Why Filipino Young People Leave Traditional Christian Denominations

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After the Christmas Institute season in 2014, I decided to look more deeply into the reason why a lot of United Methodist youth and young adults are leaving the United Methodist Church and moving to newer, more exciting church movements such as Victory Christian Fellowship (VCF), Christ Commission Fellowship (CCF), and Doulos for Christ Ministry among others.

I’ve heard a lot of stories from friends, former co-leaders in the National level of the United Methodist Youth Fellowship in the Philippines. The more I talked with friends in the ministry and young leaders in the grassroots, the more I am convinced that we are losing our most passionate young adults to these groups.

 

The big question is WHY?

But before attempting to answer this big question, I want to lay down some facts or perhaps assumptions (MY assumptions, that is…) would be a better term to use here.

1: The UMC has a strong children’s ministry from the local church to the national level.

We minister effectively to kids in the local church through Sunday School, the Vacation Church School (VCS) during the Summer, through Kindergarten education, and through Children’s Camps.

2: The UMC’s Confirmation Class strategy is not very effective.

Ideally, when children transition to becoming youth (age 11-13), they would undergo Confirmation Class. New members should also go through this. But Confirmation Classes depend largely on the commitment and passion of the local church Pastor. If the local church has a lay person who is passionate for the spiritual development of the youth, great! But that is the exception, not the rule.

3: The UMC has a strong youth organization and develops lots of youth leaders.

I owe a lot to the United Methodist Youth Fellowship in the Philippines (UMYFP). It helped mold me into the leader that I am today. Not only that, I came to know myself better and hone my skills and abilities for ministry through the UMYFP. The official age of the UMYFP is from 12-23 years old, sometimes extending to 24 or 25. But the majority of active UMYFP members fall under the 12-19 year bracket.

4: The UMC does not have a strong young adult ministry from the local church to the national level.

But the problem now, as I see it, is that the UMYFP’s influence tend to be the strongest during the high school years of a United Methodist youth. As they go to college and then proceed to become young professionals, the UMC loses its influence among these young people. That is partly because we don’t have an active presence in the campus and we do not have a strong, effective young adult ministry in the local church, and even in the national level of the church.

Some well-meaning friends told me that it’s all about ‘discipleship’ and the establishment of discipleship groups. They may be right, but I tend to be a big-picture, zoom out, kind of guy, so I want to analyze this from multiple perspectives, taking into account different factors why our young people leave the UMC, in favor of these newer churches. For lack of a better term, I will refer to these newer churches as CF’s.

Go Straight to the Founder

That’s why, early in 2015, I decided to finally read the book “Wikichurch: Making Discipleship Engaging, Empowering, and Viral” by Steve Murrell.

I wanted to understand the CF’s and what better way than to start with the founder of VCF, Pastor Steve Murrell. Overall, the book was a great read! It outlined the story of Maranatha Campus Ministry, which was the initial ministry that sent Pastor Steve Murrell, his wife, and other young American missionaries to the streets of the University Belt area to reach out to students and young people.

If you want to read my highlights and my notes, please visit this link. If you also want to read about the history of VCF and their discipleship model, I strongly recommend you read the book.

Top Three Reasons Why VCF Attracted Christians from Other Denominations

“The Shangri-La debacle taught us that excellent worship, decent preaching, and a cool venue would attract Christians looking for a more meaningful church experience. It also taught us that non-Christians really do not care about those things, and they proved it by staying away.” – Steve Murrell, from Wikichurch page 46 (emphasis mine)

Three reasons:

  1. Excellent Worship
  2. Decent Preaching
  3. Cool Venue

Here’s some context from the book. Pastor Steve Murrell told the story of how they started the 2nd campus of victory at Shangri-La in Mandaluyong. He called it debacle because that campus attracted Christians from other denominations instead of non-Christians. For a startup church, that will get it in trouble with other churches in the Metro. Moreover, Pastor Murrell knew that the call of this new church is to the non-Christians and not to those who already believe in Christ. So, that was definitely a debacle and an unsuccessful project.

So if you’re asking for the top three reasons why the youth are leaving traditional Christian denominations, here is the immediate answer. (There is a deeper answer, also provided by Pastor Murrell, but I will present that in a future post.)

Three things: excellent worship, decent preaching, and cool venue.

This also means that the traditional Christian denominations: UMC, UCCP, JIL, AG, and others, are perceived to lack these three things. I say “perceived” because I know of traditional denominations who do have these things.

In the next posts, I will explore these three reasons individually.

Your Turn

Are you from a traditional denomination, too? Have you been observing the same trends?

Have you left a traditional denomination and joined one of the CF’s? Care to share why you left?

45 Comments Why Filipino Young People Leave Traditional Christian Denominations

  1. Jerome Nabua

    I agree with you brother. But i would like add also the most important thing in the bible which God has told us. LOVE. We us methodist have lost our love to our fellow methodist. Are we there when they need someone or they turn to someone else. I remember what the pope just said in one of his sermons, he ask the priest to be present in every family. I come from a small church here in pangasinan, we might not be big in numbers but we are close to each other and little by little growing in numbers. The pastor has this great love to the members, then the officers followed down to every member. With this love you take care of everybody and The God of love will take care the rest.

    Reply
    1. Matt

      I once left the church because i was stumbled by these church leaders, who were supposed to nurture spiritual aspects, but were became more engrossed with the materials things and achievements and fame, in short, hard of getting out from their comfort zones to which they lost their testimonies already…

      Reply
  2. ferviel t tamayo

    And I quote “Hindi ko po kasi nafefeel ang presence ni Lord sa church pag nagwoworship”

    “Ang hirap po intindhin ng sermon ni pastor masyado pong malalim”

    “Pinatanggal po ni Lay leader yung drumset at iba pang instruments sa church kasi maingay daw po”

    Kuya, these are just few of the common comments and complaints of our Young People sa church. Kaya ang ending lumilipat po sila sa ibang denomination. Yung sa church na pwede silang mag grow socially,emotionally at spiritually.

