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City Harvest Church

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City Harvest Church (simplified Chinese: 城市丰收教会) or "CHC" is one of the megachurches in Singapore that serves as the spiritual resource center for related churches based in Asia. It has been described by Charisma as "one of the largest congregations in Asia."

City Harvest Church is the largest church in Singapore, with a combined congregation of over 23 000. This makes the church the second largest in Asia. The church's highest record attendance was more than 51,000 during City Harvest's Christmas Celebration services in 2007. The church is a full member of the National Council of Churches in Singapore, Evangelical Fellowship of Singapore, and Festival of Praise Fellowship. CHC is a multi-site church with multiple, multi-lingual weekend services on two sites, Jurong West and Singapore Expo Hall 8. The values of CHC are based on the Charismatic and Pentecostal teachings, with doctrinal emphases on the Great Commandment, the Great Commission and the Cultural Mandate. There are twenty-four different nationalities represented among its congregation.

In Singapore, CHC has set up religious agencies such as a Bible school, a community service association, an education center, a Christian television department, a performing arts school, and a marketplace ministry for businesspeople. Overseas, CHC has active relationships with churches and Bible schools in Asia, conducting joint conferences and seminars with them annually.

Mission statement

The church's mission statement is: "To build a church with a strong spiritual atmosphere of faith and purity, where every member is released into ministry, discipled in the great commandment to obey the great commission."

Together with its Mission Statement, City Harvest Church has 17 Statements of Faith, which form the basis of its teachings to the congregation and the foundation of its various ministries.

History

City Harvest Church was founded by Kong Hee with twenty people on May 7, 1989. During the early years, CHC met at various venues such as Katong Park Hotel, NTUC Auditorium, Ministry of Environment Building, National Productivity Board Auditorium, Hotel Grand Central, Orchard Hotel, World Trade Center, and the Westin Hotel.

On June 4, 1995, CHC leased the former Hollywood Theater at Tanjong Katong Road and met there for six years. On December 15, 2001, the church moved to its permanent 2,300-seater venue at Jurong West Street 91. On December 11, 2005, the church rented another worship site at Singapore Expo Hall 8 to accommodate its growing congregation. From December 2, 2007, CHC holds an additional English service on both Saturdays and Sundays in Jurong West premises, increasing the amount of English services to four.

On April 29, 2004, City Harvest was awarded the ISO 9001:2000 certification for quality management and process management.

City Harvest Church currently has 23,000 attendees at its weekend services. 55% of its members are below the age of twenty-five. The church has thirty-six volunteer ministries for its members to participate in.

Staff

The church has twelve pastors, with five of them ordained as Reverends. The church employs 127 full-time staff at two locations: its Jurong West premises and its administrative office at Suntec City.[8]

Weekly services

The church holds different weekly services in English, Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese, and Indonesian. It also has weekly services for children and the mentally challenged.

Affiliated organisations

City Harvest Bible Training Center

City Harvest Bible Training Center (CHBTC) was started in 1994 with the purpose of training up pastors, missionaries and church workers for the establishing of local churches in Asia. It offers a five-month, full-time program in Advanced Certificate of Theology jointly with Oral Roberts University. In the past twelve years, more than 2,000 graduates from more than thirty countries have graduated from its courses.

CHBTC Mission Statement: "City Harvest Bible Training Center is committed to offering theological and practical training courses of high quality, comparable to internationally-recognized standards, so as to equip students in doctrinal and practical aspects of church ministry. For every course program we offer, we seek to understand and meet the requirements of students' needs and to inspire, impact and maximise the potential of each and every student."

City Harvest Community Services Association

City Harvest Community Services Association (CHCSA) currently employs seven full-time staff and was registered with the Registry of Societies (ROS 162/97 WEL) on August 16, 1997. It received full membership with the National Council of Social Service on January 7, 2000. The President of CHCSA is Derek John Dunn. On April 29, 2004, CHCSA attained the ISO 9001:2000 certification. For 2005, CHCSA helped 16,624 service users, out of which 5,860 of them were assisted on a regular basis.

