“Tao ka rin pala!”

I love my job for so many reasons but one of the best part of it is just the privilege to train young student leaders and our next generation of campus missionaries. Early on as a student from UPLB, I was brainwashed by my leaders in church ( in a very good way naman) to love my nation and serve it, training the next generation is I believe one of the best thing we can do to be a nation builder.

A lot of my time as a campus missionary is spent on mentoring and coaching leaders, last Wednesday was no exemption. A week ago, Che and I had set this appointment to catch up and really just to speak to each other’s lives, so this schedule was quite ordinary or so it think. Che is currently one of our homeroom teachers for the School of campus ministry, every year she gets the privilege to train around 60 upcoming campus missionaries from all around our nation.

During our conversation her words struck me “tao ka rin pala,ate!” (You’re a normal person after all!). She was telling me some challenges, concerns and frustrations and was wondering if I also have those times. “ Why of course I do!”- if I would indulge myself my concerns and frustrations would be quite a list, but let’s not focus on that s my “positivity theme “ would be stressed let’s focus on today’s lesson:

There is great value in being vulnerable appropriately!

In today’s world, leader’s are shown to be very strong, smart sometimes borderline bossy and domineering. They are portrayed as highly skilled, gifted and has a can do it all attitude. Which in a sense is good but the only problem is that its not realistic! That’s why I really love how the bible portrayed all its leaders-flaws and all. You know its real its happening and you have no unrealistic expectations of yourself and others.

We need to learn how to be vulnerable appropriately as a leader:

 1.  to show times of weakness and challenges (specifically those they can relate to) and ask for prayers from the people we are mentoring and discipling e.g.
a.     difficulty of doing 121 and following up people
b.     frustrations of counseling a person who keeps on going back to their sin
c.      challenges in consistently prioritizing our quality time with God
2.     to communicate well trying times and moments when you makes mistakes in an uplifting manner saying: its ok to make mistake and learn to bounce back from it e.g.
a.     moments when my parents would get sick and we are having financial challenges and my faith dwindling
b.     times when I made a bad decision as a leader and suffering from the condemnation that follows
3.     to learn what to say and which group of people to say it to so as not to stumble younger believers

4.     to speak our challenges without gossiping others or making them look bad to the people you are training

5.     to share some things we are frustrated about and share the right response that God has already instructed us to do. #filterfilterfilter

Being vulnerable inappropriately happens when:

a.     we talk about specific people and their flaws instead of the circumstance we are in; do not gossip about people!Do not make the excuse of using a prayer point to talk about other people faults.
b.     we are foolishly displaying our what my boss would often refer to as “dirty laundry” and hoping that the student will understand “we are only human “; do not expose yourself unnecessarily.do not share to them all the morbid details of your past; do not make them aware of the things God has protected them in-be responsible!

I hear this sometimes even in preaching, that in sometimes in our desire to relate and communicate well with students, we tell them everything.
c.      we are exposing unresolved sins and asking advice from people way younger than us instead of seeking help from our own leaders, more mature Christians who will walk with us to victory
d.     we are emotionally ranting everything –anger, hatred and all instead of processing it first with God and again telling this to the right people

I remember one time we I had a coaching group with my student leaders at Mcdo 32nd, it was February and I was about to share about being “above reproach” and loving purity. Lo and behold, right in the parking lot. I saw a guy I haven’t seen in a decade-my ex-high school boyfriend gash! (pls. don’t judge me haha) I was shocked and flustered- this man is a tangible reminder of some of my bad decisions when I wasn’t yet a Christian. He’s there and was talking to me and asking my number, and everything else was happening so fast at the same time. The girls noticed my agitation. I took a moment to go out, prayed and quickly quieted my soul as I was talking with God. Quickly dialed the number of my mentor and processed everything with her and prayed together.

I went back to my coaching group, told them who that guy was, shared some of my bad decisions in high school and made it a jumping point of our topic. They appreciated my honesty, we were laughing about it afterwards, they are actually teasing me. The upside of that incident was them also honestly sharing their struggles emotionally. I thank God for His grace and wisdom that night, it could have gone wrong in so many different ways, but He has made me steady.
Learning to be vulnerable accordingly would take some quite time to master as I did learned it the hard way, but I hope and pray that you would take up the challenge in adding this up to your list of things to learn. We believe in you!

Lesson’s shared by students for the students

 Last March 14, 2015, we had our Discipleship 2015 Conference for all our leaders in Metro Manila. In Victory Fort, more than 1,000 leaders attended, representing families, young professionals, students and even senior citizens all leading their own Victory groups.

As much as the event promoted the urgency of doing evangelism, my personal highlight was really processing with the students about what they learned and what God has been teaching them recently. As I was listening to them and how personal their lessons were, I knew that they are really developing the art of listening to God. Here are some of their stories:
1.Learning to be strategic.
One student upon hearing Ptr. Rice Brook’s message on evangelism at the conference shared the value in strategically talking to people we want to reach out for God. She just realized that in as much as building relationship and sharing stories is good as a start up for engaging others-we must eventually focus on praying and deliberately doing whatever is necessary to lead the conversation to the gospel. Sharing stories and being a friend is not enough, we want lost people to know God.
2.Set an example for others.
Being on time at school may be one of the basic task of a student but we all know that for some people it’s a struggle. So when one of the students shared about how God convicted her to be on time for her class, I super appreciated her honesty and her fear of God in not allowing even the “smallest things” to detract her away from being a good testimony for others to follow. She shared of how sometimes it’s difficult to invite her classmates to attend church because she’s always late for class, as well as other Christian leaders in the classroom.
By the grace of God, let’s be excellent student, that when other people would look at our lives, they would know that God is alive (buhay ang Panginoon!) when they see how our lives would mirror God’s glory.
3.Say no to compromise.
As a new graduate, one challenge is finding the right job and an environment where we can also grow steadily as a Christian. For quite some time I’d been encouraging this leader to find a new job as her current work exposes her to things that might compromise her relationship with God. This year she wrote it on her faith goals to believe God for a better work and better working hours. This month she shared of how God opened a door for her for a better job, great working environment and better schedule- God in indeed faithful.
If you are in an area that might compromise your relationship with God, be eager to get out and believe Him for supernatural favor!
4.Go, not wait.
Lastly, this leader shared about her quiet time on the day of Discipleship 2015. She said that from Matthew 28:19, one that we know so well, God really impressed on her the word GO!
As a background story, she told us of how recently she’s been noticing from the younger leaders that she was coaching, that they have become accustomed on just waiting for somebody to be passed on to them or connected to them at the youth service or literally be given to them vs. initiating to go out and personally invite their classmates and friends.

She emphasized that God has called us to GO not WAIT to make disciples, GO NOT WAIT for them to come to us, GO into the “harvest field” NOT WAIT for them to attend our youth services. I could not have said it any better, this girl is just a true-blooded evangelist.
I’m really proud of all these student leaders, it’s such a privilege learning together with them. And in as much as a good lesson from the Bible, or a sermon, or a book or a podcast is very much valuable in coaching them, I believe one of the best thing we can also teach young leaders is just the heart and diligence of patiently waiting and listening to God and a submissive will to always obey. Remember Jesus’ affirmation of Mary’s diligence to listen to Him: “ but few things are needed–or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke10:42,NIV