Volunteers show that serving others comes from the heart.
|CN PHOTO: Desmond Tan|
A serving heart makes all the difference in the Hospitality Ministry in City Harvest Church. Over the years, many overseas guests and friends of CHC have been privy to the stellar work attitudes of the CHC Hospitality Ministry volunteers as they strive to make guests feel comfortable and “at home” when they are in Singapore.
Being hospitable is a gift; it involves serving the needs of others and a desire to help, welcome, host people or make them feel “at home.” The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Romans, exhorted them to demonstrate love to all man and to be “given to hospitality.” This people-oriented ministry aims to exemplify just that.
At this year’s Church Growth International And Asia Conference 2010 organized by CHC in May, the hospitality staff and volunteers helped to host and arrange the schedules for more than 250 individual guests. They had to oversee areas such as flight and accommodation reservations, airport pickups, catering, and driving arrangements for each visitor.
As the conference was a week-long affair, early planning, efficiency, teamwork and sheer hard work contributed to the success of the conference and the comfort of the many guests. Their efforts did not go unnoticed. The church office received an e-mail from a Hong Kong couple who praised the team for their “high quality hospitality” and how much they “felt at home” during the event. A pastor from The Vine Church also e-mailed to express his gratitude to the CHC hospitality department, mentioning in his e-mail that the hospitality and favor he and his church delegation were shown was “amazing.”
At the helm of this ministry is Yong Te-Chong, a pastor in CHC. To Yong, serving comes from the heart and is not dependent on hierarchy. As such, he never fails to emphasize the importance of smiling and having a willing heart when meeting guests or pastors. He also reminds his ministry members to maintain a positive attitude at all times, even if the schedule may have last minute changes resulting in some inconveniences.
The ministry not only assists visiting preachers and performers; it also caters to the needs of visitors who are in CHC for other reasons.
For example, the ministry helped to welcome the delegation from the Haggai Institute when they were in CHC for a study visit and arranged to meet and greet them at one of the weekend services at the Singapore Expo. On another occasion, the Korean Navy approached the church via e-mail to ask for a small room to conduct a chapel session for their crew. In both instances, the hospitality staff helped to ensure the guest’s requests were adequately met. In the latter event, CHC also organized a building tour of the Jurong West premises for these first-time visitors.
Apart from serving people, part of this ministry also involves taking care of the guest and artiste rooms located at both worship premises at the Singapore Expo and Jurong West. This means making sure the rooms are always clean, there is sufficient supply of water, hot beverages, and snacks for the room users, and that one should be prepared to serve if the need arises. To summarize, this ministry is all about taking care of the house of God, like how one would take care of one’s home.
So if you love hosting people from different walks of life and enjoy taking care of the house of God, this ministry is definitely for you!
To join this ministry as a volunteer or a host driver, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Hospitality 101: Be Our Guest
On Oct. 15, CHC Singapore’s hospitality department conducted a training session for 10 members of CHC (Kuala Lumpur). The trip was arranged as “part of a ministry development program for our hospitality members this year,” explained Shirley Boon, 29, a full-time staff in CHCKL, who led the group from Malaysia.
Boon and her team were in Singapore for two days to learn the operational and organizational aspects of the ministry in order to prepare themselves for the move to their new church premises in 2011.
CHC’s hospitality pastor, Yong Te-Chong and three other staff conducted the training session and covered practical topics such as guest room etiquette, working within a budget, and how to manage transport and hotel bookings for the church’s foreign guests.
The training lasted slightly over three hours and was held at the church’s corporate office at Suntec City. A time of interaction also allowed the visitors to ask further questions about the workings of the ministry. Part of the trip’s itinerary included a visit to the guestrooms located at CHC’s two worship venues at the Singapore Expo and Jurong West Street 91 so the visitors could see how the team operates on a given weekend.
Sarah Ho, 28, who is part of the hospitality team at CHCKL, recounted the trip as “a very insightful and great learning experience.”
Boon added, “I’ve learned a lot from the team in Singapore and captured not just their passion in serving others but also the spirit of excellence!”