Pioneering City Harvest member and spiritual leader Kenneth Sim shares his salvation story and what he envisions for the church in the next 25 years.
The attention and media coverage has died down, but among the volunteers who are still helping to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is City Harvest Church’s missions pastor Kenneth Sim. In recent months, especially, Sim has travelled to the Philippines to help in the disaster relief work CHC started in partnership with local churches.
In line with his work in the mission field, Sim also oversees a zone of about 180 members, and also helps to lead the Healthcare Fellowship Ministry, which aims to provide a support network to healthcare professionals at CHC. Additionally, he teaches at CHC’s overseas School of Theology branches in Bandung, Jakarta and Surabaya in Indonesia, and General Santos in the Philippines. Here, he tells City News how it all started.
As a pioneering member of CHC, can you share with us how you came to receive Christ?
I received Christ as a Secondary Four student in 1986, at a Christmas Service outreach at Marine Parade Christian Center. It was a classmate of mine from Maju Secondary School who brought me, and after receiving salvation, I joined Pastor Kong’s Ekklesia Cell Group.
What were the early years of your Christian walk like? Who are the friends and disciplers who impacted your life and inspired you to be who you are today?
Pastor Kong, Pastor Ming and Pastor Yong are my disciplers and close friends who really helped me to grow in my walk with God. I was discipled through bible studies, prayer meetings, and in fellowship with them. We also served regularly together.
What were one or two lessons you learned from them?
I was very inspired by Pastor Kong. I asked him once, “How do you become a leader?” He replied, “You just need to love the Lord.” From there, I learned to spend a lot of time praying, worshipping and falling in love with God. That was a short piece of advice but it really changed my life, because those times of seeking the Lord were powerful encounters where I felt His call to give my life fully to serve Him.
Can you share about one or two encounters with the Lord that transformed your life?
In 1987, I was a young Christian, and was attending an end-time prophetic meeting. I felt the Lord impress in my heart, an inner voice that asked, “Will you lay down your life for Me?” I told the Lord that I was willing. After this encounter, I pursued God even more, praying for nations, missions and revival.
How did you start serving? When did you receive the call to full-time ministry?
I begin serving as a cell group leader. It was in 1988 when I received the call from God, two years after I received Christ. Pastor Kong recognized the call of God in my life too, and helped to confirm God’s purpose for my life.
I also felt the call to missions, and started doing a lot of mission trips. The church was rapidly growing, and there was a need for more pastoral care, and so I started taking on pastoral duties in the church. Upon release from National Service, I enrolled into the School of Theology as part of its first cohort, and joined the Missions department as a full-time staff member at age 25.
As our church Missions Pastor, you’re at the forefront of CHC’s mandate to change the world for Christ. Can you share from one or two mission trip experiences how you saw God’s power at work which impacted you deeply?
When I was in my second year in SOT, I led a team to India. This trip was unusual because it was our first time there. When our counterparts received us, they were surprised by our youth.
However, after our team preached and moved in the power of the Spirit at the meetings, healings and deliverances took place, and they saw that we had been discipled and trained for ministry, with the power of God backing us up.
Likewise, when I went to the Philippines to preach, God moved mightily in the meetings I was ministering in. I was very encouraged that God could use young people.
Another standout encounter was the humanitarian trip to Banda Aceh after the Dec 2004 tsunami. We reached the disaster scene on Dec. 28—the first international team to arrive, after the tsunami hit on Dec. 26.
The scene was overwhelming. We rushed to the hospital and with Dr. Francis Seow (a fellow CHC member), aided the local doctors in treating thousands of patients. We turned the mayor’s office (which he kindly borrowed us), into a mobile clinic and surgery room so that we could to treat the people.
Even with a small team, we could—by the grace of God—save many lives. Subsequently, CHC has responded to other disasters such as the Sichuan and Haiti earthquakes, and the tsunami in Japan.
How do you balance your pastoral and missions work?
I spend a lot of time in missions work, so I take care of a smaller zone because I do not have much time left for pastoral work. Pastor Kong and Sun will often ask us pastors about God’s leading in our lives. I will share that my heart is for missions, and that I enjoy being in the mission field. At the same time, I also love being with people, and hence feel that pastoral work is a good fit for me.
Outside of ministry, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy football and am a Manchester United fan. But I do not have a lot of time to follow the sport. I also enjoy spending time with my members.
One last question Pastor, what do you envision for CHC in the next 25 years?
I pray for total deliverance for our church and the leaders charged. After that, my prayer is for the Great Commission, to “Go into all the world..” (Matt. 28:19-20) to be fulfilled in CHC; that we will build strong local churches and win many souls to Christ!