LEARING TO RESPOND AND NOT JUST REACT


When emotions take over, we sometimes end up making decisions that are not rational.

I recently spoke to someone who felt offended towards a person who did him wrong. We all have experienced being hurt or falsely accused. This person, as I spoke to him, had 2 choices: REACT or RESPOND.

To react is to give a knee jerk answer. This could be through words, actions or even in thoughts.
“I will never talk to him again… ever!”
“She will never get my help when she asks for it.”
“I’ll just give him the cold treatment from this day forward.”

On the other hand, to respond is to reply with a well thought out, prayed-through answer. Going to God for insight may very well be the best route before responding. It’s thinking through, processing and filtering words, deeds and even thoughts that wouldn’t be beneficial to the situation.

Philippians 4:8 tells us to “fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

To react is to answer without thinking.
To respond is to go to God with the situation and trust Him to give you the right reply to any given circumstance – good or bad.

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, thank You that You will give me the patience to be sensitive to You, seek to understand more than to be understood, and wisdom to respond in a godly manner. Help me to fix my thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable for this is Your will for me. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

RAMPING OFF

Mondays are usually rest days for me. As a pastor, weekends are usually packed with ministry. I am grateful that on Monday mornings, my wife, Jenn, allows me to take some time to play basketball with friends from church.

The guys I get to play with are literally guys half my age. Playing with them is interesting to say the least. Interesting because they don’t know how to deal with playing with someone as old as their dad. They’re respectful because of my age (and function in church) so they tend to be nicer but get upset when they fall behind or lose (which rarely happens).

One Monday morning, I wasn’t playing very well which is not seldom. Our team was trailing primarily because I wasn’t making the shots I was taking. Blame it on exhaustion or team chemistry, but bottomline was because I was medieval and disintegrating. But here’s the thing, I didn’t take myself out of the game to replace myself with someone who could do a better job.

Pride.

That was the main reason. Trying to prove to myself or others that I can still hack it caused me to stay too long.

This is a major reason why many stay too long in a leadership position. People want to feel significant and desire to hold on to their title as long as they can. As a result, the upcoming guys end up hitting a lid or simply leave the organization.

I told our staff, colleagues and especially my superiors that when the time comes, it will be more helpful for me that they tell me that I am no longer effective instead of keeping quiet, tolerate and simply endure my leadership. It’s not beneficial to me nor for the organization I lead.

As consulting expert, Rachel Ong, would say, “When you replace yourself, there’s always going to be another position of influence waiting for you.” She would often use the example of Lee Kwan Yew. He retired and turned over the leadership of Singapore when he was in his prime. He passed the baton and got out of the way. As a result, not only was there great respect but other leaders ran to him for insight, wisdom and counsel. That’s what it means to be a statesman. One can actually influence without having a title. He exemplified it. And got honored for it.

Growing in leadership doesn’t mean holding on to the title and keeping a firm grip on your role. Discernment will dictate when to ramp off so that you can build another up. In the end, your leadership will not just be a title but a legacy.

10 TAKE AWAYS ON DISCIPLESHIP AND LEADERSHIP FROM IGNITE PRECON

 

Today marks the unofficial start of our Every Nation Campus Conference dubbed as “Ignite. We had 3 amazing speakers starting with Pastor Wayne Alcorn from Hope Centre Australia followed by Pastor Jeff Dacumos from Victory Metro East and Pastor Ferdie Cabiling of Victory Ortigas.

Here are my 10 take aways from today’s sessions:

1. Before change happens around you, it first has to happen in you. – Wayne Alcorn

2. Self awareness is a leadership gift. When we know who we are, we are able to lead from a place of security. – Wayne Alcorn

3. If you were charged due to being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? – Wayne Alcorn

4. When you understand the “why”, every other “what” makes sense. – Wayne Alcorn

5. Why do preachers want to sing and singers want to preach? Just be comfortable with who God made you to be. – Wayne Alcorn

6. Horses reproduce horses. Ducks reproduce ducks. Leaders reproduce leaders. – Wayne Alcorn

7. Be the leader you want to reproduce. What you are is what you’ll reproduce. – Wayne Alcorn

8. Pastor Jeff Dacumos told a powerful story on discipleship and leadership development. Michaelangelo, when asked about he is able to work on sculpting his famous work, “David”. How was he able to see a sculpture out of a plain old big rock. His answer?

“I just take out the parts that don’t look like David.”

