The co-founder of City Harvest Church delivered a rousing reminder for the church not to forget its mission to witness for Christ.
On the weekend of April 7 and 8, Sun Ho, co-founder of City Harvest Church, preached an authentic message about doing what Christians are saved to do.
She started off the service by referencing 1 Peter 3:15.
“We should not be ashamed of our faith regardless of what we have been through,” she encouraged the congregation in light of seven-and-a-half-year legal case the church had been through. Ho shared with the congregation, that because of the trial, she, too, found herself in many awkward situations.
One such example was being in an elevator with strangers. Ho, who is a familiar face to the public, shared how she dreaded the deafening silence that would befall when she stepped into an elevator, and overwhelming tension of people casting her looks, thinking “Is that who I think it is?” Ho admitted she often tried to stand in the corner next to the buttons, and avoid social interaction at all cost.
However, she received a revelation about this from God one day: the elevator is the perfect place to share about one’s faith and church with others. Ho fell on the idea of “elevator stories”, short introductions that could be integrated into part of the churchs’ methods of evangelism. This was inspired by the business elevator pitch, whereone utilizes a succinct, persuasive speech to spark interest in one’s business. A good elevator pitch could be just 20 to 30 seconds.
“In a church context, the elevator story should be able to describe to both unbeliever and believers what City Harvest stands for, what it means to us, and why we think they should consider joining us,” Ho described. She then proceeded to ask the congregation to think about what their elevator story was. Ho shared that her story was one of redemption, which acknowledges the imperfection of man and the realities in life, yet experiences God’s redemptive grace and resurrection power.
She shared with the congregation that nothing has the potential to change the world like the mission of the local church fully lived out. Therefore there’s a pressing need for each and every member to share their “Elevator Pitch”.
Ho pointed out that more than half of the book of Mark was taken to document the final week of Jesus’ life and the events leading up to His death. Mark was not one of the 12 disciples—he was a disciple of Peter who wrote the book according to Peter’s recollections. In the Book of Mark, Peter’s weaknesses—his repeated refusal to accept Jesus’ impending death, his denial of Jesus three time—was uncensored. Peter recorded all his most shameful moments and deepest shame.
“Why would Peter do that?” asked Ho. “Peter did that because he understood that some of our most shameful moments and things we have done that we are not proud of are the very things God uses the most.”
Ho shared that from the very beginning, God’s solution has always been the church. “Jesus’ plan to spread the Gospel was for his 12 disciples to spread the Gospel via word of mouth,” said Ho. “In this time and age, that very same burden to be witnesses of Jesus Christ has fallen upon us, therefore we must not lose sight of the mission.”
Ho shared that a year ago, she spoke with a young man who was visionless; he had no hope for the future. A year later when they spoke again, he was a completely different person: he had transformed from into a confident and eloquent young man who was driven and focused. After conversing with the young man, Ho realized this change had occurred because the boy had enlisted into national service and had undergone training at the Officer Cadet School. He was now being groomed into a capable and decisive leader.
Using this example, Ho shared that even institutions out there in the world recognized the importance of training the next generation, and posed the question, “What would happen if our church were to do the same?”She shared something theologian and author Richard Foster said: “The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.”
Ho proceeded to share with the congregation that the way forward for CHC is to cultivate deep people, and in order to do that, the people must be discipled, developed, grown, and cultivated.
Anchoring her teaching on 1 Corinthians 2:10-12, Ho then shared with the congregation four things that define what it means to be a deep person: One has to be willing to go beyond the superficial, hence, to go deep. He has to be hungry for intimacy with God. He has to be sensitive to the heart of God. And finally, he has to be obedient to step beyond the convenience into willing sacrifice.
She urged the congregation to be doers of God’s word and not just hearers, as the world is at its best when the church is at its best.
What defines deep people, Ho said, could be spelled out with the acronym “HAVE”. Deep people have a sense of higher mission. They possess a sense of authenticity and vulnerability.
“As deeper people, we need to bear the burden of being considerate of the doubts and fears of others. We don’t always have to have all the answers, but we must trust that God will always have a way of working through our hearts if we would just trust him,” Ho said.
Referencing Romans 12:9, she encouraged the congregation to love from the center of their genuine selves, instead of feigning it. The final thing that deep people have, she added, is a sense of engagement.
Drawing the message to a close, Ho shared that love should be the aim of God’s people, because God is in the people business, and the heart of Christianity is relationship.