Update: this article was written many years ago. In light of the scandals concerning Kong Hee, please see the Wikipedia page for more up to date info.
Kong Hee is the founder, honorary and volunteer senior pastor of City Harvest Church in Singapore. Kong has a philosophy of ministry that emphasizes the Great Commandment, Great Commission, and Cultural Mandate. He oversees several affiliate churches and Bible schools all over Asia including Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan.
A Short Biography
Kong Hee has born in 1964 in Singapore. He is of Indonesian-Chinese descent. He graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor in Computer Science.
In this early years, he attended an Anglican church under the mentorship of Rev Canon James Wong and Kong Hee helped him set up a church called the Orchard Christian Center.
In 1989, he had an opportunity to start a church in Singapore. During that time, he had wanted to be an evangelist to the Philippines, but the youth he was currently leading urged him to start a church for them. He received a revelation from God that he was to build a church that would take Asia by storm and transform the generation.
Thus, City Harvest Church was born with 20 members in 41A Amber Road, Singapore in a tiny one storey building.
City Harvest Church, under the leadership of Kong Hee, prospered and grew tremendously. The church experienced explosive growth, from 20 members in 1989 to a current weekly regular attendance of about 22,000 in 2011.
He married Ho Yeow Sun,(also known as Sun), the co-founder of City Harvest Church, who later on went on to become a pop sensation in Hollywood. They have a son, Dayan.
Kong Hee is also a conference speaker and he travels globally to spread the gospel. he is highly sought after by churches and corporations around the world to speak in their congregation and conferences. Known for his style of candor and wit, his messages carry pertinence and strong conviction.
Positions and Titles
Pastor Kong Hee currently sits on a few leadership and management positions such as:
- President, City Harvest Church (Singapore)
- Executive Director, Festival of Praise (Singapore)
- President, Word of Life (Singapore)
- Board of References, Transform World (Indonesia)
- Board member of Church Growth International (South Korea)
Leadership Lessons from Kong Hee
1. The power of passion
Although he was leading a group of youth when he started the church at 25, he always believed that the big vision of changing Asia can happen through people with passion.
He has now raised up many leaders with the same kind of passion and impacting Asia has he had believed over 20 years earlier.
Kong Hee is a testimony of any group of individuals, no matter how young, can do great things with passion.
2. Leading through small groups
Under Kong Hee’s leadership, City Harvest is one of the most successfully run organizations in the world. Although the membership is over 17,000, but the small group system in the church ensures that every member’s need is met.
He believes that as the church grows bigger, the small groups should become smaller. This has useful application in any organization.
If you want your organization to grow, create a system such that every member’s needs can be met effectively.
3. Becoming relevant
Many believe that Kong Hee is one of the most progressive and culturally relevant pastors today.
A good leader should always be sensitive to changes in the culture of society and not be isolated from it.
Through understanding the constant the need for change, any organization that you run can continually be relevant to its stakeholders, community and fulfilling its purpose.
Books about Kong Hee
Pastor Kong Hee has spoken and written hundreds of sermons on topics like Marketplace Evangelism, Cultural Mandate, Power of Confession, Sermon On the Mount, Making Marriage Work, Antinomianism and many more. You can find many of his sermons in the City Harvest Church online bookstore, The Ink Room.
Quotes from Kong Hee
“People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
“Find a need and meet it; find a hurt and heal it.”
“We will build a church in the marketplace, for the marketplace, to penetrate the marketplace.”
“Love God wholeheartedly, love people fervently.”
“God has called me to raise up a new generation of disciples of Christ, who will take the gospel throughout Asia.”
“God plunges us fully into society to influence the marketplace of business, education, government, arts and media. We must engage culture to be salt and light.”
“The Scripture says do business till He comes. I have always held an interest for business, maybe it is the Chinese-Indonesian blood in me.”
Kong Hee Leadership Video
Wikipedia: A short account of Pastor Kong Hee’s life
More Spiritual Leader Profiles
For leadership profiles of other famous Spiritual leaders, including Jesus, Buddha, and Mahatma Gandhi, check out our Spiritual Leadership Profiles section.
Also check out our Leadership Profiles book series. In each book, we study 10 influential leaders in Business, Military, Politics and Sports.