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 from 3DMovements related to the launching of missional communities and building a disciple-making culture.
As we learned the principles from these books, Pastor Melo and I started to cast the vision to our own disciples. We invited them to be part of our Huddle group in preparation of launching a Missional Community. One factor that really made this transition sail smoothly was our established relationships with these leaders. They showed openness, obedience, and trust as we navigated forward in this new direction. 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 sent an email to 3DM expressing a desire to be coached and mentored on how to start a Learning Community in Bacolod for other churches. We were connected with Jeff Allen and the Denver team and began an online Learning Community in preparation for us leading a future Learning Community in the Philippines. In the first immersion, I and my team realized that we were 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.
Our Next Faithful Step
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. Right now, I and my team are 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.
Interested in learning more about Culture Change, Leader Development, and a 3DM Learning Community for your church? Drop Jeff Allen an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.