Leadership of the unlearned.

April 7, 2014

A few words about loneliness

It is a well-known fact that ministry can be a very lonely place. I know this first hand. It was that feeling of being alone, even if you’re really not alone.

Yes, I do have my very supportive wife, our leadership team and volunteers that are passionately pursuing the vision with me. But in some seasons, it felt like I’m all alone. Sunday nights and Monday mornings are particularly hard. The emotional roller coaster ride kicks in.

Being part of is a great blessing. I found a few dear friends and some really wise leaders. And so, one time, I asked through our private online portal, “In ministry, how do you overcome loneliness?” I’d like to share some of the wise words from a few friends of mine who has been and some are still in a lonely place in ministry. I hope it encourages some of you.

* * *

Just last week, following our Campus Pastor team teaching, I reminded our staff of the battle that takes place every Sunday and Monday. It is so important to lift each other up in prayer and with words of encouragement. Sunday morning can bring the highest of highs followed by an evening of second guessing and isolation. Recognizing it is important. Be intentional to create some habits and relationships that will carry you through those lonely times. His grace is sufficient. – Johnny R.

* * *

I have had  and still battle those times of loneliness . 3/4 of our congregation transitioned out and that was a lot of people that I did life together.  One of the greatest things that my wife and I did was to start purposely reaching unchurched people where they live.  It has really put an excitement in my life! I don’t look at unchurched people as projects anymore but friends that we are getting to know and eventually inviting them to church.  This goes deep for me as I use to spend most of my time dealing with people in my church so when we had a good experience, I was happy and when it wasn’t so good or if someone left the church, I was sad or lonely. Now we can’t wait to meet new people where “they” hang out and do life with them. -Rick R.

* * *

For me, my struggle with loneliness has been God’s grace at work, stripping me of my need for the approval of man.  The closer and more bold I have become in walking with Jesus, the more I have experienced abandon and opposition by Christians.  As painful as it has been, there is so much freedom on the other side of the purifying fire.  It is such a powerful and freeing state of mind to be able operate from an spiritual-emotional-mental state of independence from man and dependence on God.  I used to feel lonely because people didn’t support me.  Now, I don’t feel lonely, regardless of support level.  I am happier and healthier than ever.  And, I expect, there is more fire coming.  I also have to give a shout out to the staff.  I’ve never been so understood and part of a team as I do with these guys, by the grace of God.  -Jared P.

* * *

I have a lot of fears and reservations about relationships.  Its the fear of rejection, and the only way to overcome it is with God’s perfect love that casts out all fear.  This has been very difficult for me because I have been shutting people out emotionally all my life. The church has been especially hard because it naturally attracts hurt people and hurt people hurt people.  The flip side is that loved people love people.  When we cast out the lie that we are not loved and receive all that God wants for us only then can we really have the relationships that God designed us for us.-Jason F.

* * *

You put so much focus and energy into Sunday that when it’s over, there can be an emotional let down. I used to quit every Monday early in our ministry. Of course, God wouldn’t let me actually quit. But you know it’s coming, and you have to do some things to stay away from that lonely place. First, get some rest. You’ve worked your butt off to make the experience(s) happen and you are exhausted. Sometimes you don’t feel like it because you’re still running on adrenaline, but when that wears off, look out. Second, pray, go find a nice quiet place and worship God and release everything to him. Stay there until your mind clears and it’s not about church anymore. It’s just you and him. Third, have some mentors/encouragers in your life. People who will either verbally or for their passion for what God is doing in your church, be an encouragement to you. Sometimes spending time with someone who is on fire with the vision you gave them can re-energize you. I’m sure there are lots of good things people can do, but those are some that I do. You guys are giving your lives in service to the King and that’s an encouragement to me. -Jack P.

* * *

As a member of a directional leadership team it is a reminder that encouragement and communication during the week is important to keeping momentum. In times of growth it is easy to focus on what we can do better and lose sight of the change that God is doing around us. We are working on what’s next but as we continue to plan God has been reminding me of the salvations and life changes that are happening every week. -Shane L.


February 11, 2014

LifeChurch Makati relaunch recap

Last Sunday, February 9, 2014, LifeChurch Makati relaunched in our new location at the new Holiday Inn & Suites Makati (Glorietta 1 Mall). This  deserves a longer post — more pictures, videos, and everything in between. In the meantime, here’s a quick recap:

  • 2 Experiences. First time we did this in my entire life doing church. And it’s a different dynamics all together.
  • 152 in attendance
  •  25 commitments to Christ. And, it’s embarrassing to say that it’s probably not the correct number. 25 was our conservative estimate, there’s probably more. Things went crazy and we’re not ready.
  • Needless to say, this is the reason why we’re doing what we’re doing. 25 people crossed that line of faith, Jesus changes their lives and starts following him. I can do this all the time and never get tired.

