Over the past six Fridays, I’ve tasted six different kinds of pansit (noodles) for dinner at our North York Centre. I’ve also seen members of our East congregation more frequently and more importantly, gained a new view on serving Christ.
This was made possible by the six sessions that comprised of our Leader’s Equipping and Discipleship (LEAD) Foundations taught by Pastor Jong for our current and potential church leaders. Committing to the sessions is an application itself for what is required of a worker. November was hectic with two and half hours of listening and group dynamics at the end of a busy school/work week, scanning through the handouts, plus the extra reading materials days before the Friday and reviewing for the quizzes (yes, there were quizzes!). As this series reminded us, we do not serve because it is convenient to us and this has since been what we playfully labeled as ‘nothos’ – spirit for our complaints. Nothos, being the most memorised Greek word I guess from the workshop portrays an illegitimate heart that serves for the only purpose of what he can gain from it.
To be a LEADER, you first need to follow God and His Lordship.
What a rebuke to learn as an example that a Christian employee with Jesus as his Saviour but not Jesus as his Lord results to a substandard employee. Yes, we already have our ticket to heaven, but we also want our lives radically changed, here and now. A changed life is one that submits to the lordship of God. It’s one that responds to the necessary challenges and corrections to bring us to maturity as sons and daughters. The workshop aimed to equip us for maturity by the many eye-opening insights spread over the six Fridays.
There were discussions on God’s Fatherhood and Jesus’ sonship. Conversations and lessons on understanding our identity as this directs why and how serve the Lord, on identifying and raising up leaders, on proper disciplining, on building up real ‘koinonia’ or that sense of belongingness, etc. One of the topics that struck me was the shift to Kingdom mindset. For example, placing the Kingdom culture over the Filipino culture. We may be a church full of Filipinos who, culturally, do not have a problem with lateness but the service will always start on time because our God is a God of order.
Did you know that spiritual discipline means doing our part so that God can do His part? Looking at it from that perspective inspires me even more to have a consistent quiet time with God, to practice generosity, fasting and intercession among the list of spiritual disciplines. There are so many more thoughts to ponder spread over the six Fridays. Despite this, the hope is they don’t stay as mere stock knowledge, but that they may also reach our hearts and transform indeed our service to the Lord.
– Ailene Estrada Oliveros
Want to know more about our LEAD Sessions? They’re available now on RightNow Media!