Our church is celebrating its 11th year anniversary this Sunday. In line with that I made:
My best 11 the past 11:
Worship. On several occasions, people noted the grace in worship the church expressively exudes. I remember a time when Ptr. Manny Carlos commented in a prophetic presbytery that it wasn’t hard for him to “get in” because of the evident spirit of worship. Two of my personal favorites in worship leading are Hanah Toling and Keith Bicar. The ones we have now are also doing a great job with their crafts! I just love worshiping with this family.
Outliers. Malcom Gladwell coined it right. The church was ‘staffed’ with university students for years. Tuesday nights were allotted for staff meeting for its the only time the student leaders were available. Ministry heads were students, preachers were students, and volunteers were students. The opportunity produced bold leaders with a raw zeal to win the city for God!
Service. The church never had a full time maintenance personnel the past eleven years. The church relies heavily on volunteers. For an almost 500 church it is rather amazing. Talk about grit, we have the best and most dedicated volunteers ever! I have had my dose of Zonrox high in the comfort rooms, most of us have sweat it out cleaning, hauling, teaching singing, playing, smiling, clicking, and doing just about anything. Or maybe you want to call it Efa-ing.
Fun and Energy. I’m slowly realizing that I need to catch up with the youth’s energy. The only strategy we did to keep our praise songs upbeat was to put the students in the first few rows. They’re just contagious. This church has never been in shortage of energy! A visitor would always have a hard time forgetting about Dumaguete simply because the loads of fun unloaded to them are simply overwhelming. We know how to have fun!
Passion. At one point, someone from the congregation said that I was too loud. Ptr Dawny brought it to my attention but he said sheepishly, “But bro, I’d rather have the passion than less of it.” Short of saying, bring it on! Maraming passionista sa church nato!
Rebukes & Corrrection. If you have never been rebuked upfront and forward chances you’re missing out something big. Personally, I am praying for an extended grace for people who simply cannot accept rebukes. I have had a lot and I have been given a lot. Give and take lang. This is a church culture, if you have never received one, ask yourself why.
Core Values. This spiritual family has never divorced itself from the core values the church has embraced early on. As a family we share a DNA and a keen grit to safeguard it. We would pray to always strive for a character and a life that honors and pleases the Lord. We always pray that we can always represent God in the most honorable way with our everyday decisions. We will not tolerate each other and we will spur one another and love one another.
Evangelism and Disciplehsip. Cream of the crop. We are a church elated to see a person surrender his life to the Lord. I remember Dwight Sabio who would invite everyone to any church activity we have. That culture remains with guys like Richard Jam, John Hupa, the Carson ladies, and many more. Eleven years has seen batches upon batches of people who passed by Victory Dumaguete, I would love think that wherever they are right now, they are honoring the Lord.
Leadership. My wife and I take our hat off to Ptr. Dawny and Janet Perez. I wish I could sit down with you and tell you why. Time and again they have been tested and have always proven themselves faithful to their calling. They could have left the church in place of a more compensating pastoral job somewhere else, but they chose to stay. It can be daunting at times but they’ve weathered it. The couple is not perfect, but I promise you they are the most humble and unassuming ones I know.
Rianne. I am glad I married someone who I grew up in the faith with. I boast of the Lord for our story. We were together in the Ushering Ministry before she led the Kids Ministry. My wife and I are of the same spiritual magnitude, by that I mean we speak the same language when we talk about our calling in this city and among the students. We share the same passion when we were students and now we share the same home. I have a fantastic mate in Rianne.
Jesus. The eleven years has been committed and dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ with whom everything exist. It is solely by the grace of God that our labors are not in vain. I am glad to be in this church that acknowledges and digs the gospel of Jesus Christ. We understand the message of the Cross and the power that comes with it. Without Christ, we would have fallen apart as a ministry. But because of Jesus we stand together and lift Him up together.