Special shout out to the launch team. The passion, the love towards people, the energy and undivided focus they placed towards this relaunch — I’m speechless. This will not happen if not for them. Thank you, Lifers. I’m so blessed to be enjoying this journey with you.

More when pictures and videos arrive.

January 3, 2014

What’s your “one word” New Year focus?

Happy 2014!

I know you have started working on your new year’s resolution. But, I’m about to burst the bubble (sorry!) – according to studies, most people drop out of their new year’s resolution by the 3rd week of January. That’s the reason why, if you’re a member of a gym club, the worst time to go to the gym is on the first 3 weeks. Go back on the 4th week — when the new year resolutions died down.

Why do most people drop out of their resolutions? Because resolutions are too complicated. You would list down 5, or 3 goals that would set yourself for failure.

Here’s my suggestion: instead of a list of things to do, why not make it one? And instead of a sentence, make it a word? Yes, a single word.

Let’s call it “focus” instead of “resolution.”

What would be the focus of your year? That word will describe the theme of the year?

I’ve seen people set their eyes on “growth”, or focused on being ”strengthened”. Some use the words ”family”, or “expose.” Each of them have reason why they chose those words to represent their year’s focus.

What would be your “one word” focus for this year?

Mine is “Go!”

Just like how God commanded Abraham to go to an unknown land while trusting him along the way, I sense that my year will be filled with going and trusting.

No, I’m not going somewhere, locality-wise. However, there are areas of life that I need to “go” and explore that needs a whole lot of trusting God as a result.

There will be new things to explore professionally. There needs to be some changes in the way we handle our finances financially. And God is leading us to re-launch LifeChurch Makati next month — in a whole new, different way.

New things to explore. “Going” that needs trusting. That’s going to be the focus of my year for 2014.

What’s your “one word” focus for this year?

November 12, 2013

To our international partners: Here’s how you can help victims of Typhoon Hayian

By now, you might have already heard about the heart breaking news the devastation brought by Typhoon Hayian to the Philippines — the strongest typhoon in the world this year, and probably in history.

Some of you have contacted me sending prayers. LifeChurch Makati and our people have been spared by the fury of the typhoon (as the typhoon miraculously bent southward the last minute before directly affecting Metro Manila). But our hearts are still broken for the people in Central Phillippines.

Some of you are asking how you can help. I understand has a local partner, Convoy of Hope, that’s already on the ground. You can course any help through them. Locally, our partner is Operation Blessing, the relief arm of CBN Asia. You can choose to send them your donations.

Account number: 30000-55279

This information is also available from their website: . There is also an online donation facility there for smaller amount.

If you’re making a tax deductible donation through a check:

US donation for tax –deductible donations
The most reliable method is by mail.
The check must be made payable to “CBN” and the memo should
list “Philippines Relief – 017149”.

Mailing address:
The Christian Broadcasting Network
977Centerville Turnpike Virginia Beach, VA, 23463

After you made the deposit, send an email to Tell her you’re making donation on behalf of or your organisation. Don’t forget to include your office address as they are also going to send the official receipts on the mail.

Please continue to pray for our nation as we try to get back on our feet. And as a Church, we can share to them the love of Christ in the most tangible way.

November 10, 2013

A pastor’s prayer for the glory of God

Rick Warren, one of my spiritual heroes, prayed a prayer at the recent Resurgence 2013 Conference — a prayer that pastors like myself should pray (originally posted here).

Below is a transcript of Pastor Rick’s prayer. I hope that you not only read through this prayer, but to pray it yourself, too.

* * *

Dear God,

I want you to use me. Anytime. Anywhere. Anyway. Anyhow.

Use me by your grace. Fill me with your Spirit. Give me your vision for my life.

Protect me from these traps. I want to live a life of integrity. I want to live a life of humility. I want to live a life of generosity. But most of all, I want to learn to trust you completely.

I want to have a radical faith. I want to expect great things from you and attempt great things for you, for the global glory of God. Give me your dream for my life.

Help me to be willing to risk failure and to not be afraid of it. Help me to trust in your grace. I want to expect you to use me, and I want to ask you to help me to never give up.

So I surrender myself to you, that a revival and a resurgence would happen in my heart.

