Monday, March 28, 2016

MARCH TRAVEL: Victory Baguio, Graduation & Church growth

When I found out my graduation from my masters study in Ministry at PBTS-Baguio is surely going to happen, I immediately scheduled a road trip with friends.
I also got to mention it in passing to Ptr. Julius, our Senior Pastor in Victory Baguio and said that we'll drop by. He suggested, "Why don't you come and preach instead?". I thought, "yeah, why not?", I accepted the invitation.  So there, the itinerary was all set: I was to graduate on a Friday and preach at the morning services of Victory Session Road by Sunday. I was particularly excited because we'll get to see my in-laws who decided to drive from Ilocos and rendezvous with us in Baguio for this 5-day trip. As a bonus, I'll get to meet and catch up with my college housemate, Anton who is now the Lead Pastor of our Victory Baguio Session location and his wife Kate who used to be our neighbor also back in college at UPLB. (I would have to say that during that time, I didn't even notice that Anton had his eyes on her. What a smooth operator!)

When I got there to preach, I noticed that as expected, the place was not as Jam packed as the last time I visited.  The reason for this of course is that Victory Baguio just recently opened another location at a nearby mall (SM Baguio). This was aside from their second location at Wrightpark. This new & third location has grown to 2 Worship Services in just a few months. However, I also noticed that the Session Road location is already nearing the 80% full status in terms of attendance capacity. Could this lead to a fourth location? Anton said, that's exactly what they are praying about. Exciting times!

I am so encouraged by the growth of Victory Baguio. With about 200 Victory Group Leaders, around 200 Victory Group interns, and an average of about 2500 in weekly attendance. The momentum is obviously on their side.

I was raring to know how they did it. We had quite a chat, but basically it all boiled down to putting premium in making discipleship work for the people they were ministering to. We talked about how crucial it is in doing discipleship with great consideration to the people's culture, circumstances, situations and seasons in life. We can't just copy everything we see that work for other churches and plug it in our context and expect it to work. We've got to do our homework and study our culture in order to contextualize what we learn from other places. I'll be driving back to ELBI now. The place where God has called me to make disciples.  I thank God for the opportunity to be a blessing and to have been blessed by our church here in Baguio. Kudos to Ptr. Julius and the rest of the staff of Victory Baguio. You guys are phenomenal. :-)

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