For a couple of weeks now, we have been seeing posts about Citichurch’s BIGGEST SUNDAY OF THE YEAR, that’s MINISTRY SUNDAY. That means that one, if you’re part of it, you have been busy for a couple of weeks, for some, probably a couple of months. Two, you’re from Citichurch & have been attending for a couple of years or you are not able to join because of valid reasons but still, you look forward to it. Three, if you have no idea what this is all about, you’re reading an article that would give you a glimpse of what MINISTRY SUNDAY is.
About 10 years & counting, Citichurch is a church in Cebu City that aims to or is “raising the standard”. A church that’s excellent for God is excellent. Generous, a church that strives to give- give back, give life & speak life. Young, fresh, modern– because we believe that the generation today is for the Lord & we ought to give the best of today. It is not a church that criticises others but a church that’s constantly building a culture of pulling up others & we believe God will take care of each one’s promotion. We hear people say Citichurch is a rich & prosperous church. Well, YES. Because as what the founder & head pastor of Citichurch says “the wealth of this church are the volunteers”, thus MINISTRY SUNDAY! So what’s up with Citichurch Ministry Sunday?
Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind! Psalm 66:5
Ministry Sunday is indeed the biggest sunday of the year because it is where the glory & grace of Christ is displayed through every hardworking volunteer. Is it a show? Yes & no. No because the volunteers are not a bunch of showoffs. Yes because it’s for the AUDIENCE OF ONE, yes because it’s for the ONE. Each volunteer does what he/ she does in the best possible way because, as a volunteer myself, we believe that the ONE who is best deserves the best!
1Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
2 Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!
4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
5 Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!
Ministry Sunday presents the different ministries to encourage the rest of the people in the congregation to be involved. Up to date, Citichurch has about 530 volunteers serving in 11 ministries & during Ministry Sunday there were about 2,895 in the congregation. As Ptr. Jo would put it, only 530 people are rowing the boat.
He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. ” Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Luke 10:2
We want people to engage & sign up because we ought to live our lives with purpose. Not that if you’ re not part of a ministry you are not, but if God is calling you to be part of one, well, won’t you answer the call of the King of kings?
“The hard work we’ve done is nothing compared to the hard work he’s done on the cross.” Ptr. Jo Alfafara
So, ladies & gentlemen, Citichurch’s 9th Ministry Sunday.
There’s more to every presentation that meets the eye. For months & weeks, each ministry- leaders & volunteers (REAL PEOPLE) take time in brainstorming, researching & planning for every presentation. From each person’s crazy schedule, they don’t just squeeze in time for ministry, when God calls one, they prioritise. In preparing for Ministry Sunday time has been invested in practices, meetings, editing, many to mention & most importantly, days & nights of fasting & prayer.
Hours before the Ministry Sunday, all the volunteers gathered in God’s word & prayer.
And because I am part of Intune- the worship team of Citichurch. I was one with the other volunteers in the pre- worship huddle.
“Don’t think that you are greater than anybody else. Everybody is important. God has designed you to be great, beautiful…. the greatest appreciation is from the Lord. We are not strengthened by the applause of men but by the Lord. That is the grace of God.” Gale Merced
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen,since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2Corinthians 4:16–18
And like every Sunday, the countdown begins… 10……3, 2, 1.
The service opens with a video about OUR CHURCH, about GOD’S CHURCH.
Then songs of praises & playing of different instruments were lifted up.
THEN IT GETS LOUD
Ushers are the doorkeepers of God’s kingdom. They’re the first welcoming people you see in church.
“What’s important is the willingness & heart to serve, smiling will come after.” Dodo Cuenco
Senior citizens of Citichurch. As long as there is life, there is life to give.
Wisdom is with aged men, With long life is understanding. Job 12:12
Even to your old age I will be the same, And even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; And I will bear you and I will deliver you. Isaiah 46:4
This team is in charge of the meet & greet, Sunday after Sunday. They do the connection with people, after the Ushers, in church.
A great place to recharge in the middle of the week. They meet every Wednesday at the Goldberry Suites Mactan by 7PM.
