Disclaimer: This is not about all the mega churches in the Philippines but I will write about the two mega churches I personally experienced.
Hi! Today I’m gonna share about my experiences in Victory (specifically in Metro East) and CCF (specifically in Cainta).
Looking at these two Churches, first word that come into my mind is BIG. That’s why these churches are mega churches in the Philippines. Also both are Bible-based Churches, meaning they hold on to the authority of the Bible and not on human traditions or any philosophical movement. Another is they hold the same essence in their mottos though said in different words.
Victory has the motto “Honor God and make disciples”. Short and sweet and yet direct to the point.
CCF or Christ’s Commission Fellowship has the motto “To honor God and make Christ-committed followers who will make Christ-Committed followers”. Long yet it means the same thing as the motto of Victory.
Another difference is that though they are passionate in making disciples or followers and seeking the lost; they have different primary focus on which sector of the society they wanted to address. Victory centers on the youth whether high school or college students because the first Victory Church was catered to university students studying in the U-belt area. CCF on the other hand caters more on family because the first CCF Church were founded by a small Bible study group in a subdivision. So Victory plants Churches near schools while CCF plants Churches near subdivisions.
In terms of worship, both Churches used contemporary Christian music like Chris Tomlin, Hillsong, Planetshakers, etc. I just noticed that in Victory they usually play 4 songs but sometimes 5 worship songs and third song always starts mellow and then becomes louder and quick tempo. And after the prayer which comes after the 4-5 songs, there will always be 1 intermission number song where the audience just sits down and don’t usually participates in worshipping. I have been attending Victory (first in U-belt then in Metro East) and I always see this pattern in their praise and worship. As for CCF, they play 5 worship songs before the pastor will preach. I’m not sure if CCF follows the pattern that ‘the third song is always mellow’. Well I have only attended one Sunday service in CCF because CCF Cainta was just newly opened today November 22, 2015. But unlike Victory where in there is no closing worship song, CCF has one closing worship song.
In terms of having small groups, both Churches highly encourage their members or visitors to join a Victory group for Victory and a Dgroup for CCF. Honestly I do have a Victory group and I was blessed by it but the sad thing is I no longer grow in it. The reason is because my Victory group leader and other members she handles in the group live in Marikina City and I live in Cainta and that members have hard time meeting together with the same schedule. Maybe that’s just my problem, distance and time. Maybe she (my Victory group leader) still attends to Bible study groups. So I am really at the fault for not attending. It was such a downer to me that I felt the need to find just another group. I can still remember the first small group I was with were my college classmates. And since we are all graduated living different lives, a Church-based small group is really a must. I’m trying my hopes in CCF. I don’t have a small group there yet but since it’s a new Church, I pray Yahweh will bless me a small group where distance and time are no longer hindrance and that we could grow together in Christ more.
In terms of making disicples for Christ, Victory Church is so passionate about it and it is evident in their One2One and altar calls. In CCF however, they are more passionate in small groups or discipling as a group rather than one individual to another individual.
In terms of preaching, different pastors have a different way of preaching the same topic. In Victory every Sunday is preached with different series topics that lasts 3 or more Sundays. Also every Victory Churches across the nation have the series topic but it is up to the pastor how they preach it based on their own testimonies or the testimony of others. Since this day was my first time attending CCF, they don’t have series topics like Victory. Maybe I don’t know cause I’m just new. In Victory, people stand in honor of God’s Word when the key Bible verse for the day is said aloud. And I just find it sad that in CCF, we are not told to stand in honor for God’s Word when the Bible verses were flashed on the screen instead we were told to ‘sabayan’ the pastor in speaking the Bible verses.
The place of worship. Usually Victory Churches have really big venues and many time slots. Usually one service can fill up 700-800 people in one sitting. In CCF Cainta, the venue their is not as big as Victory Metro East but can accomodate 100-200+ people sitting capacity. Every series topics in Victory, they always have different backdrops at their stage. In CCF, they have an empty cross and now backdrops-indeed simple white wall.
Today’s preaching comparison. Since CCF Cainta is newly opened today, me and my dad attended their first worship at 10am. Because it’s an opening Sunday worship, I was excited to go early. We arrived at the venue at 9:30 am and there quite a people already. It ended at 11:43am. The pastor was Pastor Uquico (if my spelling was right). He is a very animated pastor and he talked about social issues on HIV cases, teenage pregnancy, computer games addiction and how these problems ruin a family. He also talked about being Spirit-filled by having the fruit of the Spirit and walking in the Spirit. He also talked about the effects of walking in the flesh and how it inhibits us from entering the Kingdom of Heaven. Basically his preaching is more on social issues or concerns rather than more on Biblical teachings. I find it lacking that immediately when Pastor Uquico talked on social issues i thought of maybe I can attend another service at Victory Metro East. Indeed I find it refreshing when I learned of today’s preaching at Victory during its 1pm service. Their series is entitled “Fine Line”. The stage was back dropped with words “Fine Line” and they don’t have an empty cross at the stage. It is already their week 3: Generosity vs Selfishness. Their key verses today is 1Timothy6:17-18. But they also used other Bible verses which I no longer take note.
In terms of tithing, in CCF they have tithe boxes in each side located at selected rows. So the tither needs to personally drop his/her tithe before or after the service. While at Victory, there are ushers who collect tithes in each row.
Both Churches uses pamphlets containing different Series topics. In Victory, a member should personally get one from the back table. In CCF, they personally distribute it to each visitor/member who enters together with the tithe envelope.
In terms of volunteering ministry, Victory has more ministries than CCF because Victory still makes bakcdrops for different series unlike CCF has only the basic ministries such as Children’s ministry, Tech & Media ministry, Music ministry and Ushering ministry.
Both Churches have different extra classes for a fee which they offer to its members and sometimes to first time visitors. You could take these classes if you want to deepen more your understanding for the Scriptures and if you want to be a leader.
And finally if someone will ask me which church I could feel more of God’s presence I can say it’s Victory because I’ve know it more than a year though I’m not present always in each Sunday services. But I could see that people in CCF Cainta are godly people as well.