These are notes I took down from today’s Leadership Summit. Pastor Joedy was saying, ‘I’ll be sharing my Powerpoint notes later’, but I wasn’t going to have any of that. No, I guess things stuck as I typed. Anyway, if you want to, you can skip to my final thoughts, scroll down to the very bottom for them.
Leadership Summit Day 1, Session 1
Pastor John speaks
We are people who are focused on the finished work of Jesus Christ. It’s because of this that we have the confidence to proclaim that we are excellent – for we were made excellent, through the excellence of Christ. It’s important to remember this, just as it is important for us to be reminded to continue to trust in the Word of God, especially in times like this. We thank God that His Word is made available to us, and this is the foundation for us to be so intense in our worship – That’s the identity of Good News; as it was inspiring in the past, so it continues to be inspiring.
Speaking of our specific identity, we’re also intense in influencing the youth. It’s also important for us to remember the youth, considering that we are turning 41 years as a church; the end of 40 years symbolizes the end of an age, and we enter this new year, knowing that we not only acknowledge the lessons of our previous generation, but we look forward to continue proclaiming the Gospel to the next generations to come. And it’s not just the youth that we’re reaching out to – we’re also pretty intense in our mission work. It’s no accident that we call ourselves Good News – it’s Good News to the youth, and Good News to the nations of the world.
Take note that I’m taking down these notes real time, and I couldn’t help but throw in my own words into the mix.
So far we’re talking about how intense we are in remembering the Word of God, and being excellent in worship, ministering to the youth, and sending people out to the mission field. This, perhaps, is Pastor John’s basis for when he says that we are in (?) the cutting edge. He brought up how we are ‘rebels’, having trouble fitting into associations – while we do pray, we listen more, and we have revelations; much so that we have said revelations which are as much as 10 years ahead of the time – and I believe his point was to say that not a lot of people like having other people think ahead of them.
We look forward to ministering to what’s called the ‘Benjamin’ generation – a Generation that enjoys the love of God. All this is in an effort to re-learn, and to remind everyone in the congregation of our identity as a church, and perhaps for this to cascade to our individual identities.
We’re reminded of our visions: Transformed lives through the Good News of God up to the fourth generation. (up to the fourth generation seems to have been added to the vision. I never heard us saying that before.)
The Good News of God is Jesus Christ – and it’s here that discipleship is emphasized. Apparently the norm in churches nowadays is that it is just the next generation is being transformed, but, again, apparently discipling is the key to ensure that it lasts for more than one generation.
Perhaps we ought to understand that the Good News is timeless and therefore multigenerational. It does imply discipling, sure, but it’s not discipling that is the end-all and be-all; It’s the Good News. In other words we can disciple out of the Good News, but discipling is not the whole Good News.
Pastor John asks, what’s stopping us from reaching the fourth generation? What’s our apprehension? What’s keeping us from keeping the ball rolling? Discipling seems to be such a big deal, and the expectation has been set by Pastor John that the other speakers would try to address any gaps.
We’re reminded of our Mission: To inspire people to follow Jesus by engaging them in the life and mission (seek, school, send) of the Good News Community Church.
I remember speaking up to clarify this, to say – We influence others by enjoying how Jesus inspires us. I also spoke up against how you state the word ‘mission’ in a mission. Semantics, sure.
We did a pretty good exercise to close his speech. Pick a partner, and take time to honor each other. Take turns, actually. Then pick another partner. Then, finally, pick another partner. I had Pastor Danny, then Pastor Ed Ancheta, then Mavin. Crazy.
It was a good exercise. People were, indeed, reminded of their identity. At first it was pretty troubling, and sure, the stigma that causes us to hold back from honoring each other was present… at first. And this is a significant part of who we are in Good News – It’s Good News that we honor each other. Maybe that’s what we need, first and foremost. Lo and behold, we have actually have something to extract from this particular speech.
That’s another way to say it, another way to see it, I suppose – the act of Christ stepping away from eternity to be born as one of us, Him inspiring us by His physical presence with us; The act of laying down His life, and serving Himself up as a sacrifice, as the propitiation for our sins, and His rising from the dead as a receipt of our righteousness, His ascendance into heaven and the consequent outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon us – ALL of this is God honoring us – we who were disgraced by sin, we who were not deserving of salvation, much less any sort of honor – God honored us this way, and as such, we are able to honor others, no matter how ridiculous it may be discerned by this finite reality.