Culture

The cell group

The cell group (CG) is a major part of the church's ministry to its members. The CG meeting is a time where members meet in smaller groups for worship, prayers and Bible studies. The meetings are usually held once a week, on a day decided by the CG leader, and its locations can be found throughout Singapore. Currently there are 600 CG leaders with some running more than two CGs. CG leaders are mostly lay members of the church who have gone through the church's discipleship and leadership training.

Accordingly to CHC's Senior Pastor, as the Church grows larger in numbers, "Cell groups provide the optimum context for effective discipleship"[19], where members can forge close relationships with fellow Christians in a much smaller setting.


Missions

CHC has fifty affiliate churches and Bible schools in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Japan and Australia. In 2005, CHC sent out a total of 292 mission teams to help Christian agencies overseas.

Recordings and stage productions

Like most Charismatic churches, CHC uses contemporary music and settings for praise and worship, with a choir in an environment similar to a rock concert with the related musical instruments. It has also a strong drama team for its stage productions.

  • 1994 : Against All Odds (CD Album)
  • 1995 : Remember Us (CD Album)
  • 1996 : Life (CD Album)
  • 2000 : Future (CD Album)
  • 2001 : Angel—"The Story Of Singapore" (Stage Production)
  • 2002 : Megastar.com (Stage Production)
  • 2005 : Mid-Autumn's Love (Stage Production)
  • 2005 : Cross (CD Album, DVD)[20]
  • 2006 : Emerge (DVD)
  • 2006 : Glory (DVD)
  • 2007 : First Vol. I (Chinese DVD)
  • 2007 : First Vol. II (Chinese DVD)
  • 2007 : Destiny (CD Singles)
  • 2007 : Breakaway (CD Album)


Broadcasting

In 2004, the church’s webcast of its services reached approximately 578,560 viewers from 131 countries, or 11,126 viewers per weekend. The church also has a 30-minute television broadcast program called "Harvest Time," which is broadcast on 13 Cable Television Networks and satellites, with a potential viewership of about 637 million. Harvest Time is available in its original English language or Chinese translation, depending on the broadcast station.

Publications

The church publishes a magazine quarterly called Harvest Times (founded in 1999).[23] It has a readership of 60,000

In 2006, a Chinese version of Harvest Times - Chinese Harvest Times was started and has a readership of close to 45,000

Awards

  • 2002 : 3rd Annual Intelligent20 Award [25]
  • 2004 : ISO 9001:2000 Certification [4] [5]
  • 2005 : Hitwise Award - Ranked #1 in the category: Lifestyle - Religion for most visited website
  • 2006 : Hitwise Award - Ranked #1 in the category: Lifestyle - Religion for most visited website[26]


Emerge conference

City Harvest Church is the organizer of Emerge, an annual four-day youth conference. In 2007, 8,830 youth leaders and delegates from a total of sixteen nations attended the event. CHC also co-hosts Emerge conferences in Malaysia and Taiwan every year. There are 61 competitions including a Spelling Bee, Math Olympaid, Word Power, Singing Contest, Preaching Challenge, Blog Design, Short Film, Make-up and Costume Design and Extreme Sports. The May 31 opening night of the Singapore Emerge 2007 was broadcast live on GOD TV to 122 million homes in more than two hundred nations and territories

Church building

The church building located at Jurong West Street 91 was completed in 2002. Construction of the building cost S$48 million (US$26.6 million) and seats up to 2,300 attendees.

It is the first titanium-clad building in Asia and is modeled after the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Special limestone for part of the building was imported from Europe. The front of the building has a fountain wall which is lit up at night.

The auditorium (which is underground) covers 1,700 square meters and is totally column-free. The stage was created by Dan Hess, a designer who formerly worked with Christie’s Auction House in New York. It features a bright LED screen.

On December 15, 2005, CHC began renting Hall 8 of Singapore Expo as an additional worship venue with a seating configuration that accommodates a maximum of 8,100 attendees.

As of January 15, 2010, CHC formally owns a stake in the iconic convention and exhibition centre, Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre, where its congregation is expected to move into its convention hall for its weekend services and conduct activities during the week. CHC will move into Suntec on February 2011 and will move all church events to be held there.

External links

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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at City Harvest Church. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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