Seventeen years old, 2003. It wasn’t just a year I faced major exams in secondary school, but also the start of my journey in City Harvest Church. I was already a Christian before, only, I didn’t attend church regularly. Life was smooth sailing; I excelled in school and often shined in extracurricular activities. There was no need for God when I already had everything going for me.
Then one fateful day in church, God stirred my heart. I vividly remember being impacted by Pastor Kevin’s sermon, and I made a decision to rededicate myself to God from that day on. I never looked back since then.
Shirley Boon was my first cell group leader and Bible Study teacher. That relationship didn’t happen overnight. I never wanted to attend cell group, but because of her constant invites, I gave in to her earnest request for me to just visit. That visit turned out to be one of the most important turning points in my walk with God.
I realised that leaders are humans as well. You don’t have to be perfect to be one.
Despite having known me for only 3 months, she started challenging me to grow in my spiritual life. I took her challenge seriously because I really wanted to come back to church; I was willing to give up what I had just to follow God.
Throughout those months, I went from serving in cell group to becoming Shirley’s intern. She brought me along to mission trips, hospital visitations, Christian seminars, school rallies and more. The more I spent time with her, the more I was exposed to ministry in action. I learned to capture her values and the way she loves others so wholeheartedly. I saw Shirley through the ups and downs in her life and her leadership, and I realised that leaders are humans as well. You don’t have to be perfect to be one.
One night, Shirley invited James and I over to her house. She broke the news about her call to go to Australia, and suggested that we take over D Zone. It was very difficult to digest the news and we were both in denial for many months. I was reluctant to take on the role because of the transitions in my life — I had just started my new job and am sitting for my Masters’ degree. On top of that, I was still leading the Usher ministry. It just didn’t seem like a good time to take on any more responsibilities then.
It’s not just about leadership but rather, it’s an invitation to join the whole team on this journey.
Thankfully, Pastor Kevin reached out to encourage James and I. He reminded me that it’s not about doing things in church, but building the relationship with one another. In other words, building life together. Something shifted in me when he said this: It’s not just about leadership but rather, it’s an invitation to join the whole team on this journey.