9. Pastor Ferdie Cabiling was his usual fiery sermonator that he is.

God uses different personality types to reach people for Christ

1.Confrontational
2. Intellectual
3. Testimonial
4. Relational
5. Invitational
6. Serving

But whatever personality you have, God can use you to tell the greatest story ever told.

10. Sharing your faith doesn’t have to be complicated. Just share how Jesus changed your life. – Ferdie Cabiling

THE IMPORTANCE OF FOCUS

 

It is easy to lose your faith when your focus is on the wrong thing.

The Israelites were told that God was giving them the land. But instead on focusing on the land, they focused on the giants in the land.

Numbers 14:2-4, 7-9, 24, 30 NIV
All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! [3] Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt? ” [4] And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt. ” [7] and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. [8] If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. [9] Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

[24] But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.

[30] Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

The 10 spies focused on the giants in the land.
The 2 focused on the land of the giants.

God made a promised. He will give the land over to his people, with or without giants.
When God makes a promise, He will make sure He watches over His Word to fulfill it.
The giants may seem like a hindrance but He who called you is faithful.
And when he called, he knew there were going to be giants.
He is neither surprised nor sadistic.
He is not surprised that there are giants.
Neither is he sadistic to bring us to a land just to wipe us out.

Hear Him out.
Obey His Word.
Watch what He will do on your behalf.

Many of us miss our promise land because we are too focused on the giants in the and rather than the land of the Giants that He promised to give us.

iPHONE LEADER or SAMSUNG TEAM?

Recently, Forbes magazine and other tech magazines report that iPhone loyalty has gone down.

I’m no technology expert nor a leadership guru but I do have an observation I’d like to make.

This is the mistake we often make. When we build an organization around one leader, what happens when that charismatic, amazing, remarkable leader is gone?

But when we build an organization with dozens of amazing nameless leaders, the organization continues to grow without the one celebrity leader.

I realize that there are many reasons why an organization can take a downturn. But this is a major one.

This can be true with cellphone companies as it is true with ministries and churches.

That’s what we see in the book of Acts. The gospel continued to advance with ordinary people in the frontlines.

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)

Listen to what Jim Collins says in his book, Good to Great…

“…Our problem lies in the fact that our culture has fallen in love with the idea of the celebrity CEO. Charismatic egotists who swoop in to save companies grace the covers of major magazines because they are much more interesting to read and write about … This fuels the mistaken belief held by many directors that a high-profile, larger-than-life leader is required to make a company great. We keep putting people into positions of power who lack the inclination to become Level 5 leaders, and that is one key reason why so few companies ever make a sustained and verifiable shift from good to great.”

Ultimately, especially in a spiritual organization, there’s only one heroJESUS.

Something to think about …

Something to remember…

APEC-TIVE TAKEAWAYS

It was a privilege to be sitting in and listening to all the equipping sessions and reports from the different nations in Asia during our Asian Pastors Equipping Conference (APEC).

Here are a few things I got from it:

The most dangerous threat to to a strong successful fruitful mature ministry is pride in our own heart, not division, opposition and attack.  (Steve Murrell)

The goal is that ministry should be taken out of the  hands of the ‘experts’ and ‘pros’ and onto the hands of amateurs and volunteers. (Steve Murrell on Empowering Leadership)

Do you spend more time ministering to people or preparing people to minister? (Steve Murrell)

If you want to empower people to do ministry, mistakes are not optional. They are required!  (Steve Murrell)

Who you are when you gather is who you are when you scatter. (Kevin York on the Church)

The goal in preaching is feed the sheep (John 21) and not give goat food but preach the Word that it makes sense to the unchurched. (Steve Murrell)

Biggest competitor of Lordship over us is finance, not even Satan.  (Timothy Loh)

Without it, we will still go to heaven. But we might get there earlier than planned. (Rachel Ong teaching on the topic of having structures in an organization)

Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future. (Scott Douma)

“I want those who know me the most to repeat me the best.”  – Rick Warren via Scott Douma

Success without relationships is miserable. (Steve Murrell on Absalom who built a monument to himself because he wasn’t able to build ‘sons’ and the next generation)

Campus ministry is not a department. It is a long-term investment. (Joseph Bonifacio)

(Find audio podcasts of the sessions here – http://apec2012.ph/messages/)

(Pictures here)

APEC 2012 Recap Video from APEC on Vimeo.

GOD’S DESIGN FOR THE HUSBAND

In his 6 volume historical masterpiece “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”, Edward Gibbon wrote in 1776 five major causes of the fall of the Great Roman Empire.

