Church growth numbers is a common talking point with Kong Hee and Phil Pringle to stress their credibility to audiences. We’ve seen Pringle use figure-boosting tactics to encourage people to give money. We’ve seen Pringle use this scheme to elevate such men as Kong Hee at his Presence Conferences.
As a result, critics of critics often elevate the success of these men and their churches by spouting church figures to groups or individuals like us. We are seen as wrong by Hillsong, C3 and the CHC cults because C3 Church Watch is not supposedly changing thousands of lives unlike them. But when has church numbers ever been the standard of who’s right or wrong? Is not the only standard the Word of God?
But that’s all right! According to these cults their false teachers also parrot the common phrase, “It’s not about the numbers”… Really?
If Kong Hee and Phil Pringle continually stress “It’s not about the numbers”, why do they both continually mislead the public with highly exaggerated church figures?
In 2010, the investigations into City Harvest Church started. Many heard that their numbers were in decline. However in 2012, C3 advertised Kong Hee on their Presence Conference website:
“I CAN SEE A NEW GENERATION OF CHRISTIANS WITH THE ANOINTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, PRAYING LIKE NEVER BEFORE”
We welcome back Kong Hee, founder and leader of the mighty City Harvest Church in Singapore. Along with his wife Sun, Kong has grown his great congregation to over 28,000 members through passionate prayer and discipleship. His teaching on the cultural mandate fules [sic] his passion for being engaged in all levels of society and has had a great impact on the [sic] throughout the world.
Source: Conference Speakers, http://www.myc3church.net/presence12/speakers.html. (Accessed 15/03/2012.)
So we are told between 2011 and 2012 that Kong Hee has a congregation of 28,000. That same number was still advertised between 2012 to 2013.
The C3 Global Presence Conference 2013 advertised Kong Hee with this profile:
“Kong is the founder and leader of City Harvest Church in Singapore. Along with his wife Sun, Kong has grown his congregation to over 28,000 members through passionate prayer and discipleship…”
Source: presenceconference.com. (Accessed 01/05/2013.)
So in 2012 and 2013 Kong Hee has had a congregation of 28,000 people right?
To this day we have continually hear conflicting reports that his church has dropped significantly in numbers since investigations started back in 2010. At different times at various Presence Conference sessions Kong Hee has also confirmed that his church is slowly growing again in numbers. It appears that the church numbers conveniently change to suit either his persecuted status or his infallible Apostle-like status. This seems to be done to charm his naive audiences.
We bring all this to your attention for this reason.
Recently the CHC Confessions Facebook group posted up information from a CHC insider:
CHC was never a 30,000-member church as KH claimed over and over again, even as recently as last weekend during his sermon.
CHC congregation size and attendance reached a peak in the year 2009, and have since been decreasing steadily. The figures are as follows:
YEAR-END average attendance:
- Year 2009: 28,134 *
- Year 2010: 23,256 * (decreased by 4.9k or 17.3%)
- Year 2011: 22,825 ^ (decreased by 0.4k or 1.9%)
- Year 2012: 19,462 ^ (decreased by 3.3k or 14.7%)
- Year 2009: 23,565 *
- Year 2010: 22,049 * (decreased by 1.5k or 6.4%)
- Year 2011: 20,619 ^ (decreased by 1.4k or 6.5%)
- Year 2012: 19,819 ^ (decreased by 0.8k or 3.9%)
FULL-YEAR average weekly attendance:
- Year 2009: 19,375 *
- Year 2010: 17,960 * (decreased by 1.4k or 7.3%)
- Year 2011: 16,774 # (decreased by 1.2k or 6.6%)
- Year 2012: 15,402 # (decreased by 1.4k or 8.2%)
*Reported by KH at a Leaders’ Meeting in March 2011
^Reflected in CHC Progress Report 2011/2012
#Estimated based on previous years’ trend
Source: CHC Confessions, Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/CHCConfessions/posts/678643085488405, 05/10/2013. (Accessed 06/10/2013.)