In Ecclesiastes 3:1, it says, “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heaven.” For the new governance team, AGL & Ministry Heads, today is our appointed time. The time to the Lord has chosen for us to serve his flock in the BCBP Molo Chapter for the next three years.
Having accepted the task of Chapter Head, one question that came to bother me was this, “What else can I do during the next three years for the good of the Chapter?” Looking back to the day BCBP Molo started seven years ago, and examining how my predecessors, Bro. Tom and Bro. Baby, have steered the Chapter during their terms gave me an idea on what to do. I characterize Bro. Tom’s tenure as the period of growth for the Chapter. It was during his time that the membership rapidly grew in numbers leading us to full-fledged chapter hood. On the other hand, I characterize Bro. Baby’s term as the period of Consolidation, the period where we institutionalized some policies, most especially related to the commitment of members. During this time, we did not grow much in terms of numbers but we strengthened and deepened the commitment of the members.
For my term, I would characterize it as a period of Innovation for the Molo Chapter. A time to think out of the box and go beyond our comfort zones in everything we do as a chapter without losing our focus on the BCBP vision and mission. For a start, we have made some radical changes in the composition of the Action Groups in the overall chapter organization. And I know some members felt uncomfortable and even cried over being separated from their previous Action Groups.
Let me quote to you what Bro. Larry Veloso said recently.
“To those who prepare to be comfortable, just doing what you want to do, serving where and when you want to serve, attending only the activities that you want to attend, let me tell you this. When you become comfortable with no more sacrifices, no more challenges and difficulties, then you stop growing. And when you stop growing, then you start dying. This is the situation in some of our Chapters today. They have become comfortable and complacent just maintaining the status quo, doing what is familiar and safe, and so they have stopped growing and started dying, losing the vibrancy that they used to have. AGs – have the same members for so long; in breakfast meetings – same faces, no new breakfasters, no new sharers; teaching and assemblies – have become boring and no longer life giving.
“Brother and Sisters, we must learn to LET GO of the safe and familiar, and learn to embrace new and untrodden paths where the Holy Spirit is leading us. We’ve got to keep the fire burning. We have to continuously ask the Holy Spirit to set our hearts on fire, to set our Action Groups on fire, to set our Chapter on fire, on fire with God’s love and service. Each one should serve. It will not be easy and comfortable. You will go through pain and difficulties, but you will be purified and sanctified, and you will grow and bear fruit.”
In a book by Robert Schnase, he wrote that vibrant, fruitful, growing congregations practice the following:
1). Radical hospitality – which refers to the active desire to invite, welcome, receive and care for the new comers so that they will find a spiritual home and discover for themselves the richness of life in Christ in the community;
2). Passionate worship – which means that it is authentic, alive, and creative where members can experience the life-changing presence of God during worship activities in the presence of others;
3). Intentional faith development – that offers high quality learning experiences that help people understand the scripture, faith, and life in the supportive, nurturing and caring relationship of a community. Into this category will fall our effort to initiate a family and singles encounter weekend program by next year;
4). Risk-taking mission and service includes projects, efforts and work that people to do to make a positive difference in the lives of others for the purpose of Christ, whether or not they will ever be part of the community of faith. Our effort to develop Antique Outreach is a classic example of this practice; and
5). Extravagant generosity describes the practice of sharing and giving that exceeds expectations in terms of our service, our time and our resources, the willingness to sacrifice and inconvenience one’s self out of love for God and neighbor.