Category Archives: every member

TOP TEN Reasons Why Believers Do Not Evangelise


“I am not an evangelist.”

Yes, not all may have the gift of an evangelist, but it is incumbent upon every believer to be Christ’s witness.

Act 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”


“Not all believers are called to evangelise.”

It sounds like this statement is over the edge, if not dangerous. It would be a theological suicide to lay claim of this excuse. It’s just absurd to have eternal life and not tell others about it. In reality? Every believer is a witness.

Act 8:1 And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
Act 8:4 Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.


“The Lord determined already who will believe the gospel—so no need to waste time and exert an effort.”

I could not imagine 65 Westerners, mostly students, thought that going to Manila, the Philippines in 1984, was a waste of time and resources. They resolved that the young people from Ubelt that time were worth their efforts.

Mat 18:12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?
Mat 18:13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.


“I am afraid that I might say the wrong thing and be rejected.”

The next time I smell that fear lurking, I will remind myself that God has already overwhelmed it with power, love, and self-control.

2Ti 1:7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.


“I may say the right thing, but I might not be able to refute what others will say.”

I surmise that the ability to give an account of our faith, no matter how hard it is to prepare, has something to do with a heart full of the fear of the Lord. Truly that fear is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 9:10).

1Pe 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to provide the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,


“I don’t like to be tagged as Jesus fanatic or religious bigot.”

I remember this statement, “Everyone’s fool for something, but, question—‘whose fool are you?'” I want to make it my goal, by the grace of God, for Christ to remain famous in and through my sphere of influence.

Mat 10:32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.
Mat 10:33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.


“I don’t want to be persecuted or be the target of bullying.”

As a believer, one might as well accept the fact that suffering for the sake of Christ and his gospel is inevitable.

2Ti 1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me, his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,


“God will save people, whether I preach or not.”

Statements like this could be right and wrong at the same time. ‘Right’ because there’s nothing God can’t do regarding saving someone. We have heard stories upon stories of people who have come to know Christ in a sort of weird way. But ‘wrong’ because he already laid out the basis for his mission—through his redeemed ones.

Rom 10:14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
Rom 10:15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”


“I am not trained enough.”

The one that matters most in preaching the gospel of Christ is that we, too, have been a recipient of that same good news. Any attempt to propagate the things of God without getting acquainted with the person of Christ would tantamount to becoming like the ‘sons of Sceva’ (Acts 19:14-15). But is there still a need for training and equipping? Ephesians 5 has already answered that.

Mat 10:19 When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.


“I am not mature enough.”

Nothing will be accomplished much if we all have to wait for our maturity to be realized before we move. I firmly believe that maturity comes as we do the work of the ministry. Notice that ‘ministry’ (v. 12) comes first before ‘maturity’ (v. 13).

Eph 4:12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
Eph 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

I am pretty sure that there would be more excuses out there why believers do not preach the gospel.

But remember—a grateful heart can not be silenced.

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.


All throughout the twenty-four years of being a follower of Christ, I have collected powerful discipleship quotes.

Here are the following:


1. “Change the campus, change the world!”

The mother of all classic quotes. This was the very first ‘mantra’ ever launched way back in the 80’s by the master of quotes, Rice Broocks. It was so vivid because most of us were still university students at that time.


2. “Every nation in our generation.”

This is the most recent adage that Rice Broocks contributed. So simple yet profound that we named our worldwide movement after it. A powerful one – not only because of the name we got out of it, but also the mission of discipleship that is wrapped around it.


3. “A Bible and a passport.”

This was so real to us that a high percentage of our young people would want to go to the mission field. Most of us would apply for a passport, and be sure to be ready when he calls us to other nations. I don’t really know exactly who started this quote in the 80’s, but I could not think of anyone else but Pastor Steve Murrell.


4. “Why don’t you go home; take off your clothes in front of a mirror, then tell me if you are a boy of a girl?”

We were so much into helping others walk with God and become champions that we were all concerned about one another. So Pastor Steve asked me if I could help out this certain student named, Francis. While talking with him, I realized that there are fundamental issues I have to clarify before I proceed into this thing.

Ferdie: “Are you a boy or a girl?”

Francis: “I don’t knowww!”

Now, that was the start of a loooong journey to becoming a real man.


5. “Your Momma ain’t here!”

