EVM, leading the Church in bringing glory to God
By Bienvenido A. Santiago Jr.
Under the inspired and dynamic leadership of Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, the mission of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) has even more grown rapidly. On September 7, 2009, at the beginning of his administration, the Church had missions in 91 countries and territories. After only ten years, the Church has established missions and congregations in 61 more countries and territories. The number of members has increased at an unprecedented rate, which necessitated not only the formation of more ecclesiastical districts and local congregations to oversee the spiritual needs of the brethren, but also the construction of thousands of houses of worship where they regularly congregate to worship God.
The last decade has witnessed devastating events in the world. Global peace remains elusive. Acts of terrorism and violence continue unabated. The world economy remains unstable. There have been pandemics and outbreaks of diseases. Natural and manmade disasters have destroyed countless lives and properties and displaced hundreds of thousands.
Through the guidance of God Almighty, the current Executive Minister has safely steered the Church through the rough waters of such turmoil, troubles, and crises around the globe. These things do not come as a surprise to members of the Church Of Christ, because they have been sufficiently forewarned that such events will happen as the world nears its end (II Tim. 3:1-5). Moreover, these occurrences, including the attempts of some detractors of the Church to hinder its work, have in no way deterred or prevented Brother Eduardo Manalo from fulfilling the great task that God has entrusted to him. He tirelessly leads the Church in its intensified mission of salvation and the sustained spiritual growth and edification of its members worldwide. Indeed, he is focused in leading the brethren to fulfill the works that bring glory to the Lord God.
Through obedience, God is glorified
With Judgment Day drawing very near, the current Executive Minister echoes the apostles’ reminder to all Christians that they should live a life worthy of the Lord, please Him, and bear fruit in every good work (Col. 1:10). The “good” refers to God’s teachings and commands (Rom. 7:12). Thus, Brother Eduardo Manalo leads the brethren in zealously obeying God’s teachings written in the Bible to please and glorify Him.
Bearing much fruits. With Brother Eduardo Manalo at the helm, the propagational work of the Church Of Christ has all the more been intensified. In every local congregation, the ministers, ministerial workers, officers, and members have rallied behind the noble effort of sharing the true faith to other people that they may also have the hope of receiving God’s promised salvation.
Most notable of these propagational activities were the evangelical missions in which Brother Eduardo Manalo himself proclaimed the true gospel. Webstreamed to thousands of sites across the world, those evangelical missions yielded millions of guests.
Thus, in the past decade, the Church’s work of propagation has resulted in millions of people joining the Church. Among the new members are more than 1,600 religious leaders of various nationalities who left their former religions to embrace the true faith.
Despite many hardships and hindrances, the brethren are dedicated to helping in the propagational efforts of the Church because they understand that in doing so, God is glorified (John 15:8).
Houses of worship and other edifices. One of the good works that the Church fulfills under the close supervision of the Executive Minister is the construction of houses of worship, wherein God is worshiped and glorified by His people (Hag. 1:8).
From September 2009 to July 2019, the Church built 961 houses of worship, 107 of which are situated outside the Philippines.
To make the place of worship more accessible to the Church members who are residing in remote places, Brother Eduardo Manalo ordered the construction of barangay (or village) chapels. Currently, there are now 1201 of such chapels.
Aside from building houses of worship and barangay chapels, the Church during Brother Eduardo Manalo’s administration, constructed edifices and purchased and developed properties for the various needs and endeavors of the flock. Some of these edifices are the following:
- the Ciudad de Victoria Complex, which houses the Philippine Arena and the Philippine Sports Stadium;
- the buildings of the U.S. West Office, U.S. East Office, and Europe Main Office;
- the district offices of Northeast Asia, Northeastern Seaboard, Eastern Canada, Southern Midwest, Northern California, and Southeastern Seaboard;
- Honorata G. Manalo building;
- Pilar Manalo-Danao Multimedia Center;
- Salvador G. Manalo building;
- Eagle Broadcasting Corporation building;
- Christian Family Organizations office;
- buildings of New Era University’s School of Agriculture, Professional Schools, and School of Management;
- INC Engineering and Construction Department office;
- Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) School for Ministers Main Campus;
- buildings of the School for Ministers extensions in Sacramento (California),
Rome (Italy), United Kingdom, Ladybrand (Africa); and in Cebu and Bulacan (Philippines)
- Minister’s Apartelle;
- residential buildings as part of the Church’s housing projects;
- buildings for eco-farming projects;
- buildings that house various livelihood projects;
- New Era General Hospital Avelina Manalo-Makapugay building;
- Tagumpay Health Center;
- Iglesia Ni Cristo Museum;
- and the Iglesia Ni Cristo Library.
