WELCOME to Table Talks. For the next few weeks, we are going to talk about Community Recipes of Love.

We’re going to talk about us. We’re going to talk about The Feast.

We’re going to talk about Community. We’re going to talk about our Family identity, our Family vision, and also our Family strategy for fulfilling that particular vision.

For those of you who are new here, at The Feast, some of the things I will be saying will be very surprising– maybe even shocking. Why?

The Community that you joined is radical. It is controversial. It is wild.

And it is not only this Community. But we belong to a revolutionary Kingdom that is turning this world upside down.

We are not worshipping or following a king that is wanting to maintain the status quo. No. We are following a Commander-in-Chief. His name is Jesus and he wants to turn the world upside down. We are His soldiers and we say we will do what He wants us to do.

Now, for those of you who have been in The Feast for quite a while, for a few years already, you will be hearing stuff that you’ve heard before. That’s okay. Because like anything in life, if you want to be successful, if you want to mature, if you want to be whole, repetition is the mother of all skills.

Marketing Rule of Seven

There is a guy, a business author, his name is Jeffrey Fox. And he talked about the Marketing Rule of Seven. He says that you need to hear a message seven times before you take action. Now, he’s talking about selling soap and selling shampoo.

But I am going to talk about eternal truths like the incredible unconditional love of God; God’s plan for humanity; and God’s mission for you and me. So, we are not going to hear this only seven times, we’re going to hear this seven million times– we want to absorb it, and embrace it in our hearts.

Especially if you understand what’s happening in the world: The Church is shrinking.

Attendance is going down. In a survey done, they were saying that in Spain, for example, there are only 31% of the population who go to church. In Germany, it’s down to 16% of the population.

In France, it’s 10%. It’s 9% in Australia.

T he Philippine Experience

In the Philippines, would you believe, a Bishop was telling me, quoting his studies, that only 15% of Catholics go to church on a Sunday.

Now, if you think about it, you might say, Bro. Bo, it doesn’t seem like it. You know when you go to churches, parishes are full. You know, there are many, many Masses on a Sunday and they seem full. How is it possible that only 15% of Catholics go to church on a Sunday?

The idea is like, yeah, it seems there are many.

So, what I did, I said, let me confirm this survey. I have a few priests who are my friends. I picked up the phone and I called them up.

And there was this one priest, his parish is here in Manila and I said, “Father, how many are your parishioners?

He said, “15,000.”

And I asked, “How many go to church?” He said, “2,000.”

So, what percent is that? 15%.

I know of another parish priest in Quezon City.

I called him up and I said, “Father, how many people in your parish?”

Same thing. Same numbers came out.

I know this parish priest in the province. He has a huge, huge parish: 83,000 parishioners.

And I asked him how many go to church. He said 7,500– in all the Masses on Sunday. And that’s 9%.

Then I know of a priest in a barrio.

I asked him, “How many parishioners do you have?

He said, “4,000.”

“How many go to church?” “200.”

So, that’s just 5%.

Why Is the Church Shrinking?

Why is attendance going down?

There are many, many reasons. But I’m going to give you the one reason that I think we need to address.

Let’s all stand:

Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my path.

We’re going to be reading from Luke 15:4-7, NLT version:

Put your hand over your chest. Everybody say:

Jesus, help me to hear Your Word. And help me to love the lost. To look for them. To go out of my way. And to bring them back. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.

Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my path.

Say this message: God loves the lost.

The reason the Church is sinking is this:

We, as Catholics, don’t deliberately look for the lost.

Agree? Disagree? We don’t deliberately look for the lost. We go to church, and you know, we’re okay.

Somewhere, somehow, once upon a time, we were lost. We found Jesus. We’re here now. We’re okay. If you study, put under a microscope, all our gatherings, and our teachings, and our songs, and everything that we do in church– and I am not talking about what we do here but what the typical church does–

90% of all our activities are geared towards people who are already in church.

Religious people– people who are somehow, already, praying and trying to be close to God.

Am I making sense?

Why We Don’t Search for the Lost

Let me tell you a story and maybe it will be more graphic.

Once upon a time, there was this guy, and he was walking on the road, it was evening, and it was dark–except for this one spot, there was a lamppost, it was lighted. Underneath the lamp, he saw a boy. The boy was busy looking for something.

And so this man, kindhearted as he was, he went over to the little boy, and he said, “What  are you looking for?”

The boy said to the man, “I lost my wallet.” The man said, “Oh, your wallet…”

And so, he helped the boy look for the wallet under that lighted lamp.

And then after about five minutes of looking, and searching in vain, the man said, “Are you sure you lost your wallet here? I don’t see it…”

And the little boy said,

“No. I didn’t. I lost my wallet over there where it’s dark.”

