In a span of one month, 3 new churches were launched in Makati. Our church, LifeChurch Makati at Glorietta 4 Cinema 1, was launched May 16. The next week, Word for the World’s RC Campus was also launched near the area of Rockwell Makati. Last week, Victory Makati started well with 300 attendance at AIM Conference Center.
That, actually, did not excite me. Seriously. Because I see churches being started left and right.
What excites the heck out of me is the fact that these 3 new churches did not come from the same organization but are friends. Pastor Rodney Garcia of RC became a good friend with LifeChurch Makati’s leadership team. Victory Makati’s Pastor LA Mumar, through Pastor Dennis Sy of Greenhills, is really interested to connect. Kuya Prudy, our lead pastor has met with him one time and I heard, they’re planning a get-together. This, to me, is inspiring.
Let me explain.
I came from a religious tradition that tries to divide God’s church. In fact, it became a sub-community on its own. After I felt my calling to be part of leading a church, and probably due to Craig Groeschel’s influence, it has become my passion to see the Church unite. It was Craig who said that “we can accomplish more things together than divided”. In a church world very diverse, selfishly thinking only about its own organization, even trying to tear each other down, I long to see us work together this time.
What if church leaders will forget about their denominations and their theological biases and instead pray for each other, encourage, help start-up churches get off the ground, mentor young pastors and inspire other organizations — even outside of your own? Imagine what will happen to Makati where 800,000 people reside (then swells to 4M on work days)! We will see more churches planted. On each street block. Small groups on each building. People’s lives changed. Marriages restored. Directions in life straightened.
Because, seriously, do you think 4 million very diverse people can be reached by just one church organization? Or could even multiple competing churches?
LifeChurch Makati is a testament, a case study on seeing how the big “C” church can be united.
When we were praying on how to bring LifeChurch.tv here in the Philippines, we saw hurdles. While LifeChurch.tv is very supportive — their enormous talent, creativity, leadership, training and Craig Groeschel pouring his heart out to us are in the bag — we pretty much are on our own as far as funding and starting up the church from the ground. And, unlike the 2 churches I mentioned, we don’t have a local mother church to support, train and provide encouragements. We’re on our own.
So, we have about 20 people from the original Grace Place team and a negative balance on our bank accounts and a raw passion to serve Jesus and make his name more famous.
I told the team, if we’re going to start this thing, we need the Church to come together and see our vision for the city. We need to be able to make them work together.
We’re on our 5th week after we launch. It is still a struggle as far as funding and enough volunteers are concerned. But in a small ways, we see the Church come together to help LifeChurch Makati get off the ground.
We have praise and worship volunteers who attended Joy Fellowship in Intramuros, Victory, Word for the World and Word of Hope. We have kids teachers, ushers and welcomers from New Life Christian Center, WWCF and other churches all over Makati. Financially, Horizon Fellowship promised to help out. Pastor Dennis Sy of Victory Greenhills not only provided encouragements and friendship but his church also helped us financially at some point during our preview services.
At this very early stage of this church “project”, we can feel the momentum going. If God blesses LifeChurch Makati with thousands of people in the future, it is because we have nothing and God’s Church have everything. We were united, we encouraged one another and we had no other goal in mind — not our egos, not for our own organizations, not to show our own strength — it is to make Jesus the Lord of Makati and every city.