By Johnny Filart, Formation Director
Long-lasting institutions are revered over time for many reasons. In most cases, the people who form the company or community hold the key, not only to its cohesion but, more importantly, to its contribution to society. In existence for about thirty years now, the BCBP Greenhills Chapter is simply that – a community of believers who, for the love of Jesus Christ, brings more and more people to have a personal relationship with God.
While the Chapter has a hierarchy of sorts as it adheres to the guidelines and rule of the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals, the brothers and sisters who comprise the Greenhills Chapter have learned to live and believe together as a family. One can serve as Chapter Head or even as Regional Council Director for three years and, later on, is back as a mere member of the community, a simple servant within an action group. Our members have learned the true meaning of servant leadership through practice.
There is no secret to the Chapter’s long-standing ability to grow and influence more and more followers to embrace Jesus Christ. I have observed that one element behind this sustained community growth is that the community shares a vision for its service to God. This community vision is comprised of two integral and symbiotically linked parts: a core that preserves, and an envisioned future that adjust to the changing needs of society. In its core lies the members’ love for God and service to others. In its envisioned future is the constant discovery of how better to bring more people closer to God as times change and so too the needs of society.
This vision has allowed the Greenhills Chapter to keep growing over a period of thirty years. My earliest recollection of the Chapter was when my parents, Fred and Pacita, served in what was then called “the North Chapter” in 1983. It split into Greenhills and Quezon City a few years later. I joined the Greenhills Chapter in the 90’s. It later gave birth to Rizal Chapter, much more similar to the recent birth of the Ortigas Chapter. Growth was not limited to these splits as the Chapter Head helped establish and nurture to chapterhood outreaches, such as San Fernando, Marilao and Cabanatuan, which, in turn, evolved into chapters with their own outreaches.
As members grew in number, it was not a surprise that leaders also emerged from the Chapter. Besides the national presidents who started from Greenhills, Christian business leaders, politicians, as well as career military officers served their constituents well because of their involvement in BCBP.
Over the years, what was simply an indistinct but warm and fuzzy feeling about Greenhills Chapter evolved into a more deliberate, more rational understanding of why I feel the way I do. It is not, after all, the breakfasts, First Friday masses, action group meetings, and the fellowships that make up the community that I love. It is not for them that I grow goose bumps and feel ecstatic when I sing songs of praise, or that I shed tears of joy when I listen to God’s victory in the marketplace. It is the community of people and their inspiration that make me love the Greenhills Chapter.
I love the many individuals who have given our community a face for me: the members, past and present, whose achievements echo across God’s vineyard; the elders and the chapter governance whose ideas have stimulated my mind; the eager new members who have laid their hearts and minds open for God’s work. The Chapter is its members, and when I love Greenhills, it is because of its people. We are family here. A real community that I would be hard to put to find anywhere else.
My father’s dying wish twenty-five years ago was for his children to join the Brotherhood and to enjoy it for what it gives to all the people embracing it. My wish for other people is that they may someday be as certain as I am that we are doing God’s will, whatever it is they eventually decide to do or be; that they be given the grace to do exactly what God wills for them; that they can wake up each morning looking forward to the day ahead of them; and that they will someday be part of a community of friends who are glad to “hang out” and “chill” with them, and happily be with for the rest of their lives working in God’s vineyard. I found that place to be the Greenhills Chapter.
Nice article. To Bro Johnny: Your father’s wish is visionary and upbuilding.