The man was taken aback, and he said, “Then what are we doing looking for your wallet here?”

And the boy said, “It’s easier. It’s lighted. You know, over there, it’s dark. I don’t want to go there. I’m afraid.”

“But that’s where you lost your wallet,” the man said.

The boy said, “Yes.” “So, let’s go there!” “It’s dark!”

My friends, the reason we don’t search for the lost is it’s inconvenient. It’s dark.

We’d rather stay under the lamppost.

You see, our problem is this: We want the lost to come to us.

But Jesus– we just read it– He said the shepherd, he leaves the 99, and he goes over the lost, and searches for the lost.

God’s goodness runs after you.


My friends, at this point, I want to share with you a bit of our history.

This is going to be a short talk. This is an introduction to our Feast series and we’re going to unpack what it means to be a Feaster.

What it means to be part of The Feast called

Light of Jesus. That’s our name. For those who are new, our official name is Light of Jesus and Feast is the name of our gathering.

We started in 1980. Most of you were not yet alive. We were in a garage– my family garage.

And there were 20-30 people there in the very first prayer meeting on a Tuesday night.

I was the worship leader. I got a guitar– I was the guitarist. I put a chair in front of me– I put my leg in front. And we started worshipping the Lord. And then

I gave the Talk.

I want you to know that was the day The Feast was born. But we did not call it a

Feast then. We called it Light of Jesus. Just a prayer meeting.

And then as the weeks, and months, and years went by, we began to grow.

We began to bring people to the Lord. We went all over the place. And we started growing and growing, and growing.

Until once upon a time, we just stopped growing. And I remember, we were wondering why did we stop growing? It’s almost like we hit a ceiling. And it was like a glass ceiling. And it did not budge. After a while, we noticed that young people stopped joining our prayer meetings.

And so we looked at one another and we were saying, “It seems our members are already getting old.”

Then our leaders, we noticed that they were nearing their senior years. Some of them became seniors.

So, we were saying, “Are we sure we are the Light of Jesus Community?

We might one day become the Light of Jesus Retirement Home.

You know, we were thinking, we were laughing, and we were saying, “It seems we’re getting old. Where are the young people?”

And then we realized one thing as we were reflecting, we were thinking, “Is it possible, because we are no longer looking for the lost to the point that our activity became inward looking?”

Our Problem

You see, the problem is this: If you’ve been attending The Feast for some time now, it’s sooo nice. Sooo nice to be with people who have also been in The Feast for a long time. And guess what… You speak the same language, yes or no? Yes. You hum in the same religious frequency. You actually know Bible verses that you can quote to one another. You know the songs already.

You know there’s this kind of being comfortable with one another. And it’s so difficult sometimes to go and welcome somebody who’s very new in The Feast, or was not yet even in The Feast. And to talk to that person because that person is messy. And let’s face it: Lost people are messy. Lost people act lost. Broken people act broken. And messed up people act messed up.

And so, we started asking ourselves a very difficult question: Is our prayer meeting so inward-looking that we’re no longer welcoming outsiders?

So, I talked to our church elders, our Light of Jesus elders at that time, and I was sharing these reflections. And by the grace of God, they all agreed.

And I said, “I think we need to change. I think we need to do something.”

At that time, I was not the presiding elder. For 12 years, I was busy with publishing ministry and Anawim, and all of those.

So, they said, “Okay, Bo you be the presiding elder again and then you do all these changes.

We revamped the whole Community. It was crazy, a crazy revamp.

Wake Up Call

For 19 years, we were an inward-looking Community. To get into our Community, you had to be holy. You had to shape up your life before you can be called a full member of the Light of Jesus. You had to go through a four- year formation program. Your relationship should be in order.

We had rules. Like you’re supposed to pray every day, you’re supposed to read the Bible every day– you’re supposed to do this, you’re supposed to do that. You should have regular attendance.

And if you’re not able to fulfill the rules, if you’re not able to meet the requirements, if you

cannot meet the standards, then, we will quietly tell you that maybe you should quietly leave– because maybe this is not your Community.

You know, the arrogance. The arrogance in our hearts, I’m telling you, was crazy. You know, we felt so special, we felt Light of Jesus was so special, that it was not for ordinary people who could not reach our standards.

We will not tell you to leave. We will just tell you, “Can you discern? Maybe this is not your calling? Maybe God is calling you to another Community…”

And then we will not tell you anymore the parenthetical remark, “…who has lesser standards.”

So, that was Light of Jesus.

And the way you look at me right now, you’re saying “Bro. Bo, really, we were like that?”

