This year is coming to a close and we might be finalizing our plans, resolutions, or goals for 2018. But before we rush to our hopeful futures, we should first recall and assess the past events and our top lessons learned from 2017.
PANAWAGAN 4.0: 2017 Series
The Alliance Youth Metro Manila District conducted its fourth Panawagan Camp last December 27-30, 2017. This camp aimed to train and equip the youth and young professionals for discipleship and leadership.
For me, attending leadership trainings during year-end seasons triggers my past, present, and future. In short, nakaka-high at may hangover pa. To cap off the year 2017, I want to walk you through how this camp taught me several things that are beyond leadership and discipleship:
1. 20see-venteen: Seeing with visions of hope.
Let’s be honest. Last December 2016, we were aiming for a better year for more: more resources, more opportunities, more friends, more time, more choices, and more benefits. We see 2017 with a vision of hope that everything will be okay.
We began seeing all the good things that can happen, because we claimed to believe by faith. With a high and positive spirit, we hope to double our numbers in the church and improve our programs.
Panawagan 4.0 showed me how we should see the future. THINK BIG. Look at the results, which is to make disciples, who will make disciples, and who will make disciples. Isipin mo ang kaligtasan ng buong mundo.
This 2017, we saw making our own youth center operational. It is located in a strategic place near schools in order to help more young people meet their wholistic needs.
With this vision in mind for almost ten years, we opened our youth center last August 2017 by the grace of God.
2. 20seven-think: Thinking of concrete actions.
In discipleship, we laid down our strategies for reaching out to more people, sharing them the Good News, and keeping them closer to Jesus Christ.
We wanted disciple-making to become our major personal and church’s lifestyle. But we also drew limitations and calculated risks to prepare us from things that could go wrong.
The Jesus Strategy track of Panawagan 4.0 urged us to take necessary steps to achieve our desired results. THINK BIG, START SMALL. Mangarap ka, pero huwag kang magmadali, mainip, at huminto na makamtam ang layunin.
We often get overwhelmed by the big tasks before us, but that doesn’t mean to conquer the world overnight. Instead, we must think of small steps to make our efforts sustainable.
Our youth center started as a bare (and abandoned) space with temporary electricity and water connection, but that did not hinder us from inviting more people to come. In fact, we have used that space as a means to fit in the context of students.
In short, kung kailangan nila ng lugar para magpractice ng sayaw, gumawa ng project, o maglaro ng Uno, bukas ang center sa kanila at sa kanilang mga kaibigan. Meeting their needs is one of the steps in establishing intentional relationships.
3. 20same-venteen: Dealing with plateaus.
Discipleship is not doing a one-time evangelism and calling it success. Rather, I am calling it a lifetime practice of failing ang trying again.
There is a cycle of exposing and training people, feeling “on-fire”, and drawing back when trials make surprise entrances. The common trials are busyness with school and work obligations, family problems, and personal issues.
I am one of the best examples of these people. During Panawagan 4.0, I realized that 2017 was one of the toughest years for me and trials have become my limitations to be an intentional disciple-maker. I just did things for the sake of fulfilling my duties. Kuntento na ako sa ganoong pamumuhay.
THINK BIG, START SMALL, DIG DEEP. I realized that disciple-making starts with discipling myself. Digging deep means letting God search my thoughts and motives in doing (and leaving) ministry.
But God makes all things work together for good for those who love Him. Ginamit Niya lahat ng mga dahilan kong sumuko para ipakita sa akin na mas kailangan kong lumaban.
4. 20save-nteen: Reaping the harvest.
One of the best joys in discipleship is to see someone make Jesus Christ as his/her personal Lord and Savior. However, the main goal of discipleship is not meeting your quota, but glorifying God whenever a lost soul chooses to follow Him.
Being saved is not the end of suffering, but the beginning of bearing your own crosses. The real harvest is bringing people to Christ and teaching them to make Jesus as their only priority. It is not telling them to make space for Jesus, but urging them to give their whole lives to their Lord.
In short, it is not only accepting Jesus as Savior from eternal death, but also as Lord of all. Kung hindi mo kaya isuko ang isang bahagi ng buhay mo kay Lord, baka hindi mo talaga Siya tinuturing na Panginoon.
20say-venteen: 2017 as a Year of Thanksgiving
I have known discipleship for a long time, but I realized that discipleship is not discipleship without costs. This year, I started experiencing its costs and was about to give up, but this camp affirmed that I am on the right track.
As this year ends, I want to thank the Lord for giving me the opportunity to join Panawagan 4.0. I thank Him for people who supported our fundraising efforts through caroling.
I am grateful to be a part of this lifetime investment by the leaders of AYMMD. Even if I cannot thank you one by one, I am silently appreciating your lives that serve as powerful testimonies.
Marami pa akong gustong sabihin, pero mas mainam na ipakita sa gawain.
To all disciple-makers out there:
Thank you for obeying the Great Commission. Kung wala kayo, nasaan na kaya kami?