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Monthly Archives: October 2014

LIVE, ALOHA and Empowering Leaders

One of the best feelings that I get in campus ministry is to see students rise up to lead, take ownership of projects/events/strategies and do a better job than you.

This has been my experience for the past two weeks. Recently we’ve just concluded two events in DLSU, CSB and St. Scholastica. One is an engage event called LIVE: Get Wired to the FULL LIFE and the other is a fellowship/shared lives type of an event called ALOHA: Shared Lives 2.0.

LIVE Get Wired to the FULL LIFEAloha Shared Lives

In these past two events that we’ve handled, I’m so proud to say that there were very little involvement of the campus missionaries on the planning and execution level. 90-95% of the planning and execution were done by the students. 🙂

I’m very thankful for my spiritual family (Victory Christian Fellowship) who has always made it a point to create this kind of empowering culture. It says in Pastor Steve’s book: WikiChurch: “The Victory leadership team has intentionally tried to create a culture where creativity and initiative are rewarded and mistakes are celebrated.” My hope is this will still be the same kind of culture that we’ll pass on to the next generation.

The Benefits Far Outweigh the Risks

I believe that to be a great leader, we should all have an empowering mindset because of the many benefits that this brings! The benefits far outweigh the risks involved in empowering. One of the benefits of empowering others is it gives them opportunities to grow more in their giftings and talents.

Below are just a few whom I know learned so much in being a part of these events:

Students Growing in their Gifting’s and Skills

I’m really encouraged as I saw Marc Marcaida lead LIVE. This guy is a leader and will definitely have more impact in the future. At first he was a bit overwhelmed but at the same time privileged to serve as the project lead for LIVE. Admittedly he says that events may not be his forte but he took on the challenge anyway. I saw him use vision as one of his tools to lead the team, always pointing them back to the reason why we’re doing the things we’re doing. All of this is to Honor God and Make Disciples.

Marc

Another person I’m also encouraged who I knew learned so much is Kath Parungao who led the Aloha: Shared lives 2.0 activity. It was her first time, she was a bit nervous, and didn’t have that much clue and idea how to run an outing. However, she did a great job in forming a team and faithfully accomplishing everything that needs to be done. Galing! 🙂

Kath Parungao

And that’s just two people who grew in their skills and abilities, this blog will not give justice if I try to list down everyone’s learning. I don’t have time to talk about Joseph, KC, Angel, Rejoice, Gian, Winona, Tricia, Gelene, Jaycee, Con, Monique, Daniel and Neri. There’s just too many! But for those who’re reading this you know who you are and I’m so encouraged with the things you’ve learned as well! 🙂

Better Results

Another benefit of empowering others is that we generally get better results. The results are so evident in both events. For LIVE, one of the things I appreciated was the creativity that went as they promoted the event (see pictures above of Marc and Kath). This came as a result of empowering other people in their God-given talents. 🙂 Also, 180+ students came, this is 80+ more students that came from last year’s event. Based on these factors alone, we can definitely say that the event had been a success.

In the shared lives activity, I can just say that this has been the best shared lives that we had for the past 2 years! When we asked Kath to organize the activity, I was just thinking about the reservation of the place, logistics and food and that would have been it. However, she took it to another level by giving it a theme, creating a poster, designing the place and planning a very solid program flow. It just went above expectations! And also, 40 students came this time around, compared to around 20 the same time last year. Better results indeed. 🙂

Program

Again, the reason why both were so successful is because a lot of students were empowered. The campus missionaries simply can’t decide on all level and details, we can’t micro manage everything because 1) We just won’t have time to do so, 2) Things will not move forward given all the other things that we’re required to do. It’s more logical and sensible to empower people! 🙂 Again the benefit far outweighs the costs.

With all of the things that I’ve written here’s what I’m not saying: that empowering others doesn’t involve risks, because it does have! In fact there will be times where mistakes will happen, a lot of it. However, the mindset and attitude of a leader whenever these things happen is for the leader to assume responsibility for the mistake and not blame it on others. After the mistake has been settled, we move forward and continue to empower others to lead. 🙂

After having said all of that, I think the evidence is overwhelming and conclusive that an empowering culture’s benefits far outweighs the risks involved in doing so. Others get trained in their giftings and talents and we get better overall results. Take note: these are just two of the benefits that are at the top of my mind as I write this blog, I believe there are many more. 🙂

As I end this blog I hope to see two things: 1) I hope that if you’re a leader with followers reading this, that you’ll have the same kind of mindset and attitude to empower others and create an empowering culture and 2) If you’re a an emerging leader who have just experienced being empowered to do certain things: you’ll always keep this in mind and pass on the same kind of culture, because again the benefits of empowering others will always outweigh the risks in doing so.

Lastly, we want to create an empowering culture because this is what our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ modelled to each and everyone of us. Pastor Steve said in WikiChurch:

“Jesus modelled and empowering leadership style. Jesus was never content for disciples to simply follow Him as spectators but was intent of empowering them to do what He had been doing.”

God bless and may you empower others! 🙂

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Posted by on October 27, 2014 in Leadership

 

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Bon Voyage Kuya Daniel, Ate Char and Baby Judahhh!

