How God led Amos Ang and 22 City Harvest youth to create the song and video, “The Greatest Place”.
By Peter Hua
If there was one pivotal moment throughout the immensely energetic and exciting Emerge Conference that took place from July 27 to 29, it was the moving video tribute a group of young people presented to their senior pastor, Kong Hee.
Twenty-three young people came together to convey their love and support through the song, which tells of how they found a home in City Harvest Church and how Kong inspired them to be world-changers and history-makers.
The song, titled “The Greatest Place”, was written by Amos Ang, a 21-year-old fulltime National Serviceman in a bid to encourage the church.
The tribute opened with a professionally-produced four-and-a-half minute music video featuring the 23 youth—marking the number of years CHC has been in existence—before it segued into a live performance and Ang’s testimony.
There were few dry eyes in the congregation. The tribute was particularly touching in view of the fact that Kong himself was just a youth when he founded City Harvest Church, and that over the last 23 years, God has blessed many generations of young people in CHC.
“This concept was birthed forth during a bus journey. I was with my girlfriend, and she said that it would be brilliant if we could do more (for Pastor Kong) than just pray,” Ang says, adding that he found himself “positively provoked” to do more.
“I was once given the honor by Pastor Edmund (Tay) to perform for Pastor Kong at the iRenew Adults’ Retreat in Malaysia,” Ang shares. “I was told to perform any song, but since I was given this opportunity, I decided to specially write a song for Pastor Kong.” That was the seed for “The Greatest Place”—Ang adopted some of the lyrics of his earlier song for this tribute.
Ang says the song had two objectives: to encourage Kong and to encourage the church.
The lyrics declare Kong is “a world changer and history maker,” while revitalizing the congregation with a call to unite: “In this time we will stand stronger. Hand in hand we will climb higher. No matter how far we are. We will always keep on crossing over.”
Bringing his vision to pass seemed impossible. “I had in mind youths assembling in harmony, with the feel of Michael Jackson’s “We Are The World”. We were to be one voice,” Ang explains.
It was a divine connection when he was introduced to Eric Wong, a music producer at United Records. The pieces of the puzzle began to fit together.
Embarking a project of such scale came with its requisite challenges. “We had about a month to do this, which included finalizing the song and finding 22 other like-minded young people,” recalls Ang. One of his co-laborers turned out to be his brother Adam.
Ang says that he received this vision for the video just before the second court mentions for the case. “While we were picking church members with vocal skills, we also wanted them to be strong in God and in the vision. Vision is primary.” The search began across the different youth zones and cell groups in CHC.
“The toughest part in this production was to craft its lyrics; there were several revisions to it,” says Ang. “We had to consider how others would perceive this. Of course, when we refer Pastor Kong as ‘the greatest man’, we’re absolutely not idolizing him. It’s like saying ‘Dad, you’re the greatest dad’. Likewise, we’re encouraging our spiritual leader. Nonetheless, we tried our best to minimize controversies while optimizing the song’s essence and message.”
The fruit of the youths’ labor was being on stage and showing the video to Kong, Sun and the congregation. Ang shared his personal testimony.
“It was an unforgettable time on stage,” says Ang. “By the grace of God, I could share despite the overwhelming magnitude of the experience. The truth is, it was hard holding back my emotions and talking at the same time. I felt very sentimental looking at Pastor Kong and Sun while sharing my testimony. I hope the members were moved and encouraged.”
Ang says “The Greatest Place” was all in the plan of God. This effort was testament to all that the youth had learned and experienced over years in CHC.
“The dreams and visions God has given you, don’t hesitate to run after them. If it is from God, His plan has been divinely lined out for you. Sometimes, all we need to do is obey and follow,” says Ang.