    Reply
  3. ferviel t tamayo

    Saka sariling testimony ko po Kuya, I grew up in a Methodist Family, Pastor po ang Lola ko at DSS po nanay ko, Bata palang po ako babad na ako sa Sunday school at sa bible quiz etc. Nung highschool naman ako nag CI nag SCYD,summer camp, October encounter, love encounter atbp. At nung naging Young Prof. Na po nagattend national Gatherings ng UMYFP.
    Somehow along the way po pinangarap Kong maging Pastor, at maging isang leader ng church one day, pero kuya, bakit ganun? Suddenly natuyot ako, and everytime na pumapasok ako sa church parang nawala yung passion. And there was even a time na I thought of leaving the church kasi I feel like growth is not happening anymore.

    Reply
    1. Ruth Galinato

      Maybe your mind was over”saturated” with the ministries of the church,but neglected ur “personal relationship or connectivity to God. You probably thought u know everything about your church, Jesus,etc.and yet how are u doing or applying what ur church taught ? Ask urself what transformation happened to me after all these years ? Strive to bear fruits n not just seeking self gratification. The church is u, u make it happen. Khit anong church ang salihan natin if we remain focused on ourselves, laging may kulang. Pray for God’s wisdom .Read Prov.3:5-6.

      Reply
  4. Bernley Grospe

    as for me, pinag isipan ku na din lumipat pero i will still remain UMC. .kasi kahit anong religion naman basta focus lng kay God. .

    bakit sumagi sa isip ku yun?. . for my experience kasi as a member of Praise and Worship Team, if you are in a very traditional church, bihira ka makakuha ng suporta sa pastors and lay leaders. bilang mu lng kung sinu ang sumusuporta sa ministry mo at minsan kokontrahin ka pa nila.

    ultimo gamit sa pagtugtog kokontrahin pa, na hnd daw karapat dapat ilagay sa gilid ng altar. dapat daw sa baba, dun sa kasuluk sulukan.

    anyway the team still leads, we put the instruments where we think its beneficial in leading others and praising God. we don’t care now what they say (sa mga kontra), if they demand for respect, they must also respect us.

    Reply
  5. Jojo

    Agree on Steve Murrell’s reasons…add these:
    1. they get plugged in a smaller community of faith (small groups) that follows them up in the week. makes them feel connected. one gets easily lost in the bigger group (sunday services) but in the smaller community, they belong.
    2. people (pastors and leaders, especially) do not notice that they are losing the sheep to other folds. if they do, either they do not care, or they do not want to lift a finger to do something about the seeming “exodus”
    3. they grasp and practice radical hospitality in CF’s. i attended one service and one usher seated me. i also got followed up that week with a text message and invitation to attend another one. of course, i couldn’t. i am a UMC pastor.
    4. they also have big events that rallies the church and her people to raise the bar of discipleship (evangelism and spiritual disciplines. like fasting and prayer) and missions…
    5. we have to dare to offer one contemporary service apart from the traditional one that we have that combines the elements presented by Steve Murrell and I believe much,much more. they have to find a reason to stay and belong in a community of believers who are serious about their faith and who genuinely care for each other’s well-being.

    I have been seriously looking into the ministries of one CF here and I could say that their approach is rather simple – what is amazing though is the leaders’ passion for God that manifests in worship evangelism and discipleship.

    Is this what we have lost, brother? God forbid.

    Reply
  6. Adz

    Young adult talaga ang time na madami ang nalalagas, even before our time pa.

    Ang tingin ko is because they are too old to have same activities as when they are myf, and they are too young para makipagpukpukan sa UMM and WSCS. In short, wlang program for the myaf n clear tlga na para sa kanila.

    The other problem is when they transfer to manila, we dont have the practice of referring them to umc counterpart. Bahala ka maghanap. Connected ang umc pero disconnected nmn.

    You can argue, mdaming activities ang church na pwedeng attendan, gumagastos nga ang church para sa activity e kakaunti lng umaattend. Kailan nagkakaroon ng thorough evaluation ng effectiveness ng activity?

    Bottomline, we dont have a clear template on what are the stages of being a church member. Growth path, evaluation kung saang level ka na ba, looking forward on next level. Are you looking for a ministry to be part of? Are you in a preparation stage for this ministry? Are you ready to fully be part of that ministry? Kaya hindi mo rin masabi ngayon, ano ba status ng umc?

    Reply
    1. Glenn

      Re-aligning siguro sister ng mga groups s church. Konting creativity and push discipleship not membership drive lang.

      Baka makatulong itong comment/suggestion ko.

      Thanks.

      Reply
  7. Rowie

    this has been at the back of my mind two or more years na. and until now i cant seem to communicate this effectively with my home church without being defensive or negative. i can’t even put my thoughts into words, it is like a big random puzzle. i am a proud Methodist, but still i know there is more to life than this, than going to church and doing your ministry. Even leaders should be spiritually led and fed. Yung mabubusog ka and not just another Sunday. there is a deeper problem with the organizational structure of the UMC which no one dares to point out or rather no one knows how to exactly point it out.

    right now, im attending two churches every Sunday. My home church and a VCF church.

    Reply
    1. Glenn

      Re-aligning siguro sister ng mga groups s church. Konting creativity and push discipleship not membership drive lang.

      Baka makatulong itong comment/suggestion ko.

