“Open the conversation gently”: How OUE’s Thio Gim Hock shares Christ
by Geraldine Tan // September 9, 2019, 7:13 pm
“Your mission field is where you are at work. Seize every opportunity to share Christ. Whatever God has entrusted to you, do your part,” urges Mr Thio Gim Hock (centre, in red t-shirt), CEO of OUE. Photo from Mandarin Orchard Singapore's Facebook page.
It has been 31 years since that first encounter with God and Mr Thio Gim Hock continues to be a firebrand – travelling to remote and, oftentimes, dangerous places to preach the Gospel.
One may look at him – CEO of OUE and itinerant evangelist – and think that only people of his stature can serve God, but he reminds every believer: “God, in His wisdom, has placed each one of you in a particular place of work.
“Your mission field is where you are at work. You are surrounded by colleagues, you’re surrounded by friends who know you. Seize every opportunity to share Christ. Whatever God has entrusted to you, do your part.”
And it’s as easy as starting a conversation – with some help.
“Ask the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is full of ideas!” Thio told the 200 who had gathered for the lunchtime talk in the heart of the Central Business District, organised by FCBC Marketplace Connect.
Cracking a tough nut
Thio recounted a time when his daughter asked him to share the Gospel with her friend’s father, a medical doctor who was known to be a tough nut. As he prayed ahead of their meeting on the tennis court, the Holy Spirit revealed to him an incident that had happened to the doctor when he was young.
“Your behaviour must line up with what you say you believe.”
After the game, he asked the doctor about the incident.
“The more I spoke, the wider his mouth became. He asked me how I knew. I replied, ‘I don’t know but God knows! God loves you.’” Thio then led the doctor to the Lord on the tennis court.
But Thio admits that there were also times when he has failed the Lord. “Sometimes, when He tells me something about a person, I chicken out to ask because it’s so difficult, and I’m wondering: ‘Wah. Really true or not?’ And I have to confess and repent to God that I missed the opportunity.”
Walk the talk
Even before the doors to share the Good News can be open, believers need to watch how they behave.
“You must be careful to show that your behaviour lines up with what you say you believe. Are you portraying the image of a Christ-centred person?
“Jesus said. ‘You shall be witnesses to me.’ He didn’t say, ‘You shall go and preach, then you shall be witnesses.’ That means your behaviour is your witness,” said Thio, expounding on Acts 1:8.
Besides that, he also spends time praying for his staff.
“Many times, I have lunch in my office. After I finish lunch, I will spend time praying for each of my staff, especially those who don’t know Jesus,” he said, adding that he would pray the Aaronic blessing over them. “When you pronounce that blessing on them, God says, ‘I will put My name on them and will bless them.’ It is God blessing them. And I do that all the time, I bless the people.
“If the door opens, gently share with them the Gospel. There are many ways to open the conversation without being threatening.”
Choose the better thing
His advice for believers in the marketplace: “When you work in this secular world, you can also work in the kingdom of God.”
He recalled his early years where the pull of the attractions and cares of the world drowned out God’s voice in his life.
“You can choose to follow Him or you can follow yourself and the world. That’s your choice.”
“I carried on a greater part of my life without God, doing my own thing,” said Thio, revealing that his only regret in life is that he did not follow God earlier.
But he is reassured God will also gently guide us (Isaiah 30:21) because He knows we are prone to wander. God does all these so that we can fulfil the promises He has for each of us, to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11), he said.
“Believe Him! As you walk in His Kingdom, as you’re faithful in following Him, believe Him, He will come through,” he emphasised.
“As I look back at my journey, I can now see clearly and realise the impact and truth that God’s promises and statements have made in my life.”
Citing Psalm 139, which details God’s plan for each one of us, Thio had a reminder for Christians: “God writes your story. You can choose to follow Him or you can follow yourself and the world. That’s your choice.”