In September, we will celebrate CAMACOP month. In preparation for that dear month, I want to share with you thoughts on our denomination that should touch our hearts as we continue on this spiritual movement in the Philippines.
I believe the first step in our celebration of this month is our understanding of our Core Values as the Christian and Missionary Alliance Churches of the Philippines. Our Core Values are as follows:
C for Christ-centeredness.
A for being Attuned to God.
M for our desire to be always Missions-driven.
A for Advancing societal transformation.
C for Compassion – inspired ministries.
O for Outstanding leadership. And
P for our Passion for prayer and planting churches.
Our denomination rises and falls on the issue of Christ- centeredness. If there is one doctrine and one practice that we need to pursue, it is Christ- centeredness. Why? Because Christ is all in all in our lives. Christ is our Saviour, our Sanctifier, our Healer, and our Coming King. Christ is everything we need. That is why in all our local congregations, we sing “Jesus Only” as our CAMACOP national anthem.
Secondly, we need to be attuned to God. This means that we should be intimate with God in our relationship with Him. We need to develop our time of intimacy with God and grow in this respect. I believe that this is what the Lord desires of us, therefore, let us lead our congregations into intimacy with God resulting in living sanctified lives. Further, the deeper Christian life was advocated by our founder, Dr. A.B. Simpson and it hinges on our personal relationship and fellowship with the Lord. We have breached our 110th foundation anniversary of CMA work in the Philippines. Where are we now? Where are we headed? In my humble opinion, we have been called to lead the Evangelical Church in the Philippines in pursuing intimacy with God and towards God’s greater glory.
Missions remains to be our second nature, second only to being saved in Christ. We do not satisfy ourselves with our present sphere of influence. We want to share the Gospel not only in our dear country but also abroad. We are glad that our Missions division is gallantly succeeding in this. However, if we are to be really become a missions-driven denomination, we must manifest it in our hearts such spirit causing our hands to reach deeper into our pockets and share our financial resources for the salvation of people in the world.
“A” is for Advancing societal transformation. We want our local churches to be catalysts of social transformation wherever they are situated. We want our churches to challenge the continuously eroding moral standards of our time. We want our churches to provide better future for prostitutes and street children in their vicinities. I desire a stronger engagement on issues such as these.
Compassion is a very important trait of our Lord Jesus Christ and His kingdom. This means compassion for the poor. For the social outcasts.For the needy.Our local churches should now be in engaged in Holistic ministries even when their resources see inadequate. We can start small and little by little expand such ministries. ThenI would like our pastors to be like St. Francis during his time: he was willing to give one of his cloaks to a needy, down trodden neighbour. May we have the compassion of Christ when he looked at the crowd.
In order to accomplish all these, we need Outstanding Leadership. In my recent years of studies, I have been convinced that we need Outstanding Leadership if we are to succeed in our journey. This means that we need to train our ministers towards excellence. To me this means that they should possess Passion for the work, Excellence in preaching, Skills in relating with others, and Humility in spirit, and be Team players, Hard workers, of Teachable hearts, and Godly. If we can just have one hundred ministers like this, we can have the Philippines in our hands.
Lastly, we need workers – and members – who are Passionate in prayer and planting churches. We need to kneel before God longer than the way we watch television programs and dabble with our responsibilities as servants of the Most Holy God.Sometimes I am ashamed at our superficiality in the ministry. We need to be serious. And we need to be serious NOW!Let us plant churches together. I would like to see local churches planting daughter churches because the Lord wants us to propagate our “own kind.”
As we near our CAMACOP month, may the Holy Spirit of honesty, humility, and truthfulness be found in our hearts and spirits.
By Bishop Reniel Joel A. Nebab
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