Some Challenges in My Ministry Shift
In my blog Master, Mission, and Makati, I have told the story of how the Lord brought me to Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF) Makati, my church’s plant in the said city. While I’m happy to be a part of the Lord’s work in Makati, I would say that my move isn’t without challenges. I have 2 in mind: Familiarity and Friendships.
I’ll discuss a few familiarity issues. One of the things I’m not used to (at least for the past 5 years) is a small congregation size. Our main church in Ortigas is a huge congregation consisting of thousands of members. Every Sunday service, I join more than a thousand others in corporate worship. But in the Makati church, I join only a few hundreds, making it a small and intimate community. Actually, when I first attended my first worship service there, it feels like I belong to a new family. (I was a part of a small community church before I transferred to CCF. Small churches, because of its size, have an atmosphere of intimacy and community).
Aside from the congregational size, I’m also not use to the new culture. I’ve been with the main church for 5 years, and I’m already used to its language, practices, and traditions—the way things are done.
And of course, I’m now surrounded with lots of new faces.
So it’s my prayer that I soon adjust to the size, culture, and people of the Makati church. Give me some time, and I know it will happen.
Now, I’m going to discuss the second challenge (and a far more difficult one): Friendships.
As I was nearing to a decision, one of the things I considered in “counting the cost” of moving to the Makati church are the friendships I have built in the main church. I have enjoyed these deep friendshipa, some are recently new ones, and it’s hard to leave them. While I don’t plan to fully abandon my friends (God forbid!), certainly, I will have a hard time attending to them, especially as the young singles team of which I am a part of will be establishing its weekly gatherings in the first few weeks and months of the coming year. I had to ask myself, “Am I willing to leave my friends in the main church (and hopefully, it will only last for a while)?” It’s hard to answer, but I had to follow the Lord’s leading.
When I finally announced my decision to some of my friends, they were sad and happy. I understand them, because I feel the same way, too. And I hope they understand me, and will fully support me. After all, it’s the Commander—our Commander—who issued the command that I shift to the Makati church; I simply obeyed His order.
It’s my prayer that even though I moved to the Makati church, I will still make time to keep in touch with my friends in the main church, for I treasure them forever. And it’s also my prayer that the Lord will bless me with new deep friendships in the Makati church.