“Mactan is known for the sun, sea & sand… through Mactan Midweek, find joy in the one who created the sun, sea & sand.” Ptr. Greg Magdadaro
Headed by the newly appointed pastors & power couples- JP & Cielo Villegas, such great influencers for God’s glory, by His grace. They lead young adults in 3 areas- career, relationship & ministry. Glad to be a part of this ministry too! We meet every Wednesday at the Hangar by 7PM.
Lifegroup is like connecting with people to the next level. You are assigned into a lifegroup when you sign up in a ministry, attend the firm foundation class then become a volunteer. This group helps you in a personal way to grow in the Lord.
CBSI/ The COMMUNITY BIBLE STUDY INTERNATIONAL. This is an avenue where people get to know & have a deeper understanding of the bible. They meet every Thursday at the Citichurch Center by 7PM.
The sound machine of Citichurch. A bunch of ordinary people doing the extraordinary things for God.
“We are the carriers of light & confidence.” Gale Merced
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds & glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14–16
The Kids Ministry exists to establish every child’s faith in Jesus Christ. They aim to help raise the next generation,the future, not only of Citichurch but of what’s to come.
Community outreach ministry of Citichurch. They have regular feedings, annual backpack distributions, medical missions & PARTY WITH A PURPOSE- where everyone is given the opportunity to celebrate any occasion, mostly birthdays, with unfortunate kids.
Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done. Proverbs 19:17
The youth ministry of Citichurch who are composed of positive, dynamic, Jesus- centered COOL KIDS. They meet Fridays 7:30PM at the Citichurch Hangar.
They are the people behind every colorful lights, creative displays, smooth program flow, crisp sound & a whole lot more! They are the men behind the scenes with brilliant & creative minds & technical skills.
After presenting all the ministries, every year Citichurch gives honor to the top volunteers who we call the OBED EDOM.
1 Chronicles 15: 16- 23
OBED EDOM was a gatekeeper, directed harps, lead worship, part of the trumpet blowers, played stringed instruments & was
entrusted with riches.
He was everywhere. Serving everywhere.
So like Obed Edom in the bible, here are the 2016 Obed Edoms of Citichurch.
And the top of the top Obed Edom, receiving an award of going to the HILLSONG CONFERENCE 2017 in AUSTRALIA is…
CARMINA AGNES RACAZA
Wow. Truly, SEE WHAT THE LORD HAS DONE. ALL GLORY & HONOR TO GOD!
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows& builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 14:16
“Every joint supplies.” Ptr. Jo Alfafara
Every person has a role, big or small, it’s a vital role.
Ministry Sunday simply is an OPPRTUNITY for people to give back, not to men, to GOD.
“Your next spiritual growth is not receiving, it’s breaking through to give.” Ptr. Jo Alfafara
I like what Luigi Sanchez said, “Not all can sing or dance… but everyone CAN GIVE.”
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1Corinthians 10:31
If you read my first blog “CONFESSIONS OF A VOICE TALENT” you’ll know I was supposed to be part of the the rostered worship leaders but as what I said, God was & is dealing with me. But my heart was at peace, my heart was joyful & I worshiped God with all of me. I wasn’t on stage but I saw an opportunity to give back that day. And that is through writing about ministry sunday.
Some opportunities are given, some are created.
There is so much that can be done for God and I encourage everyone to do things NOW because NOW is what you have.
The perfect timing doesn’t wait. John Maxwell
Worship IN ANY WAY, may it be through ministry, at your workplace, school, at home, NOW. Because NOW is a gift. Be at the moment. As a worship leader, I ought to give my best now whether on stage or dealing with the team or memorising lyrics or simply resting. As a wife, I ought to give my all to my husband & be the best homemaker. And who gives, sees & rewards you for that? Jesus Christ.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Philippians 3:12–16
I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength. Philippians 4 :13
But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. 2 Chronicles 15:7
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58
There is so much more to do & learn in life especially in service for Jesus. And nobody is perfect in dealing with life or serving God but we can move forward from every challenge, move from glory to glory. And when you have Him, victory is yours, always.
YOU TOO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY, WILL YOU TAKE IT?
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