Yeah. Before you came, we were like that. For many years. For 19 years we were an inward-looking community that had all these systems. And then we threw them all away.

One day, we said, “No more.”

You know, it was God who really bonked us on the head.

God waking us up, and God saying, “You’ve forgotten the broken. You’ve forgotten the lost. You’ve forgotten the messed-up. I love them. Look for them.”

I remember the first time we decided to have a Feast. We called it The Feast for the first time.

And we said, “This is it. We are going to open the doors and we’re going to welcome everyone. Everyone.”

God revealed to us, “You’re going to look for the messy because you’re messy as well. You’re just so good at hiding it.”

So, since that day, The Feast has grown and you see it now, it’s multiplied– hundreds upon hundreds of Feasts all over the world welcoming everyone.

Sometimes, people come up to me and say, “Bro. Bo, the songs are too fast– and so loud.”

Everyone who tells me that is 50 years old and above.

And I will just say, “Sister, that music, that Worship song that’s fast and loud, it’s not for you. It’s for your children, for your nephews, for your nieces.”

Anyone who’s 50 and above, please, now: Forget yourself and forget your needs We are here to bring people closer to God. We’re going to go out to the streets, we are going to the children who need the Lord.

Here’s another one: “Bro. Bo, may we sing more liturgical songs?”

You know why we sing songs that sound secular? Because we are reaching out to the lost who are secular. Now, I’m not saying I don’t like liturgical songs. I love liturgical songs. Let’s sing them once in a while. Let’s sing them during retreats, during formation programs when all of us, we’re already in the Lord.

But The Feast is for outsiders– not insiders. I’m sorry. The Feast is not for you who are insiders. The Feast is for outsiders. But guess what… When you are giving, you receive. And so the reason insiders are so blessed by The Feast is they forget themselves and they serve other people.

Our Mission

This is just the introduction to getting to know The Feast, getting to know the Light of Jesus. This is the radical Community you have joined. And my friends, you know, I pray, I really pray you would embrace it.

Let me end this way…

In Matthew 28:19, Jesus gives the mission for the Church. And He says this: Go and make disciples of all nations. That’s the mission.

You know, the Church does a lot of things. Yes or no? The Church builds beautiful churches and cathedrals. The Church dispenses sacraments. The Church helps the poor. The Church confronts governments whenever there’s immorality in their laws. It does all these wonderful things.

But we need to ask the question: Are we making disciples? Are we going out there to the lost, to the messed up, to the broken– and loving them? Are we doing that?

In the next few weeks, we’re going to explain how we do that and how we keep on doing that, and how we want to do that.


Today, I want to speak to the lost.

Once upon a time, we were lost. And guess what… Once in a while, we still get lost. We still are that one sheep who strays away.

And I want you to know that you have a Shepherd who went out of His Father’s house. Who moved heaven and earth. He left His Father’s house to look for you.

And He became a baby. And He grew up in Israel. And that Son died on the Cross and rose from the dead so that He can look for you.

If you feel lost right now, or if you feel there’s some distance between you and God, I want you to rejoice that there is Somebody

who is looking for you. There is Somebody who is searching for you. He is Somebody who has gone out of His way to look for you.

And I think many times, we forget that. And that’s why we don’t care for the lost. We don’t care for that messed up officemate, and that relative of ours that’s so broken. We don’t think about these people who don’t care to go to church anymore. We forget that we are lost. And that is this beautiful Shepherd that leaves the 99 to search for us.

My friends, today, this moment, here in this place, allow Jesus to find you Allow you to find you, collect you in His arms, carry you in His shoulders, and bring you home.

May I invite you to put your hands on your chest and say this prayer with me:

Lord Jesus, I’m here, back home. Back home in Your arms. Heal me. Love me.

Never let me go. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


My Friends, this is not just a religious gathering. This is an encounter with the Living God. God is visiting us right now, visiting you.

And if for the longest time, you’ve felt lost, Jesus is saying, “Come home. Come home now. Come home to Me.”

And maybe for most of us, we’ve been trying to follow the Lord all our lives. But once in a while, we fall. Maybe most of the time, we fall.

Let’s come home.

Everybody, lift your hands and say:

Jesus, I’m coming home. I want to stay with You. I want to do Your will.

On my own, I cannot do it. I’ve fallen so many times. But on this day, on this day, I’m claiming for Your strength, Your supernatural power. You will help me follow You. You will help me belong to You. You will help me serve You the rest of my life until I die. I belong to You. I am Yours. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Please do give the embrace of God to that person beside you, make that embrace tight and tell that person, “Welcome home!”

This story was first published in the Feast Family Online News Magazine

Published by THE FEAST (January 21, 2024)


This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.