Why 28,000 as an average weekly attendance figure is a grossly inflated sum:
On 11th August 2014, Kong took to the stand and claimed that “the Crossover Project doubled, tripled our congregation size”
Kong added that the church congregation grew from 10,000 to 28,000. And by the year 2009, the average weekly attendance was 28,000. He went on to state that there was one particular month in 2009, where average attendance peaked at 32,000 people.
Chew believed that the church’s attendance has been grossly over-exaggerated by Kong.
According to Chew, Expo Hall 8 had a regular seating capacity of 5,000 while Jurong West had a 1,800 regular seating capacity. In 2009, CHC had 2 English services at Expo and 2 English services at the Jurong West hall.
To illustrate, an average weekend attendance in the year 2009 should have been:
2 X 5,000 (Expo) + 2 X 1,800 (Jurong West) = 13,600 people
28,000 – 13,600 = 14,400 extra people
Where did the extra 14,400 attendance count come from?
Not forgetting the other congregations, Indonesian, Tamil, Chinese, Johor Bahru and Filipino of course. But do they make up 14,400 people?
Chew also brought up in court that another way to judge the accuracy of attendance figures was by comparing them to forecast attendance. Taking a forecast attendance is a common practice in CHC, although not really practiced now as Kong commented, whereby cell group leaders and zone pastors take a forecast attendance weekly before every service. These forecast attendance would state the number of members, who are under cell groups, that would be attending the service that week. These figures would not include the public also known as ‘walk-ins’. Kong agreed with Chew that the forecast attendance could accurately predict the actual attendance of the week, given a 10% margin.
On 27 March 2010, the service forecast attendance was as follows:
Service 1 (Jurong West): 1,711
Service 2 (Expo): 4,608
Service 3 (Expo): 3,979
Service 4 (Jurong West): 1,356
Indonesian service: 75
Tamil service: 131
JB service: 165
Filipino service: 77
Total count: 13,022 (+10%)
Usher count of Chinese service on 23rd May 2010: 1,000 people
Adding the attendance of the Chinese service would only equate to 14,022 people. How are the extra 28,000 – 14,022 = 13,978 people accounted for?
Pastor Kong replied to Mr. Chew
1. We have a department that does the physical count, and he based on the numbers from his staff who gave him all the data.
2. After the investigation, we got a consultant from the US and Australia to look at all our data and go through our processes and some adjustments were being made, but at that point in 2009, those figures were correct.
3. I think the best thing to do for Eng Han is to check with the department that does the statistics and have a conclusive breakdown on how we get the attendance of 28,000.
4. I trust my team to be accurate and I believe that the figures were accurate and if need be I am sure there are documentary proof to show that the numbers were accurate for an average monthly attendees number.
5. These are cell group attendance, these are not the congregation size. Not every member go to cell groups. (My note: Mr Chew was talking about Lixia messages forecast and attendance for S1 to S4, Indonesian, Tamil, Johor Bahru, Filipino.)
6. I think the best thing that Eng Han could do, to solve this once and for all, is to look at the documentary evidence of say December 2009 and let’s just look at the average monthly attendees result.
7. I am not copied in the pin message so the best person that would know the context of this would be Pastor Tan.