Retrospect of a Grace Showered Individual – Worship Ministry Team

I already finished writing about how God has worked in my Dgroup for the past 4 years. Now, let me take you through how He has led me to grow and fall in love with a team I never knew I will be leading someday.

When we were planning on how we would build the singles’ ministry in Alabang, we needed a lot of people to step up and take a lead in one of the core groups the ministry is supposed to have. I just wanted to help out, and I never taught I would be assigned to lead a team immediately. I was challenged to head the praise and worship team. I taught it will be an easy task to do. I have been part of the worship team before so to lead it this time was something I thought will be an easy task.

I already had people in mind I was planning to talk to and tap to be part of the ministry. I was honestly envisioning the same JZONE band we had before to just step up and take the challenge to be the new Singles’ band. But I was still open and trusted God that if he wanted to rise up a new breed of worshipers I will follow Him on that. Auditions were open for anyone interested to join the ministry and praise God He brought a lot of new volunteers!

Intimacy Retreat Worship TeamAfter the Intimacy Retreat last April 2012, it was the start of the regular B1G South service every Saturday at 6pm. Those who passed the auditions were still unable to play or sing since they still need to undergo training and I needed to look for musicians under the current CCF pool who are willing to play each Saturday. It was tough during that time. Every week I had to look for people who were available to play. There were times when it was almost just a day or two away and I’m still missing one musician who can play for the band. When I lead the devotion I always say the same thing – God has always been faithful and He has always brought musicians who will play even in the last minute. It was a time where I need to put my faith in Him alone. It was a time when I need to remind myself it’s not my ministry – it is his ministry. He will provide for the resources needed for His ministry and He did!

This went for months and I fully committed myself to help train those who passed the auditions for the band. Every Wednesday we had training.  We we’re trained by Mr. Bernie Duran himself – if you don’t know him check his video in YouTube. Every Wednesday is a time we can learn theories about music but also enhance the skill God has given us. There were even times where we would just master one song and for hours we would try to play it, study the sequence and chords of the song. It definitely took time and energy but everyone was committed to this and I was very thankful for the team God has given me.

B1G Unplugged CollageOne major event we had for the year was B1G unplugged. It was an acoustic night event and we have lined up 13 songs to be played. It was a BIG challenge for us.  All of those playing were new, from the band to the singers. But this is where I really saw how each one was committed to the work assigned to them. We practiced for weeks and everyone even took a leave from work just to practice and do a dry run a day before the event. I was really blessed to see each individual’s commitment. The event was designed to be evangelistic, for the songs and spiels to be a message of God’s love. But little did we know that the event we were planning for was actually also for us – it brought us together as a team and we definitely bonded as a group. After the event, we learned a lot of things. We even did a post evaluation to really list down all the things we need to improve as a team and individual.

2012 Worship Team Retreat CollageAfter unplugged, the team had a lot of moments where we were building team cohesiveness and training. We attended the worship ministry retreat where the singles’ ministry had finally shown its presence in the whole music ministry of Alabang. Here, we were able to relax and unwind. But it was also very memorable for me since I shared to the team the mission and vision of the ministry again and how excited I am to what God will be doing in and through us. We continued with our regular Wednesday night practices and our Saturday rehearsals. Each Saturday that we played was a time where we can worship God with the talents He has given us. Almost everyone from the worship team attended the last B1G8 retreat. The team had no active participation in the praise and worship of the retreat itself but everyone was still very active in the retreat activities. The last activity we had for the year is our overnight Christmas party. We had dinner, exchange of gifts, games and most importantly took the time to study God’s word and pray for the coming new year.

B1G South Worship Team 2012 Pic Collage

I never planned and expected all of the things that will be happening in our ministry. From the time when I was struggling to find volunteers who will be able to play to a team right now that is very active and in love with the Lord. I will always thank God for giving me this privilege to lead and see how He can definitely work on His ministry. There were trials and problems along the way but He has always remained faithful and has guided me and the ministry. How He brought me individuals that are always ready to serve is really amazing. He continues to move through us and train us to be the team who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. I don’t know where He will take the team in the coming New Year. But I know it will be immeasurable more than I can think or imagine!

