My Experience As A Former Member of City Harvest Church
I know that this blog entry will raise suspicions, especially from my friends whom are still in the Church but here is my personal true story as a former member of the Church. Also, I know that with this blog entry, there were be many whom will start "flaming" or "un-friending" me on Facebook or on whatsoever channel but my sole purpose is for people to know some of the truths and observations that I have made when I was a member there. I went to City Harvest Church [CHC] in 2004 and I was 16 then.
Back in those days, the Church was having its regular service at Jurong West and all Cell Group Leaders [CGL] were addressed as "Brother so and so" OR "Sister so and so". There were multiple services that ran from Friday to Sunday and even though the weekly trip to the far west was really tedious and time-consuming, I didn't mind the distance because it was there that I met Christ.
As I belonged to an adult cellgroup at that time, I was constantly blessed and showered with lots of love and even up till today, I am thankful that I was once part of an adult cellgroup. It was also during that same period that I joined my very first ministry, The Strikeforce, a street percussions band.
In 2005, the Church shifted its services to Singapore EXPO and my cellgroup experienced a surge of growth. As more youths started to join the cellgroup that I was in, the cellgroup "multiplied" in 2008 and I was then assigned to a youth cellgroup where I was serving as the Cellgroup Guitarist. While serving as a Cellgroup Guitarist, I left The Strikeforce and joined the security ministry.
As my youth cellgroup was stagnant and did not experience much growth, it was later "merged" with another youth cellgroup in 2010. When 2011 came, the Church shifted to Suntec for its weekly services and to be honest, I haven't really attend much services except for a few which I could barely count with one hand. This was because from 2010-2012, I was serving my National Service. Even then, I was fully aware of what was going on in Church and subsequently in 2013, I made the decision to leave the Church.
Some Truths & Observations When I Was In Church From 2004-2013:
- Pastor Kong [PK] did made some comments that demean a particular Church when he was preaching and he occasionally reveals the name of that Church by calling it "that rock".
- In the first year that I attended Church, they had two types of offering envelopes; one that is specially made for those who tithe and the other, the normal white offering envelope for those who don't tithe.
- In the first year that I attended Church, I was literally shoved/pushed aside by the Security Personnel when PK was about to enter the auditorium.
- In the earlier days, PK told the Church that he looks up to Pastor Ulf Ekman, Pastor Phil Pringle, and Dr A R Bernard but if anyone realises, not much is mentioned about Pastor Ulf anymore and Dr Yonggi Cho is now somewhat PK's centre of attraction.
- The Church has many categories of memberships and classifications for its members and here are the ones that I know about when I was there; potential visitors, potential ordinary member, ordinary member, ministry member, and executive member.
- The Church conducts regular Bible study classes and members often compare/compete with one another to see who's the fastest in completing the entire programme. Some of the Bible study classes are; Church Introductory Class, Getting Started, Christian Living, Victorious Living, Foundation Truths 1, Foundation Truths 2, Going On To Perfection.
- Church members were told by PK that not a single cent was used to fund Sun Ho for her projects in the States.
- Offering envelopes in the earlier years were not stamped with a statement that says "donations made to the Church are non-refundable".
- Nobody seem to question why David Yem, Gan KC, and some of the Pastors left the Church.
- There was a time when people would associate a CHC member with Blackberry, Ed Hardy apparels, and Twitter.
- At one point in time, the members were told not to address Sun Ho as Pastor Sun.
- Nobody seem to question why the clothing stores that PK started had to wind up.
- The Church owns shares in Suntec REIT [real-estate investment trust] but that does not mean that it owns Suntec Convention Centre. Hence, the Church will still have to pay rental for using the hall at Suntec Convention Centre and then use the dividends from owning the shares to defray the costs. Then again, if the Church is engaged in some sort of investments to gain profits from dividends, doesn't that make the Church a business entity and not a place of worship?
I don't know about you but when I was reading up about some confessions pertaining to the Church, I could identify with some of them and if you're interested to check it out, here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/CHCConfessions
Well, having said so much, I still have many questions/doubts about the Church but nevertheless, I still regard the friends that I've made in Church as my friends. To me, this blog entry is meant to be an avenue where I channel my own opinions and thoughts about the subject but if anyone is offended, please feel free to "unfriend", "block", or "delete" me from your social media accounts and electronic devices. Otherwise, the small little "X" at the top right hand corner of your Internet browser might just suffice.