5. Decay of religion.
4. Unsustainable buildup of armaments.
3. Hunger for pleasure.
2. Increased taxation.

Interestingly enough, the top in his list was the “breakdown of the family.”

You would think that it would be a problem in the leadership or an invasion by another empire.

1. Breakdown of the family…

Hmmmm…. interesting.

As the familiar saying goes, “Everything rises and falls in leadership.”

Husbands have been given the task to lead the family.

The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing… (Eph. 5:23, Msg)

The Bible tells us in Eph. 5 how we are to lead…

1. Lead lovingly.

Husbands, love your wives … (Eph. 5:25)

We are called to lead not in an authoritative or domineering manner, but lovingly.

One of the best ways to lead the family is to love your wife the way Jesus loved the church.
You want to see your kids grow up secure?
One of the best ways the Bible tells us is to love your wife unconditionally.

2. Lead sacrificially.

Sacrifice is giving up something you really really want.

… just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her …. (Eph. 5:25b)

Too many marriages are filled with “I”, “me” and “myself.”

If you’re not ready to give up ‘self’, re-think marriage. It just might not work.

3. Lead spiritually.

…to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word… (Eph. 5:26)

The word ‘husband’ means ‘to cultivate’, ‘to till’, ‘to take care of.’ In other words, the husband is a gardener.

If a garden is dry and dying, we go to the gardener and ask what’s the matter.

In a marriage and in a family, when things are dry and dying, the final accountability that God has ordained is with the husband.  He is the leader.  He has headship, therefore with it comes responsibility.

Seems impossible? You bet!

But God doesn’t tell us to do something without giving us both the grace and the ability to fulfill what we’ve been called to do.

In Christ, we can do all things … and He gives us the strength.

Have a great week ahead!

MAN OF GOD SYNDROME

I was talking to one of our Victory Group leaders yesterday at my wife’s Christmas party with the leaders she is coaching.
(Yes, you heard it right, Christmas party! They started early.)

She was explaining that they have several internationals in their group and that it has been growing.  Many going through Victory Weekend retreats and one2one discipleship.

One thing struck me with what she said.  Their leader told them that they want to keep the group simple enough so that everyone can see that it’s not that difficult to lead a group and thereby keep it duplicable.

In a world where leadership has become personality centric – people come because the leader’s such a great teacher or so prophetic or maybe because of his spiritual gifts.

The focus is no longer about honoring God and making disciples.

It has become “he’s great because he is so anointed.”

“She’s wonderful because she’s very eloquent.”

Paul himself said in 2 Corinthians 2:1-5…

1When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.  2For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

If there was one who could actually boast about his achievements, it was Paul.  But he didn’t.  He knew that men’s faith cannot rest … can never rest … on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

Man of God syndrome?

You’ll know you have it when you see people praise you more than they praise Jesus.

It’s all about Jesus. Period.

 

RANDOM THOUGHTS FROM MY BACOLOD TRIP

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Visiting our Victory Church in Bacolod has provoked my faith big time.

VOLUNTEERISM.

You know a church is growing when you see Volunteerism in high gear.  Everyone wants to pitch in.  People want to honor God and make disciples.  From the kids to the oldest member see lives transformed by the gospel of Christ.

Couples Ministry to Youth. Kids church to ushering. Worship team to admin support.

You know people are sold into the vision when everyone feels they are a stock holder of the organization.

CHANGED LIVES.

Borrowing the NBA line, Pastor Ryan made a sticker  with the Victory logo and the statement “where amazing happens” posted in his car.

Amazing is an understatement.

When God steps in a situation, things change.

From Mike to Jeffrey, Pie to Jopher.  Amazing.

Kids bringing their parents to church, old classmates who’ve turned from drugs to Christ.

LEADERSHIP BY EXAMPLE.

The church is in the process of expanding their facility in Robinsons Place Bacolod.  Everyone pitching in, offering, sacrificing – starting with their senior pastor.

Ryan sold his X-trail and donated the money to the building fund.

That’s an adventure of faith.  Having a wife and 3 small kids – pretty bold step of faith.

Grabe.

DIET.

I need to get into a diet. Haha!

Kuppa Gelato. Calea Mudpie. Manukan inasal. Felicia’s meals.

Again, grabe!

LESSONS LEARNED.

When I visit a Victory church in the province, people say I was able to help.  This trip, they’ve been able to help me.  I thought I was going to be a blessing.  I came out of this trip blessed.

 

With our Senior Pastor, Ryan Gidor