Thirteen Years of Leading Victory Greenhills Family

Where do I start? Last November 23, I was reading 1 Kings 7:1, and it said, “It took Solomon thirteen years, however, to complete the construction of his palace.”

This verse made me realize so many things. It’s funny how this verse might not carry some theological implications yet it speaks volumes to me. It brings me back to year one. I was a youth pastor with no prior experience with church planting or leading a church. I led a struggling youth group that had to close because we dwindled significantly and had to regroup. It was a year of rebuilding our campus ministry at the Fort, and when things seem to be peaking up, we felt there was a new direction God had for us.

Then came two businessmen responsible for the possibility of a Greenhills church – Jerome Gutierrez who is now the senior pastor of Victory Clark and Pampanga and Jun Camcam, a Greenhills resident.

In a blink of an eye, I was being offered to pastor the church in Greenhills. In a matter of months, we formed a group of leaders and volunteers from Victory Fort – most of the people who joined were new and untested. To complete the team, we needed some staff.

Joining me and Thammie were Bojo and Ronna, and a college intern, Sheryn. That was the staff of our church. Despite the limitations, we survived the first few months; we grew to almost 200 percent in the first year. This growth would not be possible without the leadership of Chinkee and Nove, Larry and Yet, Desmond and Kath, Jun and Sally, Jun and Kourtney, and many others who helped us along the way.

We made so many mistakes, some too embarrassing to mention. It was part of our growth process. But we set out to be a church that would reach our city. Our twofold purpose was clear – honor God and make disciples.

In the past thirteen years, we were deliberate about building a culture that would help define us as a community. This culture was what we want to spread to the city as well.

First, the culture of generosity – this was the culture we had to build from the get-go. We knew Greenhills was where people spend, and money was its standard language. We prayed on how the church can exemplify generosity in our first years. From countless finance seminars to teach people how to handle wealth and plant in good soil – we saw the spirit of greed and materialism diminished among the people. I would like to specifically honor Chinkee and Nove, Randell, and Mia Tiongson for leading the path in this culture.

Second, we are family – we wanted people to feel that Greenhills is home. It’s where relationships are built. Family is the basic unit of society, and we knew that the enemy wants that destroyed. As a church, we value family, and we offer the same atmosphere to people who long for a family. For the past thirteen years, my family has gained so many new deep friendships, and we are thankful to the Lord for it. To see relationships grow in the church community makes the community stronger. And a robust and united community can take on the task of the great commission of making disciples more effectively.

Third, the vision lives; the fire never dies. – we set out to plant a church in 2007 because we want to make disciples. The vision was clear – be a church for the community by making disciples. It was a simple plan as we set out to be a simple church. For the past thirteen years, we fought hard as a team to make things simple because we want the vision of making disciples at the forefront of why we do church. It’s not an easy task, mostly as growth happens. We hope to remain simple in our operations as we continue to be salt and light to the world.

Again, I can turn this into a book, but it’s a blog post to reflect the past thirteen years. No matter what the future holds, I pray we stay true to our course as a church – not letting division, pandemics, typhoons, challenges, and changes stop us from being who God called us to be. Victory Greenhills family, we love you so much! Let’s continue to honor God and make disciples.

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