How about you? Can you share in the comment section below your experience of leading a worship ministry team?

My B1G8 Single’s Retreat Experience

B1G8 is definitely another retreat that I’ll include in my book of retreat memories. We have been praying for this singles retreat for months and I know there is no simple prayer for Him. It was truly a different experience. I was thinking about my first B1G retreat last year (B1G7) and was comparing it to B1G8. There were some things I missed from last year’s retreat, but there were also a lot of things I gained this year’s. For the first time, after all the retreats I have attended, I was not a facilitator but a retreat worker. I had a different role and responsibility – which was quite a challenge for me. But all the challenges I faced was nothing compared to how great our God is and how he can orchestrate everything.

We arrived at Hotel Stotsenberg Thursday (November 22, 2012) afternoon since we were part of the advance part for the south group. When I arrived at the main hall, I couldn’t believe how many seats there were and the number of singles we would be expecting.  Picture of Hotel Stotenberg's main hallI was so excited. I began imagining more than 900+ singles worshiping and getting to know God is love therefore He loves them.

On that day, we finalized the registration for Alabang and helped around fixing the materials that needed to be prepared before the retreat started. We know we can rest in Him but we also know that we needed our physical rest. We slept at around 1am since the next day was going to be a big day! It was the official start of the B1G8 retreat.

Day one: November 23, 2012. We woke up at 7am, had our breakfast and started fixing our booth for Alabang. Actually, it was already fixed by the St. Francis registration team (Thank you guys!) and we just posted our tarpaulin to promote our B1G Connect Service every Saturdays, 6pm at the 3rd Floor Multipurpose Hall CCF Alabang. We also did a couple of verifications plus changes in the facilitators kits. The Alabang buses arrived at around 10:30am and I started handing the kits to the facilitators. We had lunch and right after lunch, the first joint session started. But there was a problem, all the rooms assigned to the Alabang team cannot be used until 2pm. Everyone was requested to put their bags in Tipanan hall for the meantime and proceed with joint session. Along with this, the registration of the rooms had to be fixed. I was going back and forth the main hall and the lobby to talk to people and get the keys for all the rooms assigned to us. It was pretty tiring – I think I lost a couple of pounds from walking back and forth. But despite that minor setback, I was actually smiling deep inside. I loved what I was doing. There was such a love deep within my heart, which God has put, to serve the ministry no matter what.  It was really confirmed within my heart that this is where God has placed me, this is where He wants me to serve. I was so thankful to Him for giving me this opportunity to serve. This was one of my realizations for that day: I am privileged to take part in this ministry and serve Him because in reality I am not worthy of such responsibility. After the breakouts, we had dinner and then it was time to rest for me. Picture of friends in B1G8The team (Worship Ministry) God has entrusted me to lead, invited me to bond with them. I’m blessed to have this group of talented individuals. They are truly God’s gift to me. Day one was over in a flash. Whew! That was fast. I knew that the next day was to be another busy and yet fun day.

Day two: November 24, 2012. I couldn’t believe it. I slept at around 1am but I was able to wake up at 5:30am to prepare for the dawn watch. I’m not a morning person by the way and I usually wake up 9am during weekdays. But since I knew this only happens rarely, I relished the opportunity to wake up early and have devotion with God’s people.

