THE KIND OF LEADERSHIP NEXT GENERATION LEADERS LOOK FOR

I was speaking with a professor in one of the top business schools in our city one morning. Our discussion was on how times have changed in terms of leadership.

In the 70’s, 80’s and towards the 90’s, leadership was about STRATEGY, STRUCTURE and SYSTEMS. He came from the hippie generation and because that was the cultural element then, structures and systems were key to lead people who highlighted free expression towards an extreme extent.

But as the millennium shifted, things have changed. Harvard Business Review had an article on the changes in the leadership style that is needed to rally the millennial generation.

As my professor friend emphasized, it’s no longer STRATEGY, STRUCTURES and SYSTEMS but PURPOSE, PEOPLE and PROCESS.

Does this mean systems and structures are not important? Of course not. But what this means is that the way we lead the younger generation has to shift as well.

People over process.

More than top-down leadership, we employ inspirational leadership. More than positional, it is now collaborative.

May God give us wisdom as we lead others in this day and age.

GOING THROUGH THE CRUCIBLE EXPRIENCE

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“For a young person, ‘crucible’ is only a word from the dictionary. But as you mature, it becomes a testimony in your life’s journey.”

These were some of the wise words we received from Pastor Frank Damazio when he spoke to our pastors this past week.

He said that some of the greatest leaders you’ll ever read in the Bible went through the greatest trials in life. Brokenness brings about the greatness in a leader.

He then introduces the concept of the crucible and it’s place in Christian leadership. He says that many times in the Bible, you’d see that before a person is used by God greatly, he had to go through trials severely. Joseph had to spend some time in prison after being falsely accused. Daniel was in the lion’s den. Moses was in the desert of Midian for 40 years. Jonah was in the belly of a fish for 3 days. Over and over, we see people that were used by God in amazing ways. But before He did, they had to go through the crucible.

A crucible is a metal container where things like gold and silver are melted in. It is in the crucible that they are reshaped. Going through the fire will reshape you indeed. The question is, will you allow God to do it? Because sometimes, in our struggle to rescue ourselves from the crucible, we end up missing on what God’s trying to accomplish.

When we rescue ourselves from the crucible experience, we miss out on some of the best lessons God is trying to teach us.

Pastor Frank tells the experience he had when he was in Cape Town South Africa. When he visited, he learned more about the life of Nelson Mandela while in prison. One thing that he said that I will never forget was this – “The man that went in the prison was different from the man that came out.”

As Nelson Mandela embraced his crucible experience, he came out of it reshaped. Hatred was taken out and unforgiveness dissipated. He was a different Mandela.

Crucibles are what gives meaning to your life’s journey. It’s what defines you as a leader. It galvanizes in you what can never be taken away. It’s what you would call a defining moment. And the darker the trial, the greater the grace that’s provided.

Will you embrace your crucible experience for your good and ultimately for the glory of God?

NOTE TO SELF, PASTORS AND FULL TIME MINISTERS

 

 

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The call to shepherd God’s people is an amazing privilege. While I believe that every calling is important in whatever arena – marketplace, academe, athletics, business, entertainment, media – God has specific instructions to those who have been called to full-time ministry.

Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. (1 Peter 5:2-4)

We are called to serve in these ways:

1. Willingly NOT obligatory.

It is an extreme privilege to serve the King.

Serving Him is not a “have-to” but a “get-to”.
Imagine, we get to do what we do. Years ago, we were lost, without purpose and no direction. But because of His grace, we have been given the opportunity to feed the sheep (John 21) and care for the flock (1 Peter 5).

If you find that you are forcing yourself to meet people, prepare for the message on Sunday, pray for people, then consider what’s causing it. Either check your attitude or check your calling.

2. Sacrificial service not personal gain.

We live in a culture where people love to serve. We are a very hospitable people. People love to serve those who are called to serve in the Kingdom of God full time.

As a result, it is quite possible that we can start to enjoy certain ‘privileges’ that are given. We are called to serve and not be served. Jesus came to do just that. We are called to follow that example.

