At the first Emerge meeting of 2017, the youth of City Harvest Church learned to keep their passion for Jesus alive.
Excitement filled City Harvest Church’s Hall 606 at Suntec as the youth gathered for the first Emerge meeting of 2017 on February 24.
Emerge is City Harvest’s youth movement that targets those 25 and under. It aims to empower them to pursue their calling for the kingdom of God. Traditionally, the first meeting of the year sets the theme for the year and all the events that follow.
The theme for Emerge 2017 is Passion, and the aim is to help youths find their passion and achieve what they are passionate about, the Emerge team launched the Passion Pursuit.
“Passion Pursuit is all about empowering the youths to chase their dreams, to fulfill their calling and to discover their passion,” explained Leila Tan, a youth pastoral supervisor.
Youths can follow their dream and sign up for one, or more, of the 18 workshops held by different ministries, conducted by the heads of the ministries. These workshops include dance, graphic design, worship leading, songwriting, events planning and more.
“This is for those who has no experience but want to do something for the kingdom of God; we want to encourage you to sign up,” said Edmund Tay, a youth pastor.
The announcement of the workshops excited the youth. Trisha Sng, 20, a student from Nanyang Technological University said, “It is a great way for youths to learn skills. We have passions we want to pursue but don’t know how. Furthermore, the ministry heads, who are professional and gifted in what they do, will be teaching the sessions. This makes it even more exciting!”
“Passion precedes power,” declared Wu Yuzhuang, the pastor that oversees Emerge, as he opened his message on passion, the theme for this year’s Emerge.
Jesus was passionate about the Word of God and serving the purpose of God. Wu’s prayer was that the young people of CHC would be like Jesus: passionate for the Lord, for His house and for His people.
Reading from Acts 1:3 and 8 (KJV), Wu shared that passion preceded power.
“The greatest power on the Day of Pentecost was released after the greatest expression of passion,” preached Wu. “If you have passion, you have power!”
Wu listed five things that passion produces: faith beyond logic, power to break new ground, intimacy with God, compassion for the lost and holiness.
He used the story of the woman with the issue of blood to illustrate faith beyond logic. Logically, the woman with the issue of blood could not and should not have touched the hem of the garment Jesus wore.
“But her passion made her say: if only I can touch the hem of Jesus’ garment of Jesus. Her passion drove her beyond logic. When she touched Jesus, He perceived power coming out of Him!”
Her passion broke new ground. In Matthew 14:35-36, people started bringing the sick to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment and Jesus healed them.
Wu recounted the story of Evan Roberts, a revivalist in the 1900s, who began to break new ground as he led a prayer group of 17 young people to cry out to God. The group prayed until two in the morning every day. That prayer meeting eventually grew to become the Welsh Revival of 1904.
In John 4:3-4, Jesus went to Samaria because He knew that there was a woman searching for God.
“Your passion draws you closer to Jesus,” Wu told the youth. While Jesus reached out specifically to the woman, the disciples passed her by. They were too preoccupied with buying food to notice her.
“Jesus told the disciples, ‘My food is to do the will of the Lord’. What about us? Are we hungry for the same things Jesus is hungry for?” Wu asked the youth. “If the 12 disciples can miss the woman, we can miss her too. But if you are hungry for the same thing as Jesus, you will have His passion for souls.”
In Luke 8:47-48, the Bible says that Jesus did not just heal the woman with the issue of blood, He made her whole—body, soul and spirit. Wu explained that Jesus wants all His followers to be whole, to be holy for Him.
“The things of this world have captured our flesh,” Wu warned. “They can control your mind, your imagination and fantasy; they tell us we can do anything in the name of passion. But the passion of this world will leave you burnt out.
“The passion for God, however, will never leave you feeling burned out, it will lead you to holiness. Let us be passionate for the Lord, and let Him lead us into His holiness,” Wu concluded.
The event ended with two altar calls: one for salvation and another for the youths to renew their passion for Christ.
Xaviera Ching, 17, a student from Queensway Secondary, responded to the altar call. She told City News, “I felt a real change inside and I feel the Holy Spirit leading me to want to do bigger things for God. He wants me to put away my thoughts and opinions, to hear from the Holy Spirit and no longer for myself. I believe that when I choose where God wants me to go, it will be for the best.”