This is the pinnacle of the identity which I wish to share, the Good News I want to celebrate and therefore project – we have been honored by God through Christ, and as such, we are able to honor others, that they may also see and believe the overwhelming love and honor God has for them.
This is the Good News that encourages transformation. This is the Good News that drives us and motivates us. It’s out of God honoring us that we honor people through discipling, out of God honoring us that we honor the youth, honor by way of worship, honor by way of missions…. Honor for honor, honor from honor.
Thank You, Lord.
Leadership Summit Day 1, Session 2
Pastor Joedy speaks
We live in a world that seeks validation and acceptance… But the thing is, right off the bat, is that we are accepted in the Beloved – and who is the Beloved? No less than Jesus Christ. And just as God proclaimed to all, that Christ is His beloved Son, so we ought to take in the fact, the Truth that we are beloved in Christ.
We are accepted in the beloved, and it has nothing to do with our performance and all we do, but it’s all because of Jesus Christ and all He has done – His finished work would have us so confident in proclaiming that we are accepted and beloved. It’s something that we ought to proclaim even more, and especially to the next generations; we’ve had the hangups of religiosity, but behold, we face a generation that would not be hindered by these scars… they will never be thirsty, never be hungry, because they would find full satisfaction in the Word, and the Living Word.
We seek, and indeed, we shall find. We do not look within, but if we look at Christ, who is the Living Word, we would have revelations of what really lies within; The Author and Finisher of our faith; surely we remember that He is also our Creator.
How could we claim that any of this has to do with us – Rather, how can we even claim any credit for our faith, or our even being made? It’s why we seek HIS righteousness – It is His.
We see verses such as Jeremiah 29:10-14; Beyond what we always like to read from 29:11, we ought to also appreciate how God Himself makes Himself known to us – Far above our pathetic efforts to ‘know’ Him. We call upon Him, and we come and pray to Him – behold, He listens. We seek Him, and behold – He finds us. It’s in scripture that He says – ‘I will let Myself be found by you’.
To know God is a New Covenant privilege. We see it in Hebrews 8:10-12:
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities and I will remember their sins no more.”
It’s out of this intimacy that the Lord sought and bought for us that we can claim what was mentioned in Psalm 110:3:
Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments;
from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours.
It’s out of love that the next generations would be energized, not only to function, but to volunteer their power.
Pastor Joedy then took the time to clarify what Christ said in Luke 9:23, through what He calls the lens of grace. The verse reads as follows:
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
At around this time he pointed out that Christ was pretty unorthodox. Back in the day, it was the people of Israel who chose their rabbis, and obviously they would have all sorts of criteria and all sorts of measures of excellence. However, it was Christ was the One who chose His disciples – And sure, it’s easy for us to think about the lowly fishermen as those He chose… but He also chose people who were the worst from the perspective of religiosity. He chose ultra-religious folk who indiscriminately killed others in the name of God – His light shone upon Paul.
From this we can derive and proclaim the following: The Old Covenant demanded the best. The New Covenant chose the worst.
Christ obviously had people who chose Him as their rabbi according to their standards of excellence. It’s to them that He says – Deny yourself. Take up your cross. Follow me.
But what does it mean for us Pastor Joedy proposes: If we were to deny anything, we deny self-sufficiency. We take it to heart to abide in Christ, and only then shall we bear fruit.
Here’s a new perspective to independence, or living in-dependence to Christ. Stop doing things off of your own sufficiency – but, really, is this even a possibility? I suppose that whatever we do, whether we depend on Him or not, we are at peace, knowing that Christ is constantly alive in us.
‘When you run without God, that’s a race.
When you run with God, that’s grace.’
But let’s add to this: Christ in us, through race and grace. Consider this, as well: But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.Romans 13:14
Is this to say that there remains the need to ‘put’ Christ on? Is He not alive in us, as blood running in our veins, versus being a mere garment? But, perhaps we ought to remind ourselves of Christ’s being with us, ‘putting’ Him on in our minds, reminding our beings of this essential Truth even when the flesh would try to tempt us to give it some sort of attention. It’s not that Christ is ‘off’, then – it’s that we don’t notice Him on.
But is that really such a bad thing? I mean, we aren’t intentionally ignoring Him, but at the same time, we are just that aware of His being with us. But maybe we ‘put on’ Jesus Christ, with the purpose as mentioned – to deny provision for the flesh, perhaps when the desires of the flesh are just that significantly tempting. I suppose that’s how I would reconcile things.
