Visit to megachurch with a blogging friend
Daniel Ong drove me in his orange Suzuki to the side road car park in front of a former theatre. It was about 8 plus in the morning. He usually parked across the main road and MRT track in the multi-storey car park but in our banter he forgot and we happened to get an empty lot nearer. Never is easy to park in Singapore churches, both mega and small.
We entered the worship hall 5 minutes early and there were many empty seats. By the time worship began, most of the seats on the ground floor were taken but not the balcony. I noticed the planets mural were all gone. Missed them. The congregation were mainly folks in the second or third part of their lives. Nice worship, singing songs more familiar to me.
There was no sermon that Sunday but instead a report by their Harvest & Souls ministry- one that reached out to the poor communities in Redhill. I was impressed with the penetration into the dialect speaking world, the practical help they gave, the people who came to Christ, the cell groups they formed ( that met in the common corridor), and the children’s clubs they started (using the void decks). In the end, I had two messages from prophetic people, one on paper from Magdelene and another from my host. I also bumped into Dr Lorna Khoo but we had no time to catch up.
I had coffee with Paul, the pastor in charge of the creative arts- the drama, dance and now the prophetic painting ministry. I was of course curious about the latter and inquired about it. They had picked it up from the Bethel Church in Redding, California, a church better known for its equipping and releasing of members to preach and heal the sick out where the people are. They are evidently very open to the winds of the Spirit and all His expressions through people, one of them being the employment of art in giving prophetic messages and in combination with words of knowledge and other gifts. Pastor Paul shared three stories of how God used paintings to revive a backslider and lead people to Christ.
Incredibly open to the winds of the Spirit
It struck me that the Church of our Savior has been incredibly open to the winds of the Spirit. It takes after its pastor Derek Hong, one of the pioneer and key Anglican priests, in the charismatic movement. He was an “early adopter” in the 70’s and his open innovative posture towards the new things God has been doing has never changed. His posture was “Dive!” or “Chiong”. He would hoist his sails and catch the wind whenever it passed, and that moved the church forward and kept it fresh. So it was no surprise to me then that while some people may have been debating about healing rooms, sozo, Bethel, and now prophetic painting, he had already gone full steam ahead with them.
Monthly COOS have someone painting prophetically on the stage as the people worshiped. I have read about emerging churches doing this but it’s probably the first and only church that does that in Singapore, with prophetic inspiration added. Probably this first in status will remain so for some years.
A few months ago COOS was associated with AWARE and the bad press from a bad press. Forget the past, and see what the Lord is doing in this new day!