You might find yourself being the first in the buffet line, or being given a seat while everyone stands, or getting special treatment because you are the ‘special guest’ or your Starbucks drink is paid for with an extra chocolate chip oatmeal cookie. When you do find yourselves in these situations, consider the reasons, motives, and consequences.

3. Leading by example NOT lording over people.

A lot of lessons are really more caught than taught. And the power of example can never be underestimated. Paul declared, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.” (1 Cor. 11:1)

Peter encourages the elders of the church he was writing to lead by example. It’s a tough call but the grace of God is overwhelmingly available. He who called us is faithful and He will do it. (1 Thes. 5:24).

Are we asking people to do things that we ourselves won’t do?
If no one else will do it, are we willing to take the initiative?
As we lead, are we doing it for Christ or just so we can give a good example?

That being said, let’s continue to pray for one another, the church of Jesus and all who have yet to hear the wonderful message of Christ’s work on the cross.

Jesus said that He will build His church and the gates of Hades will not prevail. Our role? To continue to plant and water. The growth and increase? That’s up to God.

To all the pastors, thank you for all that you do for the Kingdom of God. I honor you for loving Jesus, preaching the gospel and training leaders who will go into all the world and make disciples of all nations.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

WHEN ELECTIONS CAUSE DIVISION

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One of our Victory Group leaders messaged me this morning asking how she should respond to relatives, friends, and even church members who are at odds due to differing opinions and preferences regarding the ongoing election campaign.

It has become divisive and estranging. Families end up not talking to each other, office mates argue, and friends quarrel over who they feel would be the best to lead at this season of our nation’s history.

Here are a few random thoughts I shared with her:

1. What is most important?

I am saddened by how certain people are responding and reacting to all these. The Bible says we are to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3)

That being said, we have to keep things in proper perspective.

Long after this election is over and done with, blood relatives will still be family. Church community will still be our spiritual family. Division or breaking relationship is simply just not worth it.

Some of the candidates won’t even remember us long after the elections are over.

Values determine priorities. And when the priorities are clear, decisions are simpler. It may not necessarily be easier but it is simpler for you know what or who is most important.

2. How about social media posts?

Posting on social media is not the problem. It’s what we post and how we say things are some of the concerns. Forcing, arguing, throwing hate, mud slinging are what makes it unhealthy and problematic.

3. Can I really be sure?

We can’t be completely sure who God has chosen to be the next president, vice president, mayor, councilor, etc. Remember, even the prophet Samuel made a mistake in choosing who the next president was. He thought it was the eldest son of Jesse. David, the youngest son, was who God chose.  Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart.

But this is what I am sure of: GOD IS SOVEREIGN!

He changes times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. (Daniel 2:21)

He is in charge over the affairs of men. He can even use a Pharaoh or Cyrus to fulfill His purposes. How come? Because He is in charge!

4. What should we do?

First of all, go out and vote according to who you feel God has put in your heart.
Samuel had to hear the voice of God.
We all have to go to God, pray and vote according to your conscience.

5. What else can we do?

Pray! Pray! Pray for our nation.
This election campaign has been very divisive.
To reiterate what Ephesians 4:3 said, “Make every effort to keep the unity…”
To make every effort means to do your best within your powers to maintain unity.
“A kingdom divided cannot stand.”

How do we maintain unity? We can agree to disagree agreeably.
When someone shares who they will vote, we can maintain unity by respecting their opinion and not trying to convince them to change their mind. They’ve thought long and hard and hopefully have prayed.

Agreeing to disagree agreeably means respecting their opinion even if it differs from yours.

Remember, we can win the argument but lose the relationship in the process.

To quote Pastor Dennis Isleta, here’s what he said,
“I feel restoration does not begin after the elections but even as early as now. True Christlike character ought to be shown when no one is yet winner or loser. It is easy to be Christlike after one has won, and easy to be less Christlike when one has lost. So is it true about praising God for victory or asking Him for help for the nation when defeated.”

Hope this helps us.

God bless the Philippines!

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.

ALCORN-ISMS

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I realize that I’ve been tweeting lots of Wayne Alcorn one-liners that I’ve flooded people’s news feeds. Before people start unfriending me, I just decided to post the “Alcorn-isms” I picked up throughout the Ignite Every Nation Campus Conference.

