Living A Life that Demands Questions

23 07 2014

“I think I’m going to be dipped in the water as well!” Edgar came into conclusion after being convinced by his friend Romy who stops smoking after his baptism.

“So Edgar,” I’ve started my conversation with him after his baptism today, “what is this story that I’ve heard about your friend Romy?”

“Yeah, it’s unbelievable!” Edgar exclaimed. “Who would believe he could do that? I knew him as a smoker for 30 years and it’s quite a shock to see him stops!”

“And when did he stops smoking anyway?”

“After his baptism.” Edgar replied.

This photo was taken today. He was baptized by his friend Litoy who is also a disciple. Edgar’s wife was baptized by Albert.

Like Romy, we should live a life that demands questions.

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“Jesus died for our sin, and so are we. You are dead in God’s sight and what should we do with dead people?” These are the words that I spoke to Edgar during his baptism.

“We should bury them.” Answered Edgar.

“People who wants to follow Jesus must be baptized in the water as a symbol of his death. Your old life that’s the result of sin we buried in baptism. Why? Because you will be given a new life. A new life for you to live in following Him. Are you ready to to follow Jesus and become His disciple?” I ask Edgar.

“Oh yes!” Was his big answer.

“Are you ready to become a part of His kingdom?”

A resounding yes we heard while taking a video.





Doing Things Diffrently – how do we respond to typhoon victims differently?

22 11 2013

I love doing things differently. That’s how probably one of the reasons why I put myself into trouble? 🙂

When it comes to the command to “go and make disciples” to the world, we don’t do ‘discipleship’ to the found. We make disciples to the lost. We don’t lock up people in the room and taught them ‘about’ God, we ‘cast’ them out to the field and taught them ‘how to live.’ We don’t create our own ‘discipleship materials’ but uses what Father has already created for us to learn. “See, I have told you earthly things and you didn’t get? How much more if I told you heavenly things?” Jesus said to Nicodemus. (Paraphrase, Jn 3:12) “The Kingdom of God is like,….” “Faith is like,…” “If anyone hears my word and does them, I would liken him,…” We do ‘discipleship’ right there on the field, right there in the community where miracles happen. We don’t even call it ‘discipleship’ anymore for when you start explaining and defining things then it becomes complicated.

When it comes about “doing church” we don’t do meetings, we gather as a “family” thus meetings becomes the by-product of our relationships. We don’t do “bible study programs” but we read and discuss the Bible a lot. We don’t do “prayer meetings” but we talk to God with one-another a lot. We live Jesus-Life Together Daily. Thus, making our days full of one-anotherings.

When it comes to “be the church” we change our priorities. We live Acts 2:42-46. We live “from house to house” “shared everything in common” “no buying, no selling but only giving and receiving” “no one is poor among them because they own everything.”

When it comes to giving, we don’t take up an offering. We voluntarily lay down our lives for the sake of the brethren. We don’t pray for a need to be meet. We meet a need. The best way to meet a need is to meet a need.

When it comes to “orphans and widows” we took care of them. We have them among us everyday.

When it comes on “how to handle children” we raise and treat them as our own. Thus, erasing the ‘orphan’ mentality because we have become “hundreds of fathers and mothers” to them. Take notice that a child in the orphanage is an orphan, but an orphan in the family is a child. Thus, we don’t build orphanages as we are not called to do so. We are called to be family with each other. Adopting those who are fatherless and motherless. Thus, eradicating spiritual orphans that are roaming around spiritual orphanages (churches).

And lastly, when it comes to responding differently in this recent typhoon that devastated our country we want to do things differently. Red Cross and other organizations does their own thing by putting up their own names. They have their own place but honestly, even the anti-christ can do that. Watching an end of the world Christian movie “Megiddo” the cast played as anti-Christ told his wife to feed the hungry people and children of the world using all his money. Indeed, he can as he owned the whole world. But, how do we respond differently? Giving food and clothing is not enough, we know better than that. Even building them a decent house won’t do. Well, as my friend Wolfgang Simson wrote to me, “Molong, now you can start as many apostolic hubs as you can. What could be the purpose of wiping out many areas?” I know, we know that he is only joking to make me laugh right?

My heart is to start apostolic hubs around my country. Make “making disciples” a “movement” by unleashing the church to the barangays of the Philippines. Why not? (search ‘apostolic hub’ in google or my site)

When I started doing “house churches” in the year 1999 for 8 years, I was so bored at doing meetings and trainings and I gave up and start from the ‘early church’ way – making disciples. Now, after 4 years we’ve reach up to the 16th generation. We have our stories on our websites, (yes, that’s with “s”), names, photos of baptism, dates, videos are documented for the purpose of helping the next generation to make disciples. Chart is available too of who made who into a disciple of Jesus. I may not have a thousand house churches, but we’re connected to at most 600 individual families around the country.

