Intentionally being Disciples who live a Jesus-Shaped Life
Roland Tejada is one of the Pastors at Ikthus Bacolod in the Philippines. Roland writes:
In 2020 the Philippines experienced multiple lockdowns due to the pandemic. With this situation, churches were forced to stop their onsite operations. This predicament led us, church leaders of Ikthus, to read and explore resources related to the launching of missional communities and building a disciple-making culture. As we learned the principles of missional living, Pastor Melo and I started to cast the vision to our own disciples. In January 2021, we launched 10 Missional Communities within our city and after 8 faithful months, these multiplied into 24 Missional Communities – all by the grace and goodness of the Lord!
As news spread and more people heard about what we were doing, a lot of churches showed interest in Missional Community life. Churches started to request that we provide orientation and trainings, hoping that they could also apply these vehicles to their own congregation. So, Melo and I were busy – going around giving orientations to churches about Missional Communities … and we soon concluded that this was NOT sustainable. If we continued doing it this way, we will not have enough time to disciple and guide our own leaders in leading their Missional Communities.
In the midst of this multiplication dilemma, I connected with the Thrive Coaching Network expressing a desire to be coached. Jeff Allen and the thrive3 team began coaching us and leading with us in an online Learning Community to equip us to lead future Learning Communities in the Philippines. In the first immersion, I and my team realized that we were way more focused on the ORGANIZED part of Missional Community life and had put minimal emphasis on the ORGANIC part of the process. To say it another way – we were well equipped to teach and tell people what we were doing, but we didn’t train and show people who we were or demonstrate out of the overflow of our life how to live as disciples guided by the Holy Spirit.
First Faithful Steps
At the end of the first Learning Community immersion, our team realized that the first people that needed to be discipled were us and our families. Yes, the Holy Spirit is moving powerfully in our midst … and we sensed the Holy Spirit telling us to focus on BEing and living a Jesus Shaped-Life as our first step in equipping the next generation of leaders. I and my team began slowly imitating and incarnating the life of Jesus with our own families. We are thankful for Jeff Allen for demonstrating to us what a Jesus-shaped life means and grateful for his continuous guidance.
Our first faithful steps have led to God-sized results. In 2023, our local team is leading 5 Learning Communities involving over 500 leaders from across the Philippines. The exponential impact of Catalyzing Disciple-Making Leaders with a Multiplication Mindset is evident in home groups and in multiple churches across the network.