Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sunday Service September 21, 2008

We had our highest attendance of 71 this Sunday since coming to this church family. While we try to figure out the reason for this relatively fast growth, we acknowledge that it is primarily the work of God through the Holy Spirit.

It is also worth noting the balance of our attendance. We had 26 adults, 28 children, and 17 young people. It has been our mission to bring the families in our community to the family of God. Basically that would include the parents, specially the fathers. We believe that when the father is a Christian, he could greatly influence the other members of the family.

As one of the pastors of the church, I never tire of lifting up our members to God in prayer. I don't follow a list in my prayers but what I do is I try to remember those in the front row going to the rear. A church in that size, it is still possible to remember their names and where they are sitting that Sunday. Sooner I will not be able to pray this way, but I believe there will be more people praying for others by that time.

Just for the practical things we do in our church, let me enumerate some.

At the start of every service, we read the Bible together as a church. We assign three verses for each, including the children. We read two chapters from the books we are reading in series. We are done with Ephesians and Philippians and we are going to read Colossians this coming Sunday. We are upholding the authority of God's Word in our lives and at the same time training our members to make Bible reading a part of their lives.

We also give time for corporate prayer before the end of the service. We ask for prayer requests and inform people of answered prayers every time. We have emphasized the importance of prayer in our existence as a church.

In lieu of the usual Sunday school, we break into small groups after the sermon to discuss how we could apply the truth and principles we have just heard from the sermon. I think this one is really a defining part of the way we do church. Most of the churches are unable to help their members find opportunities to apply God's Word in their daily lives. It doesn't matter how skillful the sermon is; what matters is the impact it makes in the life of the Christian. A changed life is always the goal of every sermon. A life redirected, inspired, and empowered to serve God and glorify Him is what defines the things we do in the church.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

“…Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two:…”

I am feeling a little confused these days. I don't know if you have tried working in a secular job, but I think I am in where it's getting nearer and nearer to a place where I have to choose between full-time ministry and my job. And I know I am going to choose ministry. At least I have a much clearer vision now that God wants me in the ministry. (When I was 15 I made a commitment to become a pastor, but I took a different route. Now I am 29, I think I never really succeeded in this career at least to my expectations.) After 14 years, I am involved in His work as a pastor while working on my Bible degree. I think that is not a coincidence.

What is really bothering me is the timing. I know eventually I will resign from work. To be honest, working in the business world is not exciting anymore like it used to be. I have learned a lot in my work from giving trainings, which is my main job, to events organizing, marketing and more, and I am dying to use those skills in the Church.

I happened to read Phil 1, “…Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two:…”

I think for now I’ll just take Paul’s advice: Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. I think this is how Paul also lived his life, conscious of the reality that anything could happen, gave his whole heart to whatever he finds to do. I will just give my best shot in whatever I do, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord.”

Friday, September 5, 2008


"Maturity is the length of time you can wait to be recognized for any accomplishment."

When I started in my current job (not the pastoral but the secular job as company trainer), every now and then I would be praised fro every accomplishment. I would be motivated to work harder because of the recognition I am was getting. After sometime, my work is no longer an avenue for applause and recognition. It is not that I am no longer performing. In fact, I am confident that I am better, more equipped and more effective than ever.

I think it is a natural point in one's career that recognition and praises are things in the past. We should get past the stage where we draw our motivation from people's approval. Naturally, we are being required to grow into a certain degree of maturity to not even expect for compliments. I have realized that my effectiveness in work is not determined by compliments but by the impact it makes in creating positive change in others and in the organization.

My motivation is no longer to "win their favor when their eyes is in (me)," but "doing the will of God from (my) heart" and to "serve wholeheartedly, as if (I) were serving the Lord, not men, because (I) know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does..." (Ephesians 6:6-8)

The rewards may not be immediate, but the longer I can wait, the more my maturity.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sunday Service August 31, 2008

Yesterday we had a record attendance of 54. We are praying to reach at least 60 regular attendance at the end of the year. I think it's good number considering that at the start of the year there were barely 20.
We praise Him for His work in this church. Clearly it is God's power in display. We couldn't have done it on our own.
Admittedly, the pastors in this church are not the most gifted pastors around. We are virtually neophyte except for the 12 years of pastoral experience of my father. But this is his first pastorate after more than a decade of being away from the ministry. I am just in my first year of my theological studies. Kuya Joel, the other pastor has no "formal" Bible training. What we have is our hearts committed to Jesus. We have the Passion for God, and Compassion for People.

We don't worry about what we don't have and what we don't know. We just try to be faithful with what we have and what we know. We just allowed God so much room to work in. We consider ourselves as partners, with God as our Chairman, President, CEO and General Manager. When you do that, you could never go wrong.