      Thanks.

      Reply
  8. Caramel

    Hi guys. Honestly, this is something na matagal ko na ding pinagppray. Okay naman sa UMC, dun nga ako nagsimula eh, as a UMYF. Pero nung nagtagal, I wanted more. I realized na there are certain needs na hindi talaga mameet then I found myself constantly attending Victory na ever since I’ve been invited. Sobra yung growth and relationship na na-experience ko. Sa sobrang tuwa ko, I wanted our church to experience it as well. Regular volunteer na din ako sa Kids Ministry nila which proved to be helpful kasi tuwing uuwi ako samin, I was able to apply those learnings sa Sunday School. Nung una may persecution pa kasi ayaw ng parents ko. Solid na metodista kami mula nung nag-deaconess ang lola ko pero in time, nung nakita nila yung change sakin (sobrang grace ni Lord), sila na yung nagtatanong kung ano bang ginagawa dun, etc. Eto lang naman. Masaya ako sa “new found church” ko, yung relationships ko with other believers na solid talaga, yung spirituality on a higher and deeper perspective, yung sobrang wisdom and knowledge na nakuha ko, I thank God for allowing me to experience those pero hindi ibig sabihin na tatalikuran ko na ang Methodist. Andun yung family ko, tsaka okay naman ang roots natin. Siguro may na-overlook lang tayo and I admit, sa local church namin medyo hindi united (ang ironic noh?) pero kung may natutunan man ako, I learned about humility. Na kahit medyo maalam ka na, nagfafasting and such, andun pa din yung passion and compassion to reach out! In fairness naman, ang calling ng methodist nakakarating even to the deepest barrios kaya I believe that God is doing something through our church. May mga UMCs naman na okay so far kasi naging open sila sa ibang churches especially when it comes to discipleship. Sa mga naka-experience ng non-traditional Christian church, time to apply what you’ve learned! πŸ™‚ cmon! πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Jassy

      Yey! Yes Caramel, it’s time to apply what we’ve learned. Naniniwala akong kaya ko rin naranasan ang CFs ay para mai-share ko yun sa aking home church. We don’t need to leave our home church. πŸ™‚ Kung tayo nag-grow, dapat tulungan din natin ang churchmates natin na mag-grow.

      Reply
  9. Raph SeΓ±o

    Hi Kuya. On my take as a youth leader, hindi enough ang equipping sa karamihan ng kabataan kaya pagtungtong nila ng young adult kung saan mas marami ang elemento ng pagsubok at kalituhan, hindi handa at kaya naman nawawala. O di kaya naman po ay mali ang na-equip. I believe po na the three reasons are just apparent but there is really something deeper within. Btw, great blog, Kuya.

    Reply
  10. Blossom

    Good observation, Bro. Mighty.
    I would like to add:
    1. People leave traditional churches like UMC because they have been doing the same things over and over without being personally transformed. Activities such as mentioned in your blog (though not all), are becoming church-centered, activity-centered, even politically-centered, not Christ-centered.
    2. Discipleship and making disciples – traditional churches are lacking in these aspects. All members must belong to a discipleship group. In CF’s, they practice accountability – members are accountable to each other, in their small/cell groups. In the traditional church, this accountability is placed heavily on the pastors and deaconesses only, which burdens them and hinders their effectivity.
    3. Church music should cater to all generations. For me, hymns will always be number 1, but also love new songs that minister to me personally and to the body of Christ.
    3. Preaching. Yes, I attended VCF worship services several times, and I am also attending a CF now. When God’s word is anointed, it is so powerful you don’t want to be the same again. No wonder, people keep coming back to these churches to hear messages that deals with the heart. These are not sermons done by manly wisdom, but sermons inspired by the Holy Spirit.
    4. Conflicts in churches make us doubt church members’ spirituality and maturity. Thus, people run to churches where they sense unity and humble service.
    I would like to add more, but these are some of the first issues that come to mind. I pray for a spiritual transformation in body of Christ, the UMC, in particular.

    Reply
  11. Jani

    Sumasang ayon ako lahat sa mga nabasa ko.
    Kelangan natin pasiglahin ang ating paraan ng pagpupuri kase doon nahahatak ang mga kabataan.

    Ang karanasan ko bilang OFW naman ay wala akong mahanapan na Church sa mga bansang napuntahan ko gaya ng Taiwan at Saudi. Sana ito din ang tutukuan ng ating Church. Na magkaroon ng mga Churches sa ibang bansa where most Filipinos ay nagpupunta. Kaya naghahanap sila ng maaatendan na Church at pag mahina ang foundation mo bilang Methodista pag uwi mo ay sa iba ka na nagsisimba.

    Reply
  12. JAy

    Ang isang tao para manatili sa isang kinalalagyan, dapat may “dahilan” Sya,…(Reason) Wesleyan ….
    Una,,,,,,, sa Church, ,,,,,,,what is the reason behind kung bakit nasa church ang bata.?… dahil… wala lang kasama sa bahay… kapag kabataan na… dahil… wala lang………. hindi alam kung minsan ng kabataan bakit Sya nasa Church…. kaya …madalas wala silang dahilan para manatili……….
    Ngunit , subalit… datapwat….. kung alam ng kabataan kung bakit Sya ay nasa church…. ano mang mangyari….. hindi ito aalis……
    Worship is personal….

    Reply
  13. Chill

    Well, given that they really have timely topics and great promotions that surely attracts young people, I think they felt “freer” when they attend to those mega churches compared to the trad. churches wherein they were tied from the strict rules to do this and that, to be like this and stuff, as well as the from the burden of responsibilites and pressure from the expectations of the church towards them. And us human, especially the young generation, mostly wants to be free and travel the easier road.