In one of our early exposure to Men’s Meetings, a young man in the Anson’s Arcade church venue was asked to share what’s in his heart to the expectant audience packed with disciples, young men full of testosterone. It was quite an inspiring exhortation that when he ended it with the quote mentioned above. Men…it was etched or shall I say, tattooed in our brains. To the middle-aged men today who were there during that time in the late 80’s; they could all point out to Jerry Santiago as the author of that phrase.


6. “If your son is acting like a monkey, it’s because he sees a bigger monkey in the house.”

I could sense that the short stint that the Lord allowed Omeng (Cervantes) and I in ministering to the Chinese youth in Dasmariñas Village, Makati was coming to an end. We were approaching the chapter on the Holy Spirit in the Purple Book that I knew some parents are a bit worried about, doctrinally. The spokesperson told me while surrounded by all the parents of these teenagers that his son was not really into it. “In fact,” he said, “ I have never even seen him read his Bible at home.” At the back of my head, I was thinking that this concerned father was treating Omeng and I as ‘hired’ teachers. Without hesitation, an aphorism just came out of my mouth!


7. “If you will not stop taking advantage of the girls here, I’m going to squeeze your b*@#s! You understand?”

Rico Ricafort was one of the youth pastors we had who made so much impact in many of our young people’s lives. He was a ‘shepherd’, indeed. A couple of teenagers were smooching inside a car in the parking lot before the youth gathering one Friday evening. When Rico found that out, he sat down with the boy and gave him a youth pastor’s straight-to-the-point advice.

Similarly, just a side note here, Joseph Carodan told one of the athletes regarding purity in the midst of fame in the sports world. “This (pointing to person’s heart) and this (pointing to the person’s crotch), belong to only one woman – your wife!”


8. “Every member a minister”

Denis Sy, the senior pastor of our San Juan congregation, once traveled with me to Bogota, Colombia back in 2002. We visited one of the larger Christian local churches in the world with a discipleship-based culture. We came back to Manila armed with a vision and a strategy wrapped into one.


9. Discipleship is relationship”

This statement hit the nail on the head. The right to disciple is earned through a framework of relationship. Joey Bonifacio, not only coined the term; he even entitled one his blog sites with it.


10.“It’s all about discipleship, stupid”

I was caught surprise when Julius (Fabregas) and I discovered the philosophy of ministry of the Fellowship Church, Dallas, Texas. ‘It’s all about the weekend service, stupid.’ I approached one of the pastors and suggested the above-mentioned cliché. I liked it so much that I named my Word Press site, ‘It’s all about discipleship, Genius!’


+1 This has been Joseph Carodan’s version of the Great Commission to simplify it for the athletes to understand. Whether he is doing the offering, preaching a sermon, or teaching in our school; he would always use this to wrap it up. I think he has been using this like an exclamation point or a period in a sentence for five years!

“We’re gonna rock this nation!”



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!”

VIP Disc. Leaders (1/6) -ENGAGING The Culture: “All Things To All”

We have decided as pastors and small group discipleship leaders of Victory Ortigas to come together for a night of Vision, Instruction, and Prayer (VIP), once every two months for the year of 2008. We will continue with our weekly leadership group.  Once a month we will have either our VIP or interest-based small group leaders fellowship with different pastors and ‘lay’ leaders.

I will endeavor to write a teaser blog every time we do a VIP.

I believe this is the text that will pave the way for the year 2008 for us:

1Corinthians 9:19-23
“Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”

I can not think of any more passage of Scriptures that epitomizes the idea of engaging the surrounding culture than this one. A very challenging text.

There are Christians who would argue that they “don’t care what people say,” they “care more of what God would say.” This is a noble thing to declare. I can’t argue with it. As long as it deals with moral convictions. In fact, every follower of Christ should have this solemn oath.

But, when it comes to relating and reaching out to the people within our culture, this is a major blunder.

The apostle of all the apostles, Apostle Paul, gave us a very insightful principle on missions: “All things to all.” For what purpose? The word, “to win” was mentioned five times in this passage to tell us something: “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” The transformation of lives.

So, my challenge to all of us reading this blog entry: “Let’s not be enslaved by our own personal preferences; let’s endeavor to be ALL THINGS TO ALL!”

The world is at a lost. Without hope. All under the rain of wrath. Would you want to offer someone near you to “stand under your umbrella”?

Be a friend. Start the year with being “all things to all.”

Stay engaged.

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)