City Harvest Church’s advisory pastor Phil Pringle shared his thoughts on this generation’s youth. City News also speaks to him about his new book Peace.
City News: You prayed for the youth leaders yesterday (Jul 2) and today (Jul 3), what do you see Jesus doing in this generation of leaders?
Phil Pringle: It’s magnificent to see so many of them here, not every church has so many youth leaders so the future of CHC is wonderful. They are very responsive to the Holy Spirit; they are very keen and on fire so the future of CHC is just going to roll on.
What do you think is the greatest need of a young person in this generation?
I’m not sure about Singapore, but I know in Australia they need hope and a vision for the future. They need to believe that they can achieve great things. For many of them in Australia, they are pretty negative about ever owning a home because it’s so expensive. They are not positive about getting married; a lot of people getting married in their 30s now where it used to be in their 20s because of the price of buying a home and raising a family. And that creates a set of problem of loneliness and heartbreak.
I think young people need guidance but they are not always ready to receive it, which is unfortunate, because they think they know better. But I think they definitely need to listen to people who have gone ahead of them so they can have a strategy for their future.
Be strong, don’t let the enemy defeat you with gossip, negative words and the (news in the) press. The church has always suffered persecution, and has always been in trials and persecution of many kinds. These are not designed to make us weak, they are designed to make us strong.
Let’s talk about your new book Peace! Why did you decide to write a book to address fears?
When we ask people what do they want us to preach about (in their church), often they will say how to handle stress. That’s why I wrote that book. People are under a lot of stress. They need to know that living with God is peaceful. Some churches, it feels like everything gets welled up to a frenzy so there’s not a lot of peace there. Our latest album Abide has a lot of peace on it.
Fear can be very irrational and it can grip you so bad that you find yourself unable to think straight. What can a person do when they find themselves in such a situation?
Identifying the problem is important. Is it chemical, mental, a demon or is it the conditions that they’re living in? If there are people yelling and screaming, that will create nervousness. But no matter what is causing the problem, the answers are generally pretty much the same. The first thing is getting right with God, just asking Him for forgiveness for their sins. Guilt will torment us, but once we have forgiveness, there is no foothold for the devil in our lives. Once the blood of Jesus has cleansed us, there is no way for the enemy to get a hold on us.
That is the defense and the offense is to begin quoting scriptures to yourself. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7) So that is saying that you got to keep your heart healthy, your emotions and mind healthy. We need to start speaking the word of God.
A few chapters of your book mentioned that we don’t have to fear because God says “Fear not for I am with you”. I think that has to do with trusting God. What then do we say to these people?
Praying and saying is different. Mark 11:21-24 says “when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them”. And it also says that “whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says”. In this little example, “says” is three times and “pray” is two times, so what we say to our situation needs to agree with what we are praying. We need to say “fear not for I am with you says the Lord” and we need to say I’m not afraid. Even when we are afraid, we need to confess the truth which is I don’t have fear.
Keep confessing “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:17) and as we believe that scripture it will come alive in us. Speak the word of God, that is how we appropriate the kingdom of God. Give them scriptures so they can keep speaking it. We should counsel people to take up the sword of the Spirit to fight the enemy.
Phil Pringle’s new book Peace is available via pre-order from The Ink Room located at Suntec Singapore Level 6, Hall 605.