Always in a Season
A letter to Victory Greenhills:
Almost 4 years. In 7 months time, we will be entering our 4th year as a church. 4 exciting years that I wouldn’t trade for anything. The past 4 years have been personally a season of pruning, growth, excitement, faith and at times doubt, and trusting in Jesus.
People would ask me, “What season is your church in?” and every year I give a different answer.
November 2007 – Nov 2008 was the SEASON OF GROWTH.
We started the church with 100 volunteers and 300 people in our Sunday service. In the first year, we have seen God blessed us as we grew to almost 250% in the first year.
It was whoever wants to help to help us contain the harvest. We have seen people new in the faith taking up the challenge of leading victory groups, head up ministries, serve the church. We only had 2 paid staff. We have no office, we were portable. We never knew when we will get bumped off in a given Sunday.
The season of growth is always rosy. Attendance was booming, people are getting saved left and right. There were minor complaints and criticisms. Everybody was in the mood to forgive a young, clueless pastor.
After being portable for the first 10 months, we finally found a place to house our kids ministry and our office. This gives us more flexibility as we do church in the city. We continued renting Music Museum and house our kids in our new center.
Dec 2008 to Dec 2009 SEASON OF CONSOLIDATION
Also the growth that happened in the first year was being consolidated to the church. We were not after the crowds. Jesus commanded us to make disciples.
We broke the 1000 mark at this time and God was continually blessing our Sunday service. Our discipleship challenge was how to train a fresh batch of new believers to make disciples. We found out later about the myth of maturity (click on the word to read my blog on the myth of maturity) and that the way to grow the leader is to release him also to do discipleship.
Year 2010 SEASON OF TRANSITIONS.
We as a church couldn’t catch up with what is happening. Honestly, I felt I have reached my leadership ability to lead the church. I was always in panic button. I needed help. I needed more men to help me pastor the church. There were days when I was happy because attendance was good and depressed when attendance was bad.
It gets on you – the pressure of church and ministry. The pressure to perform. Every day was uncertain. The church was stuck. A restructuring must happen or we might experience a major dip in everything – not just the numbers but the quality of disciples being produced. On a personal level, I have tried doing things my way. I was back in trying to make ministry my idol. Big mistake. I’ve been here before and here I go again. It reminds me of Paul rebuking the Galatian church for trusting in themselves and not the grace of God.
Funny but your most intense, depressing moments is the season when God defines you again. He had to realign me. He had to realign everyone. It was middle of 2010 that the gospel made sense to me again. For the longest time I was trying to use the gospel as a tool to share to the people who don’t know Jesus forgetting that the gospel is very much and much more applicable to me now than ever before.
God started shaking things up. We were ready to move in the next season of the church.
January 2011 – Present : SEASON OF REINVENTION
It is time to put every ministry of the church under the microscope and discern whether it needs tweaking, an overhaul or a funeral. It is a necessary pruning exercise to make room for future growth.
The reinvention included
– retweaking our discipleship ministry to accommodate the growth that is about to happen.
– starting a wednesday service to attract and disciple people working in San Juan.
– starting a 3rd Sunday service to give more room for growth. It was a coming out of our comfort zone. It was a little painful but it was necessary.
– a more dynamic prayer life of the church. We started our once a month prayer meeting among leaders during our leader’s convergence to seek God. We jump started the year prayer and fasting for 7 days. Now the habit of fasting is catching on the leaders of the church.
– reorganizing some of the roles of our pastors. We added new men in our pastoral team and campus ministry. We also beefed up our administrative arm to help carry the load of the pastors.
As of this writing, we are currently in the 1st phase of moving our church to a 1300 sq space at VMALL. A prime spot in the heart of San Juan and Greenhills. Please pray for us. Will update everyone of the progress of the move.