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?

Retrospect of a Grace Showered Individual – My Dgroup

I wanted to create an entry about my experiences in leading a Dgroup but where do I start? It’s been more than four years already since I started my journey leading my own Dgroup. A Dgroup, is a discipleship group where you grow and study the word of God together. I feel undeserving but God has entrusted me to lead such fine individuals. Let me take you through my memory lane. This entry acknowledges that there is only one person who has hold together this group for more than four years and we collectively praise God for what He has done to us and what He is doing to do.

It was summer of 2008 when I was called. I remember I was in La Union on a vacation surfing trip during that time and someone called me to challenge me to start leading a group for the Reborn Identity Jzone Camp – I said “yes!” When camp came, I was very nervous it was my first time to lead a group and I have so many questions in my mind:

  • How can I make sure no one is left out and everyone will be engaged in the discussion?
  • Will they even listen to me?
  • How can I get to know them personally?
  • What are the things that they may be going through?

There was even someone in the group I was very terrified with. Every time I start discussing the lesson and talking to them he seems to be giving me that scary look. One wrong word seems like he is going to go crazy and beat me up. But that was me imagining crazy things and as it turned out this guy was one of the men I have mentored and have taken care of as my little brother. Although he is right now in another country he will always be remembered by me and our group. We wait the time that we will meet him again.

After camp, I definitely tired my best to remain in contact with them and schedule regular Dgroup meetings with them and as much as I can, I regularly texted them. I wanted them to know that I am here for them and have really desired that their relationship with God grow. Our group even grew and I was privileged to disciple one person who right now is doing great things for God. This person was very passionate for the Lord. I have always seen great things ahead for him and how he is leading the JZONE ministry in Alabang is an evidence of it.

I cannot completely recall all the details of what happened the past four years. There are so many things that have happened. From the Reborn Identity camp, I have experienced three other JZONE camps where I lead my group again and even had the privilege of serving with them because some of them started leading their group already in one of those camps.

After Reborn Identity (2008) camp was Trip (2009)

JZONE Trip Camp Collage

Followed by Face the Book of Life (2010)

JZONE Face the Book Collage

And then “Without Limits” (2011)

JZONE Without Limits Collage

The 2012 JZONE camp was the first camp I have missed after 4 years. It was hard for me to accept it during that time since I really wanted to be there to see my men serve and just be there for them. But God has a different plan for me since it was also just this year that He has started to grow the B1G South Singles’ ministry where I am called to actively serve and be involved with.

Group Picture in Fontana FountainI also planned Dgroup outings every year. Our first outing was last 2009 in Fontana. We locked ourselves in the villa and tackled a series about the life we were meant to live. It was a great time to be out of town with them for the first time and I have never imagined that the succeeding years will be full of fun memories with them in different outing locations. The following year (2010) we had our outing in Tagaytay, which was very memorable because we tried squeezing everyone (8 all-in-all) in our CRV. Along with the bags and everyone in the car we can barely move inside – thank God I was the driver. Haha. Poker Night in TagaytayIn that outing we played poker, watched movies, played sports and most of all had devotions and it was awesome! After our Tagaytay Trip, I wanted to go to a place far away from home and I wanted my boys to experience camping so I planned our next outing to be in Anawangin. I can honestly say it was not how I expected it to be. Although we enjoyed the feeling of roughing it out in the wild the place was really crowded and I feel that we haven’t been able to fellowship that much since the area was very big and anyone in the group has the freedom to go anywhere they want.Group Picture in Anawangin Beach So come 2012 we planned an outing that is simple and in a small secluded place. I rented a house with a pool in Laguna just for an overnight stay. We arrived in the house at around 2pm and even though pool is not yet filled-up during that time we still made the most out of it and played with the shallow water we have. We have a video for all the crazy things we did but as much as I want to show it to everyone, our bodies are not fit to be scattered in the internet. We played our favorite game called “MAFIA” and there we got to know who is a good bluffer and who is keen in observing people. Even on the way home we stopped as Nuvali and played “MAFIA” once again.

Group Picture in Pansol

Aside from the JZONE camps we attend together, the Dgroup outings we had, and the regular Dgroup Meetings we would do every Friday, there were so many other activities that we did.

Different Picture of Marc Sorongon's DgroupFrom organizing a “Despidida” party when someone from our group left us to migrate to another country, to supporting a dreaming- rock star-who-turned-into-a-ministry-head in one of his concerts, having poker nights, celebrating birthdays and other group activities – all these things were done to show our support and love for one another as brothers in Christ. And Christmas parties where we take the time to be very grateful for how God has truly blessed us and how He has allowed us to experience his love through the company of each other.

Christmas Party Group Pic 2012

Truly there are just so many things that have happened that I cannot even write it all down! Leading a Dgroup was something that I didn’t envision I’ll be doing someday. I never knew how much it is an honour to be given such responsibility until you experience it personally. With the 4 years that has passed I am just in awe at how God has worked. Four guys in my group are now leading their own Dgroup and there are others who are serving in a ministry. We have grown together in past four years that we have studied and discussed the word of God together. I am just thankful to God for allowing me to experience this joy and I am hoping that those who are not yet leading their own group will experience this joy someday as well.

I just want to leave a piece of advice to anyone looking at discipleship or have that desire to lead their own group someday. Time is such an important element that you need to consider. This is something that I have really sacrificed and have given to my group. I have always told them to make time for Dgroup and not find the time and it applies that same to those who will be leading their own group. You need make the time to prepare for your lesson. You need to make the time to talk to them and have one-on-one discussions with them. You need to make the to time schedule Dgroup outing and activities with them. I have always been passionate about discipleship because I have experienced that joy that comes with it. Despite the busyness of life spending time with my group is something I make time for. Yes, time will always be asked from you once you start leading – that is the cost of following Jesus.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19, NASB)

But the experience that comes with it is just so priceless. In return you get to see how God can use you to touch people’s lives. You get to experience the love and support of your group as well when you need it. And when you need to prepare for a lesson to teach, you’re even the one learning it you go through it. There are so many things in store for those taking this challenge. I have learned and grown the past four years and again, I am really just very grateful to God for calling me to experience it.

This is an entry of a grace showered individual about my experience of leading a Dgroup because I do not feel worthy of such responsibility. It is truly just because of the grace of God that I can stand and lead. At times I have felt tired and in my own strength and own capability I know I will fail and will fall short of what He wants me to do. Praise and Glory to Him alone for what He has done and what He is going to do in me and in my Dgroup. If you have your own personal testimony of how God has used you to lead a discipleship group, leave me a comment below and let’s continue to inspire and encourage one another in doing the great commission.

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