City Harvest Church members give praise to God through social media.
Contributed By Terence JR Lee
Three decades after “Video Killed the Radio Star,” organizations of all kinds are finding it necessary to keep ahead of the social media curve to stay ahead. For the two-week dedication of its new worship premises at Suntec Singapore, City Harvest Church used the micro-blogging tool, Twitter, to celebrate the move and show appreciation to those who labored behind the scenes to make the move possible.
On March 15, the church’s official Twitter account, @chcsg, suggested that worshippers send their wishes to CHC via Twitter, using the topic tag, #anewday or #chcsg. Worshippers immediately responded with messages of anticipation and appreciation. For instance, cell group W453 tweeted, “Suntec was where we multiplied our cell group. We love #anewday #chcsg.”
On the second weekend, ushers and other helpers wore blue shirts with the slogan “Praise Him with your Tweets” to encourage the congregation to use social media to praise and glorify God. Twitterers channeled their words of appreciation to the church workers who labored to set up the hall in time for the opening services. Tweets were then displayed on the LED screens before and after the service.
Churchgoer and Twitter user lildrummergie said, “Standin in Your house, I’m reminded again of Your initial callin in my life. Humbled n in awe of Your work in my life.” Fellow Tweeter k00kie1 thanked the church workers, saying, “Thank you for all the volunteers of making our service in Suntec such a success!! Love u all!!”
CONNECTING THE CHURCH
CHC has pioneered the use of technology to disseminate information to its congregation. This use of Twitter is not CHC’s first: similar efforts were seen at the 2010 Asia Conference as well as its 20th anniversary services. Furthermore, churchgoers can now inquire about car parking availability by calling an automated system (6722 9225)—a new initiative that was implemented on the second week of its move to Suntec Singapore.
CHC was an early adopter of social media and set up the church’s Twitter account in April 2009 using the ID @chcsg. According to deputy executive pastor, Aries Zulkarnain, social media is an important tool to connect with the congregation especially in this age of technology.
“Twitter allows members to feel closer to the church and stay abreast of all the various happenings in the church on a daily basis. It also allows information to be shared in a personal and interactive way. ”
Overseas members have found the use of new media very helpful to keep in contact with the church. Member Kenneth Tan, who is currently studying in Perth, Australia, calls CHC’s online webcasts every weekend “the next best thing to being at the place I call home, City Harvest Church.”
As a medical student in Moscow, Dalvinder Singh would gather his cell group of students to watch these webcasts of CHC’s weekend services.
Founder and senior pastor, Kong Hee, maintains a website and a blog where he posts biblical teachings on a variety of topics, for example, “The Power of Fasting,” and “Gratitude.” He also has a podcast and a video cast.
The enthusiastic Tweeting of CHC members last weekend made #chcsg a top tag that week.
After The Rain
“Double Rainbows” were seen all over the island last Sunday, March 27. The sight drove Singaporeans to upload pictures of it on Twitter and Facebook, such as the ones above by Francesca Soh (top) and Francis Lim. The rainbow served as a reminder to Christians of God’s faithfulness as a covenant-keeping God, as laid out in Genesis 9:12-13, when “God said … I set my rainbow in the clouds and it shall be a sign of the Covenant between me and the earth.”