All great revivals in the history of humanity have been started and sustained by young people, said Kong Hee to the youth of CHC at the second Emerge Night of 2014.
On Apr. 11, there was a sense of excitement as the City Harvest Church youth made their way to the main auditorium at the church’s Jurong West premise for the Emerge Night.
The worship team kicked off the meeting with an electrifying time of praise. By the time the first worship song came on, the tangible presence of God had saturated the entire hall. Kong Hee, senior pastor of CHC, opened his message with a proposition to the youth that Jesus loves to work among young people. To illustrate this point, Kong asked for two volunteers aged 33 and 16. Kong pointed out that Jesus was 33 when he asked the 16-year-old disciple John (who eventually became the Apostle of love) to follow Him. Kong gestured to the two volunteers to role-play a scene where Jesus asked John to “follow Him” on a journey to change the world together. It was a comical yet impactful illustration as many of the audience were teens and young adults.
Kong began to recount several experiences he had had with God in his younger days. When he was 22, he had an encounter with God that changed the course of his life forever. God said to him, “Kong, I want you to prepare yourself, because I’m going to use you to rise up a mighty generation that will take Asian by storm.” Shortly after, Kong was invited to Anglican High School where he started a mighty revival and led more than 400 students to receive Christ. What followed was a massive campus revival causing many other schools to be impacted too.
A few years later, Kong felt led to be a missionary in the Philippines. He traveled all over the Philippines preaching the Gospel, planting churches, holding evangelistic meetings, and healing the sick. He did all of this with just a guitar, a backpack filled with Bibles, and 20 dollars in his pocket. Kong thought that he would live in the Philippines for the rest of his life. However, God called him back to Singapore. Kong obeyed God and in 1989 CHC was born. The young church grew from 20 members to 800 within a span of three years.
However, when CHC reached 800 members, the church suddenly stopped growing. Kong recalled how frustrated he was when it seems like no matter what he did, CHC could not get another person saved. Soon, Kong began to doubt God’s call on his life. In 1996, another encounter with God dramatically transformed Kong and his entire ministry. Kong was invited to preach in conference held in Hawaii. He recalled standing at the balcony of his hotel overlooking beautiful Waikiki Beach, and it was there that God spoke vividly to him. Kong said, “It felt like the glory of God descended on a cloud from heaven and filled the entire room.”
God began to speak to him from two verses: Matthew 22:37, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind”; and Matthew 22:39 “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”. The Holy Spirit prompted Kong to read these two verses repeatedly. Through the meditation, Kong had a revelation that Christianity is primarily based on love. Therefore, everything that Christians do must done out of love for God and His people. This gave rise to a statement that would become the core of CHC’s belief: loving God wholeheartedly and loving people fervently. Kong explained that Christians can demonstrate their love for God by loving the lost. He said Jesus love the world so much that He came to die for them; that is why believers must do their best to share the good news.
The senior pastor taught the youth that passion without compassion and action will eventually kill a revival—it is thus important that they keep loving people and doing good. Kong closed the meeting by saying that soul-winning is the primary calling of all Christians. He quoted from John 3:16, reminding the audience that God loved the world so deeply that He was willing to give His only Son to die on the cross for all our sins.
“How do we push back the darkness?” Kong asked his young audience. “We push back the darkness by getting someone saved. Jesus is the light of the world, and every time someone gives their heart to Christ, the land gets a little brighter.”
Emerge Night ended with the senior pastor reminding the crowd that Jesus loves working among young people. Kong promised the youths that God will use them mightily if they are willing to be a yielded vessel for the Lord.
The young ones left the meeting that night with a reignited sense of purpose to win the lost, and with a deep desire to see massive revival sweeping across Singapore. Lim Siyi, 17, a student, was so inspired by the message that she could not wait to go to her new campus to win the lost for Christ. Melissa Tay, 24, a marketing executive, was deeply impacted by how CHC took the love of Christ beyond the four walls of the church to win an entire generation for Christ. “I now have a deep passion to see the lost coming to Christ,” she said.