SINGAPORE, 19 NOVEMBER 2008 — Over 250 international pastors and church workers packed a small conference room this afternoon to listen to Kong Hee speak on 10 reasons why church growth is hindered.
The room was so full, there were pastors turned away even before the elective started.
Many were excited, despite the uncomfortable conditions of the conference room.
Ted Fabiyanic, Senior Pastor of City Life Church, Melbourne said, “As a senior pastor, I’m excited to hear what Pastor Kong has to say and his perspective on church growth.”
Kong set the premise of the session by highlighting the importance of building a healthy church, instead of focusing on church growth.
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“Don’t focus on just growing your congregation; focus on identifying the barriers to growth,” he said.
Throughout the session, Kong gave practical advice on how pastors should overcome issues ranging from a dry spiritual atmosphere in church, to legalism and church structure. Using City Harvest Church as his example, he emphasized the message, rather than the method.
“Ultimately, your people are the message. A good church structure can help facilitate growth, but no structure can bring in the growth.”
After his 30-minute presentation, Kong took questions from the floor and shared his personal experiences.
Each pastor City News spoke to were moved by different points of the message.
Japanese pastor Tomo Aki Sakai says, “What Kong said about re-evaluating traditions and not sticking to programs, was very important. My church is very young, so it’s easy to apply everything that was taught, to my people. But there are many traditional churches in Japan, and I’m going to share what I’ve learned with my friends and other churches.”
South American pastor Cecil Pollydore agrees. The pastor of a church in Beijing’s Central Business District is ready to bring the word back to his congregation.
“It’s important that we not just be mere hearers of the word but doers. Kong has identified very practical tools for those of us who are ministers. So the responsibility is on us to go from here and to begin to review what we’ve been doing and to see how some of what he has shared might be applicable to growing our churches in the future.”