Updated: Oct 1, 2021
I remember attending a church 4 years ago, and you know how when you’re new to a church especially a big church the feelings that emerge, the feeling of being an outsider, or when the worship team starts and whole church is dancing and you just feel like everyone is watching you because you're a “first timer”. Maybe some of you reading this felt that way towards your home church when you were starting. Now i’m not saying that it’s the fault of the church or the leaders of the church, what i’m stating is a fact of life that when you are in a new place there is that certain feeling of “you don’t belong” and you can’t really fully control that feeling.
As I was clapping my hands and singing with the whole church and observing what people did during worship time, and when the music slowed down into a keyboard background, one of the leaders of the church went up on stage and welcomed everyone and while he was talking I noticed a statement that he said that just got me curious and stuck with me for 4 years before I really got to use it. The statement was “You Belong, before you Believe”. 4 years ago I didn’t really understand what it meant until now, and I praise God for that experience that just totally changed my perspective towards the cause of Jesus.
During this season for YouthLab we are introducing “Belong Groups”, and I really believe that when you want to impact a person’s life and as our ultimate calling as followers of Christ we do discipleship and what better way to do it than to have an avenue for it, and Belong Groups come in that picture. Through this ministry we are giving everyone a chance to minister to young people in a much more intimate way, discipling them and just adding value to their life, well this needs to be our battle cry anyway, love God and love others! And as of now we have 16 Belong Groups and the goal is to have 60 Belong Groups by December, and not that we value numbers and standings but as always we want to trust God with what He is doing and being sensitive to what His plan is.
We believe in the statement: “You cannot give, what you don’t have” and as leaders of this ministry we the core team also have a weekly Belong Group session with some of our KIM Missionaries. and also have our own BGroups with some of our leaders/volunteers in YL. From left to right, AJ, Mark, Arman, Arnold, Mary, Emily, Sophie, Bette, and Amber. ---->
<----This is the BGroup of Sophie Metante one of our missionaries who is the lead of YL Kids. Together with her is Dhiana, Chin, Alondra, Abe, Rhon, Gemmalyn, Cassandra, Roxane & Daniela. Amazing young girls who are involved in a-lot of ministries in YL and also leading fellow young girls in the community.
This one is the BGroup of Arman Metante, also co-lead of YL Kids together with his wife (Sophie Metante). His boys are as follows, from left to right. Bryan, Daryl, JC, Cedric & Johnloyd. One of the challenges that we have is not having enough guy leaders but God just works in mysterious ways and provide us with awesome guy leaders! ---------------------->
<--------This is the BGroup of Amber Ellis, one of our missionary who is a co-lead for YL Juniors. From left to right we have, Rhea Mae, Princess, Hannah (With Elijah), Deserie, Lovely A and Lovely O, Renzyl, Via, Clarissa, & Jana. Such a privilege seeing these young girls do life together.
This is Mary with her BGroup, from left to right. Kyla, MayAnn, Myca, Jane, Jivanta & Mercy. I see wonderful stories of God's redemption in this picture! Can't wait for you guys to meet them and hear their stories! ------------------------------->
<------- This is my Bgroup, from left to right. Edward, Jethro, Bryan G, Gerald, Kyle, Julius & Enzo (Philip, Darren, Niño, Reggie, not in the picture). These guys are such amazing young boys who are very passionate in loving God and loving others!
And here are some of our BGroup members who also handle their own Belong Groups!
God has been really touching the lives of these young people through Belong Groups. My encouragement to you reading this is that, our battlecry needs to be discipleship! Big events are good, and weekly engagements are good but in order for us to really impact lives and change our world and our community, then we have to submit to what Jesus commanded us to do and that is to pour our mind, heart and God and to the great commission!
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
I'm not saying that Belong Groups are the only way to make disciples but I do believe that God is leading us towards the right journey and that is doing life together with Jesus. I hope you get to pray for us and join us for this cause! Thank you and God bless!