Monday, April 14, 2014

When People Leave..

I dedicate this post to every loving small group leader regardless of the number of years in leadership, and to every committed disciple (kung hindi naman committed na disciple, lalong mas dedicated sayo ‘to, tsong!). Hope you’ll read through the whole article... and maybe type in your comments so I can learn from you, too! 

Matthew 13:31-32
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

The Kingdom of God is bound to grow... no matter what (happens).
Whether you join or not, it is destined to grow. Yes, it is true that God likes using people and including them in the fulfillment of His plans and the expansion of His Kingdom, pero with or without me (you), IT WILL FLOURISH.

Here’s a little heads-up to small group leaders though. Along the way, there might be those who will desert you. Merong mga maganda naman ang dahilan, meron ding mali. May mang-iiwan, tatalikod sa pananampalataya, susukuan ang bagong buhay, at meron ding tatakbo mula sa calling nila to pursue their own ambitions and plans (uhm, ano pa ba?). As a leader, if (if nga ba or, when?) you go through these burdensome situations, remember that,
  1. Your labors are not wasted because you have done them primarily as for serving the Lord  anyway (Colossians 3:23).
  2. They will leave now as better persons and Christians because, by the grace of God, you have effected change in their lives by the great seeds that you’ve been able to sow in them while you’ve been allowed to lead them. Hope in the knowledge of that. 
  3. There’s really a time for everything: a time to search and a time to count as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away (Ecclesiastes 3:6). Change and the shifting of seasons, those we cannot control nor escape. (Pero sana lang ‘wag mong gamiting excuse ‘to sa pagiging unfaithful. May mga changes na God-ordained, pero may mga bagay na tayo lang naman talaga ang nagpupumilit.)
  4. We do not own people. Period.
  5. We cannot make choices for them. We lead but we do not dictate. We guide them in life, but we do not hold the steering wheel of their lives. Like you and me, they have been given freewill and can use it anytime. Though we mentor them, they are ultimately responsible for their own life choices. You see, in as much as they are free to choose to follow God’s plans, they are also free to choose to steer away from it. Our role is to present the choices and options, and influence them to make the best ones! But we cannot make choices for them. Remember how you can share the gospel to someone but cannot receive it for them or in behalf of them? The same principle applies here. (Pero sana piliin mo yung tama!)
  6. If a warrior leaves the battle, God will always raise up another one!
In the Bible, we can find accounts after accounts of how God raises and calls other people when others quit.
  • Esau traded his birth right. Jacob became the father of the twelve tribes of Israel.
  • Moses disobeyed and as a result didn’t enter the Promised Land. Joshua did.
  • The Israelites were all afraid of Goliath. Young shepherd boy David defeated him.
  • Judas betrayed Jesus. Matthias was appointed.

Even though some abandon, turn back from, or withdraw from their calling, God will always choose and raise up another one to carry on fulfilling His divine purposes. Oh no, let’s change that... God CAN always raise up another one. He is absolutely able to do that. And at all cost, for His greater purposes’ sake, He will and He can do that.

JOB 42:2 (NIV)
“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”

Would God allow His plans to not succeed?
Would God allow His promises go unfulfilled?
Will God be limited by one man’s disobedience?
Will His Kingdom not thrive without you or me?

Sinuman sa atin ay hindi maaaring magmalaki sa diyos. One can simply never think that if he quits or leaves, uurong na ang Kingdom of God. God is too big, too powerful to be shaken by man. God is sovereign and He will never allow His plans go unfulfilled — not by any man's disobedience, nor by any man's disloyal or uncommitted heart. The God we serve is a God who does what He has promised... and He is the same God who will and is able to complete what He has begun!  And may we always remember that NO MAN, no matter how significant or insignificant he may see himself, can thwart God’s purposes.

On a personal note, I thank the Lord for surrounding me with people whom I know and have proven their wholehearted commitment, faithfulness, and unwavering devotion to God and to the work of His ministry. They have not only become my disciples, but life-long friends as well. And my relationship with them, I treasure with all my heart!

May I be clear though that this is not to give license and excuse on being lazy and passive in doing consolidation and our going-after’s of our disciples, or in facing our disciples’ issues and concerns. As leaders who are accountable to people, we must do everything we can by God’s grace to fight for and fight with them. But if they willingly and decisively let go, run away, and get intentionally sidetracked into disobedience or compromise, resisting your leadership, help, wisdom, and love, remember that our Master’s grand and sovereign plan will push through! His Kingdom will press on expanding because it is bound to grow... Whether you join it or get out of it, it is destined to flourish!

Whether you are a cell leader or a cell disciple, I would love to encourage you to not be afraid and to not hold back from pouring out your life for the cause of the Kingdom... because the Kingdom of God is bound to grow --- wala kang lugi dito! And when you start to do so, may you never fall into the deadlock of discouragement in continuing what you do when you see others fall back, having the faith that the Kingdom will thrive no matter what... For we are not among those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved (Hebrews 10:39).

Be strong and courageous.. Do not be discouraged. Tuloy lang ang laban! :)

1 comment:

Richard from cgc manila said...

Hi Pastora Jez. Again thank you for this encouraging words. It's really a great help for my situation right now. God remind me again that NO MATTER WHAT HAPPEN, GOD'S KINGDOM IS BOUND TO GROW! Continue to write more article about discipleship. I pray to you and your ministry to have more and more anointing and fresh revelation from God to touch and inspire other in doing great things for God