Joseph Prince is a pastor and author from Singapore who is most known for leading Singapore’s largest Christian church today, New Creation Church. Joseph’s charismatic personality and dynamic preaching style have been significant in drawing literally tens upon tens of thousands of people that flock New Creation Church every week to hear his preaching.
Throughout his years of being a pastor, Joseph has established himself as one of the most influential Christian leaders today. He is a sought after speaker in many international Christian events, and has been featured in various publications such as the Charisma magazine. His television program airs daily in numerous television channels worldwide, proving just how much of an inspiration and influence Joseph is.
Grace: Joseph’s Central Message
It is no wonder why so many people are drawn to Joseph’s services at New Creation Church. His sermons of grace and forgiveness convey a message that is different from the traditional view of Christianity—that God is good, period. Often, Christian preachers are criticized for being harsh and condemning in their preaching, focusing on sin and judgment, but not Joseph. His messages always point to the goodness of God and how God wants for everyone to experience the heavenly life that His Son Jesus Christ died on the cross for.
Of course, this kind of preaching has made Joseph a target for legalists who criticize him for giving people a ‘license to sin,’ but he does not let these negative voices bother him at all. For Joseph, when people start accusing him of these things, they serve as a confirmation that he is actually preaching the gospel because the same kind of accusations were also made against the Apostle Paul. In an interview, Joseph says:
“When people accuse me of preaching a license to sin, I rejoice because the same accusations were levelled against the Apostle Paul. Paul must have preached grace so radically that it caused some to misunderstand him by saying, ‘shall we sin so that grace may abound?’”
Success through God’s Favor, Not One’s Effort
One of the most amazing things that Joseph preaches (and lives as well) is the fact that while he is at his best in everything he does, he never relies on his own efforts to get him to where he needs to go. This is because he believes that once you rely on your own efforts (by following ‘conventional’ rules and steps) to achieve success, you will have to maintain that success with the same amount of effort; eventually, you will be burnt out because you can never keep doing it.
As Joseph says in a book he wrote:
“Most people believe that one needs to work hard to achieve success in life. The world’s system of success is built on the twin pillars of self-effort and diligence. There are always some 'laws' that you have to abide by, and some 'methods and techniques' that you have to keep on practicing before there can be any results. Most of the time, any result that you may get will start to fade once you cease to follow through with the prescribed methods and steps.”
This is why while Joseph encourages his congregation to always be at their best in everything that they do, he never promotes the idea of ‘self-sufficiency.’ Contrary to traditional Christian teachings, where in order for someone to receive God’s goodness and favor, that person has to make the first move and repent, ask for forgiveness or whatever needs to be done, Joseph preaches that God is always the first one to make a move, because man in himself is incapable of doing anything.
This is described in one of Joseph’s interviews, when he says:
“It is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance. Under the old covenant, you have to repent first before God blesses you. But under grace, the new covenant, is the goodness of God that leads one to repentance.”
These teachings are reflected in Joseph’s writings, which became bestsellers in their own right. Joseph is the author of the widely known bestseller books “Destined to Reign: The Secret to Effortless Success, Wholeness and Victorious Living” and “Unmerited Favor,” both of which have landed favorable spots in the Top 100 Books Worldwide of Christian Retailing.
With all of the successes that he has achieved, Joseph nevertheless remains very humble, knowing that he did not get to where he is today because of his own abilities, but because of God’s favor and the people that came before him. Joseph owes the things he knows today to the ‘Word of Faith’ teachings, which he says helped get him closer to the Grace Revolution that he is now known for.
Joseph says in an interview:
“I give thank for God for my roots in the Word of Faith teachings. It is truly on the shoulders of great men of God like Brother Kenneth E. Hagin that we are able to see further into the Word of God today. Growing up, I learned a lot about faith from Brother Hagin who truly had a special revelation of faith from the Lord. I deeply honor and respect him for all that he has taught me.”
Early Life in Singapore
Joseph Prince was born Xenonamandar Jegahusiee Singh in the city of Singapore on May 15, 1963, the son of an Indian father and Chinese mother. Joseph’s father was a Sikh priest, and played quite a significant role in their locality. After Joseph was born, the entire family moved to Perak, Malaysia, where he spent his primary school years.
As a young student, Joseph was remarkably intelligent, but he had a problem that he dreaded all throughout his primary up to high school years—he was a stutterer, and had extreme difficulty in speaking properly. This condition caused Joseph to experience insecurity, which was only comforted by his mother who showered Joseph and his siblings with all the love and care that she could give.
Dabbling in the Occult and Joseph’s Introduction to Christianity
Sometime during his secondary years, Joseph and his family returned to Singapore where he attended Commonwealth Secondary School. During this time, Joseph began to have interest in the occult, and started to dabble in the world of witch doctors, Ouija boards and such. However, as he got deeper in his interest in the occult, Joseph also started to divert his attention to Christianity, which for him seemed to have a strong defense against witch doctors (due to the fact that he noticed that witch doctors would not accept a request if it was going to be done against Christians).
