Harnessing power of media for Christ (Linus Koh)

Ervin TanFeature

Linus, father of four, serves God with his wife Anne Marie as media missionaries. Photo: Linus Koh

The call to stewardship: I say “Yes” to being a media missionary. 

Linus Koh shares his journey of how he uses his skills and talents in media to bring the light of Christ to others.

Before I was born, my parents were experiencing financial difficulties. With two kids to care for, they decided to abort me. On the way to the clinic, my mother decided to drop by the grotto at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, and apologised to God in advance for what she was about to do. Father Michael Arro, MEP, happened to walk by and asked her three times, “What are you going to do?” Eventually, my mother admitted that she was going for an abortion as she could not afford a third child. Fr Arro said, “If you cannot afford this child, God can. Give him to God and trust in Him.” By the grace of God, my life was saved, not for my own sake, but to serve Him. This was clearly revealed to me much later, at the age of 17. I was reading a book on leadership while my dad was watching the news. Just as I finished the sentence, “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less”, I looked up at the TV and saw these running words at the bottom of the screen: Television is the world’s greatest influence on culture today.

Evangelising through media

That started my journey to be a filmmaker for God. I realised if Christians were to influence the world and provide life-giving truths, then we have to learn how to harness media for good. It set me on a course to develop my skills and talents for Christ. Years later, my wife Anne Marie and I gathered a team of young adults with a passion for using their talent in media to evangelise and serve the needs of the Church. Together with our partners, we started Saint Max Story & Media in August 2019. Our company’s name was inspired by the life of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, who believed in the power of prayer through the intercession of the Virgin Mary and evangelising through media. As an evangelising enterprise, it is a mission with a business rather than a business with a mission, which is similar to that of St Maximilian – using the media of our time to bring the light of Christ to others. A couple of months later, a visiting priest from America shared with us about their weekly TV broadcast of the Sunday Mass for the homebound, elderly, new mothers and the sick.

Inspired, we dreamt of starting weekly livestream Masses to minister to theageing population in our Archdiocese, and discerned that we needed livestream cameras and equipment. These were bought just in time for the Lourdes Experience in December 2019. Yet after the event, they sat untouched in our store for months, which seemed to indicate that we had made a bad investment.

Docility to the Holy Spirit

Unexpectedly, when Covid-19 hit Singapore, our Archbishop announced on Feb 14, 2020 that all Masses would be suspended indefinitely. We felt that it was critical to provide the best possible alternative to physical Mass so that the faithful could still experience God through media. Swinging into action, we offered our service to the Archdiocese and were recording the first online Mass the next day.

We soon realised that children were having a hard time connecting with Mass broadcasts. My own kids were either running around or falling asleep viewing it on TV. The Archdiocese allowed us to organise the online Mass with children, giving children an opportunity to serve and to see fellow young ones participating. I am grateful that many Catholics stepped up to volunteer to be part of the pre-Mass segment to engage the children. Looking back, I realise that God was leading us on a journey to simply see the needs of the Church and try to meet them, to be docile to the Holy Spirit and serve the Church and God’s people. I am glad to have been involved in video productions for the Catholic community, ranging from devotions like online rosary and Stations of the Cross; to the livestream of the 24/7 Perpetual Adoration at the Cathedral; to various formational series about the Divine Office, discernment and Mother Mary.

Responding to God’s call

In Mark 1:16-20, we see that Simon and his brother Andrew left their nets at once when Jesus called them to follow Him and become fishers of people. When God calls us to serve Him, are we ready to drop our nets? Many of us are working hard, expending all our energies and passion to pursue our dreams according to what the world dictates. I urge you to steward your skills and talents for His kingdom, and respond to His call in your lives!

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