When Felicity Dale wrote to me and ask me “how many ‘families’ should we plan to help?” I said a thousand. And suddenly that was translated into a “Molong has a ‘thousand’ house churches.” Well, I wish. But honestly, I was challenge by it. Who knows what this tragedy would bring? Like the persecutions of the early church followers have pushed them to make disciples more! Can WE really turned this “mess” into a “mass” production of disciples? The early did it first with 3,000 souls in one day. My uncle Victor Choudhrie did a million in over a period of one year in India! But the question remains “how?”

Many of you are so willing to hold the handle and push us like a knife. We’re the tip that’s sharpen enough to penetrate, that means, we make disciples and baptize the person already within 3-6 minutes (see our sites for more stories). Actually, last month there’s 14 people that was made into a disciple, 14 people is not much but you got to know that the one who made these people a disciple is a 2nd generation mother who is widowed that was passed into a 3rd generation and fourth. Last week there’s two baptisms by a 4th generation. Today, a baptism by a 1st and 4th generation. And that is only happening in here. And as normal as ‘making disciples’ happens here spontaneously and around the country, there are numerous of us that does it. Like my recent trip in Butuan that 100 plus was made into a disciple in 4 months by just one couple alone. Another couple is planning to have a “mass baptism” as she calls it that’s happening this month.

As we go and respond to this crises and as you continue pushing us like a knife, remember that our mission is not to feed a hungry tummy for awhile but our goal is to have a long-lasting impact to these affected families by showing Jesus love without strings attach by a group of disciples who doesn’t bear any name except “being” a disciple, and start a “making disciples” movement and establish apostolic hubs around my province, Cebu.





Discipleship, what is it really?

12 10 2013
“Discipleship” is not defined or identified as a group of folks meeting on a 2-hour study of a particular subject on a particular day. I have no idea where’s this thing came from since Jesus and the disciples never did it.
Jesus could have asked Peter to pass around copies of Discipleship Lesson 2 On Faith when they enter into the upper room in Jerusalem or synagogue. But instead, as they passes… by hills and valleys and they hear birds singing Jesus said, “look at the birds” and it’s about faith. “See these grasses?” Jesus added and it becomes a lesson on trust.
The way our master discipler, Jesus, raised them as sons and daughters of the kingdom, (not as faithful members of a social religious fan (god) club) is very effective and powerful that He can just leave after three years with them. And a revolution starts with just a bunch of smelly fishermen. We must go back to the basics of discipleship which is apprenticeship: one who is bound to serve one another for a long period of time. Full of endurance to learn the art of changing lives. As we are called to serve Him and one another, Jesus then develops His followers and all who wants to follow Him to be servants. “Denying” “dying to yourself” “laying down ones life to your brother” “no desire of yourself  whatsoever” is not a “leadership course” at all to attend in a classroom during a conference. As we see most leadership stuff develops in the “barn” whereas servanthood is develop in the “field.”
Imagine if Jesus had only spent 12-hours a day with His disciples for 3 years time, and we do it for a 2-hour academic knowledge once a week discipleship training. Do you know how many years would it take for us to become Jesus disciples?
36 years!
No wonder it is in the “togetherness,” it’s in the “daily from house to house” “breaking bread” and “in the apostles doctrine” (Acts 2:42-46) that the earliest church functioned as a body of Christ, (not fragmented species) to corporately obey their King. A “change life” depends on “one another” and not on a weekly 2-hour knowledge puff-up style.
There are 168 hours in one week. If we spent only 2 or 4 hour in a quick meeting-based church having a “talk-shows” instead of “do-it-together LIFE” you know what? It doesn’t transfer kingdom values!




Is it Discipleship or Making Disciples?

19 09 2013

We don’t do ‘discipleship’ because we don’t ‘disciple’ people. The idea behind ‘discipleship’ is ‘teaching the person for a lifetime.’ Let alone relationship handles that! And what’s more irony is that we’re sending the wrong message that instead of Jesus owns the person as His student, we say in turn “he is ‘my’ disciple” simply because ‘we disciple’ him.

In contrast, we do make disciples. ‘Teaching’ for a lifetime is not the focus but ‘relationship for a lifetime’ is. This in turn make teaching into a ‘lifestyle’ and that’s how Christianity is really, back in the days of the early church.