Hello kuya Daniel, ate Char and Judahhhh! By the time you read this you’re most probably settling down in your new place in the U.S. Hope you’re all doing well! 🙂

I wrote this blog just to give honor where honor is due! I know that we already had an honoring session together with the other LifeBox staff, but still I’d want to formally thank you again Pastor Daniel. 🙂 Below are the top things I’m thankful to God for your life! 🙂

  • Thank you Pastor Daniel for your 5+ years of your service in LifeBox Malate as Campus Missionary and Campus Director/Youth Pastor. I’m sure that all those years and time spent in the campuses had a huge impact to the lives of many students. Many of the students who’re attending the life groups/youth services, have been indirectly influenced by your leadership whether they know it or not. 🙂
  • Thank you for being an example of a secure leader. This is what our world needs, more secure leaders like you. Thank you for modelling this to me! 🙂 Never did I feel any hint of insecurity in you as you continued to lead the next generation of staff, student leaders and volunteers. Thank you for being an example of one of those kind of secure leaders that Pastor Steve would always talk about. 🙂 I definitely saw it in action.

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  • Thank you for the many leadership opportunities that you gave me. I thank you for giving me a lot of opportunities to preach! This goes way way back in 2011, the first time I ever preached even when I was not yet a staff. I thank you because even though that was not one of my strong points you still took the risk in giving me that opportunity. Thank you because you continued to empower the next generation even if we didn’t believe in our selves nor had the skills to take on such huge roles. Thank you because I saw one of our core values as a spiritual family in action: Leadership Development, in particular: Empowering Leadership. Because you modelled empowering leadership to me, I pray that I will also pass on this value and culture to the next generation. 🙂
  • Thank you for all the Coaching and Mentoring moments. I learned a lot with you because of these one-on-ones. Thank you for imparting to me what God has deposited in you. You always says and quote Andy Stanley that a leader’s job is not to fill other people’s cup but to empty theirs. This is what you did and I got a lot from you especially in the area of relationships! 🙂 Hehe.
  • Lastly I want to say thank you for putting your Family first more than the work or ministry. Most of the things in life are more caught than taught, just seeing you prioritize ate Char and baby Judah speaks volumes to me, the staff, all the student leaders and volunteers. Thank you for setting the example and passing on the culture of our spiritual family. I hope and pray that I’ll be able to pass on the top things I learned to the next generation by modelling it as well. 🙂

God bless on your new life and journey there in the States! May you continue to make an impact and leave a great legacy to the next generation. 🙂

Hope you’ll come back the the Philippines for a vacation to visit after a few months! Hehe. For me I know that you’re also one VIBER/FB call away just like last year Hehe! 🙂

Bon Voyage

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2014 in Discipleship

 

Four things I learned from my M.S. in Mathematics degree

Don’t worry the learnings I posted here are not related to any of my Mathematics subjects. Read on! 😀

Last Saturday I graduated from my M.S. in Mathematics program which I started to take last May 2010. This has been such a sweet journey for me. I saw God’s faithfulness in my life as I completed the program. I really wanted to take-up PH.D in Mathematics and Statistics but I just know in my heart that God has called me into full-time ministry. The good thing is that God allowed me to finish my M.S. at least which was more than enough for me.

Masters

I really enjoy Mathematics (Advanced Mathematics) which is not what 99% of the world’s population would say HAHA! Even as I learned so much from the advanced Mathematics courses like Abstract Algebra, Linear Algebra, Combinatronics of Finite Geometries, Game Theory and other fields. This M.S. journey also taught and reinforced in me a lot of other intangibles which I know I’ll bring wherever God will lead me. Here are four intangibles that my M.S. taught and reinforced in me:

1) The power to create

This is also known as creativity but somehow that word is not associated much with Mathematics. The reason being is that people think Mathematics is a closed science, meaning there’s no more new discoveries in this field. This is a wrong mindset because Mathematics will never run out of things to discover. It’s been there ever since the dawn of time and will continue to have new fields and new discoveries as long as time is in existence.

When I started working on my Thesis, this was the most difficult part of my M.S. because for the other subjects: I just have to study my notes and make sure I pass the tests. For the Thesis however I have to produce something original. At first I was thinking how can I do that? Is it really possible? I started this year just brainstorming and thinking of ideas which I can use for my thesis. By the grace of God he led me to ideas and concepts which my Thesis adviser approved and allowed me to work on. I presented and defended my paper with no reference papers as a starting point. I got nervous when one of the panelists asked me for references, but I said that I didn’t have any and based my paper on the nature of my work. Praise God it was approved though!

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 1.10.26 PM

Creativity is something that human beings are designed to do! After musing on this I remember that verse in Genesis saying:

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27

We are created beings made after the image of a creator! God gave us the ability to create and be creative. Amazing! Of course I’m not saying that we can create out of nothing, only God can do that. 🙂

2) Thinking analytically

As someone who loves Mathematics and was an undergraduate of Statistics, I would think that I was already someone who thought analytically. When I was taking up this M.S. I realized that I was far far from someone who was one. The challenges and problems that my M.S. gave me was a far cry from the problem sets in College. I thought my M.S. in Mathematics was going to be easy but it was not. I really have to think hard and deep when we’re given problem sets. There were times that I’d almost give up but by God’s grace I didn’t go down without a fight.

