Overruns No More

Anyone who understands shopping is keen with spotting real bargain deals. Bargain hunters are swift in smelling blood in the malls. They would prey on designers at a reasonable, at times, very cheap price. One of the favorites are outlets that sell overrun labels. These labels get easily siphoned off in a matter of hours. Most overruns are excess produce of tailoring companies authorized by hot selling brands mostly based in the States or Europe. They station their productions in third world cities to cut production cost and somehow provide job security. When production exceeds the demand or order in the States, outlets would readily buy the excess produce. They will rip off the labels and sell the shirts at a much cheaper price. Thus, they are called overruns.

Some overruns are damaged ones, but most are excess ones. These stuff go through the same processing, they go to the same sewing machines, same printing and they get the same hot press and packing thereafter. Just that, at the end of the day, they’re simply not needed. They’re authentic but not needed.

So much for an introduction to what I really intend to say. Some Christian cults have propagated and have clung into the poorly thought overrun theology. They believe that the slot is full. Production continues but whatever is produced are simply overruns. Accordingly, the children of God has been marked and sealed a long time ago (in reference to Revelations). I do not symphatize with that theology. Well you don’t expect anything from a cult in the first place. So we shift to our own Christian worldview. It is sad that an overrun mentality is quite a fixture among many of us.

The post conversion experience of a believer is crucial. They know their authenticity and there is no question to that. But with the everyday lies of our adversary, he wins a day when he succeeds in making us believe we are overruns, excess, and not needed. Thus, according to Robert Coleman, any day that we are indifferent with the gospel is a day lost to the cost of Christ.

We understand who we are in Christ, we know our label and our worth, yet this mentality has allowed us to be passive, compromising, tolerant, and cold. It’s because we have propagated amongst our minds that there is such things as a legitimate misfit in the rank and file soldiers of God. In an interview by Ed Stetzer, Ptr Steve Murrell points out some myths in discipleship that runs prevalent in most churches. One of which he says is the Myth of Mentoring. “This myth causes church people to demand that pastors spoon-feed them, care for them, and meet all their spiritual needs. It turns pastors into spiritual superheroes and regular Christians into passive spectators at religious shows. Another myth is the Myth of Maturity–that no one should minister until they are mature. This myth convinces people they don’t pray enough, don’t know enough Bible verses, and are too young to engage in ministry–leading Christians to believe that only after another discipleship course or leadership seminar or seminary degree would they possibly be mature enough to be used by God. The sum effect of these myths is an ineffective church with overworked ministers, overfed members, and unengaged communities.”

It is my prayer that I get to see a people more passionate in engaging, evangelizing, and discipling their friends and families this coming 2012


Accomplishing an intimate community by the thousands

I had a friendly conversation with an old pal that revolved around the challenges of having/leading a church by the thousands. Apparently, my friend believes it’s rather difficult to achieve the intimacy in a mega church setting. So since intimacy is challenged, discipleship, shepherding and the likes are challenged as well. Inevitably, church members become a bunch of chaffs.

I’m not for the numbers game but yes I am for quantity as much as I gauge quality. Quantity in a way is one measure of fruitfulness.

That being said, the question then again lies on whether an intimate community of believers by the hundreds or thousands is achievable.

Yes it is.

Acts 2 outlines a church with more than three thousand members.

Acts 2:41-47

41 …and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

That in place the question now centers on how it was done.

They devoted themselves to:

Apostles teaching – Bible reading, podcasts, services..

Fellowship – Meaningful relationship with discernible purpose and goal..

Breaking of the bread – Communion. Reminding ourselves of the cross of Jesus..

Prayer – Devotions, quiet time..

Had everything in common – Giving and generosity..

Meet together in temple courts – Small groups, discipleship

The last line of the verse seems more like an inevitable result:

And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Top 10 Things You Need to Know to Succeed in Campus Ministry

A repost from the Reluctant Leader site of Pastor Steve Murrell.

I am speaking tomorrow at the Every Nation School of Campus Ministry in Manila. So much to say, but I finally narrowed it down to the 10 things you must know in order to succeed in campus ministry long term. Here they are:

1. You must know that God loves you & accepts you because of who he is & what he did for you, not because of who you are & what you do for him.

