We have been into the ministry of mobilization only in 2012 and for that short period of time God has allowed us to see the reasons or issues why there are some parts of the Body of Christ that has not fully been activated in the real meaning of obeying the Great Commission.
The term winsome…was reminded in my spirit during our Raphah school days when our teacher (thanks ptr. JZ) shared how a Christian dress up or dress up ( or behave-my addition) in order to present Christ to people with integrity. So instead of choosing excellence or extravagant, allow me to use the term “winsome” as I deemed appropriate as the term to adopt in presenting ourselves as Ambassadors of Christ. Being winsome is not only in the externals. Being winsome starts from our inner being, having a right attitude of worship under the Lordship of Christ and that attitude is of the heart, not as a muscle pumping blood into our body, but the inner man, where the Spirit of God communes with His created man.
Being winsome is our accountability as believers of Christ. We need to be “winsome” people so that people will experience through us the transformation in their relationship with Christ. Let me clarify that it is GOD who transforms people. When people experience our “winsomeness”, it is now up to GOD to reveal Himself to people. Being winsome is to fully reflect what GOD is doing in us to the full extent so that the people that GOD has allowed us to reach can also be “winsome”. We have seen how, in GOD’s power, people are being won through CHRIST but in some stages of their life they stopped or even backslide, they were not able to become “winsome”.
First, people have been won but not been fully restored-their dark issues in the past are still there ready to be awakened in a single snap, and second, people have been won, restored and went through discipleship but only with the typical and not with the true biblical perspective of what it is to be a Christian.
Allow me to share two stories, they are true experiences but names and scenarios were altered to protect the identity of the two people mentioned.
The story of Juan Dela Cruz…
Mang Juan two years ago was a “taong grasa”, he begged for food, do errands for people in the market just to have some money…whenever he has the opportunity to have money, he will buy and sniffed “rugby” because the money is not for him to have a full meal for the day, but the “rugby” will allow to numb his stomach and bear the pain of hunger to sustain him the full day. According to some vendors who have witnessed the day to day life of Mang Juan, he has relatives in western countries, financially able, who initially sustained him, but through “dole outs” and later on have given up on him because for them Mang Juan state is hopeless.
One day a Christian vendor shared the Gospel to Mang Juan Dela Cruz and he received Jesus. The vendor brought and introduced him to church life. People in the church helped the vendor minister to Mang Juan. Used clothing and weekly food was provided for Mang Juan. Mang Juan was given a pedicab, a bicycle with a side car, to have an income. Mang Juan started to attend church and regularly connects to the family near the market where he resides for weekly bible study and fellowship.
During the course of fellowship, after several weeks of living a new life, while on the way for bible study and fellowship, Mang Juan witnessed a gang war and witnessed how a person was clubbed violently by one gang. Mang Juan reacted with fear and trembling that he never continued to attend the bible study fellowship that week, the next week and for several weeks. The family were he is supposed to be connected were surprised and visited him and when they saw him again, he was back begging, sold the pedicab, and again back to sniffing rugby to bear the pain of hunger. The church without knowledge of the circumstances that lies behind, just concluded that Mang Juan was not yet fully transformed and have decided to wait until GOD will transform Mang Juan. Because of the busyness of the church volunteers, some working and have families of their own to attend to, no one was able to look into the details and pray about what happened to Mang Juan. The church continued to move on with their program of being benevolent and loving the poor and every Christmas, visited Mang Juan and continues to pray for Mang Juan that GOD will minister to him, they continued to assure him that he has received Christ and will be with God when Christ comes again. Mang Juan is still on the streets and in the company of drunkards and thieves of the city.
The story of Jun Dela Cruz…
Jun was won in a campus ministry as a fourth year high school student, about to graduate in high school. He came from a poor family, a partial scholar. His mother sells vegetables in the market to sustain their day to day living, his father died when he was just six years old, when he was about to enter grade one. After connecting with the church he grew in faith and was water baptized and was connected to a campus small group. His small group helped him with his graduation expenses, motivated him and challenged him to try the college entrance test and he passed. He was able to attend university and progressing as an HRM student with state scholarship. He shared his dream of one day telling his mom not to sell vegetables and is planning to treat him when he receives his first salary. He dreams of having a modest house and raising a Godly family. Part of his allowance he sets asides to tithe and seed offering. He sometimes shares about the LGBT (lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual) challenges he faced and claims to have address them well. All seems fine, Jun was on the way to a successful life as a Christian.
A few months ago, I saw Jun and talked to him, he has graduated and now having an on the job training and will soon go as an OFW in a hotel. He seems bothered, and I asked him why. He shared to me the pressures of going to work overseas immediately so that he can help his mom have a decent living. I asked him about his ministry in the church, he responded that he was not able to attend and commit to his responsibilities in campus ministry because the program of discipleship is very rigorous and he is thinking to stop his involvement in the discipleship program, look for other areas to serve his church, but he said his meeting of the leaders proved futile because they said that everyone has to adhere to the program of discipleship. He also has classmate who is an Indian national, an exchange student, they have become close friends, but he cannot bring him to a small group because the group cannot stand the body odor and often receive complains from other small group members and that they cannot understand his accent and some of his manners and views in life. He looks for the advise of his leaders but still until now in waiting for them. He fears that his friend will just go back to India without fully knowing and growing in Christ. In the midst of these challenges, he said, he is searching for God’s way to handle them, be strengthened and mature in the Christian faith and fulfill His calling.