This is a very powerful intangible for me because my boss would always tell us that we should always think about the things that we do. We ought to make sure that we have enough reasons and evidences whenever we’re going to initiate a new project or make a change. My training in my graduate course helped train my brain in thinking deeply and analytically. 🙂

Gears

3) The limitation of the human brain

I remember during the first term of my M.S. in Mathematics. We were given problem sets to solve. It was take home! I’d imagine all college students rejoicing whenever you have a take home exam. However, for those taking up M.S. in Mathematics. That may not automatically be good because whenever you have take home exams it only means that the questions will be way way harder that what will be given in a 3 hour test.

There are some questions that I’m not able to answer, it was just so difficult. The proofs of some questions can be seen online but even if I read the proof I still have a difficult time understanding it! We had a basic subject like Real Analysis which was just out of this world. There were moments wherein I thought to myself why did I ever take up this course!? It was so difficult!

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I realized that our human brain has its own limitations. If for the field of Mathematics alone, which is a pure science and where subjectivity is almost null, how much more limited our human capacity is to understand the complexity of life! I’m reminded of the verse in Isaiah:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LordFor as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9

There will just be some things that we will never fully comprehend because of our limitations. That’s a fact and the sooner we admit and surrender to that the more we’ll trust in God in his plans and purposes for our lives. In this life, understanding and science are good but both are limited. God never called us to try to understand all the complexities in the universe anyway. He calls us to trust in him.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6

4) The grace and sovereignty of God

Relating this point to my two other previous points. The more limited I see myself the more I’d be reliant on the grace and sovereignty of God in my life. There were moments in my M.S. exams where I thought to myself “How can I possibly pass these subjects!?” They were just too complex and complicated. If a professor gives us a problem that are just out of our league I don’t know how we could have ever passed those exams. My Thesis got delayed for one year because of my work. It was very tough to manage both at one point. For three terms I would start out by saying “I’m going to start on my thesis” but for three terms there were no original ideas that were popping out of my mind. This 2014 I was able to start and finish it, but looking back and pondering on the journey of my thesis, I knew that I couldn’t have done it on my own. It was just the grace of God that I was able to finish my M.S.

That’s where I realized that it’s true that it’s not by our own works but it is the grace of God alone. The grace of God is the reason why we can do all the things that we do right now. We can never be too arrogant in life. Hopefully our response will be to continually thank him because of his grace in our lives. 🙂

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Hope you find these learnings helpful for you! Always trust and depend on the grace and sovereignty of God in your lives. That’s the best thing you can do in your life every single day for the rest of your lives. God bless! 🙂

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2014 in Life Lessons, Numbers, Personal

 

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A Roller Coaster Life (Musings on the life of Joseph) Part 3

This is the third part of a series of blogs about the life of Joseph. To read the first and second part, click on the links below. 🙂

Part 1
https://andrewwee05.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/a-roller-coaster-life-musings-on-the-life-of-joseph-part-1/

Part 2
https://andrewwee05.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/a-roller-coaster-life-musings-on-the-life-of-joseph-part-2/

We ended the blog from Part 2 with Joseph being sent to prison because Potiphar’s wife had accused him of seduction.

We also said that this is probably the lowest point in Joseph’s life. An extremely unfortunate event happening in one’s life not just once, but twice can shake anyone’s faith . If I were in Joseph’s place I probably would have given up hope.

The LORD was with
However, if we look closely at the life of Joseph, I can’t help but notice God’s divine intervention in his life. The phrase: “The LORD was with…” had occurred four times in Genesis 39. Those four words of encouragement had occurred at the time of Joseph’s lowest moments. Was that just by chance or God’s holy timing? 🙂 I believe that it is God’s presence that helped Joseph navigate through his toughest times.

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He’ll never leave us nor forsake us
God’s presence, or more specifically, awareness of His presence can be a huge difference maker when we’re in a very difficult situation. It helps knowing that the God of the universe is with you. This same God also promised us “I’ll never leave you nor forsake you…” (Joshua 1:5). God is with us all the time, in fact he promised it! Every time we doubt or get scared if God is still with us in the midst of our situation or circumstance, just remember his promise. He’ll never leave us nor forsake us. 🙂

God is for us
Not only that, but it also says in his word that “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). Of course, we shouldn’t twist God’s word into thinking that he approves of our sins, but what this means is that he has the best intentions for us “God works for the good of those who love him,” (Romans 8:28)

This is the same LORD who was with Joseph. This is the same God who is with us. Knowing this for a fact helps me look at things in a different perspective. This is helpful especially when I don’t understand all the things that are happening in my life.

Always remember this:

I have God who is with me! He’ll never leave me nor forsake me. He is for me. He works for my good and He has the best intentions for my life.

Whatever situation you may be in right now, trust that God is allowing these things to happen because something good will come out of it. 🙂

In Joseph’s life, something good came out of it. 🙂

To be continued once again.

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2014 in Life Lessons

 

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