Being a cell group leader is challenging, yet fulfilling. City News speaks to four cell group leaders about their experiences.
|PHOTO COURTESY OF DUNCAN TAN|
I first came to City Harvest Church when I was in Anglican High School. My classmates and I responded to an altar call during a chapel session, and thereafter, I started attending church.
I was a rebellious 13-year-old, constantly in search for the real meaning of life and acceptance from people around me. Friends to me were very important.
Although I was in a good school, there was a lot of bad influence and I almost got involved in gangs. It was through the discipleship and friendship of the church leaders that laid the foundation for many of my life decisions later on. Growing up in church, I naturally progressed to become a cell group leader. Because of the help I received from my leaders, I took an interest in helping others in their walk with God. My greatest satisfaction as a cell group leader is to see members rise up and overcome obstacles in their lives by relying on God.
I remember as a young cell group leader, I would get discouraged when my cell group didn’t grow and worse still, members would backslide even after I had put in time and effort into building relationships with them. But I’ve learned over the years to let God do the work that I can’t do. The church is a family and the kingdom of God is a kingdom built upon relationship. My desire is to help the people under me find their purpose in life and serve God effectively in good time.
If the light of Jesus is lit up in one person and this person in turn shines the light for another, the world will be a better place.
My good friend, Jason Ong invited me to a meeting at the World Trade Centre in 1991 and I have stayed in CHC from then on. I was a happy-go-lucky 17-year-old, one without any purpose or vision in life.
After coming to church, I became passionate for God and was involved in almost every activity the church held, be it camps, outreaches, cell groups, services or Bible studies. It was like I had found a new family. Despite my involvement in the church activities, my grades actually improved. At home, there was more love, as I learned to honor to my parents more.
I learned the importance of relationships through the teachings and examples of the leaders in CHC. I have also learned to treasure family, friendships and relationships more than accomplishments, work or ministry. I still remember what Sun told me—in everything we do, we need to ask ourselves if we have done so in obedience to God. This will guide us to live a meaningful life, pleasing to the Lord.
|PHOTOS COURTESY OF ROY LIM|
Through all these years at CHC, I have been very encouraged to see that each time God speaks a word to our church, it comes to pass. It speaks of God’s faithfulness to His Word, and it also shows that our faith can move mountains even when it’s beyond our abilities.
During my National Service, I punctured my lung during my training and required hospitalization. Pastor Kong and the church prayed for me in a mid-week service. Several church staff and friends also visited and prayed with me. Before the operation, a miracle happened. I was told the X-ray showed my lungs were totally inflated—the puncture was somehow gone. I did not have to go through the operation.
Most of all, I am very thankful especially to Sun for helping my wife and I in our relationship in the early years. Sun spent a lot of time hearing us out and giving us wise counsel. This year is our 10th anniversary and our marriage is stronger than ever. Last year, we were blessed with two beautiful twin girls.
I have been leading cell groups for 14 years now, since 1996. In 2009, when our twin babies arrived, Ling Siang and I decided to take some time off from leading cell groups to concentrate on our family for a while.
We are currently helping out in our pastor’s cell group and taking care of our newborns. In due season, we see ourselves leading cell groups once again. It is a joy to lead a cell group; to see the group grow and multiply, knowing that souls have been saved and that people are experiencing God is what keeps me inspired to serve.
Yu Cui Lin
I joined the church in 1988 during an outing organized by a cell group. That was my first contact with Christians. I was a very shy and introverted girl, with very low self-esteem and zero confidence. I did not believe that I could be used by God in any way. But when I saw how these Christians were so joyful, I remember wanting to join them, to be part of their friendship and family.
My cell group leader kept encouraging me to pray and memorize Bible promises daily to help me overcome my negative thoughts. Gradually, my perception of self began to change and I started to gain more confidence while improving my relationship skills. Eventually, I became a cell group leader myself and at one point was even leading two youth groups.
|PHOTOS COURTESY OF YU CUI LIN|
There was a period of time when I was facing some personal challenges. I was physically and spiritually tired and discouraged. I wanted to quit being a cell group leader. But the Word of God encouraged me. During a service in church, I was touched by the presence of God as He spoke to me about my situation, telling me not to be afraid to commit and serve Him again. I finally responded and started serving God again.
Through all the challenges in life, I have learned that nothing that we go through in life, whether good or bad, is “wasted.” God uses all these experiences to build our character and shape us into the vessel He wants us to be.
At times, we think that we’re going through more than we can bear; but when we are at our lowest, that’s the time to look up to God. As long as we do not give up, we will eventually overcome the challenges and emerge better and stronger. God never gives up hope on us, and neither should we on ourselves. Our choices today determine our future, so we can choose to overcome and move forward.
I’m thankful for all the various leaders over my life who were so patient with me, seeing me beyond what I saw in myself and helping me to become a better and a more confident person.
I visited CHC on May 29, 1993 when I was 19 years old. Being the third daughter in a traditional Chinese family, I always felt that I should have been born a boy. As a result, I struggled with a sense of rejection of who I was as a person.
It was only after I started attending church and got to know more about God and His plans for my life that I began to have a sense of self-worth and a new meaning for my life.
I’ve learned that God doesn’t make mistakes—I was designed for a purpose. When I started serving as a cell group leader, I was very blessed to have a good “shepherd” over my life—Pastor Audrey Ng, who saw beyond my shyness and timidity, and encouraged me to step out with faith and boldness to lead my cell group members. All the things I thought I couldn’t do, I did through the confidence of God, such as song leading, giving Bible study and organizing outings for my members.
|PHOTOS COURTESY OF SOPHIA HO|
As a cell group leader, I acquired skills that came in useful when I went out to the workforce. In 2001, my brother and I entered the Internet marketing business. Starting out was not easy as both of us were not business-trained; we made many mistakes and faced many challenges. Many nights, I wept before God, unloading all the stress I was facing. But God is always faithful. I applied all that I learned as a cell group leader and solved problems relying on God’s wisdom. Today, the company is doing well and we’re seeing a lot of high-profile companies in our clientele.
My husband, Tim, and I have just become parents of a 16-week old boy, Owen. I’ve prayed about it and feel that this is a season in my life to focus on my marriage and my baby. So while I take a break from leading cell groups, being a cell group leader will always be my call, because it brings others closer to God.