Category Archives: church growth





Matt. 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Matt. 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Matt. 28:20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Mark 16:15 ¶        He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.

Luke 24:47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

John 20:21 ¶        Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Only one has a prescribed process whereby disciple making could be possible. Yes you are right, Matthew 28.18-20. Here’s how it goes:

Delegated POWER v.18

We can have confidence as believers because He has delegated to us His authority. He overcame the power of death, remember?

Prescribed PROCESS vv.19-20a

“GO…” (engage) –with the goal of introducing people to Christ.

“BAPTIZING…” (establish) –to build them to maturity.

“TEACHING…” (equip) –get them trained to reproduce themselves.

“I AM WITH YOU…”  (empower)–to be sent with the power from on high.

Declared PROMISE v.20a

Look at how gracious Jesus is to us: “surely”, “always”, “to the very end of the age.”

What more can you ask? He even provided for us the process on how to make disciples.

So let’s accept the fact that…

Since We Follow God, We Make Disciples.

TOP TEN Classic Discipleship Quotes (Part two)

DUE TO SOME POSITIVE RESPONSES from our dear readers and our hardworking staffs, I decided to add a sequel of our top ten sayings.

Be inspired!


1) “As long as there is a lost person out there, we are not big enough.” –Steve Murrell

This is a good measuring stick for us to use as far as church growth is concerned. There is no room for us to be big-headed, but instead we need to be concerned about the lost world out there.


2) “Find out what God is doing in your generation, then fling your life into it.” –Larry Tomzsack

While Steve was listening to Larry’s sermon when he was a young Christian, he was so surprised by that statement that it solidified his resolve to being in ministry and to reaching the youth.


3) “When in doubt, TITHE!” –Steve Murrell

A businessman handed me ten thousand pesos in cash for my first ever missions trip to Indonesia way back in the 80’s. I was so thankful to God and so I asked Pastor Steve if I should tithe it. Well, you know by now what he told me.


4) “You’ll never be mistaken in giving.” –Juray Mora

I can’t think of any other most generous person in the Ministry, but Juray. He lives, breaths, preaches, and demonstrates generosity to the full. It behooves us to follow his example.


5) “Don’t make decisions based on money.” –Steve Murrell

We were trained early on to move in faith not by sight. Every time we do conferences and missions trips, we were challenged with this punch line. I guess this can also by applied when getting married! (Warning: This only applies to single people 40 years old and above.)   


6) “How are you going to face your problem, if your problem is your face?” – Luther Mancao

Well, I don’t really know how to categorize this statement. Pastor Luther’s sayings are beyond explanation most of the time. You just have to hear and meditate on it for a week!


7) “All roads lead to discipleship.” –Ferdie Cabiling

Rome has been that important of a city that they made all roads, during those ancient days, leading to the center. Well, there is something significant about the term; it was the concept Jesus emphasized before He left: discipleship.

We decided to live with this aphorism as our guide in ministry every time we do an activity in Victory Ortigas.


8.)“If you have to brag much about your accomplishments, then it must have not been big enough.” Mr. Broocks (Rice’s Dad)

I heard this several times from Pastor Rice’s sermons on leadership, discipleship, and ministry. This really helped him to be on the side of humility every time he is tempted to brag on his achievements. He heard this said from his Dad when he went home one day.

I’d been on the opposite side of humility so many times. I’m just wondering how much more if I had never heard this early on from Rice. Oh God…more grace.


9) “The greatest legacy you can leave behind in this life is the lives you’ve touched for God.” –Dr. Jun Escosar

Way back when I was a student, I would always think, ‘I want to be like Jun E when I grow up‘. He was the first guy who became our full time minister in church. One of the other reasons why serving God was exciting is because we see him exemplify that.


10) “Saan tayo kakain?” (“Where are we going to EAT?”) –Manny Carlos

Acts 2.46b “They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts…”

There’s nothing more biblical than finding out where to eat! Thanks Manny for inspiring all of us.

VIP -EQUIPPING The Disciples (3/6): “It’s HIP To Be EQUIPPED”

WHERE DID YOU GET ALL THESE LEADERS, Steve?” inquired by a visiting missionary to our beloved pastor. “Just right here.” And he would add, “You should have seen them when we found them. You wldn’t recognize them at all! And you should have heard how (horrible) they preach before…”

We just laugh about it when Steve would tell these types of conversations. The ‘trade secret’ of the ministry was so simple but usually not given much attention: a consistent hard work of making and equipping disciples, in-house. The philosophy behind our version of ‘ENLI’– in-house leadership training school, ‘Leadership Labs‘ during summer time, two-by-two evangelism in the campuses, etc, etc…is the desire to raise leaders from the ranks. There is that undeniable culture of discipleship. Where streams of students would get, not just teaching-impartation of Bible knowledge and values, but also training, where there’s an avenue for impartation of skills and wisdom.

Ephesians 4:12
“to prepare God’s people for works of service…”

A conscious effort of ‘preparing God’s people for works of service’ across the board is what makes us able to multiply and develop leaders. A ‘man-of-God’ syndrome is abhorred, or at least, minimized. Success in ministry, at least in the campuses, is measured by having successors rather than a numbers game.

Speaking of developing leaders, one of the best descriptions regarding David that I really treasure in the Scriptures is the one found in Psalms. This verse really epitomizes the importance of having the skills needed in leadership as it is contrasted with having the character (integrity of heart).

