Every week, City Harvest Church members put in hundreds of hours in prayer and fasting, interceding for the unsaved and needy in the city. During the services, the power of God is often so tangible that the moment the first song is sung, new visitors immediately come under the conviction of the Holy Spirit for their sins. The spiritual atmosphere can get so strong that it is not uncommon to see newcomers weeping in repentance even before we give the altar call for salvation.
The pastors and cell leaders guard the spiritual atmosphere of the church "jealously." Dissension, murmuring, gossiping, blatant and gross sinning are dealt with swiftly, lovingly but very firmly, to keep the gathering pure and holy. Our leadership strongly believes that it is in such a conducive environment that the Holy Spirit is made to feel welcomed so that He can move freely among the people.
4. Make disciples, not converts. With an average weekly conversion rate of 400 new converts, it is very easy to get complacent in regards to the Great Commission. However, Sun and I constantly remind our workers and leaders that Matthew 28 is all about making disciples, not converts.
A convert is born again "by grace through faith" in an instant. But a disciple is only made through a process of molding and equipping. This is how we define it: A disciple is a trained worker with a great attitude.
It is not enough just to be trained or skilled. To be a true follower of Jesus, we must have the attitude to go along with it. I constantly remind my congregation that our "attitudes in life determine our altitudes in Christ."
Humility is an indispensable Christian attitude. Having a willing heart is important as well. Above all, a disciple of Jesus holds on to a happy and positive attitude in his or her life and ministry.
Hee Kong and his wife, Sun, pastor City Harvest Church in Singapore, one of the fastest-growing churches in Asia.
If you teach your congregation how to build good relationships, you will develop a healthy, soul-winning church. Following are the steps for effective soul-winning that we use at City Harvest Church:
1. Serve one another (see Mark 9:35) Show love by helping people whenever you can. Look for opportunities to serve. Jesus said if anyone desires to be a leader, he must be willing to be a "servant of all." Remember the J.O.Y. acronym: Jesus, Others and then Yourself.
2. Give to others (see James 2:15-16) Love is the benefiting of others at the expense of self. Be generous with your time, gifts and money. When you give, give good gifts--not what you cannot use anymore. Also, never give with a catch. Manipulation is the surest way of destroying a relationship.
3. Esteem others better than yourself (see Phil. 2:3) Always honor people. Treat others with respect. And when you praise, be extravagant in your praise. Measured praise is no praise at all. Remember, it is not flattery as long as you are sincere in what you say.
4. Show interest in people's lives (see Phil. 2:4) In your conversation, don't just talk about yourself. Show interest in people's achievements, hobbies and the things they are excited about. Make everyone you meet feel important and significant.
5. Encourage others (see 1 Cor. 13:7) Love believes all things. So, believe in people. Build them up with your words and actions. When you do that, ordinary people are transformed into extraordinary members.
6. Appreciate and thank others (see Rom. 1:8) Be a thankful person. The apostle Paul always appreciated the people he related to, even when they were backslidden: "I thank my God always concerning you" (1 Cor. 1:4, NKJV).
7. Learn to smile (see Prov. 15:30) Church growth experts have said that if church members simply learn to smile, church attendance will automatically increase by 20 percent.
8. Love your neighbor as yourself (see Matt. 19:19) Jesus talks about it. Paul talks about it. James talks about it. This is Jesus' commandment: Whatever you like to do for yourself, do it for someone else.