Little did Joseph know that this would be the start of his Christian journey. After having several ‘supernatural’ experiences, Joseph started to seek out Christianity, which he found through an aunt who invited him to attend church. The first time Joseph attended a Christian service, he decided to give his life to Jesus Christ and from that time on devoted his life in serving his Lord and Savior.
Success in the IT Industry
Sometime during his secondary year, Joseph transferred from Commonwealth Secondary School to the private school of Our Lady of Lourdes, where he finished his studies with ‘A’ levels and went on to earn his bachelor’s degree with high remarks. Afterwards, he started working in the Information Technology business as an IT Consultant for a local company, something that he excelled in. Eventually, he became very successful in his career, and established himself as one of the finest consultants in the business.
Around this time, Joseph was also actively participating as a worker in the local Baptist church, where he became the president of the church’s youth ministry. Joseph largely attributes his success to God’s favor in his life, which caused him to seek God more and more. It was right during this period that Joseph was introduced to the Word of Faith teachings, most notably by Kenneth Hagin. As he began to delve deeper in God’s word, Joseph started to shift his views from the traditional Baptist culture into a more charismatic viewpoint.
A Change of Views: The Birth of New Creation Church
Not long afterwards, Joseph started to preach the ‘faith without works’ message, something that got him into trouble with the elders of his church. Eventually, the clash of ideals left Joseph and some of his friends no choice but to leave the church, as they did not wish to give up the newfound freedom in the faith that they have come to know.
Pressured by their church elders who did not agree with their open displays of worship, Joseph and his friends (Henry Yeo, Jack Ho and David Yeow) left the Baptist church and established New Creation Church in 1984. The first church service had twenty five members, which gradually grew over the following years. During the late eighties, Joseph changed his birth name into ‘Joseph Prince,’ by which he is known today.
Throughout the next six years, Joseph actively devoted his time and efforts into the growth of New Creation Church whilst also maintaining his reputation as a very good IT Consultant. In 1990, however, Joseph received a call from God to go full-time in the church and serve as its senior pastor, something that was backed up by the entire leadership of New Creation Church. Initially, Joseph did not want to go full-time as a pastor, as he was ‘making good money for God,’ but after an experience wherein he challenged God to ‘freeze’ his and his company’s accounts to prove that it was really God who was talking to him, Joseph left his secular job and finally devoted all of his time to pastoring.
Going Full-Time: Joseph as New Creation Church’s Senior Pastor
From that time on, Joseph completely took over the task of preaching and overseeing the activities of New Creation Church, which already had a weekly attendance of around one hundred forty to one hundred fifty people. Throughout the early to mid-nineties, Joseph preached to his church on a variety of topics on a weekly basis, using his background from the Word of Faith. Although most (if not all) of the church members responded well to the teachings, Joseph himself started looking for a deeper understanding of the scriptures, something that he felt traditional Christian teachings did not have.
Grace Revolution: The Experience that Started It All
Little did Joseph know how much God would grant him his desire. In 1997, while he was in Switzerland with his family for vacation, he received a calling from God to preach ‘radical’ grace—the kind of grace teaching that the Apostle Paul preached. Joseph described his experiences in an interview:
“It started in 1997 when I was driving along the Swiss Alps with my wife, who was soundly asleep. As I was admiring the beauty of the Swiss Alps I heard the voice of the Lord strongly on the inside of me saying, ‘son, you are not preaching grace.’ I answered him and said, ‘Lord, that’s a low blow—I’m a preacher of grace!’ God said to me, ‘Whenever you preach grace you try to balance it with the law.’ Then he said something that really changed me: ‘If you do not preach grace radically, people’s lives will never be radically transformed.’ And that’s what started the grace revolution in me.”
This experience caused Joseph to radically change his mindset about everything he believed in the Christian faith. As soon as he went home to Singapore, Joseph started to take on a whole new look at the scriptures, which he introduced to his church not long after. These radical messages of grace and God’s forgiveness were greatly accepted by the members of New Creation Church, which started to expand more than Joseph could ever imagine or dream of.
The Spectacular Growth of New Creation Church and Joseph’s International Career
Throughout the next few years, New Creation Church exploded rapidly in number, and by 2004 the church had around ten thousand members that were meeting weekly in the Rock Auditorium, which was one of the premiere facilities in Singapore. In a few short years that followed, Joseph started to gain international attention and was often invited to speak at various conferences; in 2005, Joseph spoke at the “Grace and Favour Conference” that was held by Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia; while from 2007 onwards, he became a frequent guest speaker at the “Hillsong Conference,” an annual event hosted by Hillsong Church in its various locations around the world.
The Grace of God: The Reason behind Joseph’s Success
Much of the success that was, and is currently being experienced by New Creation Church is because of the teachings that Joseph shares with his congregation weekly. Joseph’s messages on grace is very different from traditional Christian teachings on grace due to the fact that it presents a radical view on things such as forgiveness, repentance, God’s blessings and goodness. The Christian faith, as Joseph said in an interview, has always had a ‘give and take’ concept in terms of their relationship with God—Christians have to obey God first before God blesses them—and this causes a lot of Christians to live in difficulty and frustration because they could not do so in their own strength.