    Reply
  14. Eufy

    In analyzing this, we must add to other “phenomena”:

    1. The “Zimbabwe” phenomenon in which a large church is such but only a handful are ever really engaged in discipleship and ministry, and,

    2. The “Martha” phenomenon in which people who do commit to ministry in a traditional church ends up burnt out because the focus is way too much on what work is expected of them while unfortunately leaving out the discipleship part.

    In addition to Excellent Worship, Decent Preaching, and a Cool Venue, one has to take into account that people are social beings and they need to be taken care of. Discipleship groups in whatever terminology (care group, cell group…) attract people to be in a deeper relationship with Christ.

    I know this from a few years’ experience in a CF church (although its name does not end in CF). It is mandated that each member is to be cared for and will eventually care for others in a cell group. I did feel genuine concern from my cell group leader which would’ve made me fully jump had it not been for theological and personal concerns.

    So I do agree in a comment here: the preaching has to be powerful and inspired by the Spirit of God, and this spirit calls us to focus on spiritual development more than how we can show that we are a church that does a lot of stuff.

    Reply
  15. markie

    i am a member of the UMC since my father is a Pastor. Personally, I can go to whatever church that i wanted to to grow spiritually but what drives me to stay eventhough I have all the same reasons to go out (of the UMC) as the former commentators explained is that “we do not have to attend CFs” to grow spiritually.

    A church dies because members attends other churches. A church dies because we blame the churchworkers of their incompetence. A church dies because were afraid to state our new ideas with the older members of the church who opted to stay traditional in our times where contemporary and extravagant worship is the trend.
    I even experinced several times in the middle of a gathering, praise and worship and camps that a certain member of the church shouts at us telling us to stop because he’s not hearing worship anymore but noise.
    It’s alright for me, I can understand but for those baby christians? that was offensive.

    and again i will ask, “why do i stay?”

    i always wanted to attend VCF, I always wanted to attend CCF. I listen to their podcasts and make their preachers as reffernces. My friends are attending those CFs and three of them are now full time volunteer workers and speakers. I wanted to attend VCF… badly…

    but there is another question “how about my mother church?”

    a church die when its members are gone… it always comes into my mind that i do not have to search God inside other denominations. if I leave, another chair inside the church will be vacant; if i leave, another spot on the choir will be left unfilled; if i leave, what will it do good to the church?

    honestly speaking, the problem is not the church, its not the system, its not the trend, etc., but it is us who have the problem! we always run away when discouraged and spiritualy dried, seeking refuge ang growth from different groups and is easy for us to testify that “that group is better than my mother church”.

    okay my argument is this and i do not blame or point fingers, etc., on the people who changed denominations, if that makes you grow as a christian, thank God but if it is just because you want to be seated beside Piolo Pascual, that i another story, we’ll pray for you.

    we do not have to leave our church, if you find dryness, inappropriateness or you want to have a change and improvement, be a beacon of light! do not look for it, be it! You may not know, your leaving may became a stumbling block to other christians to backslide.

    God bless us all

    Reply
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  17. Jun

    1. There’s no spiritual growth. There was no one really trying to push and guide me to grow spiritually, at least in my local church. The leaders including the pastor are too busy thinking of ways how to increase the tithes and offering instead of thinking of ways how to get people in. Too busy with programs, concerts and fund raisings. And not enough nurturing and spiritual guidance.

    2. Young people are not represented in the church council and are not trusted.

    Reply
  18. anthony maniquiz

    Ive been involve in so many CF churches. Ive seen how they have fellowship with each other.. I once ask myself, am i staying or I would go to this or to that CF church.. but I have decided to stay as a UMC member.. kasi nakita ko kailangan tayo ng UMC para sa reformation to empower each other.. tayong mga mga nakakakita ng differences at mga kakulangan.. tayo ung susi para sa pagbabago at development.. So why are you leaving guys..?

    Reply
  19. David Paul T. Cleto

    We are saved and called by God to believe in Him and to belong in His family. Not just to be strong in our faith but to love our Christian community our home church through participating in carrying burdens and accountability in practicing the Words. To be with God and to be with our spiritual family our fellow believers who are with God are two important things for our spiritual health and growth.

    Things which are healthy will eventually grow and bear many fruits, fruit of the Spirit and many good works from God. That’s why we need discipline, control, corrections, teaching to correct mistakes and wrong beliefs that lead to wrong practices that affect our spiritual health and growth. The underlying factor that contribute in the dryness of worship is not actually the weekly Sunday and Wednesday worship service itself and its components the worship songs and the sermon, but the lack of spiritual feeding of pure Words with prayers daily, understanding it, and practicing it. Abiding in the Word is the exact term.

    Matthew 13:23 explains this process.
    “But the one who receive the seed that fell on the good soil is the man who hears the word, understand it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

    “The most common mistakes Christians make in worship today is seeking an experience rather than seeking God. They look for a feeling, and if it happens, they conclude that they have worshiped. Wrong!”

    “In fact, God often removes our feelings so we won’t depend on them. Seeking a feeling, even the feeling of closeness to Christ, is not worship. God’s omnipresence and the manifestation of his presence are two different things. One is a fact; the other is subjective feelings. Take note of this. Many are deceived to think that sometimes God is far and not with us. But the truth is, God is always present. God with us (Matthew 2:23). This doesn’t change even when you are unaware of him or even you couldn’t see the manifestations that you are looking for. His presence is too profound to be measured by our own senses and emotion.”

    “Yes, God wants us to sense His presence, but He’s more concerned that we trust him with all our hearts than that we feel Him. Faith, not feelings, pleases God!”