B1G South Men during Dawn Watch

I just want to highlight three things from that eventful day:

  1. Pastor Nate’s message. Although, this was the second time I heard his message, it still penetrated my spirit that I felt compelled to write down the things that I needed to improve on. His message confirmed what God has been teaching me even before the retreat begun – It’s not about me but about him. There was still a lot of areas in my life that needed pruning. There was still a lot to change.
  2. Worship Night.I love worshiping God. Through all the songs that we sang, I just broke in tears seeing how good He has been in my life. In the middle of the worship night, we were asked to group ourselves together and pray for each other. I felt God asking me to gather my Dgroup and pray with them. I shared to them how thankful we must be for the 4 years God has been gracious to us and has allowed us to maintain our fellowship all through those years.Marc Sorongon's Dgroup
    Our prayers just focused on thanking him and worshiping him. Our Dgroup has grown so close over the years and I just want to give praise to God for allowing me to lead a group of such fine individuals. I have grown because of them and I am just in awe, as well, at how much they have grown in their relationship with God. To God really be the glory!
  3. Fellowship Night. I didn’t expect it. I already prepared myself not to expect seeing her. But was she really there? My eyesight isn’t that good plus it was dark but when I saw her –I started wondering if I might be looking at right person. I asked one of my Dgroup members to confirm if it was really her since he knew her – CONFIRMED! I wanted to catch a glimpse of her since I haven’t really been able to see her face, but we were all asked to be in the lobby for Tommy’s surprise since it was going to be his birthday in couple of minutes. We surprised Tommy in the lobby and it was such a sight to see B1G South together and united. After the surprise, I took the time to pray. I prayed a small prayer to God asking Him to grant me favour tonight. I was determined to approach her and talk to her. But when I came back she was no longer in the fellowship area. I actually went around the hotel a lot of times to look for her. It’s funny, because I was even looking for excuses to go around the hotel hoping that I might bump into her. I can’t count the many times I went around the hotel and the center garden, hoping to find her. What a great ending to a hopeful love story! I couldn’t understand it, I was merely hoping to see her again (after a year and in a B1G retreat again). But I was also asking was it really her? She wasn’t supposed to attend this retreat, right? Anyway, I leave it all in God’s hands. Again, I can’t understand it but He is in control of everything and has a great plan for me and her. I just pray for the best of what God has in store for her.

We slept at around 3am since my Dgroup and I spent hours bonding in our room. They were playing our favorite game called “Mafia” and they even  ordered food to eat. But I decided to rest after a long day of serving and after my tiring endeavor of going around the hotel just to see someone.

Day three: November 24, 2012. I woke up late but was still able to catch the team leaders’ breakfast together. I listened to Pastor Ricky’s message and it was so rich and full of life lessons. And then Francis shared to me one of his biggest take away from it:

Do you know why the net didn’t broke (John 21:11) when the disciples where hauling in their large catch?  It was because it was the Lord’s catch and not the disciples.

It was pretty timely as I prepared for the baptism session. It reminded me –It’s not about me but about him. The person that we will be baptizing is His catch and He alone is to be gloried! It was truly a great privilege to take part in the baptism. B1G8 Baptism PictureI saw individuals declaring their commitment and faith to Jesus Christ. I saw others crying way before it was their time to be baptized.  It was really an honor to be a part of it. I pray that those who have committed their lives will grow in their relationship with God and be used mightily by Him. After the baptism, I packed my things and went directly to the main hall to return all the keys for Alabang and join the closing ceremonies.

This is my longest entry so far and I think I need to cut it short. After the closing ceremonies, we had the traditional B1G picture, got on the buses and headed home. We arrived in Alabang at around 9pm.

B1G8 Picture of everyone

I can’t believe it’s over. After months of pushing for prayer and tireless preparations, the retreat has just ended. But I know what we have experienced shouldn’t end here.  God is always ready to bless us with his presence and love. This is why I continue to encourage everyone who attended the retreat to commit to attending Dgroups and joining big and small groups because it is through these that we continue to spur one another and continue to experience our own small B1G event. Our fire and zeal for God should not die down or stop. We should continue to grow and mature in our relationship with God and we need to do that together. We need one another. I do hope to see everyone in the B1G South’s reunion.

B1G South Reunion Cover Photo

To God be the glory always and forever!

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