An Article for this Season

I was just thinking with all the news going on about Christianity I would like to share this article by Pastor Tan Seow How, the Senior Pastor of Heart of God Church, where I attend, that I really like. It is this kind of teachings that are the reason why I go to HOGC. I thought it was a very good, balanced view that people (especially Singaporeans) should read. Here is an excerpt. 

For the full article, you can go here.


2. My answer to Prosperity Theology is Simplicity.
Acts 2:44–47 (NKJV)
44 Now all who believed were together…
46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,47 praising God and having favor with all the people.  And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
When I read this passage of Scripture as a young pastor pioneering Heart of God Church (HOGC), I was very intrigued with v47b, where the Lord added to the church daily.  Now after almost 20 years in ministry, I am more attracted to v46b, where the disciples ate their food with “simplicity of heart”.
In my own ministry, I have found that growing a church is relatively easy.  Keeping a heart and life of simplicity is harder.
Singapore is a place where we know the price of everything but the value of nothing.
We know the price of a house but not the value of a home.
We know the price of dinner but not the value of fellowship.
Our children know the price of an iPhone but not the value of communication.
On the other hand, these “primitive” disciples ate their food with simplicity of heart.  They had something we don’t.
I believe that being rich is not how much you have but how little you need.
My staff complain that it is difficult to buy me birthday gifts, not because I am difficult to please, but because I simply don’t need anything.  And I don’t need anything, not because I have everything, but because there is almost nothing I want.  The ongoing joke is that whenever they ask me what gifts they can buy me, my answer is – “Ok, buy me 50 more good leaders from eBay.”
My wife, Pastor Cecilia Chan and I, have chosen to live simply.  I grew up living in a house in District 10 (for my non-Singaporean readers, that’s an expensive neighborhood). After we got married, we have been living in a Woodlands HDB flat (that’s probably the cheapest neighborhood) for almost 20 years.
In the early years, that’s what we could afford.  But now we can easily move to a bigger house in a nicer neighborhood.  The first reason for choosing to live simply is our personal covenant with God.  Inspired by the words of Haggai 1:4, we made a commitment to build God’s house first, then build our own house.  So perhaps after Heart of God Church moves into our new Home, then I will move my home closer to church.
The second reason for choosing to live simply is our decision to give one million dollars to our church’s Building Fund a few years ago.  Pastor Lia received a big insurance payout because of her cancer.  Together with profits from my business and all of the insurance money, we took that leap of faith.