Father, I thank you for these who just prayed this prayer. I know that you can send a revival, a reformation, a restoration, a renewal, a resurgence that all of the forces of hell couldn’t stop.

Use me by your grace. Fill me with your Spirit. Give me your vision for my life.

Lord I pray a blessing on every church represented here today. I pray that you would make their lives an embarrassment to the devil. I pray that you will make their churches an embarrassment to the devil. And I pray that when the devil thinks of their churches, he says, “Oh, no. Not those people. They believe God. They trust God.”

Help us to keep our lives clean. Help us to keep our lives pure. Help us to live with integrity, humility, generosity, and faith.

God, most of these here today are younger than me. I pray a blessing on them. Father, I pray that they will make it in the long-haul of ministry. That they won’t flame out in a year, five years, or twenty years, but that their ministry will go forty years.

Help us to never compare with each other. Help us to never stop learning. And help us to never give up.

I pray for every marriage here today. Father, some people need to go home and confess being unloving to their wife or husband. May there be renewal in marriages and in families.

God, speak to us about what needs changing, and give us the courage and humility to make those changes.

Help us to live with integrity, humility, generosity, and faith.

Father, as I look out upon the faces of these men and these women that love you, I love them, Lord. I love them. I ask that you do in their lives an amazing thing. I ask that you bless them the way that you’ve blessed my life. I ask that you give them a double portion of your Holy Spirit, and that you would send a revival that would amaze all of us and that would change the cultural climate of this nation and even the world.

Help us to stop fighting with each other and criticizing each other, and to start praying for each other and loving each other. May the world say, “Boy, see how they love one another.”

Thank you for Mark, and Grace, and this church. I thank you for all of the campus pastors, for the staff, and for all those who helped make this conference go. I pray that this would continue to have an impact in lives, not just for those here now, but for eternity.

Bless every man and woman here physically, bless them spiritually, and bless them financially so that they don’t have to worry about their bills. Bless them in their emotions and in their relationships, so that we may bring glory to you in Jesus.

And I pray this blessing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

And everybody said, “Amen.”

November 4, 2013

Church Systems

I heard someone say this before: “The Holy Sprit brings about revival that brings people in. But it’s the Systems that keep people from leaving.” Sounds blasphemous, but if you’re a church planter, you know this is true.

The Bible says, God is patient, almost trying to hold back his judgement until everyone has come to repentance. He wants people saved. He wants growth seen in our churches. But our systems determine our readiness to receive the people God will place in our care.

Non-denominational, independent churches can both be a good thing and a bad thing.

It’s a good thing because we are free to create our own culture and systems based on the people we’re trying to reach. The problem is that creating a brand new system is both hard and hard. (Did I just say the same word over? :D)

Since officially leading LifeChurch Makati this year, I am convinced that for us to grow, we should have to have systems in place. And by God’s grace, we’re halfway there.



Other aspects of the systems have been there running (like the assimilation system), but it’s not well executed and well defined yet. One thing I learned about implementing systems, it needs to be written down. And another, it needs to be vision-casted over and over again.

4 down. 5 to go.

October 9, 2013

The Ninja Move: 5 reasons for inviting friends to church

I was reading a discipleship book that talks about how mastering your “ninja move” can make a huge difference in how a church can become focused on it’s vision. Our ninja move is simple — it’s inviting people far from God to church.

So, to further train ourselves at LifeChurch Makati to mastering our ninja move, here’s my TOP 5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD INVITE YOUR FRIENDS TO CHURCH. - Read More -

October 1, 2013

“It’s all about the people” and other learnings from the Summit

My wife and I had the privilege of attending and represent LifeChurch Makati at the Summit in Edmond Campus, Oklahoma. There’s a lot of information to process — we still have to digest all the experience and knowledge we gained through that Summit. In the mean time, these three stood out right now as I think about my major take aways from that event: - Read More -

September 10, 2013

Is God’s goal for your life to be rich?

“It is a fatal mistake to assume that God’s goal for your life is material prosperity or popular success, as the world defines it. The abundant life has nothing to do with material abundance. Faithfulness to God does not guarantee success in a career or even in ministry. Never focus on temporary crowns.

Paul was faithful, yet he ended up in prison. John the Baptist was faithful, but he was beheaded. Millions of faithful people have been martyred, have lost everything, or have come to the end of life with nothing to show for it. But the end of life is not the end!

When life gets tough, when you’re overwhelmed with doubt, or when you wonder if living for Christ is worth the effort, remember that you are not home yet. At death you won’t leave home – you’ll go home.” -Rick Warren

Remember to focus on the eternal not the temporal.

Older Posts