Mega churches on the arising in Singapore


17 July 2010. SINGAPORE. The Straits Times feature article entitled “Rise of the mega church – Gospel & Glitz” examinined the rise of the mega churches set to overshadow the traditional mainstream churches.  The top mega churches have high double digit growth rate with City Harvest Church founded only in 1989 with attendance of 33,000 now surpassing the Methodist Church (32,460 in attendance). The second largest mega church, New Creation, founded in 1983 has an attendance of 20,000 which is similar to the next two biggest mainstream traditional churches – the Anglican church with 20,577, and the Assemblies of God at 21,809.

As the percentage of Christians only grew at a marginal rate of 2% (from 13% in 1990 to 15% in 2000 census), there were concerns that the Mega sheep were “stolen” rather than “saved”.   As they grow bigger, the number of smaller churches became more numerous and smaller in size.  We are reminded of Mat 25:29, where those who cannot afford to lose members are losing people. For a small church, every family forms a large percentage impacting the entire church.

The mega churches were said to be characterized by the following:-

1.       Motivational/ Feel Good theology versus traditional hellfire and brimstone theology 

2.       Prosperity theology - Preaching a good life now, not just the afterlife. Christians are blessed to be a blessing to the world. 

3.       Full services - Services from cradle to grave with childcare services, children churches, business networking, Youth activities. 

4.       Worldwide connectons  - Plugged into the Multinational Global grid of mega churches with speaking arrangements. 

5.       Emphasis on the 5Ms,


a)      Management (money?)– a market model based on the business corporate world approach.


b)      Music – Worship is likened to a rock concert


c)       Message – Motivational, and applicable. Emphasis on living the good life as blessings as a believer


d)      Members – Extensive support services for all ages and needs


e)     Multinational – Overseas Links to Church Growth International, Hillsongs, International Coalition of Apostles (ICA), New Apostolic Reformation


There are concerns. These churches have mega influence over thousands based on a few cult like mega star personalities whom people worship as Singaporean idols and gods, and mega finances of hundreds of millions for big projects. The potential for corruption, misuse and abuse of power, and the focus of the large wealth is magnified manifold.


American Christian Right pastors frequents Singapore week in and out. motivating the market place evangelism where the churches moves beyond the traditional mountain of religion. Advocated by Peter C Wagner, there is a master plan to conquer entire nations on the pretext of “Love Singapore”, or “Transformation 2009”, with the entire host of Joel’s army, entering and influencing the mountains of


a) Arts and Entertainment

b) Business

c) Education

d) Family

e) Government

f) Media

h) Religion


The mega churches are actually united together with the Anglicans, Methodists, and Assemblies of God, to possess the Land (Joshua 1:10-11). The promised land is not only a personal faith and religion, it is all the seven mountains where we are to cast out and defeat the incumbents just as the Israelites cast out the seven former rulers of the land (Josh 3:10). The above seven areas are referred by Christians as reclaiming culture with a biblical mandate under  Exodus 9:16, Rev 17:9-10, Deut 28:13-14,        Mat 6:9-10.


 The assignment of the Christian Right is DOMINION which they say is God’s original intent (Psa 24:1, Gen 1:26). We were to take the over the spaces of our Life, Work, Church, City, Nation as part of “Societal Transformation”.  The dominion was said to be lost in the Garden of Eden which we are to reclaim (Luke 19:10, Colossians 1:19-20). The original intent through Moses was not to establish a religion but to extend God’s will throughout the nations (1 Pet 2:9-10).  The key barriers are the sacred and secular divide. The key strategy is to have a network of “influencers”, in the culture of Military, Business, Government, and cultural. They are called to catalyze on the tipping points of culture. They see the battle over gay rights as a tipping point which must be won to conquer all the other mountains.


Perhaps the repeal of 377A in Singapore was just a trap which the Government side stepped. If it was repealed, it would be considered a tipping point and the mega churches would come in and used this as a rallying point for entry into the corridors of power of the seven mountains. They were trying to get rid of gays to enter into the Arts and Entertainment, and also using gays as a reason to breach the secular divide.

 It is an unseen battle, which we should not be unAwares. We may preach the mantra of acceptance of different views and inclusivity in our high Greek Pantheon of theological reflection whilst ignoring the gathering of the masses of Joel’s army gathers below, powerful, rich, influential, absolute, highly charged, motivated, clinical and single minded. Few would see gay Christians as part of the body of Christ.  We say we are "thinking christians" but we can also be highly delusional and idealistic.   

(Rev 2:5 NKJV) "Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place; unless you repent.


We are reminded that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the lowest of cities, to a small people group. He ministered not to the politicians or businessman, or the rich, but chose the least in the community. When the bible speaks of the 7 mountains, it was not culture, but the city of Rome on the seven mountains which signifies the world, and the powers within it. If Jesus had meant to go into the world and conquer it, He would have born into the elite of Rome and ruled from Rome. Yet, Jesus was born in a lonely manger.

 Jesus showed the way, His lifestyle, and avoidence of the worldly mountains we now seek to conquer. He wanted to have least to do with them and even money changers doing business He drove away from the temple of God. His house was to be a house of prayer, ie a personal walk, relationship and devotion to God.

The Jews were expecting a Messiah with the religious standing, political influence and wealth, and military might to deliever them from the Romans and then rule over Jerusalem, but He came to do the opposite. Instead, He died for us, for He desires not to reign in the world, but within our hearts. Two thousand years later, we are still maintaining this delusion that Jesus came to give us the mandate to conquer the World. 

The mega churches are big, but the Catholic Church is far bigger, an ancient political, religious and wealthy institution. The Catholic Church became the national religion, yet nothing changed, the hearts of many for God did not change. Christianity itself became a religion of do's and dont's, of sacrements to follow rather than a personal walk and Lordship of Christ. There is a darkness, as if the presence of God was taken away, the lampstand of God removed. We may have a form of religion but no power.

 We are reminded of an old song "I have decided to follow Jesus" by Sundar Singh. It talks of making a decision to follow Jesus, a decision to focus on the Cross and turning our backs on the mountains of the World. It is not a popular call like the masses of people following after a mega church leader, for "though none go with me, still I will follow". For Sundar did not see life as a bed of roses, but hardship, the Cross speaking of the burdens we need to bear to preach the Gospel and we will often wonder the price we had to pay to follow Christ, but still "I will follow".

"I am not worthy to follow in the steps of my Lord," he said, "but, like Him, I want no home, no possessions. Like Him I will belong to the road, sharing the suffering of my people, eating with those who will give me shelter, and telling all men of the love of God."

In 1929, Sadhu Sundar Singh set of for a journey to Tibet. He was 40 years old, and was never seen again. Surely he never looked back. Like Jesus, he did not have much worldly belongings, no business suites, no BMW, no Mercedes, no 500K per year pay, or mansion beside the Ganges. Still I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back, no turning back.

I Have decided to follow Jesus (S Sundar Singh)

  1. I have decided to follow Jesus;
    I have decided to follow Jesus;
    I have decided to follow Jesus;
    No turning back, no turning back.
  2. Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
    Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
    Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
    No turning back, no turning back.
  3. The world behind me, the cross before me;
    The world behind me, the cross before me;
    The world behind me, the cross before me;
    No turning back, no turning back.
  4. Though none go with me, still I will follow;
    Though none go with me, still I will follow;
    Though none go with me, still I will follow;
    No turning back, no turning back.
  5. Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
    Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
    Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
    No turning back, no turning back
Locations of visitors to this page