We do ‘make’ disciples. That’s the command: to go and make disciples. Disciples of who? Me? No, I am not Jesus. He is. I only ‘make’ people a disciple of Jesus, not mine. So that means it’s quick, simple and fast to reach the growing population.

Jesus didn’t say “go and disciple” but he said, “go and make disciples.” That’s where we make making disciples complicated. Because we thought as if discipling the people belongs to us. It is not. That job belongs to the Holy Spirit that’s living ‘inside’ the person after baptism. What could be His job dwelling in you if not to ‘teach you into all truth’? I often ask. “What kind of truth can I teach the person when the Truth resides in him? Am I better than the Holy Spirit?” This puts me to shame. So for me to taste the fullness of Him I have to trust Him fully.

So, my job and your job is only to ‘make’ the person a disciple of Jesus. The Holy Spirit’s job is to disciple the person. And Jesus job is to build His Church. Got the ‘job’ description?

Jesus has a hard time building His church because we try to do His job. It is obvious then that we didn’t do our job. And the Holy Spirit also has having a hard time ‘discipling’ the person because we also tried to do that job for Him. Thus, instead the person will look like Jesus, he looks more of like you and me. Simply put, that because God cannot multiply His Self by the way we do things ‘our way’ we just multiply ourselves then without even asking His permission. So many of ‘our’ disciples look like us.

Paul warned, “there are those that are among you who will draw disciples for themselves.” My friend, we are only taking men to Christ for him to be discipled.

It all goes down to its implications. “Discipleship” today is not what it’s suppose to be. Try to see the difference between statements below and it’s implications:

“I disciple you.”
“I will make you a disciple.”

See how the later is simple, quick and fast and the other one is complicated?

So, if your way of making disciples is complicated then you will be the very reason why Jesus didn’t comeback yet.





“My Trip” Journeys

8 09 2013

I travel a lot for years around my country, ‘no one escapes me’ I said to myself. There was a month that I flew 16 times and taught about house church. Either I go alone or with some ‘white’ western people with me (as they’re normally the ones who like to write books and taught them in seminars). I read a lot of books on house churches, simple churches or organic churches, whatever. Have made notes on it and create power points. Others ask for it and used it. Gave out a lot of books also, ask the so-called group ‘Philippine House Church Movement’ (although the name has been change) for a book and they’ll tell you who to go. Attended and coordinated their Conferences and Summits of which half of the participants came from my ‘networks.’ This is the sad thing of what I have been doing: Those participants ignited and fired up, although some got angry and left, but to borrow a sentence from my friend Wolfgang Simson he said, “they agree that what I was sharing is right and that ‘something must happen yet they themselves refuses to change” and so they start ‘talking new things,’ as one of my father in the Lord Gary Goodell would say, ‘yet still acting old.’

 

I realizes that Conferences and Seminars are formed hoping for participants to act on what they have learned and not to do the same of what they have just attended, yet that’s what exactly most of them did, do a seminar; teach ‘about’ house church. And shamelessly, we call ourselves ‘practitioners.’ Because instead of ‘doing’ it, we love ‘talking’ about it. “You cannot teach what you didn’t do” says my friend Wency dela Vina, a member of Asia Pacific leadership team of Navigators, “or else we would need to change the name to ‘House Church Theology Movement’ instead of ‘House Church Movement.’” Sadly, my own country’s movement has acted like that: practitioners of house church theology.

I sat down evaluating what I did regarding doing seminars and coordinating summits. It was a shock that it literally encourages me to stop doing what I have been doing. And that affected a lot of my relationships, that instead to ‘build’ something together with my network, the relationships now becomes mutual. “I already did this,” I said to myself, “I have been through this and instead of the fear that it might not work, well, it actually works.” That’s when I decided to ‘stop doing what I have been doing’ regarding ‘doing’ house church and start making disciples, I have to leave people also. People who I keep motivating yet unmotivated! People who I had decided to commit myself to yet stays uncommitted! That instead you expect them not to be selfish and deny themselves and serve others, yet they serve themselves. Such kind of people has no place in the kingdom of God because not only they’re concerned of their own self and their own group but because also they do not have the heart to serve their next generation.

So, two things I’ve found out about myself. One is to kill myself of my own selfish agenda of trying to be above everybody, letting them think that I am better than them when it comes to the knowledge about house churching. I have to deny my 9 years of experience doing and teaching about my favorite subject (house church) that has become a theology. And second, is learning to bear ‘spiritual children’ on my own (not re-fathering disgruntled Christians in my groups), that is making disciples.

