Since it was founded with a mere 20 people on Jul. 7, 2001, CHCKL has skyrocketed to an average weekly attendance of 1,400 in 2009. That is an impressive 70 percent increase, year-on-year.
When quizzed on his church’s secret to growth, Kevin Loo, the church’s senior pastor, attributed its development to the anointing for growth that was imparted from his mentor, Kong Hee.
Loo said, “Honestly, the secret is to be submissive to God and to the leader over my life. When we first started, I didn’t know anything. I didn’t even know what spiritual covering was. But I decided to obey and to be submissive to Kong even though I did not understand why he wanted me to do certain things. Since then, I have closely followed whatever he tells me to do.”
Loo became a Christian in 1987 at the age of 12 and entered into full-time ministry in 1992. His relationship with CHC started in 1997 when he enrolled into the School of Theology. It was there that Loo received his theological education and developed a heart for the lost.
This heart for the unsaved was quickly translated into a passion for revival in Malaysia, and Loo decided to answer the call of God to start the church in 2001. Under Kong’s mentorship, Loo learned how to overcome the various challenges of pioneering a young church.
Their mission was to build a strong Bible-believing, Spirit-filled city church where the cultural mandate is realized.Every member is trained to love God with passion according to the Great Commandment and equipped to love people with compassion to fulfill the Great Commission. Its vision for 2010 is to reach 2,000 in average weekly attendance.
In order to realize the vision, the church employs different strategies, from cell group level to church level. For instance, just this year, the church introduced a new ministry called “6 Degrees” to connect all the new friends and enrich them at the same time. “6 Degrees” organizes various life workshops for friends where they will learn how to bake cupcakes, style their hair and put on make-up. They even get to participate in a mini football league. This way, the church can have an avenue to build strong bonds with all their new friends and properly integrate them.
In 2004 the then 180-strong church spent RM1 million (S$412,000) to move into their current venue. Having outgrown that place, the church bought a piece of land totaling 10,200sqm in 2007. Construction is underway for a commercial tower that will include a hair salon, a café and even an old-fashioned chapel for weddings on the rooftop.
Beside this tower, there will be a contemporary auditorium and an area dedicated for recreation, with a gym, swimming pool, futsal pitch and children’s playground. Loo’s vision is for the church to be an attractive place where people would want to be seven days a week. The entire project will cost around RM25 million (S$10.3 million) and the new premises is slated to be ready by August 2010. Kong is scheduled to dedicate the new building during the church’s Emerge Youth Conference in September.
Far from being reclusive, the members do their part to engage the Malaysian community at large. The church has partnerships with companies like Toni & Guy to organize hair shows and fashion shows.
In order to promote volunteerism and serve the needs of the community better, CHCKL started Community Care in 2009. At the moment, the church has close to 300 volunteers serving different homes on a monthly basis. This year, the church is also planning to organize holiday trips of a different nature: volunteers will do their part for the overseas community, like refurbishing an orphanage.
In recognition for his achievements, Loo was also named as one of the Outstanding Young Persons of Sabah in 2009, in the Moral and Religious Leadership category.
|CN PHOTOS: Andrew Teoh and Bernard Yeo|
Being a church in a predominantly non-Christian country has its challenges. It is still not officially recognized as a religious institution. Thus, certain things like owning of properties can get a little complicated.
With regards to the recent spat between several religious factions, Loo said, “The recent incident was an isolated case. We do not know who instigated it and for what purpose. However, as believers, we know we have the right to profess our faith. We have confidence in our government that they will make the right decision.”
He added, “My stand is always to pray for our government and our leaders. They need wisdom from God to run this nation well.”
Loo is married to Esther Ku who is the church’s creative director. They have a two year-old son, Eitan.