    2 Corinthians 4:18
    So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

    2 Corinthians 5:7
    We live by faith, not by sight

    Genuine Christians or disciples of Jesus deny themselves, carry their own crosses, and follow Jesus (Mark 8:34) who is the only way to the Father, the truth, and the life (John 4:6). They abide in Jesus and in His Words (John 15:7). They worship not only in spirit but in truth. And they do not abandon their spiritual family who share them the pure Words of truth. Instead of going and jumping around from one church to another (like bunnies), they don’t abandon the true spiritual family or home church who live by faith in the Word. Rather they share in carrying each others burden in fulfilling the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).

    Time of searching applies only when you want to find the home that abide in Jesus and in His Words. But once you found it, settle and abide and be belong in that group in good times and bad times.

    How do you praise God when you don’t understand what’s happening in your life? When it seems God is silent? When you feel spiritual dryness because you are looking for the experience, and overlooking God’s presence, are you going to leave your church? No! Can we keep our eyes on Jesus and abide in our home church when we are not seeing manifestations and without emotions that we are looking for?
    Yes, we can. If we walk by faith, not by feelings and sight. Amen!

    Preaching is one thing. And there many things such as teaching, guidance and counseling, visitation, encouraging, small group, worship service, and many more.

    And in terms of preaching, there are many styles of preaching with different personalities. So let us not compare. They are all God’s. Don’t say, ” I am blessed with him and I’m not very blessed with the other.” The Word of God is preached with different preachers but let’s not forget that we have one purpose as listeners, to know God’s will and practice it. And the main purpose of every preacher is to tell the Good news about Jesus and the Kingdom of God that builds up faith. Each will be rewarded according to his own labor (1 Corinthians 3:8).
    God’s solid and pure Word is important.

    Galatians 6:3~5
    If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own action. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry each own load.

    So if we will see the bigger picture of God’s Kingdom in the Christian community in our homechurch we will deeply appreciate our pastors and Christian leaders rather than complaining about their shortcomings. He or she may not be good in preaching but mind you, do you notice that your pastor in your local church is the one visiting your parents when they are sick, when they have needs and problems? Do you notice that your local pastor who is according to you not a good preacher is the one sharing to your parents God’s words and praying for them while you are busy studying in the university? Probably that’s the reason why your parents doesn’t want you to leave your local church.

    Most of the umc pastors are not popular and unnoticed in performing services, in helping people because they do it to obtain praises that come from God, not the praise that come from people. They visit many families and pray for them from place to place, remote places barrios mountainous area to reach people. And these are unnoticed in the sight of many men especially in the sight of many university students. Let us pray, appreciate, encourage our pastors and avoid comparison of styles for each is rewarded according to his/her labor.

    New thing such as new way of worship and preaching doesn’t always mean the right thing. And traditional thing in the same way doesn’t mean absolutely correct. What is important is, we abide in Jesus and in His Words in whatever way as long as it is prescribed in His Words.

    “When you feel no manifestations of God’s presence, no sense of his presence, and see no experience happening in times of worship service and still worship God, you worship him in the deepest way.”

    Remember, the next time you hear the voice whispering and telling you, “Hey, you don’t feel God here. He’s not here. This is not worship,” don’t believe it. It’s a big lie from the enemy. The worst deception is when you believe that “God’s presence is not present in that place. That sometimes God is not with us.”

    God is absolutely present with us everywhere where two or three gather in His name. Amen.

    Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem… (God’s presence is not limited in place and culture; styles). Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the father in spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:21,23~24).

    Join me in prayer.

    “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” May this old prayer be still our prayer in this new age and new generation. Let our responses to Your divine grace and love be in its truest sense that You desire, which is worship in spirit and in truth. Let’s us forget about ourselves and magnify You alone. For worship is not all about us but it’s all about You. Let us continue to believe in You to belong in the Christian community where Your pure Words are shared and practiced for our spiritual growth and health, which is building us up to experience the most holy faith and bearing many eternal fruits of good deeds coming from the Holy Spirit to show your glory and lead many people believe and praise You. We pray in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

    Reply
  20. David Paul T. Cleto

    We are in South Korea. If you are living or working here, and still seeking for a worship service and a Christian community to belong where you can love and be loved, practice your Christian faith and belief and grow into Christlike image, we invite you to join us in our Sunday Worship. Let’s worship our God together. Our English Worship Service starts at 2pm. We gather for worship service every Sunday at Cheonan International Church, which is close to Cheonan Bus Terminal; 5 minutes by foot. God bless you!

    Contact person: David and Anna
    Contact number 010-3531-1876
    010-4214-0504

    Reply
  21. Ms. Rational

    Hi! I couldn’t agree more to this post. I was a Methodist since 8years old I think (that started when we are living at PACE area and was looking for a Christian Church). Throughout the years, I learned to love and loved to learn all about methodist. I enjoyed being youth and was very proud on how we are organized, systematized and very efficient. But throughout the years I also noticed that we are locked within our own organization. We didn’t mingle on other fellow christian churches in the community. We shared the word of God only to the kids but not on our fellow youth because it’s somewhat “nakakahiya”. In short, we stayed on our safeside. That’s the big difference between us and modern churches nowadays. They seek to grow in numbers of Christ followers. We? We only seek maintenance.

