Arise & Build is more than the building of a physical structure; it is about building lives. These City Harvest members bear witness that when we build God’s house, He will build ours.
By Lau Quanhan
To the uninitiated, Arise & Build may seem to be no more than a building fund campaign, raising money to pay for a physical structure. While the “hardware” of a church is important, for City Harvest Church, whose motto for this season is “My Church, My Life”, it is the “software” that is far more important.
When Kong Hee, senior pastor of City Harvest Church preached about Arise & Build on the first weekend of Nov. 2011, he shared that the church was really building for “LIFE”, an acronym for love, intercession, family and eternity and encounters. The church understood that Suntec Singapore is not just a venue, but also a spiritual home where “in-reach” (members connecting with members) and outreach (members connecting with the unchurched) takes place, where mountain-moving prayers are prayed, where lives are transformed. CHC is a spiritual home for many members, the place they found God, experienced transformation in their lives and now live for the Lord. This season, Arise & Build echoed the call in 1 Peter 2:5 (GNB): “Come as living stones, and let yourselves be used in building the spiritual temple…” The call is not just to build the house of God, but through that process, to have one’s own life built up as well.
In November, CHC members pledged their faith amounts over four months—the Arise & Build season culminates at the end of February.
In the words of Kong, “we can never out-give God”—some members, such the ones below, have already experienced the goodness of God in their lives during this season of giving.
Sharon Tan, 26, calls Arise & Build 2011/12 a time of stretching her boundaries of faith in order to trust God and obey His voice. “When one obeys, the act of obedience ignites greater passion in God and opens a brand new dimension of what it means to live a vision beyond oneself,” she tells City News.
Tan has been faithfully pledging and giving to CHC’s almost-annual Arise & Build campaign since 2003. Last November, she pledged an amount that was 220 percent of one month’s salary. Shortly after making her pledge, Tan received a promotion and a pay increment. Her promotion to marketing communications manager at multinational business solutions company NICE Systems was all the more significant as she had, at that point, worked fewer than 10 months in the company. Her team was awarded Best Support Team in Asia Pacific and Tan was nominated for Best Support Personnel in Asia Pacific at the company’s recent awards.
Jasper and Shirlena Tong, both 37, experienced God’s blessing during the Arise & Build season, weeks after they pledged a faith amount that God had placed in their hearts. As Christians they had always tithed and given their offerings, but mostly of obligation and duty.
Last year they joined City Harvest Church and were moved by God to participate in Arise & Build. God impressed upon them separately to give S$13,000, the largest offering they had ever given in their lives. “Because we love God, we would have fulfilled our pledge even if those blessings did not come,” said Jasper. But the blessings did come.
Shortly after they pledged the amount in obedience, Jasper’s supervisor recommended him for a promotion and he received a three-month performance bonus—all the more amazing given the economic conditions. Shirlena too, received a three-month performance bonus. On top of that, they sold their investment property in January for a 30 percent profit.
For them, an act of simple obedience through a pledge of S$13,000 brought in return the blessing of God amounting to S$190,000. More than the financial blessing, the couple felt that their faith in God had been greatly strengthened.
February is the final month of this season of Arise & Build—the members of City Harvest Church are eager and excited to finish this season strong, and to bear witness to God’s goodness in their lives.