On the second weekend of City Harvest Church’s ministry recruitment drive, senior Pastor Kong Hee expanded on his sermon titled “The Easy Yoke” with an explanation of how a believer can serve God with joy.
Free snacks, a dance performance, and mascots parading the halls—this was the atmosphere at City Harvest Church over the weekend of 27 and 28 August. Last weekend marked the second ministry recruitment weekend, where ministries presented how church members could participate in the different ways to serve God in His house.
The service began with engaging call-outs from three ministries: Indonesian Service, Dialect Service and Harvest Kidz. Leaders of each ministry were invited on stage to share what their ministries do.
The Indonesian Service comprises a close-knit community of about 500 Indonesians living in Singapore. This service helps to bring Christ to members of this community in a way relevant to their shared culture and language. To run the service, the ministry is looking for 25 volunteers, including singers, ushers, visual communications engineers, and media and sound crew.
Next was the Dialect Service, which presented the congregation with an original worship song in Hokkien. The Dialect Service, which plays an important role in bringing the gospel to elderly members who only speak in Chinese dialects rallied for 30 volunteers to help with visitation, bussing, leading praise and worship, and playing instruments.
Finally, three young children from Harvest Kidz wowed the congregation with their action-paired recitals of the nine fruit of the Spirit, the Ten Commandments, and the eight Beatitudes. The Harvest Kidz team shared three reasons on why the congregation should join Harvest Kidz, acronymised into JOY: Because Jesus loves the little children; because the ministry offers opportunities for young children to grow up in Christlikeness; and serving will also yield rewards for the ministry member.
In order to serve more than 2,000 children on a weekly basis, the ministry is looking for 120 volunteers aged 18 and above to help with its service, visitation, bussing and tuition services.
SERVING AS THE BRIDE OF JESUS CHRIST
Pastor Kong Hee began his sermon with his personal love story. For six years before they were married, he and Sun Ho, now the executive pastor of CHC, were very good friends. However, after they were married, if they had continued behaving as friends, they would have missed out on a deeper, more intimate connection with one another. Similarly, the church is the bride of Christ—if Christians fail to see that, they will miss out on the intimacy they can have with Jesus.
Referencing Ephesians 5:31-32, Pastor Kong told the congregation that Jesus came not only to make them His friend, but also His bride. “Our Prince of Peace has come, rescuing us slaves who are covered in the miry clay of sin, bound by the chains of Satan the devil,” he elaborated. “Our Prince set us free and made us His bride. This is your love story, and mine.”
Moving on to Ephesians 5:25-26, the senior pastor explained that Jesus did two things for His believers in His death: He took away their sins, and gave them His righteousness and the power of the Holy Spirit so that they could grow to be more like Him.
“Jesus loves His bride, not just enough to save her, but also to transform her,” the pastor taught. As a result, their status is completely changed. He continued, “It doesn’t matter who we have been, what we have done, or how messed up we were—the moment we walk into the arms of the King, we immediately become royalty.”
When Christians understand that, serving would then be motivated by love, the same way an individual feels happy serving his or her spouse without asking for anything in return. Pastor Kong gave the example of himself making a dish for Sun. He enjoys making her a meal not to impress others or that his wife would love him more.
“The only reason I’m serving her is because I love her. Each day, I want this to be my attitude in all that I’m doing for Jesus,” he explained. When Christians serve with this attitude, he noted, serving becomes fun and light-hearted.
Directing the congregation’s attention to the wedding ceremony, Pastor Kong noted that there is usually a time period between the Holy Matrimony and the wedding banquet. He likens this to the time period between Christians receiving Jesus as their Saviour and His Second Coming.
“The Cross of Jesus is the Holy Matrimony, the exchange of vows. The Second Coming is the dinner banquet—the beginning of fully enjoying our married life with the Lord,” he taught.
Revelation 19:8 speaks of fine linen that was given to the Bride of Christ to wear. The pastor explained that fine linen represents the righteous acts of God’s holy people. This is the wedding dress that the Bride of Christ would be wearing to the wedding banquet, which is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. All the time spent and energy serving in the name of the Lord become the beautiful cloths, threads and buttons the Christians would use for this “wedding dress”.
“We are not serving Jesus as a servant; we are serving Him as His bride,” Pastor Kong emphasised. “Each time you serve, you are making your ‘wedding gown’.”
SERVING AS CHILDREN OF GOD
Pastor Kong next told the story of how when his son, Dayan was young, he would love to help his parents with chores. However, his “helping” would often create a bigger mess. “But boy, it was so much fun. We laughed so much, and we enjoyed each other a lot,” the pastor recalled.
This reflects what the apostle Paul told the people in Acts 17:24-25. “Our God, who created the whole universe, doesn’t need to squeeze into tiny little temples made by men. In fact, God has no need of anything, and He certainly doesn’t need us to serve Him,” Pastor Kong said.
“Why, then, does God want every member to be a minister?” he asked, referring to CHC’s mission statement. “Because we are God’s children, and He loves doing things with us just like how I love doing things with Dayan.”
Pastor Kong then referred to the familiar story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:17 and 19. Even though the son returned home hoping that his father would take him back as a servant, his father welcomed him back as a son. Likewise, every believer is a precious son or daughter to God.
To further elaborate his point, the pastor shared from Romans 8:15-17, which talks about believers being “joint heirs with Christ”. This means that they share Jesus’s inheritance and enjoy the same relationship with God that Jesus does.
“When you see yourself as a son, your view of serving changes,” said Pastor Kong, adding that the best part about being a Christian is that he gets to be with God, to “hang out with our Heavenly Father as He goes about doing His stuff for the universe.”
JESUS CAME TO SERVE AND NOT BE SERVED
Bringing the congregation to Mark 10:45, Pastor Kong emphasised: “Jesus didn’t come so that you would serve Him; He came to serve you.”
He listed a few ways in which Jesus serves us every day.
1. Jesus serves us by interceding for us
Hebrews 7:25 reads, “…He always lives to make intercession for them.” Jesus never stops praying for His believers. “He brings our needs and requests to God, and God’s answers, back to us—healing us, delivering us, protecting us, providing for us,” Pastor Kong taught.
2. Jesus serves us by revealing the Father to us
In John 17:26 Jesus prayed to His Father, “I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” Every day, Jesus reveals God the Father to His believers.
3. Jesus serves us by sending us the Holy Spirit
Jesus said in John 14:16 that He will ask the Father to give us a Helper, Comforter and Counsellor—the Holy Spirit—who will live with His believers and be in them so that their spirits can be constantly filled.
4. Jesus serves us by giving us His authority
Mark 16:17-18 records Jesus telling His disciples that in His name, they can cast out demons, speak with new tongues, and lay hands to heal the sick. As long as they believe, signs and wonders will follow them.
5. Jesus serves us by being our Good Shepherd
“Jesus’ greatest act of service is to be our Good Shepherd,” Pastor Kong declared. He recited Psalm 23 and asserted that Jesus is still actively serving His people beyond what they can do for Him.
Pastor Kong reminded the congregation that serving God should never be out of fear, guilt, pressure, or for Him to love them more. Serving should always come from a desire to enjoy God’s love more fully.
The pastor concluded, “A life with Jesus Christ must be a life of rest—resting in the knowledge and assurance that you are a friend of God, a bride of the King, adopted into His family as a son and daughter, and an heir of all His inheritance.”
He added, “You are not serving because you have to, but because you want to. Then, you will discover His yoke is really easy and His burden is light.”
To end the service, Pastor Kong prayed for Christians who have grown weary and asked for the Holy Spirit to bring joy in the midst of serving in the house of God.