A graduating student from the Lionsgate Leadership and Missions Institute shares the highlights of his experience so far.
By Yong Yung Shin
City Harvest Church member Jeronn Loong, 29, is among the first batch of graduating students from the Lionsgate Leadership and Missions Institute in Sacramento, USA. He enrolled in August 2011, right after graduating from CHC’s School Of Theology. Back in Singapore for a few days before commencing on his six-month mission internship in Ohio, Loong, who also holds a degree in accounting and finance shares his experience with City News.
What made you decide to go all the way to Sacramento to study at Lionsgate?
It was the hunger for more of God. When I was studying in the School Of Theology, my vision for what God was calling me to do was refined. However, it wasn’t yet crystal clear. The thrust of Lionsgate—a balanced focus on Biblical training and practical ministry experience, witnessed to my spirit, so I signed up, knowing that this step of faith will sharpen that vision.
How different is Lionsgate from CHC’s SOT, and how have you benefited from it?
At SOT, I benefited from having a grounded foundation in theology and servanthood. Lionsgate is more of a spiritual school with an academic focus on the “Cultural Mandate” and world missions. I believe this combination really is a reflection of Pastor Kong and Sun’s vision.
At Lionsgate, I’ve benefited from the direct discipleship and impartations from the leadership and faculty. There is a strong emphasis on community and collaboration. There are three key phases at Lionsgate, namely, to heal wounds and generational curses, to reshape our understanding in this new era of post-modern missions, and to release us into the mission field of the seven pillars of culture.
I’ve also learned how to cultivate a deeper devotional life, engage in spiritual warfare and do deliverance. Most of all, I have benefited from knowing who I am in Christ and His delegated authority in me.
What are some topics covered in LLMI?
The topics covered include Faith, Finance (personal and business), Prayer Strategies, Progressive Theology, Worship Arts and Outreach, Business, Ministry and Personal Administration, Communication, Etiquette and Protocols, Leadership and Team Dynamics, Missions as well as Relationship Dynamics.
There were also many impartation sessions from speakers like Pastor Kong Hee, Pastor Derek Dunn, Pastor Les Bowling, Pastor John Bevere, Prophetess Shirley Bridwell and Pastor John Carrette.
What is a typical day like for an LLMI student?
My day begins with devotion at home prior to morning duties at school. Morning prayers will begin at 8:30 a.m. for half an hour. There will be four hours of classroom lessons or practical sessions, which include direct impartation and team projects.
Class is dismissed at 1 p.m. and we assist in cleaning, hospitality, as well as setting up and tearing down for the music area. Students are then grouped into mission teams, and each group must plan and implement an outreach to the local community each month.
In the afternoon, we would spend some time fellowshipping and praying, and study and work on projects in groups. Once a week in the evening, we would have a chapel service.
What were some of your most memorable experiences at Lionsgate?
Once, when Pastor John Carrette preached about grace and and Tarah Carrette was flowing in worship, it really impacted me and shook my worldview of how freely we can live our lives in Christ for others. At the same time, being immersed in free-flowing worship took my relationship with Jesus to the next level. Another standout moment was the time Pastor Troy and Pastor Vince prayed for me to release my gift of faith, word of wisdom and word of knowledge.
With the school’s emphasis on Spirit life and sound theology, we also had many encounters in the Holy Spirit.
Another memorable experience was a team leadership-building outing we had at an obstacle course made of ropes. Through traversing the course, we were able to see our strengths and weakness, things that we would not have discovered in a classroom setting.
A mission trip we took to Mexico also helped us appreciate the importance of the sustainability of a mission project—an outreach must empower people instead of giving them a one-off handout. So what we did was to design and build a chicken farm, and provide practical business advice to non-profit organizations running drug rehabilitation programs.
What has been your greatest takeaway from Lionsgate?
It has enlarged my vision of how businesses are able to impact the world through the Cultural Mandate; that everyone has a role to play in the conglomerate body of Christ, between families, churches, businesses and governments.
One thing I’m sure—my walk with Christ has never been the same again after Lionsgate.
So what’s next for you?
I will be coming back to Singapore for a week and then head out to my assigned mission field in Ohio for six months. I am looking forward to being attached to Eagle Rock Church and interning with some of its business leaders led by Pastor Les Bowling. We will graduate after the mission internship ends in August this year.
After that, I plan to enter the media and entertainment industry doing video production, while continuing to serve in CHC’s choir ministry, and I hope to get involved in visual communications for CHC as well. At the same time, I’m looking forward to being discipled in church-planting and the American paradigm of business.
Log on to www.lionsgateinfo.org for more information.