With his distinctive American accent and edgy dress sense, many of us remember Pastor Wayne Chang from Hsien Tien Covenant Church. As pastor of one of the most vibrant, exciting and fastest growing youth ministries in Taiwan, his present persona belies the conservative background that he came from.
2002 marked a dramatic breakthrough in his life as he left Taiwan and came to Singapore with his wife Angel to enrol into the School of Theology (SOT) of City Harvest Church. He says, “It all started when Rev. Kong Hee came to Taiwan in 2001 to hold a conference. When I saw what CHC was doing, I was hooked.” Having a desire to influence the young people in his city and to “raise up a new generation that will take Asia by storm”, Pastor Wayne started his journey in SOT.
There were challenges awaiting them in Singapore, but on hindsight, he said it was all worth it. He recalls, “Because Angel and I served in the hospitality ministry, we had up close and personal chances to meet Pastor Kong and the staff. Each Friday, we would go in the room at 4pm and not leave until 1am. But we loved every moment of it”.
He reminisces, “I really miss the services. I miss Pastor Kong’s messages. I miss the fellowship between all the pastors. I miss the praise and worship. I miss the conferences.”
Seven years later, the fruits of his labour are evident. Today, Pastor Wayne’s youth ministry have grown from 150 to 510. His members remarked to him, saying coming to church “almost feels like attending a live game show where there’s games, videos, drama, and more.”
Yet, more than changing the climate of his church, Pastor Wayne begun influencing his city as he adopted City Harvest’s vision of a “Church Without Walls”. Besides reaching out to many underprivileged families in his community, he also taught his members that it is better to give than to receive.
To those that are considering enrolling into SOT, he has only this to say “Do it. It will change your life. It is worth the time. You will have the time of your life.”