The story of Mang Juan is representative of the life of people, people who were won for Christ but their past life-the wounds and hurts, the pain and the trauma-was not taken into proper context and serious consideration of the church. Under usual circumstances, when a person became a Christian, we disciple them to move forward, we overlooked their past and they serve the Body of Christ. As they move into service they encounter challenges that brings them back to their past and since their past was not restored properly, sometimes it is only superficial, they break down and could not continue, worst they hurt the new people that is being ushered by God to His Kingdom. Worst the supposedly mature, “made whole” servant go back to their old habits. JESUS died that we may have life and life to the full, not only present and future but also to restore our past. He is the author of life, but there is an enemy who continues to attempt to destroy that life-he may have succeeded in our past but when we accepted JESUS, he has been defeated in the CROSS and the defeat does not only refers to our present and future but can also be appropriated to uproot and restore our past life. I have encountered Christians-I being one before- who refuse to think and discuss about their past, they have a closed view treatment of their past so that it will not affect their directions in the present and the future. They have said or committed things in the past that they just want to bury to the ground but when they moved on to the ministry, they cannot succeed because their way of handling challenges, issues and difficulties is being hindered from open wounds, gateways, that allows the enemy to work in them to destruction. No wonder, they have difficulty in understanding why they behave that way-pressuring people, throwing things or becoming violent as expression of disappointment. They fly with broken wings, instead of flying and soaring high to fulfill GOD’s destiny, sadly they kept on flying in circles.
The story of Jun is representative of a person in helpless state when being challenge to minister cross-culturally. Jun have been discipled to live a successful life but with limited understanding that the full life JESUS promised to us is a continuation of the Old Testament covenant by GOD given to Abraham. The statement “blessed to be a blessing”, and “that all people’s on earth will be blessed through you” is the over arching chronology of what the Bible is all about. The Great Commission started from the Book of Genesis to Revelation. Mission started in the Fall and will end when Christ reigns with the multitudes of all people, represented from all tribes, all colors, tongues and languages, ALL NATIONS. The Great Commandment is also not a great option, it is a commandment to love GOD and love people, to be obeyed, and must be expressed to all people from ALL NATIONS for the Great Commission to happen to the ends of the earth.
Mang Juan and Brother Jun have been won to Christ but have not yet reach the full potential to be “winsome”, Mang juan went back to his old habits and Bro. Jun cannot moved…faced with new challenges. Is this happening in our midst as a church? I believe so.
As we reflect on these two reasons, me and with my wife and with few ministry friends, have surrendered in faith to Christ, for GOD to use us…that we may be able to bring the prayer counseling and healing ministry in every group in the Body of Christ, to help the pastors and leaders, bring the message that JESUS came to set the captives free and to restore their past, present and future…that we may be able to bring mission mobilization, teaching and bringing every believer into an understanding of the Biblical Worldview, to help and challenge every believer to be part of the World Christian Movement, in the same culture but with emphasis, to start reaching out and welcoming people-from indigenous-least reached and un-reached people groups, who are now in their place of residency, who are now their near neighbors, who are now in their local community- the Ati tribe, the Maranaw’s, the Badjao’s, the Tausug’s and if GOD allows in our time, the OFW’s (Overseas Foreign Workers) – the Daniel’s of today-who have been sent and continue to being sent by GOD to EVERYWHERE around the globe.
To OBEY GOD is to let go and endorse our site leadership-pastoral functions, praise God-for the leadership team of our Iloilo site. We have been released to work with the Body of Christ with these KINGDOM agenda, not ours but beyond ourselves, not an easy life but rewarding, all for the glory of GOD!
BEING WINSOME in my definition now (you have the freedom disagree with me), is a matter or state of our heart, filled with truth and integrity, fully depending on the HOLY SPIRIT-working in restoring, sanctifying our spirit, soul and body-PAST-PRESENT-FUTURE- being pointed to JESUS’ LIVING WORD and CROSS, that overflows in all aspect of our life that we may WIN a chosen people from ALL NATIONS, redeemed, and also become channels of redemption. LET US CHOOSE to be WINSOME so that the people we have WON in CHRIST can win some also if not all!
The bottom line is the fruit, fruit that last. May we be faithful in the ministry that GOD has entrusted to us and be connected always to JESUS, our vine, that we may bear fruit for the glory of GOD.
We are grateful to FATHER GOD that in CHRIST and in the power of the HOLY SPIRIT, we are seeing how our prophetic destiny as a nation, the Filipino people, “as a missionary sending nation”, will come to reality, that the Philippines, as part of the ABRAHAMIC COVENANT, will be a blessing to ALL NATIONS of THE WORLD. MARANATHA!
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be a part of the ministry direction that GOD is entrusting to us. We will be glad to welcome you in GOD’s KINGDOM EXPANSION initiative. This ministry is being sustained by GOD through His moving in people with like heart and mind as ours in FRUITFUL generosity and LORDSHIP obedience, let us pray together for His mighty empowerment over the lives of every prayer warrior and love partner of this ministry. Thank you and blessings!