(photo by Derrick Lim)
It all started with a call. A call to reach out to people and point them to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Twenty eight years ago, Pastor Peter Tan-Chi took a leap of faith and answered that call by starting an evangelistic bible study in Cainta. Fast forward to today, that four family bible study is now Christ’s Commission Fellowship, a growing church of 30+ outreaches in the Philippines and abroad.
CCF’s 28th anniversary last August 26 was a day of celebration, reminiscing and challenge. By God’s grace alone, He has prospered the church to where it is today. A prayer of thanksgiving was dedicated to the labor and sacrifice of all pastors and Dgroup leaders who have been faithful to carrying on the mission of the church of making Christ-committed followers who will make Christ-committed followers.
During the worship service, Pastor Peter stressed the importance of knowing and fulfilling God’s purpose in a believer’s existence. He expressed his concern about believers succeeding in the wrong things. God’s purpose is not about amassing money, fame or power. It comes down to following Jesus. A wise father once told his son, “I am not afraid of you failing because failure can make you stronger. I am afraid that you will succeed in the wrong things.”
Following Jesus is costly. It may require a believer to give up his job. It may require him to severe toxic relationship ties. It may even require him to uproot his family and relocate to another country. Following Jesus is costly but not following Him is more costly.
Following Jesus benefits the believer personally, relationally and societally. Following Jesus enriches his life. Following Jesus enables him to extend more grace to his loved ones. Following Jesus impacted history and paved the way for the institution of the first orphanages and hospitals.
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Pastor Peter also reflected upon Jesus’ parting words. Jesus parting words were for believers to go and make disciples of all nations. It was not a mere suggestion, it was a command. A believer makes disciples by helping others follow Jesus by following Jesus himself. If Christians will embody the character and passion of Jesus, non-believers will start to take Christianity seriously.
Jesus loved the misfits, the outcasts, the broken, the poor. By intentionally building relationships with these people, believers show the world who Jesus is. Showing love to people is probably the most effective evangelistic tool one can employ. One must initiate contact and do what Jesus did.
Truly, the future holds something exciting for CCF. The building project in C5 and the Prayer Mountain in Batangas are both near completion, more CCF outreaches in key cities in the Philippines and around the world are being planted and more lives are changed every single day. All these and our 28th anniversary is cause for a celebration but let it not make CCFers proud or complacent.
After all, celebrating CCF’s anniversary is not about the number of people attending the worship services or the number of CCF ministries and outreaches. Ultimately, celebrating CCF’s anniversary is about celebrating God.
Soli Deo gloria!