Grace, as Joseph teaches it, is God’s unmerited favor—this means that God blesses people not because they deserve it, but because of what His Son Jesus Christ has already done two thousand years ago. Under the system of radical grace, people do not have to obey first to earn God’s goodness and favor; God blesses them first and that blessing will empower the person to obey Him.
Joseph’s messages of unmerited favor and God’s amazing goodness have greatly captured the attention of literally thousands of people, and affected their lives positively. And while Joseph did have his share of legalistic critics who opposed what they called his ‘feel-good’ messages, not once did Joseph come against his critics and haters. Instead, he focused his time and effort in preaching, something that he says is his life’s work.
Going into Television
In 2007, Joseph launched his television ministry titled “Destined to Reign,” which thrust him further into international attention. Starting with one broadcast per week, Destined to Reign grew into becoming one of the most watched Christian programs on television, airing in many international Christian channels such as the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Daystar, GodTV and others. In 2012, Joseph and his New Creation Church team celebrated their five years in television ministry.
Joseph’s Refuses to Receive Salary from Church as He Succeeds as an Author
That same year, Joseph wrote and released his first book, entitled “Destined to Reign: The Secret to Effortless Success, Wholeness and Victorious Living.” The book, which contained a summary of his ten years of preaching, became a financial and critical success, selling millions of copies throughout the next few years of its publication, and was even included in the Christian Retailing Top 100 Books.
The success of Destined to Reign was followed by the release of Joseph’s second international bestselling book, Unmerited Favor, in 2010. Unmerited Favor, which discussed how the life of a believer should not be governed by his own works, but by God’s grace and goodness, followed its predecessor and became an equally successful book. That same year, Joseph was featured in the cover story of Charisma magazine.
In 2009, Joseph decided to step down from the church payroll and become an honorary senior pastor of New Creation Church due to the financial successes that he received from the sales of his book Destined to Reign. He said that he wanted for the funds which were supposed to be paid to him to go to more useful purposes, such as missions so that more people could be reached with the gospel of Grace.
Speaking in the United States for the First Time
By 2011, Joseph had gained incredible international attention that he was invited to speak at Lakewood Church, the largest Christian congregation in the United States, on October 29 and 30 of that year. In all of the sessions that he preached, the church building (which had a seating capacity of sixteen thousand) was jam packed, and there were even hundreds of people who were not able to sit because of the number of people that attended to hear him. The following year, Joseph was invited by the Trinity Broadcasting Network to host their annual Holy Land tour.
The Star: A Testament of God’s Goodness and Grace
Since he started the “grace revolution” in our generation, Joseph’s New Creation Church has grown in such staggering numbers that by the end of 2012, church membership was around thirty thousand. Since 2004, Joseph and his leadership team at New Creation have been hoping to have a new worship facility to accommodate the growing number of people that have been attending. From 1999, New Creation Church has had its services in various places around Singapore, with the main service held in the Rock Auditorium and satellite services in Marina Bay Sands and Shine Auditorium. In an interview made with him, Joseph expressed his amazement at the kind of success that he and his team have experienced:
“To me, I’m very humbled. Every week when I stand there for four services, once in a while, I still wonder to myself, people are queuing up, for what? This is not Hello Kitty, you know.”
In December 2012, New Creation Church’s dream of having a new worshipping facility was finally brought into reality when “The Star,” which is a commercial building containing a five-thousand seater auditorium (the first in Singapore) was finally completed. The Star was a project that was started in 2008 by Capita Land and Rock Productions, the business arm of the church. Completed without any financial assistance such as loans, The Star was truly a testament of God’s goodness as New Creation Church celebrated its very first service on Christmas day of that year.
Like his career as a pastor, Joseph’s personal life has been loaded with tremendous unmerited favor. He is married to Wendy Prince, and has two children: Jessica Shayna and Justin David. A loving father, Joseph practices the things he preaches by making sure that he has time for his family and takes occasional leaves from preaching so he could spend time with his family.
Today, Joseph Prince continues to grow in every aspect of his career and life overall. His determination to preach the radical grace of God is unwavering, and is being met by open doors everywhere he goes. Sure, he does face quite an amount of opposition, but Joseph never lets these negative voices weigh him down, confident that God is fighting his battles for him.
An amazing teacher, preacher, and example, Joseph continues to inspire millions of people around the world with his messages of grace and God’s unmerited favor. His life teaches us that it is not our own works that enable us to succeed, but it is the favor and goodness of God that will bring us to places that we can only dream of.
“When you hear the new covenant of grace preached, it is always Christ-exalting. It always reveals more and more of Jesus… There is no grace without Jesus…. Grace is not a doctrine. Grace is a person and His name is Jesus. Therefore, there is no grace teaching without Jesus Christ. You cannot separate Jesus and grace!”
Organizations and Programmes Supported
- Joseph Prince Ministries
- New Creation Church and its various ministries
- Community Chest
- NTUC Care & Share
Awards and Achievements
- 2010: Featured in the June issue of Charisma Magazine
- Holds the record of the largest Christian church in Singapore (New Creation Church)