In all this, I am reminded of Padme Amidala’s statement before the Senate in Episode One – particularly when she mentioned that she casts a vote of no confidence against the current head of the Senate at the time, considering his inadequate response to the Trade Federation’s intrusions in Naboo (wow, I remembered all that); This time, however, in saying that we deny our selves, we would do well merely to say, if we were to follow it literally, that we would be casting a vote of no-confidence against ourselves; Simply put, we amount to nothing on our own.
For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh — Philippians 3:3
God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:28-31
Pastor Joedy goes on to talk about his thoughts on ‘carrying his cross’: The cross was the symbol of death. Our cross is the finished work of Christ, as a banner of victory. We recognize the power of Christ’s resurrection. Christ denied His flesh by dying. Christ rose again in victory. To say that we deny ourselves is to say that we have no confidence in the flesh. And to say that we take up our cross is to say that we have all confidence in Jesus Christ.
Finally, he also shares what he thinks about the ominous ‘follow Me’ in the verse: the Greek word he pulls up here is akulotheo – Which means that you don’t walk behind when you follow – No, apparently it’s to say that you walk WITH someone. In this case, we follow Christ by walking WITH Him, just as He walks WITH us.
Leadership Summit Day 1, Session 3
Pastor Joedy speaks
FYI: The mission of the church states seeking, schooling, and sending. Pastor Joedy spoke on seeking last session, and now He will speak on schooling.
He brought up the story of Bartimaeus. Christ asked this blind man, ‘What did you want Me to do for you?’; Bartimaeus responded in faith, and we ought to have the same sort of receiving faith in preaching, and in teaching, and in schooling.
To School The Disciples – The Grace of Preaching, Part I
1 Corinthians 1:26-30
2 Timothy 3:16-17
General principles to follow in preparation to preaching:
- Prayer – These prayers are followed by revelations; They are proclamations of our dependence on the Holy Spirit.
- Study of Scripture – Logos and Rhema are revelations, written and spoken.
- Organizing with wisdom
- Knowing your audience
- Enjoying sharing the Word of Life in the anointing of the Holy Spirit
Hermeneutics – A method or theory of interpretation; The Greek word for ‘preach’ means to herald, as a public crier, especially when it pertains to divine Truth.
Life preparation of a Preacher/Teacher
- Life is built on the Chief cornerstone – Our messages should be Christo-centric and not Anthropocentric. When you put Christ in any message it becomes timely. Build whatever you want but make sure you build on the Foundation of Christ, and it would not be consumed.
- Prayer is involved – Again, it is a verbal, spoken dependence on God for understanding. The Psalmist prays: ‘Open my eye that I may see wonderful truths in they law’. But see, there’s the thing – we’re listening just as much as we speak to God when we pray. As we rely on Christ, we listen, and revelation follows – this is one of the roles of the Holy Spirit in us.
- It’s in our reliance to the Lord that we are able to discern, and rightly divide the Word of Truth. There is only light, and no darkness in Christ. But it’s not necessarily for us to see everything – no, it’s enough that we already have Christ who knows precisely and in full detail, the deep things of God / the messages that change lives.
- Faith, or the declaration of the Word’s power and its effect to its audience. In fact, whenever the Word is discussed, we hear it, and faith arises – and that in itself is according to the Word of God. It’s simply the Truth that God’s words are life that lead to abundant life, or grace upon grace.
- The words we speak remind us of God’s faithfulness. He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?Romans 8:32
- God’s words are sure and true for life. We speak the words, and people are not only brought to life but saved from death. Sure, that may be automatic but it does need to be emphasized. When we preach, we stir up faith.
- We are reminded of the assurances of Isaiah 55:10-11:
- HIs words will not return to Him empty.
- Scripture – The Sole and Highest authority of God’s Word. God’s Word is the highest authority.
- Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
- All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
- Christ talks of the wineskins – The revelations we receive today would only be appreciated and received if we have been made a new creation. We need to be made new wineskins to accept the new wine, and consequently, see the role of the old wine versus what was made new.
How does one become equipped to rightly divide the Word of Truth?
- Read the Logos – First off, avoid reading it religiously. We read with one goal in mind – we read to see Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit would reveal it to us, even in the most obscure of passages.
- Meditate on the Word, and receive the Rhema. It’s pretty guaranteed that the Holy Spirit would reveal things to us we wouldn’t see immediately through reading.
- Study the Bible with Bible study resources.
- Interpret Scripture in Context – Be guided by the whole Biblical counsel. Let Scripture interpret Scripture. Also helps to not only read 1 verse, but the verse before and after the verse of interest. Always read before and after, paying attention to conjunctions and conclusions.