    Reply
  22. Agape

    Hi!! Everyone has their own point of view and experience. Wala namang masama at mali dun. Isa pala akong metodista since birth πŸ™‚
    -Pero isipin na lang natin na kung hahayaan natin itong mangyare, hahayaang tuluyang mawala ang passion at interest sa ating church (UMC) paano na ang church? hindi po ba maganda na umpisahan natin ang pagbabago at pagpapalakas para sa pare-pareho nating paglago. (Magtulungan.)
    Mga kapatid kung patuloy nating titignan at hahanapin ang kamaliaan sa church aba talaga namang gugustuhin mong lumipat pero let us take this an opportunity para bilang isang kabataan ay mag karoon ng pagbabago hindi lamang sa ating church kundi pati sa bawat isa.
    Lagi nating tatandaan na “walang pang sumunod sa Lord na pinabayaan nya.”
    “Nangyayare ang isang bagay dahil may dahilan.”
    We serve God not people.
    Mas maging pagpapala pa tayo mga kapatid.
    Spread LOVE <3 πŸ™‚
    Christ Above All.

    Reply
  23. ephraim

    ako din ay isang methodista ang tangi ko lamang masasabi ay kung iiwan mu ang church at hahayaan mung pagiwanan tayo paanu ang future natin? kung may improve tayo dapat bago tayo magumpisa ulit alamin natin kung sinu si JESUS hindi tinatag ni John wesley ang UMC para sa wala lang naging kilala din tayo ang mali lang natin naging kampante tayo sa kung anung meron tayo ngayon ay sa Panginoon pa din naman sana ngayon maging UNITED TAYO Thru JESUS CHRIST at alam natin na magiging mahabang usapan ito pero sana maging way to para madinig ka at para mabago tayo sa lahat sa church na inaatenand ko ngayon naguumpisa kami ulit subukan mu ding magumpisa ulit kasi kung hindi ngayon kelan pa? Sayang Kasi Tinaguriang UNITED tayo Kung magkakawatak lang din naman useless din

    Reply
    1. David Paul T. Cleto

      Nagawa mo na ba ang mga bagay na dspat mong ginawa bago mo pintasan at husgahan ang sarili mong espiritwal family at iwan mo?

      Biblical ang espesyal na turingan bilang magkakapatid sa pananampalataya. Read Galatians chapter 6, John 15. Kung ang sarili mong umc spiritual family ay may emphasis sa turingang ito, magalak ka. At kung may nagkukulang naman sa paghayo upang abutin ang iba mag suggest ka o magsilbing modelo sa gusto mong isulong na pagbabago sa local church or fsmily church mo. Huwag mong iwan dahil lang sa pintas na ang local church mo ay hindi nagtataglay ng trend growth na katulad ng iba dahil kulang ng bagay na yon. God bless you

      Reply
  24. David Paul T. Cleto

    Kaoatid na Ms Rational, huwag mong iwan local church o homechurch mo dahil sa kulang sa paghayo.

    At Bro. June, 24 hours libre ang Bible para pakanin mo ang yong espiritwal na buhay ng Salita ng Diyos. Pwede mong basahin ang Bible everyday. Kung mahina man ang umc local church preacher diyan sa place ninyo sa pagbabahagi ng Salita ng Diyos particularly on Sunday at sa tingin mo’y kulang sa Salita ng Diyos, huwag kang mamintas to destroy the image of the umc. May ibat iba ang kakayanan na ipinagkaloob ng Diyos sa atin. At pakiusap lang, huwag mo sanang gamitin ang pintas mo para ipagyaya sa iba na lumabas sila ng umc local church nila at maghanap ng iba dahil sa pintas na sinasabi mo.

    Reply
  25. David Paul T. Cleto

    Huwag naman pamimintas lang sana ang isusulat. It should be responsible comments mga Kapatid. I read your comments Ms Rational and Bro. Jun. Your comments are true. But may you please pray for umc church, particularly to our young people and give them encouraging words here.

    Reply
  26. David Paul T. Cleto

    It should be responsible comments mga Kapatid. I read your comments Ms Rational and Bro. Jun. Your comments are true. But may you please pray for umc church, particularly to our young people and give them encouraging words here.

    Reply
    1. Glenn

      Bro. David:

      This site is not intended to offend the Methodists.

      I have read all your posts and I see that you hate the idea of members getting out of your denomination. I have read their comments too and I believe they have no intention to offend you or any other Methodists in this blog. They are merely citing their experiences why they left.

      Did you know that in the UK there are hundreds of old traditional churches closing? In fact, they close around 515 churches a year. It was not because they are traditional but the church has lost its relevance. In Acts the church was very relevant to the society and that was why they grew rapidly. They don’t shy away from people. They reached out to where the lost is. It also was not because they were worldly.

      Bro if you’d like your house or car to look new and usable, don’t you rebuild, repair or repaint it? Does that not give a new shine? The church I attended for 15 years prior to joining these modern churches was not a Methodist church but never got off the ground, so to speak. My pastor is very traditional and his preaching is not relevant to meet people’s needs. Nagsasawa ang tao na laging paulit ulit ang topic.

      We love you and your congregation and we pray that other denominations, and Christians for that matter will unite and once again bring back its saltiness and affect our communities. You have the same power of the Holy Spirit so I encourage you to support your leaders if they want to make radical changes for your group. Just don’t remove your focus in honoring God and making disciples – Acts 1:8

      Reply
  27. Mark

    This is baloney. I am a UM Youth that is now seriously considering leaving Methodism not because it is not hip enough like how the rest of these innovators want to instill profound changes to the point of diluting the entire methodist faith but because the Methodist doctrine and discipline are lost.

    Cool Venue? Wow, these “young people” should be taught that thay are not going to a mall or an auditorium or an arena for them to look for a cool venue. The Church venue should not resemble the world that we live in that is why traditionally, Church buildings are well ornated and embellished with religious art that remind us of the faith and helps us to be drawn out of the world into the realm of the Divine.