I always say to pastors and leaders who wants to become a part of God’s agenda, “If you want to obey Jesus as King, then you have to literally stop what you are currently doing and start listening to what He would going to say to you.” And I believe that the first thing that He will say to the person to do is “stop what you are doing.” Deny yourself, kill yourself. If there is a need to bury yourself again in baptism, then don’t delay it! We equate ‘serving God more’ as ‘doing more for Him’ that if we’re going to ask ourselves “have we really heard from God on this? Has God really told us to do this?” we would be left dumbfounded! Serving God more simply means, stop what you are doing so that you can hear God and obey His direct command.

And I stop.

I stop attending summits, (leaving some relationships behind)

I stop what I currently doing, (doing house church and teaching in seminars about house church. Gave out my more than a dozen house church to my leaders of which two has become an Institutional church, and some were just dissolving. Get rid of many books and deleted many power points and notes). And

I stop going to trips for a year. I just stayed home and back to square one making disciples.

Making disciples, that’s what really matters. It is King Jesus’ commands to His loyal servants. I suffered some sort of ‘spiritual headache’ for a year. Imagine the passion to teach, to travel, to see leaders’ responses and violent reactions, add to that the joy of flying in the air as I hate taking a boat because of my shipwreck experience. And now what, lying down in my hammock and cannot even read a book? Jesus wants to kill me. He wants to disciple me.

Month’s passes and I started my journey in making disciples with a 17 year old guy named Albert who is now making a lot of his friends’ disciples of Jesus also reaching up to the 14th generation. And I start traveling back again, but this time not to gather leaders to do a seminar but to really helped anyone who wants to get the job of making disciples done. My first trip has made three disciples and sometimes a dozen up to the 4th generation and this goes on and on every time I go and obey Jesus where to go. Most of the time, I already bought my ticket to go to an area yet doesn’t really know who to contact to and where I go specifically to a place. I trust God He would led me. I am not afraid to get lost as I am only roaming around in my own country anyway. Why should I? And as many disciples being made, we started sending them to other islands also by group for a purpose of making disciples to the world.

We don’t do ‘discipleship.’ It would be ludicrous to say, “We’re sending disciples to other islands for a purpose of doing discipleship to the world.” Making disciples is to the ‘lost,’ not the found. It is to the ‘unsaved,’ not the saved. It is to those who are blind, not those who can ‘see’ already. At times I ask, what is ‘discipleship’ to the ‘saved, found and see’ when the command to make disciples is to the ‘lost and blind and unsaved’ people?

Housechurch or Not?

In the early church, house churches started because of making disciples. They don’t proselyte people. The people who are interested in their way of life they gather and then they ask Jesus to disciple them, that is deny themselves and take up their own cross daily and so it is really a killing of their selfish desires and then bury them in baptism. That’s how they do it. In most house churches today, we simply extract them from their religious background and put a new identification card on them called ‘house church.’ Thus, we have a house church that’s full of mostly disgruntled Christians, have hatred with their pastors and leaders because they have been used and were hurt by the system. We have now a room full of people who are not dead and so loved to talk and talk and talk, and what’s their favorite subject to talk about? Two things: house church and traditional church. Actually, it’s house church ‘verses’ traditional church. They share their bad Christian experiences and so encourages everyone to share theirs as well. And here we go, the leader of the house church is not dead yet also, and so doesn’t really know how to handle such pity people.

When are you going to stop doing house church and start being one? Or if you have no plan to die again, for how long are you going to do house church week after week, month after month and year after year?

It’s a Family

My good friend and brother Mike Peters would say, “A church that you attend is not a family, it is an orphanage. People in the orphanage may eat together, play together and do things together like a family yet still it is not a family.” And he continues saying what church is really all about. “Church is not a building, it is the people. Yet it is not only the people but their relationships. Many churches today, including simple, organic, house churches have people but lack relationships.

“Church is a family; it is having hundreds of mothers, brothers, sisters, houses, persecutions and eternal life with their heavenly Father as their father. It is not about having hundreds of Christian neighbors. It is a family. It is not about ‘sponsoring’ a brother but ‘helping’ a brother.” This guy can be trusted with his words as they lived this way already for 35 years now!

“So, how to become a family?” my friend Gary Goodell ask an exhausted house church leaders, “simple, stop the meeting. You cannot be family if you do meetings, why? Because family don’t do meetings. They just meet a lot. If you wanna be family then don’t have meetings.”

Start Bearing Kids!

