) 64723711).
2. Are there many Filipinos joining the fellowship?
Ans: Yes, we have many international visitors attending our services. Amongst them are those from China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines. Several have been baptised by the church and have become members. The church has weekly Sunday School classes for any interested international visitors. It also organises regular International Fellowship meetings. Do contact our staff workers for more details.
3. Do you have plans to extend your ministry to the Philippines?
Ans: The ministry of the church was extended to the Philippines several years ago as more and more brethren were returning home from Singapore. Currently, the Fellowship has mission centres at Baguio and Batangas and La Union. Local staff man the mission centres. We thank the Lord for the opportunity to serve the Filipino people in this way. Please contact our staff workers at Queenstown if you need further details on these centres.
4. Do you have fellowships or bible study groups in Malaysia?
Ans: We do not presently have any fellowship groups in Malaysia or any other country except the Philippines.
5. Do you have other meetings?
Ans: We have weekly prayer meetings for members at the Queenstown and Geylang centres on a weekday evening. All visitors are encouraged to attend our monthly Gospel Meetings held in English and in Mandarin/dialect simultaneously on the first Sunday afternoon of the month. Our staff workers at the centres will be happy to provide you with more details about these meetings.
6. Why do you have ‘Ltd’ in the title?
Ans: The Fellowship is registered under the Companies Act as a limited by guarantee (i.e. without share capital) as a means to acquire commercial property for its use.
General Questions on FISHERS:
1. Can you provide more information about FISHERS?
Ans: FISHERS is the official English publication of the ‘Fisherman of Christ’ Fellowship (its sister publication is Behold in Chinese). It is not the work of full-time staff, but of committed church members. FISHERS is published on a bi-monthly basis with two aims: to extend the gospel and to promote Christian spiritual growth. We encourage you to contribute articles and testimonies to enable you to share your faith and develop your creative expression. Details about our history can be found at the FISHERS web-site.
2. What does FISHERS do besides the magazine?
Ans: The FISHERS ministry comprises the following departments: Editorial, Artwork, Finance, Circulation and Subscription, Correspondence and Packing & Posting. We have a Bible correspondence course for those who want to know more about what the Bible says. We also arrange for subscriptions to the Chinese language Behold magazine if requested.
3. Does FISHERS have a logo?
Ans: FISHERS has no official logo. In the past the symbol of the fish was used as a theme in many of its cover pages. The pictorial of the fish in our printed letterhead is just another means of identification. We may adopt a logo in future if there is a need, but the focus of attention should be on the Lord Himself.
4. Will you give financial contributions to individuals or organisations that request for them?
Ans: From time to time, we receive requests from individuals and organisations for donations or sponsorship for their activities. As our own resources are limited, and meant for the publishing of FISHERS, it is not our usual practice to provide financial support to readers or organisations. We believe God is our provider and we look to Him for our every need. In our own experience, to the glory of God, He has provided continuously for our needs for well over 30 years. We trust He also will lay in the hearts of those around you the burden to support you or your ministry.
5. I am doing a pioneering mission work without any support. Are you able to support the work by sending Bible materials?
Ans: We regret that we are not in the position to support any missionary work by readers or organisations. You may wish to contact organisations that specifically distribute the Scriptures for assistance. The Gideons International places and distributes Scriptures in 179 countries in 80 languages, focusing on five primary areas:
Hotels and Motels
Hospitals, Nursing Homes, and Domestic Violence Shelters
Schools, Colleges, and Universities
The Military, Law Enforcement Personnel, Firefighters, and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs)
Prisons and Jails
The United Bible Societies and within its own country, the local Bible Society, meet Scripture needs by providing the Holy Scriptures for all inhabitants of its country in the language they speak, and by preparing effective programs to distribute them at affordable prices.
6. Are there any FISHERS meetings for me to attend?
Ans: There are no FISHERS meetings for readers, but you are welcomed to join the Fellowship at its regular Sunday School classes (starting at 9:45 am) and worship services (starting at 11:15 am) on Sundays.
Questions on Publication, Subscription, Finances, etc:
1. Do we need to pay for subscribing to FISHERS?
Ans: FISHERS is produced and sent to subscribers at no charge. Its finances are entirely borne by the Fellowship and its members through regular offerings and by readers who have felt a burden for the work. It is by God’s providence that we have been self-sufficient throughout the past 30 years of publication.
2. Do I have to renew my subscription every year?
Ans: No, your subscription will continue until you indicate that you wish to terminate. However, please notify us when you change mailing address so as to ensure continued posting. Also, FISHERS from time to time conducts a subscription exercise to ensure that each copy is still being used. Please indicate your renewal during this exercise.
3. Can you produce a publication forecast schedule? Will you publish more frequently than bi-monthly?
Ans: The Committee aims to produce FISHERS on a bi-monthly basis, but over the years due to limited time and manpower, only 5 issues a year are produced. This is probably the maximum that we can afford. In the meantime, we urge you to read the Bible frequently as FISHERS is only complementary reading to God’s word. There is no substitute for the reading and meditation of God’s word (Josh 1:8).
4. Why does it take some time to receive FISHERS?
Ans: Some issues may be delayed for production or technical reasons. We apologise for any inconveniences these may cause. Alternatively, you can access our web-site for the latest issue.
5. Why are my letters and articles not published?
Ans: All letters, articles and emails received from readers are read and considered for publication. Our magazine serves to spread the Good News by the written word. We thus reserve the right to publish material only if it is in line with the aim and edifying to the body of Christ. We will also edit suitable articles for publication owing to grammar and other technical reasons. All original scripts will be returned on request. We welcome your constructive criticism about FISHERS and its work.
6. Do you have new booklets being published? How much do they cost?
Ans: The Fellowship does not sell books. As part of the Literature Department of the church, FISHERS is also the means to distribute English booklets which are produced by the Fellowship from time to time. These are given free of charge for the edification of readers. These include Footprints in the Snow, What You Should Know about Attending Church Meetings, New Life in Christ, and Foundation Truths of Christianity.
7. Can you give permission to reprint or extract your articles in my church newsletter, web-site etc?
Ans: As it is difficult to control the use of FISHERS articles by other publications, FISHERS does not generally grant permission for reproducing its articles in any form, whether they are in the original English or any translations of the original. However, readers are welcomed to request additional copies for distribution to their friends and relatives, and so share in the ministry of reaching out to others with Christian literature. Readers are also encouraged to share the FISHERS web-site address www.fishersmagazine.net freely with their friends and relatives.
8. Can you give permission to translate your articles for publication in my church newsletter, etc?
Ans: As in (7) above
9. Will you have children’s material and literature in FISHERS?
Ans: FISHERS is targeted at English-speaking students and adults. If the Lord so leads, we may include literature for younger children.
10. How do I send cash contributions?
Ans: Please do not send cash. Send Postal/Money Order or Cheque (for Singapore readers only) made to: The ‘Fisherman of Christ’ Fellowship Ltd. – The Fishers. Kindly include your name and address if you require a receipt to be sent to you. We would like to inform our Malaysian readers that presently, we can only accept cashiers’ order in Singapore currency.