Here goes…

Before change happens around you, it first has to happen in you.

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

If you were charged due to being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? 

When you understand the “why”, every other “what” makes sense.

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

Horses reproduce horses. Ducks reproduce ducks. Leaders reproduce leaders.

Be the leader you want to reproduce. What you are is what you’ll reproduce.

God invites us to call Him Father the moment He created us.

If we are going to change the campus or change the world, we need to be changed by a radical revelation of the Father heart of God.

There’s a difference between delegation and abdication. #leadership

You eventually become who you relate to. #friendships

Excellence is not a program or a budget. Excellence is an attitude.

Atmosphere – faith = no miracles. (Commentary on Mark 6:5)

Legacy is giving of yourself sacrificially into a crop you may never see.

 

PS. Please feel free to add more “Alcorn-isms” below.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Facebook Ignite Conference Photo Album

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

LEAD TO LEAVE

How do you define leadership?

If you go to Amazon and search for leadership books, you will find 118,847 of them and the number is continuously growing.
People define leadership in many ways. It is defined as directing a group, the act of guiding, establishing clear vision and direction. One famous definition states that leadership is influence.

But if you go to the Scriptures, Jesus defined leadership differently.
He said, “Leadership is serving.”

“Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35.

Here are a few qualities of a servant leader.

1. HUMILITY

You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:1)

Paul writes a letter to Timothy and calls him son. He was not his biological son. He was a son in the faith. Timothy was Paul’s constant companion and took him under his wing to disciple him and raise him up as a leader.

By this time of his writing, Timothy was already leading the church in Ephesus. But the mentoring relationship continued even after Timothy has become a leader.

Leaders acknowledge the need for constant mentoring. Unfortunately, many when they take positions of leadership become too proud to listen to people’s advice and start asserting their own opinions. I like what someone said, “Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has one. And some of them stink.”

Do you have people who speak into your life? You need them.

Leadership begins with “follower-ship.” I realize that that’s not a word but I think it’s a good concept. (Those who are grammar Nazis, just bear with me.)

2. STRONG IN GRACE

Paul told Timothy to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

What does it mean to be strong in grace?

It is to acknowledge that the only reason why we can achieve success is because of the empowering grace of God. The grace of God allows us to be who God called us to be and do what God has called us to do.

Timothy had a Jewish mom but a Gentile father. This was not an ideal situation. In fact, “half breeds” were looked down upon just like the Samaritans in those days. Yet God used Timothy to be a leader in the church in Ephesus.

As a leader, you might feel that God cannot use you because of your background, history, experience or lack of pedigree.

But remember this, God doesn’t call the qualified but He qualifies the called.

Paul understood this and emphasized to Timothy to be strong in the grace – to know that He enables us to be who God called us to be and do what He called us to do.

3. RELIABILITY

And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. (2 Timothy 2:2)

Timothy was a reliable follower who became a reliable leader. Paul mentioned people who were unreliable and deserted him (2 Timothy 4:10,16). But he commended Timothy for proving to be dependable. (Philippians 2:22)

Paul then tells Timothy to look for reliable men.

Remember, it’s hard to find reliable people if you don’t know what reliable means.
It’s equally difficult to encourage people to be reliable if you are not reliable yourself.

Reliability as a leader also means making tough decisions. Timothy was in a church that lost their first love (Revelation 2:4). In addition, they were starting to accommodate heretical teachings. Because of this, Timothy had to step up even as a young leader to make tough decisions.

Leaders make decisions.
Leaders make tough decisions.
Leaders make tough decisions no one wants to make.
Leaders take responsibility for the decisions they’ve made.

4. REPRODUCTION

Leaders know that it’s never about them. They know that ultimately, their job is to work themselves out of their job.

And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. (2 Timothy 2:2)

Timothy visited Paul in Rome while he was incarcerated. Timothy at one point was incarcerated himself.

They both knew that they can’t be the leader forever. Because it was a major possibility that they could be jailed or executed, they needed to raise future leaders who can take the gospel and advance the kingdom of God.

