This weekend is City Harvest Church’s 23rd anniversary—what more fitting occasion to celebrate the presence and power of God.
By Kong Hee
City Harvest’s worship services are the highlight of the week for many, including myself. Some come weary after six tiring days of work, and look forward to receiving renewed strength in the presence of God on the Sabbath. Others are excited to bring their friends and family, to share with them the experience of what CHC is all about. At the center of it all, I believe that we all come to church to fulfill a searching that resonates within each of our hearts … a deep desire to encounter Jesus.
But that encounter can only take place in the right kind of atmosphere.
This is why at City Harvest, we have always sought to build a spiritual atmosphere of faith and purity; to create an air of expectancy that is conducive for God to freely move. We want an atmosphere in which hearts can be deeply touched and needs are powerfully met.
This is even more significant on a weekend like this one, as we commemorate the great things that God has done for us these 23 years, remembering His goodness and faithfulness in our individual lives as well as in the corporate existence of our church.
What has made our church service different from any other social club gathering through all the years of our existence? Our church service contains a spiritual atmosphere that carries the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. And where His presence is, there will be revelation, impartation and transformation. Where His anointing is, there will be healing, cleansing and deliverance. And most importantly, where God’s heart is, there will be grace given for the lost and backslidden to find their way back to Him.
To attain this spiritual atmosphere, we must first understand that God responds directly to our faith and love for His presence. Here are four simple steps that we need to take in order to usher in the presence of the Holy Spirit:
“And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” In Acts 4:31, when the disciples of Jesus gathered in the upper room to pray, the Holy Spirit’s presence came down mightily upon them. It is still the same for us today. When believers come together corporately in prayer, we work together to create an atmosphere that is tangibly charged with the power of God. This kind of environment allows the Spirit of God to move freely in miracles, signs and wonders.
“But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel,” states Psalms 22:3. The act of praise is a declaration of faith that creates a throne for Jesus to sit on. Singing, clapping, lifting of hands and making a joyful noise are all very spiritual actions that affect the atmosphere of our church services. Don’t skip the praise and worship and just come for the preaching of the Word. Make the effort to praise Him regardless of your schedule or situation. The Bible tells us to “continually” offer up the sacrifice of praise (Heb. 13:15); not only when we feel like it or when it is convenient for us. I believe that when we choose to praise Him, we effectively invite God into every area of our lives to do His perfect will.
In John 1:1 we read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Bible says that God and His Word are one. We cannot love God more than we love His Word. We cannot know God if we don’t know His Word. The Bible tells us that when we hunger and thirst for more of Him, we shall be filled (Matt. 5:6). When there is a deep desire to understand God more through His Word, He will fill us with His Spirit. And when we come together as a church to hunger and thirst after more of God, we create a spiritual atmosphere that welcomes His presence and anointing into our midst.
The Bible says in Matthew 18:19-20, “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” For the Holy Spirit to be present, there must be a unity of heart and of vision. As members of City Harvest, we must be like-minded—having one love, one mind and one purpose. Unity ushers in the presence of God!
In this season, more than ever before, I believe that CHC has embarked on a collective goal of building a strong spiritual atmosphere through Prayer, Praise, Hunger and Unity. Not only have we started our “Prayer 365” campaign, where City Harvest members take turns to pray all day, every day, for a whole year, our creative team has also been writing some of our most earnest songs of worship that represent our heartbeat and voice. Our members have shown a deeper desire to know more about God and to understand His ways and plans for our future, and through both good times and bad, we have consistently stood united in purpose—to love God wholeheartedly and people fervently.
City Harvest, both Sun and I are humbled and thankful to be a part of this awesome church. Just like our anniversary theme verse Matthew 18:20 states, let’s keep believing that when we gather in Jesus’ name, and as His people, we will create the perfect atmosphere for His kingdom to come and His will to be done!
Anniversary Wishes From Our Guest Pastors
Christian City Church, Sydney, Australia
Congratulations, City Harvest Church on 23 years of magnificent service to our Almighty God and to Jesus Christ the Lord of the Church.
Ever since I have been associated with City Harvest Church and Pastor Kong and Sun, I have never ceased to be inspired and enthused by the devotion, excellence, hospitality, generosity, fire and passion for Jesus.
This church has been an inspiration to thousands of pastors and churches around the world. It is such a pleasure for my wife Chris and I every time we’re in City Harvest, to fellowship with the great congregation, with the leadership team and with Pastor Kong and Sun.
In spite of enormous challenges, the church has always remained strong, healthy, and powerful as it moves into her future which I have no doubt is absolutely glorious. God has enormous plans, wonderful plans, and blessed plans for City Harvest Church as she moves into her future. God Himself will shepherd and guide and care for the entire congregation and associated churches to continue this great move of God in the world today.
Once again City Harvest, you’re amazing! Congratulations on 23 awesome years.
Jakarta Praise Community Church, Jakarta, Indonesia
Congratulations, City Harvest Church on your 23rd anniversary.
Pastor Kong Hee, together with the leaders of the church have been faithful friends to me personally and have been a great encouragement on our journey. I cherish every moment of their friendship and generosity.
It takes very little effort to see the indelible impact that your church has made in Indonesia and throughout Southeast Asia. We continually thank God for your labor of love through all these years.
I encourage you to continue to fix your eyes on Jesus and all that He has done to and through you. There are times when challenges tend to distract us from the incredible things that God has done; and also from the hope of beautiful things He has prepared.
By faith and with courage, let’s continue to celebrate the goodness of our God! A life full of thanksgiving will never fail to pave a way to miracles that Jesus has in store for us.
Happy anniversary, City Harvest Church!
Abundant Life Church, Bradford, UK
Congratulations to my good friends Pastor Kong Hee and Sun on the 23rd anniversary of CHC! What an amazing church you and your team have built, you have come such a long way in this short time and the best is yet to come!
Love, respect and admire you and am blessed to call you friends.
The vision you have to build a radical 21st century church mandated for cultural relevance in order to connect with a lost world is awesome.
Many thousands are and will be reached, who otherwise would never have been reached, had you not created an outward-looking, culturally in-touch church. Our church and many more churches in the UK and Europe are greatly inspired by your example and we pray God’s richest blessing upon you for the future.
May goodness and mercy follow you and health, peace and prosperity overtake you in this next exciting season for the CHC family.
New Life Church, Taipei, Taiwan
「23」这个特别的数字是「10＋10＋3」。 「3」乃三位一体的神，「10」乃十全十美，第二个「10」乃另一个十全十美。但愿那三位一体的神带领你们，进入第三个十全十美—更丰盛、更属灵、更完全教会的领域。在这个关键的时刻，恳求那位造天造地的主亲自坚固你们、保护你们，赐给你们平安。 我想用诗篇125：1-2来祝福你们：「倚靠耶和华的人，好像锡安山，永不动摇。众山怎样围绕耶路撒冷，耶和华也照样围绕他的百姓、从今时直到永远」。