—Guest Post By the Rev. Mr. Nollie Malabuyo
On the Lord’s Day, September 8, 2013, Trinity Covenant Reformed Church in Imus, Cavite held its regular Sunday adult class and worship service. But it was also a thanksgiving service for God’s faithfulness to the church in its first two years.
The theme of the service was from Jude 3, “Contending for the Faith that was Once for All Delivered to the Saints.” Rev. Lance Filio, Associate Pastor of Baclaran Unida Evangelical Church, preached the sermon on the theme, “What Does it Mean to be a Believer?” based on Jude 1–4. He reminded the congregation that faith is objective, not “faith in faith” as is popular today. He also exhorted the people that faith is visible in its evidences: confessing Christ with the mouth, receiving the sacraments, and submitting to the discipline of the church.
We’re also thankful for an attendance of about 50-60 people, many of them first-time visitors. A great time of food and fellowship among new and old friends followed the service.
Trinity Covenant Reformed Church was formed by believers who were concerned that most evangelical churches in the Philippines have departed from scriptural teachings to accommodate entertainment and the extremes of social and prosperity gospel. Though our first two years were not lacking in financial and attendance struggles, we gave praise and thanksgiving to God who was faithful in upholding our new church. We have had many visitors, but only a few stay. The enticing and glamorous entertainment of big megachurches around us are much more attractive to them. The popularity of the prosperity gospel and moralistic, therapeutic sermons are more “relevant” and “authentic” to them than the true gospel of Christ.
On June 18, 2011, I started a small Bible study group in a home in Imus, Cavite. We continued to meet until September 11 when we held our first Lord’s Day worship service in a small rented room. By that time, we were joined by several other visitors, and almost all of these 10–15 believers were new to the Reformed faith. On May 5 of this year, the church was organized after the election of our first two elders and two deacons. Today, there are 20 professing members, including three baptized children, and weekly attendance is about 25-35 people. We celebrate the Lord’s Supper every first Sunday of the month.
As we look forward to future anniversary celebrations, we praise God for his faithfulness in building up the church through “the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, the breaking of bread, and the prayers.” If the Lord wills, we will have two Lord’s Day services with catechism classes and fellowship in between. We also plan to invite the surrounding community to a new midweek Bible study. Our desire is to disciple the members of the church into mature Christians, and proclaim the true gospel to “inquirers” who visit us.
If you would like to financially support this work in the Philippines, please email me.