2. You must know that God called you to do campus ministry, no matter what other opportunities are offered.

3. You must know that God will provide.

4. You must know that the gospel is the power of God for salvation, otherwise you will resort to all kinds of goofy & powerless ministry gimmicks designed to attract people to meetings.

5. You must know how to forgive. The longer you do ministry, the more opportunities you will have to practice this one.

6. Because you will face endless needs & countless open doors, you must know how & when to say NO. Knowing what not to do is as important as knowing what to do. Focus is necessary for success.

7. You must know how to ENGAGE your culture & community. You had to know that one was coming, and the next three also…

8. You must know how to ESTABLISH biblical foundations, or your disciples will be temporary.

9. You must know how to EQUIP believers to minister, or you will end up doing all the ministry, resulting in either burn out or very little fruit.

10. You must know how to EMPOWER disciples to make disciples, because that is the whole point of being a campus missionary.

In summary: honor God & make disciples

Jesus is not just adult stuff

Gospel writer Luke notes in his book an instance wherein Jesus has shown his affinity with little kids.

Luke 18

15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17”

Let the children come to me.

It is sad to note that the guys responsible for hindering the kids to get close to him were his very disciples. I wonder how frustrating could that be. There may be several ways we are hindering children from experiencing Jesus. One thing is clear-Jesus is not just adult stuff. Jesus wants them and so we are not in any way warranted to hinder them.

I just had a meeting with key leaders in our Kids Ministry. We have reminded ourselves of the crucial role of the Kids Ministry. We are facilitators of these kids’ growth in their knowledge and love for Jesus. And by no means are giving less effort for such a big investment. As teachers love to declare, Whatever it takes!

Let’s face the facts

Why the campus?
70 % of our generation is below 30 years of age.

The fact presented in the diminishing age of salvation says 19 out of 20      who become Christians do so before they reach the age of 25.

50 % of our nation’s population is under 20 years of age, 30 % are under 30.

The composite of youth in our nation shows that 10% are out of school,     25% are ‘ruined’, while   65% are in the campuses.

Should we reach the campuses? I’d be silly to say no.

Spirituality Anyone?

A repost from a past blog dated Aug 2010. It’s still worth sharing.

It was about a month ago while paying courtesy and presenting our ministry to a friend, when I first had this now lingering thought that bothers me from time to time.

Being out for a couple of months, I asked my friend to give me a pulse of the campus for me to understand and in a way strategize entry points for ministry.
The lengthy conversation had its peak on e awful situation of the new and upcoming students in the univ.

The concern is that the students are no longer spiritual as they ought to be. And the sole goal is to bring back that spirituality among them. So I’m asked to come in to complement on that aspect. I asked him if this is all that we want to see–a certain level of spirituality. Accordingly yes, that’s the goal.

Our conclusion:

No wonder we’ve lost the spirituality because that’s all that’s required of them.

If the whole goal is spirituality the solution would be so simple. It can just require anyone to at least show up-show up in church, sing praises, show up in small groups, show off in prayers and the likes. Students can feel spiritual doing that. It’s actually simple and easy; yet dangerously superficial and shallow (and this is what we reap so this is what we will change).

We can offer them far more than spirituality. We can teach, coach, disciple the students to live out biblical christianity.The two are different because the former requires us to just show up but the latter invites us to live a life of obedience. spirituality is simple and easy, Christianity is simple but not easy. But it is the real deal. By now we have to end the sight of seeing students being in church but seemingly powerless against sin. We have to see a generation who knows what it is to take up their crosses, what it entails to be a Christian, what joy it brings when they make decisions for God, and what glorious rewards and blessings obedience brings.

There’s gonna rise a generation who will hear, read, and obey the Word of God and we are discipling them now.


Robert Coleman says let’s get a move on it!

masterplan for evangelism

“The issues of life are life and death, and every day that we are indifferent to our reponsibilities is a day lost to the cause of Christ.”

“There is no place in the Kingdom for a slacker (escapes work), for such an attitude not only precludes any growth in grace and knowledge, but also destroys any usefulness on the world battlefiled of evangelism.” 

Robert E. Coleman, author of The Master Plan of Evangelism