An army of 3,500 men heeded the clarion call to City Harvest Church’s premises at 1, Jurong West St 91, on Friday night, 27 March.
This gathering of men was indeed a call to war, being the first of two Men’s meetings in 2009, marching under the banner of “Men United, Together Stronger”. The hiatus of five years in City Harvest Church’s annual men’s meetings only served to create five times the explosive energy in this room full of men.
The meeting opened with three macho competitions: singlet-ripping, a mini Ironman exercise circuit and a karate-style wooden panel smashing.
The contest of brawns concluded with host Aries Zulkiarnan lifting the challenge trophy as contestants from Service 2 (Saturday’s service at Singapore Expo) trounced representatives from the other three services. More than a show of physicality, the meeting dived deep into the spiritual as the Christian City Church (CCC) band led the band of worshipers into a time of hairy praise and worship (and not wimpy and whiny worship, which, as the evening’s main speaker Phil Pringle explained, just isn’t manly).
|PHOTOS: Gary Sim & Alvin Loh|
With the crowd all warmed up, Pringle took the stage and raised King David as an example of a real man, one adept at the harp but also a fearless giant-slayer.
Sharing from the book of Joel, Pringle laid down his fundamental challenge for the evening: To wake up the mighty man within every single male seated in the building. He laid down the premise for the call to arms in how masculinity and manhood within the church has been under siege, suffering the threat of emasculation due to a skewed understanding of Scripture. Pringle worked to reorient the men of City Harvest Church, to enable them to boldly counter problems and awaken the mighty man within, moving from a position of strength to greater strength. Working the fine balance between Godly courage and male chauvinistic bravado, Pringle also reminded the men of their need for accountability and strength.
The meeting left the men of City Harvest burning with a fire in their belly. “Pastor Phil’s sharing was a word in season for me,” said Chew Eng Han. “It stirred up strength in me to face challenges and overcome every single one of them.”