You will be hearing me right as I said this, if you want to start house church the ‘wrong way’ then collect Christians from different churches and let them all talk in a meeting. Better lock them up in the room or else the neighbor will call the police and report you as disturbance. Or you can start a house church the ‘right way’ by bearing spiritual children, making disciples to new souls. You may not be calling it ‘house church’ or whatever kinds because it’s a family. You know when relationships are being built up like real brothers and sisters you won’t be comfortable calling ‘names’ for identity sakes anymore. (I actually sipping my coffee at this time that my wife made without realizing that its hot! Oh how my tongue burns! But actually, I want to throw up thinking someone that I just made into a disciple as a ‘member of my house church?’ huh!)

Yours is just a family. 1 Timothy 5:1-2.

I’ll leave you with a quote that I just posted on my facebook wall: While Institutional churches are busy pushing their programs, house churches are stuck with meetings. Only handfuls are becoming families.





Part Two: BUTUAN TRIP

16 08 2012

Another late at night table conversations again with just Ronie, Jomie and I. This time his struggles of catching up people that needed to be baptized immediately has been delayed. And there are already some of them who are backing out.

“Why, you cannot baptize them directly?” I ask Ronnie.

“They are still on their working time,” he spoke in a soft voice, “these people are bakeshop workers.”

“Well, since the owner allowed you to hold Bible studies to her workers why not ask for a couple of minutes to take them to a nearby sea or pool or let her buy a big water drum to use it for baptism just at the back of her shop?”

“I already ask her permission but it was too late. Probably next time we could do it.” Ronnie is very excited about making disciples, he is sure now that he knows how to make people disciples of Jesus. It is however a normal struggles for beginners. Especially when you are used to preaching to the crowds or just sharing the Good News to someone hoping to let them do a “sinner’s prayer” and gave them ‘new’ life without burying the ‘old.’

We had the same experience here in Cebu when I made Albert a disciple, not until Albert made Jomie a disciple that both of them were baptized together. But I only baptizes Albert, and let Jomie help me out. And after I baptized Albert I let him baptized Jomie and I help him out. Passing the baton of not just making disciples to the next generation but also doing baptisms is important for multiplication. I suspect, in Acts 2, after Peter’s preaching to the crowd, there are those who was ‘cut to the heart’ and ask, “What shall we do to be saved then?” Three thousand souls were added to the church that day. How did they do baptisms then? In Jerusalem there are pools around to use for taking baths. More than 30 of them scattered in the city. So, they divided the crowds among the 120 disciples with Peter and baptizes them all in one day. Probably baptizing each other too.

From Albert, whom I made and baptized, he is the first person that I make a disciple of Jesus two and half years ago. And on his wing alone, he made 42 disciples up to the 12th generation. Actually, its Jomie and him partnering together. Several times, both of them made two, each take on each one and within just 5-6 minutes they baptizes the person already. Many stories after stories from their sites www.albertpacquiao.wordpress.com and www.pation.wordpress.com

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Part One: Butuan Trip

4 08 2012

(Jomie Here)

Just came back home from Butuan and CDO, in between province is a long 6-hour drive by bus but we really enjoyed it. This is my second trip the first one was when we attended the Philippine House Church Summit in Tagatay having seminar, talking everyday for 5(five)days, its good but only 10% interesting the other 90% is boring, unlike the trip that we had in butuan its really great.. As we landed in butuan and met kuya Molong’s friend Ronnie whom he had met in his last trip in Davao a month ago, he shared to him on how to make disciples of Jesus quick, simple and fast and after a couple of days of that conversation Ronnie had made three disciples and another five after two days! WOW!!


This is the reason why we visited him at his place.
The first night we stayed at his house we slept til three in the morning. There he shared his stories after stories of his journey.  Kuya Molong discussed about how hearing God’s voice played an important role in making disciples. An example would be the Eunuch and Phillip, the evangelist in the book of Acts. The next day, we suppose to go somewhere. Ronnie first drop his child to school and we waited til late afternoon. When he came back this is his story of what happened:

“I heard a voice saying, “Go to Budot.””

“I ask the Lord why,” the voice just say, “Just go.”

 He obeyed the voice.

Budot is a long time friend but is not a follower of Jesus yet. Ronnie has learned that to make disciples, you’ve gotta make friends like Jesus. Then look for people who believe in you and trust you, like Jesus. Then you make him a disciple.

Many people have many friends but they do not know what to do with them. They are Christians, they talk about Jesus and His church but they don’t know how to make a person a disciple. In other words, they do not know how to make a person ‘ to decide’ to follow Christ. “In that stage alone,” as Kuya Molong says, “we lost the connection and ultimately lose the person, the remain in our circle of friends but have not become a ‘family.’”

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