At a two-day leadership seminar in March, CHC’s senior pastor, Kong Hee, shared the CHC model and taught the attendees what makes a good leader.
“Everything rises and falls on leadership,” said City Harvest Church’s senior pastor, Kong Hee. “Cell group leaders must therefore be qualified and anointed to serve and to lead their members.”
Kong was speaking to the CHC’s leaders and overseas delegates attending the Leadership and Revival Seminar on Mar 22 and 23. Over 300 leaders from 19 nations attended the seminar.
On both days, the seminar started with an early morning prayer meeting from 7 to 8am. Kong led the attendees in an hour of intercession for healing of loved ones and revival in all the churches represented at the seminar. The first session started with vibrant praise and worship, followed by a video on the CHC story, its beginnings and various milestones. Through short 40-minute sessions, Kong taught on topics such as CHC’s Caring System, how to run successful cell group meetings, and the importance of leadership selection.
The night session saw the attendees reminiscing about the events that happened in 2015 through a year-in-review video. While the past six years—including 2015—have been challenging for the church given the trial involving its leaders, the church has constantly been reminded of the promises stated in Isaiah 41:10: “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
CHC’s Drama Ministry put up a short skit about the do’s and don’ts of cell group meetings and the archetypes of leaders, such as “the counsellor”, “the debriefer”, “the emotional blackmailer”, and finally the ideal all-rounder who demonstrated the correct way to do things.
The attendees heard two testimonies on soul-winning and revival. Julian Lee, a cell group leader from CHC, shared how his cell group was affected by the church’s trial in the past five and a half years. He had 25 members in 2014, cell group retention was one in 10 friends, and he lost about 15 members in the last two years. However, the cell group persevered, eagerly sharing their personal testimonies during an evangelistic campaign organised by the zone that saw a total of 139 decisions. Lee’s cell group grew to 60 members in 2015 and recently multiplied into two cell groups. In total, Lee and his cell group members have led 150 people to Christ.
Ong Wei Ren, a pastoral supervisor from CHC, shared that he had lost about 50 percent of his zone in 2011 to 2012. “Then God told me to share on preaching the Gospel and revival. That His Gospel is power and life. And I started to challenge my zone to reach the lost with boldness.” Life came back into the zone and it grew again to 220. However, after the trial verdict in 2015, the zone lost another 20 percent of its members. During Christmas 2015, the zone gained back another 10%. In total, Ong’s zone had lost 150 people who received salvation in CHC, but have since gained another 110 souls. To encourage Ong, Kong gave him the watch he wore during the 10 years of Crossover Project—this watch had travelled with the senior pastor to many different parts of the world on soul-winning missions.
“Even though some of them had left, nothing can take away the names that are already in the Book of Life!” Kong told a visibly moved Ong.
The night session ended with a surprise appreciation gift from Kong and his wife, Sun Ho, for CHC’s cell group leaders. It was a photo of CHC’s opening service at Suntec Singapore, Kong’s favourite photo of CHC, as a reminder of God’s goodness and promises.
He also emphasized that cell group leaders should not just love their pastor’s vision, but also his values and him as a person. “A strong church is dependent on good leadership and committed cell group leaders. When the pastor, cell group leaders and members are united in Spirit, values and mission, the church will move like a sharp plow in the harvest field!”
The seminar ended with a mass photo-taking session in the auditorium. There was also a luncheon for overseas pastors and key leaders to connect with Kong and Ho.
Jeremy Yeo, the pastor of City Harvest Church, Brunei brought his wife and two other leaders from his church. He told City News, “We know when we press into the man of God, we’ll always gain more than what we give up, and so whenever we have an opportunity to press into Pastor Kong’s life, we are there. I believe our church will be blessed even more because of this seminar.” He added that he learned some important things at this event: “Every single person from the youngest to the oldest, especially the senior leadership, has to lead from the front. That is something we have to be accountable for as senior leaders. We cannot serve and say, ‘Me first’.”
Frank Godberg, the founder of Bethel Mission Church in Kolar Gold Fields, South India, shared the same sentiments. “I came with the purpose to show solidarity with CHC and Pastor Kong, but I am also rejuvenated and fired up, to take this DNA back to India—winning souls for the Lord. The one life we have, we live it for the Lord, 100 per cent.”
Goh Cheng Kooi, senior pastor of Neighbour Grace Assembly in Malaysia, came to the conference with four of his staff members. He was reminded by the sharing on the first morning is to not forget the basics of a church. “Many times, we will meet with many challenges in our ministry and it is sometimes very hard for the church to have breakthrough. From Pastor’s sharing, I realized that leading a church is really not as difficult as I imagined it to be. There are many basic principles that we should follow. The problem is when we start to serve in more areas, and we tend to lose sight of the very basic things that we should be doing. No amount of church activities and meetings can replace these basic principles that we must have. So Pastor’s sharing today reminded me that these basic principles are the most essential things to the church and we cannot do without them.”
Liu Zijun, the youth pastor of Taipei Revival Church said he was very touched by the night session on the first day. “I felt that Pastor was encouraging his staff. I feel that I, too, should encourage my staff. They are the people fighting this battle together with us and it is not easy, so we should always encourage them. I also felt that Pastor was trying to teach us to be united with our staff, in this morning’s session. And I want to work with the younger generation to fulfill the vision set by the generation before us.”
Raymond and Cindy Fernando, founders of the new Pillars in Christ church in Jakarta, Indonesia came to be equipped. “We just started a new church in Jakarta 10 months ago, so we need to equip ourselves to grow the church. Our vision is to reach the new generation in Jakarta, so 12 of us came. We want to set the right foundation for our church. One good reminder for us was the Caring System—when we start a church, it’s easy to slip into the technical and administrative aspects, but at this conference, we were reminded again that church is all about caring for others and soul-winning.”