Leading God’s people requires the balance of both.

Psalms 78:72
“And David shepherded them with integrity of heart (impartation by teaching); with skillful hands (impartation by training) he led them.

An “integrity of heart” – a “skillful hands = inefficiency.


A “skillful hands”- an“integrity of heart” = shallowness.


An “integrity of heart + a “skillful hands” = epitome (of a shepherd of God’s people).

I believe we have variety of opportunities for our local church members, who are small group leaders, to get to a place of further equipping.

Through our small groups, where each member is exposed to a firsthand life/ministry coaching; through our two years of in-house leadership training classes (E.N.L.I.); through our Leaders’ Lectures; through our bi-monthly all-small-group-leaders rally (V.I.P.); and every other month of impartation and encouragement from each pastoral staff to his/her block of small group leaders; or at least, someone who cares enough about you to share a time in a regular basis, to help bring you to a ‘hole natha’ level in leadership.

I hope by now, you’ve surmised how I value (as a local church pastor), leadership development. And I believe this is the way to be assured that the movement’s core values and DNA are passed down to the next generation of leaders.

I think my conclusion is undeniable:

“It’s HIP to be EQUIPPED!”

BRANDED Cert. Christ Follower (2/4): Living the Word

One of my heroes in the field of discipleship is no other than the founder of  TheDawson Trotman Navigators, Dawson Trotman.

The main emphasis of the discipleship process he has espoused in the lives of believers is the passion for the Word.

For the next three weeks, we will explore the three discipleship marks that John mentioned in the Gospel book that he wrote.

This week, we will focus on the first one…

John 8:31
“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.”

I believe that the life we have received from God through Christ, causes us to have a desire for learning, and learning leads us to freedom.

The next verse tells us…

John 8:32
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.


..a real Christ follower anchors his whole life on God’s Word.

It’s great to be passionate for the Word of God like these men that I know: Ptr. Winston Reyes (the walking concordance), Atty. Banjo Navarro, and many others.

But it’s another thing to impart that same passion to other fellow believers.

Dawson Trotman (1906-1956), did just that.

Now that’s what I call discipleship.

BRANDED: Certified Christ Follower (1/4)

A civilized competition between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs is seen in short commercials of two guys just sarcastically talking to each other. There names: Mr. PC and Mr. Mac.

I am sure many of you are very much familiar with what I am talking about. There seemed to be a similarity between the two but the difference is too far out. Like the difference between a lightning and a lightning bug! (I know what some of you are thinking: what is the diff between blue and green? Sorry, but I don’t have enough space).

I am talking about the diff between a so-called “christian” and a true follower of Christ.

Jesus Christ Himself has given us something that would be enough to put a wedge between existing relationships.

Between the real and the not-so-real.

Luke 14:26-27“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters — yes, even his own life — he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

Does that sound exclusive? No. It is not about exclusivity.

It is about discipleship.

I could not think or even imagine anything more important than my relationships with my father, mother, and my siblings growing up.

But when I was exposed to this passage of Scripture, it made me realize that there was something even higher.

As a Christ-follower, my relationship with others is second best.

If that is resolved, then this will make sense…

Luke 14:27 “And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

Discipleship can not be discipleship without the cross of Christ. The cross that represents death to ‘self’.

Being a true disciple does not only mean that we have to forgo of other relationships in light of Christ having the first spot in our lives, but also we have to forget self to become one.

Sounds foolish? Yes and no. Yes, in the eyes of the world. No, because to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Cor 1.18b).

Let’s go home with this one big idea then:

A true disciple gives Christ first place in their lives always.

If you ask me, how would it look like if a so-called christian and a Christ-follower were caught talking to each other?

Let’s watch this and enjoy!

“In Blue Jeans” Philosophy

Laurie Beth Jones seemed to have caught the gist of the idea of being “in blue jeans” when she wrote her best selling “Jesus in blue jeans” book. It expresses the transition of spirituality to practical daily living in the business world.

Well, I would like to use the same idea, if I may. But this time in the area of discipleship.

Jesus prayed a prayer for the disciples in John 17.15 and it says, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.”

We are meant to be here to fulfill the Great Commission of making disciples of all nations. And then the end will come (Matthew 24.14).

Immersed but not of this world. Living out the message of Jesus Christ now. Incarnational in our approach to ministry. The lost people around us would start to see how we conduct ourselves in an atmosphere of community. Trust will be developed in the process. From there will flow ministry, prayer, and conversation that in the end will lead to committing themselves to Christ.

Traditionally, our philosophy of ministry goes like this:

believing, before belonging..

Time and again, we try to present the gospel so they can begin to make positive decision, the get assimilated to fellowship. This is logically true and still valid, but churches are now beginning to realize that the opposite could also be true:

belonging, then believing..

People need to get a chance to be invited first into a community, hoping that along the way he/she gets the chance to hear the good news and believe.

Here is the theme song to our Leaders’ Convergence.

The Immersion

It was my first time to get exposed to a local church which has a small group-based church growth philosophy. There maybe a lot of baggages connected with it, but I got home with my traveling companion at that time -Dennis Sy, with a takeaway principle that helped us get to the next level of discipleship: “Every Member A Minister.” (Bogota, Colombia, circa 2002)