Tag Archives: servanthood

Lessons learned…

A few months ago I wrote a blog (Journey 2 Berlin) in which I shared about my trip to Berlin with Evangelist Mando Gonzales, Sr. Lately I’ve been thinking about our trip, and some of the things I’ve learned from him. Reflecting on the conversations we had I have to agree with the words of the Roman historian Tacitus; “Experience teaches”. I am fully aware that we can learn from our personal experiences, but how much more from the experiences of others, if we pay attention?

Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will. -Vernon Howard

Little did I know that our trip to Europe was not a coincidence, but a preparation for what is to come. I could not foresee that This Journey to Europe’ would cause me to think differently. Differently because in the Urban Training Center we visited churches for 1-4 weeks partnering with-, and helping them in various ways through; drama’s, worship, evangelism, children’s ministry, and follow-up are just a few to name. However after a certain time we would return to our campus continuing our program. Not to take anything away from the effectiveness of the Urban Training Center, but we did not have to think like the pastor of a church, we were more like a van-load full of evangelists; ‘blow-in, blow-up, and blow-out’.

I am convinced that during these months in Europe God put a new desire in my spirit, mind, and heart; “to pastor a church someday”. I believe when this will happen, these Lessons learned will be helpful in pastoring a church, along with the countless lessons I still have to learn through experience, and from others;

1. Building relationships, with influential people and organizations in the community. This so-called networking can become useful at certain times, providing the needed resources in order to accomplish a particular goal, but our ultimate ambition should be to change our community.

2. Evangelism; the presence of witnessing Christians in the neighborhoods will influence the community, and it is also crucial for a church to continue to preach the gospel to the unchurched. When the church stops evangelizing, the church stopped caring, and therefore it will stop growing. Never neglect the responsibility to be ‘a fisher of men’ (Matthew 4:19)

“He who rules the streets, rules the city” -Pastor Ed Morales

3. Change; God did not save us to stay the same, but He wants us to change. It sounds too easy to be true, but as we change our community will change.

When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.  I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.  When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town.  I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.  Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family.  My family and I could have made an impact on our town.  Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world. -Author Unknown

4. Stewardship; when Christians are taught that the community they live in belongs to God, they begin to understand the responsebility of stewardship. Like the story in Matthew 25:14-25; the servants that became successful invested; energy, time, and money. God will give us the City and more, if we as the Church invest likewise into our community instead of keeping what we have hidden in the ground.

5. Servanthood; as the Church we are not only called to serve each other, but also our community. This is an act of love, and it will surely impact the city, and done consistently it will eventually change the city. For example the following blog  ‘I (HEART) SAN DIEGO’ by Al Valdez, senior pastor of Victory Outreach San Diego is a perfect example of a Church serving the community.

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Filed under The Journey to Europe, Urban Ministry

The A.C.T.S. of a Disciple

acts11

Discipleship with Jesus started with two simple words “Follow Me.” Those two words would not only change the twelve men that responded to the call, but generations of believers to come.

Discipleship is not just a Church event or program, it is a lifestyle; Jesus and the disciples where living it 24/7. Looking at this blueprint of discipleship I will use the acronym A.C.T.S. to share the four principles that helped me for the last 16 years in being a disciple of Christ. Let’s take a look at the A.C.T.S. of a disciple;

A stands for being available. For a disciple it is important to be available, cause you never know what’s going to happen or when opportunity will knock at your door.
It is like the money on your bank account. Just look at your bank statement for a minute. If you look you will see a section saying; available balance. That money is available, whether you use it or not. I don’t think you would be thrilled if the money decided to go elsewhere just because you don’t use it. I know a handful of people that decided to leave their post just because they were not being used right away or the way they wanted to. Being available will also test and develop your patience, which is very important because discipleship takes time, Jesus spend about three years to prepare His disciples for the work of the ministry.

C stands for connected. Connecting is crucial for the disciple, for it creates a lifeline. Through this lifeline we will be able to ‘catch the heart’ of our leader. Being connected improves the relationship, it builds a mutual trust. When we connect, we start to understand our leader and know what makes him or her ‘tick’. Getting to know somebody takes time it does not happen overnight, it is hard work and takes commitment. It is not enough to be just around a person. We can be around people for years and still don’t really know them. One thing that really helped me to get connected with my leader is; don’t be afraid to asking questions, and that brings me to my next point.

T stands for teachable. Disciple means pupil we need to be students always maintaining a learning posture. Somebody ones said; “You can not learn from what comes out of your own mouth”. It is okay for a season to be ignorant, but when we think we arrived and know it all, we become arrogant. Looking at the way Jesus taught His disciples you can see a few things; He modeled what he taught, He had them put into practice the lesson, He corrected them and finally He released them.

S stands for servanthood we can never stay away from the true motive of discipleship: Servanthood. Jesus made it very clear to the disciples, to be great does not mean to be served, but to serve. As a disciple it is important to develop a sensitivity for the need; see the need, feel the need and meet the need. When we step away from meeting the need of others and making others meet our needs, we disciple to self and conform to the worlds system of servanthood. Servanthood Jesus’ way, goes hand in hand with sacrifice and suffering, it is never easy or comfortable, but it is worth it, and so is discipleship.

“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” – 2 Timothy 2: 2

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Filed under Discipleship 101