At the recent Youth Meeting on March 15, a clarion call was sounded for the next generation to pick up the baton.
The birth of City Harvest Church in 1989 is nothing short of a miracle. Together with 20 young people, Kong, who was 25 years old and the only working adult at that time, started a ministry that was to impact thousands in Asia and beyond. With no prior pastoral experience, Kong heeded the call of God, armed with just his faith and a strong vision. Together, this group of pioneers devoted their lives to serve God in the prime of their youth.
Twenty years later, CHC’s name has grown to become synonymous with vibrant youthfulness, positive faith attitudes and a can-do spirit. These aspects have always been distinct throughout CHC’s 20-year history. But as the church grows older, there is the need for the older generation to hand over the mantle to the next generation so the legacy of CHC can continue for years to come.
This message could not have been more aptly conveyed at a recent youth meeting on March 15. Held at the Singapore Expo Hall 1, it was an evening of inspiration, reflection and encouragement for those who came. Although the church has held many successful youth conferences before, this evening was different—it was an intimate gathering and Kong shared his heart and exhorted the youth of the church to rise up and serve God.
The service was punctuated with performances and testimonies of young people, from those serving on the worship team, to the Indonesian rap group, Disciples, to the testimonies from the “Seven Youth Wonders” in CHC—a showcase of seven individuals below 25 who have made a significant impact in the seven marketplace pillars of society (see CHC’s 7 Youth Wonders).
The congregation heard the testimony of a pioneer of the church, Chia Ting Ting. At the age of 22, started Chinese Church in CHC and did Chinese interpretation for services up to a crowd of 10,000 people at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. She was also licensed as a service pastor at that time.
In his sermon that followed, Kong preached out of Judges 13 on the life of Samson. He likened Samson to a typeset of the church in the last days, and the kind of youth that would change his generation and the world for God. He then talked about his concern for the future of CHC.
The current youth population stands at 19 percent of CHC’s congregation, with an average age of 28. This is a stark increase in median age, compared to the early days of the church. Kong illustrated his point by getting men aged between 24 and 26 to stand to their feet, as well as women aged between 18 to 24. He pointed out that in this crowd, two of them could be CHC’s next senior pastor and his wife.
He reiterated that age should not limit one’s ability to serve God. And using the example of Samson, he shared the “4 Cs” (see 4 C’s Of A World Changer) that young people should observe in order grow to become world shakers and history makers.
Alicia Leo, 18, a Nanyang Polytechnic student, was deeply impressed with the testimonies. “Hearing the stories of the pioneers showed me that even though we are of a young age, we can do a lot for God. And, with God, all things are possible.”
At the end of the service, an altar call was given for those who had a desire to enter full-time ministry, and another for those who wanted to grow in their commitment to God. Hundreds filled the aisles, many with tears in their eyes.
Ang Xin Yee, 13, a secondary school student, felt strengthened in her faith after the meeting. She is confident that she will enter full-time ministry in the years to come, and believes that she can dream bigger dreams for God.
“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” So reads 1 Timothy 4:12. It is time for this generation of youth to rise up and bring CHC to greater heights.
THE 4 C’s OF A WORLD-CHANGER
Consecration. Samson knew his calling. We need to be mindful of the destiny God has over our lives and to continually long for His anointing. We need to love and to dedicate ourselves to prayer and the Word of God. We need to be people who will for breakthroughs even in a time of peace.
Campus Ministry. Samson used 300 foxes to defeat the Philistines. Likewise, we need to be like “foxes”: people who can hear clearly from God, who are resourceful and attractive. Most importantly, we need to be discerning and sensitive to the Holy Spirit, being spiritually alive. As we are touched by the fire of God, our hearts will be knit together in unity, no matter how fiercely individual we are.
Contemporary. Samson killed 1,000 men with the fresh jawbone of a donkey. This tells us that we need to always be creative in the things that we do, and be relevant to our society today. The key to being contemporary lies in being continually filled and anointed by the Holy Spirit.
Committed to the Calling. The length of Samson’s hair represented his commitment to God. Once it was cut off, he lost his strength, and his eyes were gouged out by the Philistines. We need to stay committed to God so that we will never lose sight of the vision He has given to us.