Category Archives: local church

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)