What is truly noteworthy of this endeavor is that many of those houses of worship, barangay chapels, and other edifices were constructed and finished while the Philippine Arena and the Ciudad de Victoria Complex were being built and developed from 2011 to 2014.
Offerings to God. What the Church uses to finance the construction and the maintenance of houses of worship, propagation of God’s words, and other activities and projects are the voluntary offerings of the brethren.
Despite adversities, persecutions, and sufferings in life, the brethren are dedicated to the giving of offerings to God. They know and see where their offerings go in accordance with His teachings in the Bible. The faithful are cognizant of how the Church Administration carefully oversees the finances of the Church, and, more importantly, they firmly believe that God is pleased and glorified whenever they obey His command to give offerings (II Cor. 9:12-13; Heb. 13:16; I Tim. 6:18-19).
Leading upright lives. Brother Eduardo Manalo constantly exhorts the brethren to lead a righteous way of life as they journey through this wicked world.
He reminds them that they should uphold the intensive renewal of life so they would not fall into committing sins, which will harm their relationship with God and prevent them from receiving His blessings. Most of all, by walking in the newness of life, Church members can bring glory to God, as stated by Apostle Paul in Romans 6:13:
“Do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness, to be used for sinning. Instead, give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life. And use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God.” (New Living Translation)
Aside from teaching the brethren to lead upright lives, the Executive Minister also launches various projects and activities—under the supervision of the Christian Family Organizations (CFO), which is headed by its coordinator, Brother Angelo Eraño V. Manalo—which all the more strengthen the spiritual life and foster the brotherhood of the members, which is now composed of 147 nationalities. Some of the many and various CFO activities are:
- Unity Games;
- Buklod Night;
- This is KADIWA;
- Binhi Summit;
- INCenter Stage;
- EVM Art;
- INC Life;
- EVM cup;
- INC Life: PNK Edition;
- Band Together;
- and the various projects of the Christian Brotherhood International (CBI), Society of Communicators and Networkers International (SCAN), Christian Employees Association (CEA), Christian Society for the Deaf (CSD), and Christian Medical Dental and Paramedical Society (CMDPS).
Worshiping God. Most importantly, Brother Eduardo Manalo encourages all Church Of Christ members to devote themselves to worshiping God. He teaches them that they should do so in a manner that is not only sincere but also according to God’s will. Because in so doing, God’s people can glorify Him, as stated in Psalm 29:2: “Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (New King James Version).
Brother Eduardo Manalo tells the brethren that if they always worship and glorify God, they have nothing to fear or worry about even if trials and difficulties come to their lives. He reminds them of the promise to those who have dedicated their lives to worshiping God:
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Ps. 23:6, 4 NKJV)
The reason God helps and blesses EVM
Because of Brother Eduardo Manalo’s dedication to lead the Church to bring glory to God, He continues to guide and bless him as he administers God’s people in these last days.
Thus, Church Of Christ members continue to benefit not only from the Executive Minister’s preaching of God’s will, but also from his example of devotion to duty and unwavering obedience to and faith in God.
Indeed, Church members are deeply grateful to God for placing Brother Eduardo Manalo as the Executive Minister. They fervently pray to the Lord to always bestow on him exceptional health and wisdom as he continues to lead the entire Church in giving glory to the Lord God.
This was originally published in pasugo.com.ph