    Decent preaching? If by decent preaching you mean a cool hip pastor talking of practical life advices instead of teaching the faithful to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Jesus then no thanks. Because of this vcf movemebnt, g12, doulos and what-have-you, the methodist faith has been overshadowed by novel teachings and even some heresies. Along with this call for “out with the old, in with the new”, decent preaching, cool venue excellent worship rubbish is also the arrival of false teachings especially prosperity gospel and false prophets teaching about jesus as a boyfriend. Ugh. If Methodist elders, deacons, bishops, and laity would talk of the Gospel as was received by the Church, as was received by Father John Wesley, then I would not consider leaving UMC that is starting if not completely diminished into a social club for all people of all preferences of some sorts.

    Excellent worship? I cringe at the idea of what “excellent worship” means to the contemporary methodism as influenced by the pop culture, worldly ways of these vcf, doulos, etc. there’s no other excellent worship than a worship faithful to the Scriptures and the Historic and sacred liturgy received by the church. John Wesley himself promoted and loved the Church of England’s liturgy. If by excellent worship these youth and “leaders” mean abandoning the liturgy, discarding Church tradition so that it becomes more appealing to the pop cultural and worldly senses of the youth, then NO THANKS. I am also a youth and i find these worship styles not excellent at all. it lacks depth. beauty, and scriptural fidelity and historic groundedness.

    I find it insulting in my part that these methodist leaders have overgeneralized the youth spirituality. How dare these methodist “leaders” both clergy and laity impose upon young people like me that “this is what you want/need”. Were John Wesley alive today, what would he say? Methodists are no longer faithful to the doctrine and disicpline of the Church.

    Because of this hippiness and all these gimmick i am now seriously considering entering traditional churches. these innovations and contemprary “christian” movement is driving me crazy and is really destroying the Christian faith.

    Reply
    1. Glenn

      How young are you, Mark? Seems you’re very old and very traditional. I understand why you are upset. You don’t like changes and making revolutionary changes is not your thing. I respect that.

      No offense meant but you have just judged the youth of these ministries externally. You have just concluded that they are breeding loose, rebellious and worldly young people all in the name of modernization or even Jesus. Kung sasabihin ko na makunat ka, makaluma, baduy at walang ibang alam na gatas kundi Alaska, I am sure magagalit ka. Ayan nasabi ko na but I am just saying an example how you judged them.

      Since you have been judging from outside and do not know how radical their young people’s lives were changed by the power of the Holy Spirit, it is understandable that you talk like this. If you meet someone who claims to be part of say, VCF or CCF, but is rowdy, bastos, makamundo, rebelde, it is either nakikisama lang yan sa mga barkada and not really serious about getting saved(peke kumbaga) otherwise they are work in progress. Kung alam mo lang these young people are very bold in sharing Christ, you just don’t know what’s really going on. One thing I can assure you they are not preaching a toned down gospel.

      Brod, these are your brothers and sisters in Christ. I am hoping na instead of rebuking them and judging them here, visit ka muna and observe for about a month or two and see the real score.

      God bless you my friend.

      Reply
  28. Mark

    whoever is behind this website, i hope my comment gets published and my grievances reach the common authority. Let those clergy and lay people read what i have in my mind for the past many many years that i have been a Methodist.

    if not then this just means that the voice of people like me has no place in the UMC and that the voices that are only to be heard are those which favor those clergy and lay leader’s personal agendas. I am also part of the youth but my voice is drowned by the shouts of those who would want to impose those worldy changes and gimmicks.

    Reply
    1. Glenn

      What is worldly about having great musicians, air-conditioned and well-designed venues bro?

      What is worldliness as defined in the Bible? On the contrary, is a simple venue, poor musicians, and a warm room with hundreds of people sweating considered “holy”.

      Thanks.

      Reply
  29. Pingback: Youth, the City, Rapid Urbanization, and the Church | Mighty Rasing

  30. Mark

    No thanks Glenn, I have abandoned this religious group and I’m now enrolled in a membership program in the Roman Catholic Church. I am loving the complete and nondefective worship involving both Word and Table(if this does not sound familiar, look at your Book of Worship and hymnal, United Methodist worship is supposed to be word and eucharist which its pastors and laity fail to uphold). The Roman Catholic Mass is complete, both Word and Table are always present and available to the members. Havent heard a hipster sermon here but always about the Gospel. The venue is cool too, replete of religious art not a theater looking venue. In time, i will participate in the life of the Church maybe as a catechist(so that i can teach Roman Catholic doctrine, again something i did not find in UMC) or maybe as a lector or an altar server(i just realized that methodist clericalism is worse if not equal with the Roman Catholic Church). Excellent worship? definitely. I have found here people who have regard for what is sacred. Worship here is very reverent and dignified. I hope to find a parish near me that offers the Latin Mass.

    To answer your questions
    No, you’re assuming, i welcome changes…provided it has grounding on Scripture and Tradition. And no, i wont be hurt with your statements(makunat, baduy, etc) because i know where i stand-that i dont uphold Church Tradition for tradition’s sake. and i am willing to be called whatever names because i hold firmly to my stand and will not be swayed by petty tirades or be consumed by emotionalism. I do not want it to be too simplistic that just because a community is well-mannered outside to other people,mwe would turn a blind eye to the things being done within, in the context of corporate worship. according to your articles of religion, people who openly and willingly break the rites and ceremonies of the UMC must be rebuked openly. but apparently doctrine(including liturgy) is not at all important as long as you share Christ to others(whatever that means). how can i share christ to others if within my community i do not find the presence of christ objectively(not just based on emotional appeals or just because of attitudes of members)?

    there is nothing worldly with those you have mentioned(except, depends on what “well-designed venues” means though). I hope you quit putting words in my mouth. and no i did not claim those other things you mentioned as holy. you know how to be holy? go back to your methodist teachings on the means of grace and tell me honestlu if these means of grace are being faithfully made available to the faithful which the Church is supposed to minister(see your ritual on Confirmation in the UM Hymnal where it says that all stand in need of the means of grace which the church alone supplies). that is what people regardless of age should look for in a church-the means of grace. not cool venue, not hip sermon. not excellent music. because we go to church for god’s grace to sanctify us and be the body of christ so that when we go out to the world we can share Christ to others. Maybe its high time the youth ought to be taught that church is not what they think it is or what they want it to be.

