A Collective story
I stepped into the office of my home church the Monday after I finished my SPM in 1992. Feeling lost and aimless, I told my pastor that I wanted to work for the church while awaiting my exam results. What started out as a three-month program turned into a year. One year became three, and from three to many more years! What seemed like a random turn up at church turned out to be the starting point of a journey that God designed for me.
I was 17.
And 17 years ago, on an unassuming night after coming home from leading a cell group meeting, God painted a new vision in my heart. In it, He showed me a church service filled with passionate worshippers. The atmosphere was electrifying and the congregation was on fire. The mandate was clear. He wanted me to pioneer a brand-new church in Kuala Lumpur, a church that is totally sold-out for the cause of Jesus Christ.
I was reluctant because I loved my pastor and church very much. That was the church I grew up in. I kept ignoring God’s prompting again and again even though I have had pastors and leaders who knew nothing about it confirming the call that God had given to me.
He wanted me to pioneer a brand-new church in Kuala Lumpur, a church that is totally sold-out for the cause of Jesus Christ.
Finally, in March 2001, I stepped out and began a new journey with a small group of pioneers, meeting out of the living room of my flat. None of us knew anything about starting a church from scratch. Too late—we have already stepped out!
Dr. James Ku, my father-in-law to be, advised me to come under spiritual covering. Not fully understanding what he meant and not knowing any pastors in Kuala Lumpur, my most natural next step was to travel to Singapore to meet Pr. Kong Hee as he was my Bible School principal and someone that I’ve always looked up to. I shared with him my vision and I was so thankful to God that Pr. Kong agreed to disciple me.
Under Pr. Kong’s leadership, our vision grew and our capacity enlarged. We began to dream bigger dreams for our city. From sleepless nights to wakeless mornings, we worked and worked. And revival came knocking. From having services in classrooms to having a place we can call our own. From a handful of students meeting in a flat to a thriving multi-generational congregation today, it has truly been an amazing ride. Without Pr. Kong and his wife Sun, we wouldn’t be where we are today. City Harvest is not just a name that we have carried but an identity we have come to embrace.
Three years ago, God spoke to me again. He gave me a new mandate that was beyond my wildest imagination. He specifically told me to not only influence our city but cities around the world!
As usual, I was reluctant. It was a challenging period in my life and my confidence was at an all-time low. I didn’t think God would want me to do more, let alone stretch me beyond my current state to impact cities beyond our shores. Again, He sent pastors and leaders to confirm the call that He has given me. But this time round, I was totally unyielding. Not only did I not move forward, I took a step backward.
But our Father in heaven is indeed amazing. Truly the gospel is not about how we hold on to God but rather how He never lets us go.
Despite my inaction, four churches came under my leadership. It was a bumpy ride to say the least. I was motionless and our pastors in turn became directionless. I had too much baggage and too much fear. We were like a ship without a rudder and we were heading nowhere.
A year ago, God awoken something within me. He put a series of sermons in my heart called “Fix Your Form”. Little did the church know, it was not a sermon for them but for their own pastor. As I preached through that series in obedience, I began to regain strength. The sinews of faith regrew within me. Slowly, I gained courage to look towards the future.
City Harvest is not just a name that we have carried but an identity we have come to embrace.
I don’t have the full picture of what lies ahead but on one thing I am clear—our God is a God of the future and He is right there ahead of us. Everything from Him—be it faith or forgiveness, grace or godliness—everything is intentionally delivered to us with our future in mind.
Together with my leaders, we began the grueling process of rebuilding the kind of church we believe God wants us to be. It was painful especially in the initial stages as there were a lot of things we needed to let go off but as time passed, it became easier as we began looking more towards tomorrow instead of holding on to yesterday.
Growing up, there were three key passages in the bible that resonated in my spirit and over the years, they became the guideposts in both my personal and ministerial life.
The Upper Room
Truly the gospel is not about how we hold on to God but rather how He never lets us go.
A church propelled and sustained by God-centeredness, Community and Disciple-making.
This is our way of life.
A church that is future-focused. A church that is always about the next generation.
We want to build a legacy that will serve as a strong foundation so that our peaks will be the grounds upon which our future generations build on.
A church where its strength and influence are beyond the capacity and charisma of a few individuals.
Everything that God wants us to do, we want to do it collectively as a body of Christ. By ourselves we may not amount to much, but together we are a force.
A church on a mission. We do not just send missions teams out; our mission is the very purpose of our existence. We are a church that plants churches.
More than just a spiritual family, we are a spiritual force that is reaching our world for Jesus.
Our Collective story
The COLLECTIVE story didn’t begin with mine. It’s just that I’ve been given the privilege to share my story here with you.
The COLLECTIVE story also started with yours and that of every single person who calls this church home. This is the intersection where all our individual stories collide to form one COLLECTIVE narrative that we can call Ours. And that narrative contains many more blank pages ahead, waiting to be written on as we build the future that God has in store for us.
Let’s join our hearts as one and continue writing this story together.
Your pastor and friend,KEV