Bobby Chaw is the Executive Pastor of City Harvest Church, and he oversees the Chinese congregation. He also heads the School of Theology as well as the Missions Department of the church. He serves as Vice-Chairman of the church Board.
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8. NKJV)
The Holy Spirit is unrestrained. Like the wind, the Holy Spirit cannot be domesticated nor tamed. He is “wild”. So often we are more comfortable following a predictable God Whose every move can be anticipated. We are afraid of what we do not know, what we have never seen or heard of before. But the wind of the Holy Spirit blows where He wishes. And the Bible commands us: “Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” (Gal 5:25, NLT)
My CHC journey began 30 years ago when I was 16 years old. I wanted to find out more about Christianity. A classmate told me about a meeting called “Ekklesia” and gave me the address: 41A Amber Road. So one Saturday afternoon, although I didn’t know anyone from that group, I took a bus and went by myself to the meeting. I was so touched by the presence of the Holy Spirit that afternoon that I surrendered my life to follow Him. It has been an adventure for me ever since.
This is true especially in the last 10 years: I was led by the Holy Spirit, without forewarning to assume roles I never thought possible.
One: As Pastor of the Chinese Church
In Secondary 4, my Chinese results were so bad that my teacher told me I was a “disgrace to the Chinese race.” I was so discouraged that I did not want to communicate in Chinese ever! Then in 2005, when our Church launched missions to the Chinese-speaking world, the Holy Spirit asked me if I loved His Chinese churches. I said “Yes!” So I went back to speaking Chinese and started giving Bible study lessons in Chinese. Little did I know, He was preparing me to lead the Chinese Service.
Two: As a Preacher at the weekend services
The Easter Service in 2017 was my first time preaching at a main Church evangelistic meeting. I was nervous and stressed out as I had never preached to such a large crowd, much less give an altar call for salvation in such a meeting! But Pastor Kong told me to trust the Holy Spirit and rely on His anointing. As I saw people responding to the altar call, I was really encouraged as I knew the Holy Spirit was indeed my faithful Helper!
Three: As a Board Member of the Church
I studied material science in university. I had no interest in economics or finance. However, I weathered the past 10 years as a Board member, whether it was the Suntec project, the financials of the church, governance matters, even though they were all finance-related. Throughout this past decade, I felt the grace of the Holy Spirit helping me to analyze, understand and break the content down to layman’s terms so that I could communicate better with the authorities, with the CHC staff and with our members. It has only been by the Holy Spirit!
As we celebrate our 30th anniversary as a church, we can testify that our journey—from 20 youths, through campus revival, Church Without Walls, missions, the Crossover, the Cultural Mandate; from worshiping in the former Hollywood Theatre, to Jurong West, from the Singapore Expo to Suntec City Convention Center now—it has all been a wild ride with the Holy Spirit!
Church, let us not be afraid of the “wild side” of God. We have to break the fear of the unknown—only then can the wind of the Holy Spirit take us on the exciting journey He has planned for us. We are to be like a vessel without a rudder, one that is totally surrendered to the wind of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our paraklētos and He will dwell with us forever!