    I think i have posted long enough and i will no longer add to this, this will also be my last post as i am no longer a member of your religious group therefore i have no business with its affairs. I would just like to say that i thank God that i encounter different people and perspectives like what is in this website which really drove me to search for that contenment and peace which i found in the Roman Catholic Church. God bless you.

    Reply
  31. william kuan

    Kung ang magigiging kaisipan ng ating kabataan ay ganyan, ano na ang mangyayari sa ating kongregasyon, bakit natin sasabihing hindi natin nararamdaman ang presence ng Diyos, alam naman nating God is everywhere, kayong kabataan ang magpapatuloy sa mga legacy na iniwan ng ating mga ninuno, kung ano ang nakikita ninyong maganda sa ibang denominasyon na maaaring i apply sa UMC i propose ninyo, alam nating ang laking ibinababa ng ating membership even worldwide, hahayaan na lamang ba nating humina ng humina ang pananampalatayang iminulat sa atin ng ating mga ninuno. Palalaguin lang ba natin sa pananampalatay ang ating mga sarili? Iiwanan na lamang ba natin ang ating mga kapatiran? Kabataan, hindi lang sa bayan kayo kailangan kundi maging sa ating Iglesya, mahalin natin ang ating Iglesya, lumalaki ang ating problema hindi lang lokal kundi maging General Conference, baka sakaling mapakinggan ang inyong mga tinig…

    Reply
  32. Paul Garcia

    Mga kapatid,
    Tamang idea yung hindi mo kailangan umalis ng UMC komo nakakita ka ng kakaibang pamamaraan ng worship. Ako nagaatend din ako sa ibang churches ano man makita kong maganda doon iaaply ko sa aking personal growth and for the UMC also. But I am happy Methodist servant of God. I am more than glad to be a Methodist Christian. Siguro, bottom line is you should know your self. If you are not happy it is not the fault of the church, it’s yours. Sino ba kasi ang bumubuo ng church di ba tayong mga miyembro? Maidagdag ko pa pala, huwag mong icompare ang sarili mo sa iba, kapag iko compare mo ang sarili mo iba, malaking problema talaga. You should thank the Lord of who you are and what you are.
    May kwento ako for your reflection:
    May isang tao daw na naghahanap ng maganda at perfect na church.
    Naghanap siya pero wala pa rin siyang nagugustuhan.
    Dumating din yung panahon na may nagustuhan na siyang bagong church.
    So nagpakilala siya na siya ay si ganito…naghahanap ng magandang church, perpektong church.
    Masaya ang bagong church sa kanyang pagpapasya na lumipat sa kanila.
    Subalit ang sabi sa kanya…kapatid kapag sumama ka sa hindi na ito perfect.
    Kapatid, sa palagay mo bakit kaya nasabi sa kanya iyon?
    Na hindi na sila perfect kapag sumama na siya sa kanilang church?

    Lesson:
    Ang taong ganito ay makasarili. Ang sarili niya ang lagi niyang iniisip.
    Hindi niya naisip ano kaya ang magagawa niya sa kanyang church.
    Ano kaya ang ministry ko sa church.

    Same in our UMC church.
    Bilang isang kaanib nito, isipin natin ano kaya ang magagawa ko pa para sa UMC?
    Kung tunay ang ating paglilingkod sa ating Diyos, walang dahilan para hindi ka maging masaya sa buhay mo
    sapagkat ikaw ay lingkod ng ating Diyos. Ikaw ay anak ng Mapagmahal na Diyos, ikaw ay anak ng pinakamakapangyarihan sa lahat.
    Mag-iisip ka pa bang iwanan ang UMC?
    Mula pagkasilang pinalaki ka na ng Diyos bilang isang Kristyanong Metodista.
    Inalagaan mo yan ng maraming taon.
    Binigay mo ang lahat ng panahon mo, talento at tinatangkilik.
    Nang dahil lang ba sa magarang simabahan, artista, at English speaking sila, iiwan mo na kaagad ang UMC na nagpalaki at nagdevelop sa yo?

    Reply
  33. kat

    hello! i’d like to commend you for your boldness in writing about this topic. truly, it’s an important topic for discussion and perhaps church leaders would love to know how to encourage their youth more and provide them with what they need for their Christian walk. πŸ™‚
    It might help a bit if I share my reason for transferring to one of the churches you mentioned above. One of the main reasons I did was for discipleship and mentoring. I wanted to grow deeper in the word and needed a family that understand that the Christian walk is not a weekly thing but one that needs accountability and commitment and fellowship, one-on-one and intentional discipleship where I’m not seen as a statistic in church but an individual who needs a father/mother who truly cares and cares by guiding me to grow deeper in the Word, discernment, and love for others. My former church has that love and spirit-filled teaching but the structure for discipleship was a bit too lose and sometimes gets neglected. The structure is not strong and consistent and so I was looking for a church that disciples with more intentionality and on a personal level. πŸ™‚

    I’m not sure if it’s the same way with others but that’s how it was in my case. πŸ™‚

    Reply

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