“Go into leading with the idea of leaving.”

Pastor Steve and Deborah Murrell were only supposed to be in the Philippines for a month hoping to pass on the leadership of Victory to Filipinos. But what was supposed to be 1 month turned into a couple of decades. They led with the idea of leaving which resulted to an empowering culture.

Lead with the idea of leaving. It’s never about you.

I’m glad we have this as a core value and has been embedded in our corporate culture.

We are averse to the “Rock Star Pastor Philosophy.”
I’m glad that our pastors raised leaders (including me) and believed in us when no one did, allowing us to make dumb mistakes and learning from them.

We don’t have leaders that preach the whole day and if they get tired, take a video of them and that’s what’s shown in the afternoon and evening services.

I appreciate Pastor Steve teaching us that we are TO lead the next generation and lead WITH the next generation. The goal is to raise leaders who will be better than us.

Servant leaders know it’s never about them for there is only one name that is going to be made famous – JESUS (period).

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Other blogs on Leadership:

1. Stuff My Dad Told Me by Joe Bonifacio

2. To Lead is to Lean, Learn, Live, and Love by Carla Bonifacio

3. Lead To Leaveby Paolo Punzalan

4. Raising Leaders Right In Your Home by Jen Punzalan

5. I Don’t Think So by Jekoy Valle

6. Deny Yourself by Dennis Sy

7. Failures and Beginnings by Sofia Paderes

8. WATERLINE: The marks of Leadership by Perci Paras

9. Influence by Charls de los Reyes

10. He Must Become Greater by Rinnah Ramirez

UNLIKELY POSTURE

Humility is an interesting trait.

Once you claim you have it, you’ve actually lost it.

Some have an aversion to this trait.

Number 1, it is because we all have an “I” problem. We all struggle with pride in some shape or form. Admit it.

If you don’t agree, consider this. Notice who you usually look at first when there’s a group picture with you in it.

Another reason is that humility may be perceived as weak, insignificant, and subservient. We live in a world that wants to dominate. And being humble may look as if you are not in control.

In John 13, Jesus exemplifies servant leadership. This is where we see humility at its finest.

What made Jesus an amazing leader?

1. CLARITY OF PURPOSE

Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. (John 13:1)

It was clear to Him why He came and who He came for.

He made a declaration to His disciples, “I came not to be served but to serve and give my life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)

When a leader is clear on the purpose of his leadership, the focus is then taken off from self.

It doesn’t become about you. The goal is to serve the purpose.

It doesn’t matter who gets the credit as long as the job gets done.

2. CONFIDENCE IN IDENTITY

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God. (John 13:3)

Jesus had all power and all authority.

Because He knew who He was, there was no pressure to prove Himself.

Insecure leaders are usually people who don’t know who they are called to be and what they are designed to do.

Jesus was secure in His identity. He knew who He was.

It is identity that establishes security.

I love what C.S. Lewis said,
“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”

Lord, help us to lead with a clear purpose and being confident in our identity in Christ.

A TWEET THAT BLESSED ME

Discipleship 2013 conference was nothing short of phenomenal.

The opening presentation. Video testimonies of lives that Jesus transformed. Hilarious hosting by Dennis and Robert, Ariel and Gilbert. Powerful message by Steve Murrell. Amazing worship by the music team. Incredible updates and upgrades via web and baller USB.

But there was one that blessed my socks off.

He didn’t get on stage. He didn’t lead worship. He wasn’t in the band. He wasn’t even on the tech booth.

He used to be on stage. He used to be leading the worship. He would lead the band during conferences. But this time, he was sitting in the stands like a proud daddy.

Joel Barrios is a leader who truly serves. Many of the worship leaders we have today were raised by him. Scores of them, he influenced and trained.

This was his tweet:

A real picture of discipleship and leadership was what I saw.

As Steve Murrell would always say,

“A lot of leadership is getting out of the way. We are to lead in view of leaving.”

Joel has exemplified this.

And he is not even done. To this day, he continues to disciple, train and influence young men and women in the area of leading worship.

His tweet truly blessed me.

“…whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant…” Matthew 20:26