- Let us also connect what we read to the revelation of Jesus and the centrality of God’s Kingdom agenda. What is His agenda?
- Dominion and expansion of Kingdom rule, Restoration of Kingdom rule.
- Salvation and redemption
- Empowerment of the Holy Spirit
- Growing in Grace
- Kingdom Living, and the Kingdom in full manifestation
- Let us also connect what we read to the revelation of Jesus and the centrality of God’s Kingdom agenda. What is His agenda?
- Put your studies into writing
Homiletics And Its Goals – The Art of Writing and Preaching your Messages and Sermons
Why do we write?
I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.
And the LORD answered me:
“Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”
Habakkuk 2:1-3, 14
We write not only for our knowledge to be clarified, but for the said knowledge of the glory of the Lord to be spread for it to be read by anyone who does see the ‘tablets’. This said vision, by the way, began with Abraham – He experienced it, just as it says in Romans 4:3 – ‘the just shall live by faith.’ Habakkuk wrote about the account of Abraham – that’s the vision that he was instructed to make plain on tablets, that someone would run with it.
And we see, indeed, someone HAD run with it – that is, according to Pastor Joedy – the apostle Paul. It was in Paul’s epistle to the Romans that he says He is not ashamed of the Gospel – and it’s with this impetuous fervor that he also shares to one like Timothy, who in turn shared it to others… just as we would share, the righteous shall live by faith. The more we take it, the more we write it, the more people would also run with it… and sooner than later, indeed, the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
And see, that’s the thing – that’s what we write on the tablets, and even if it is foolishness according to what the world believes (or rather, doesn’t believe), it is still the power of God unto those who believe – power, apparently, used to run.
3 Pillars of Wisdom:
- Knowledge – Three L’s for us to have an edge, according to Ptr. Joedy
- Listening – Paying attention; When we listen, we learn. The words we hear have as much, or even more impact compared to the words we speak.
- Learning – Understanding and interpreting; owning what you listen to.
- Loving – Most essential, having a heart to listen, having a heart to learn. In fact, we love when we listen and learn, just as we listen and learn when we love. It all works together.
(we missed #2)
- Wisdom – Application
- The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.
Knowing Your Flock
Go around and have a feel of the people before you actually speak. Discern your audience; Just as your Shepherd has His heart for you, so you are able to have the same empathetic heart for others, especially those you are preparing to talk to and to share to.
I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the LORD. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: The LORD is our righteousness.’ Jeremiah 23:4-6
We share, we preach so those who listen would be fed, that they would no longer fear, and they would no longer be dismayed; They would find themselves in Christ, just as we ourselves have been found. Knowing your audience is ensuring you have what’s needed to eat, and having a picture of what they may fear or what dismays them. We embrace them – especially those who are at the back; the mother hen covers them just as much as the rest of the chicks. And in our embracing them, and in our socializing with them, without any sort of apprehension, but understanding that Christ was the same way in getting to know us – we would know what exactly need to be doled out for the people to be fed, and their needs met accordingly.
When we speak, we also ought to have some sort of goal, some sort of desirable effect to our message. What sort of effects would we have on our list? There’s Empowerment, Enlightenment, and Exodus (to exit / deliverance); That’s something – Christ preached for power, and light. Christ is the Power, and Christ is the Light. And, yes, Christ is our Deliverance – from flesh to life, ignorance to wisdom, fear to faith, etc.;
Types of Messages:
- Topical or Thematic
- Exegesis – Critical explanation or interpretation
- Character – Typification of Christ
- Story / Parable – Who, when, what, where, why, how
Organizing Your Thoughts Into Messages
- Imagine writing a letter. Paul did it. His epistles were letters to the churches. Letters have a purpose. Letters have a subject. Letters have an introduction, and greetings. Letters have a message and a body.
- The body has a main thought in coordination with the subject, and vice versa.
- There are specific thoughts / verses that support the main thought.
- May come in the form of news, announcements, stories, instructions, clarifications and corrections.
- Closed with a summary, a conclusion, and a farewell.
- More precise, and more focused: Prepare a lesson plan / message; A lesson plan has an objective, and overall theme. What do you want your audience to know about the overall objective? What are the specific objectives that are derived from the main objective, in line with the main thought?
- The lesson opens with an introduction, a thesis, or the main thought of the message.
- Observation, Interpretation, Application ex. what is your observation of faith? Your interpretation of faith? Your application of faith?
- Discussion of the main thought
- Parts/points supporting the main thought
- Again, illustrations, stories, personal experiences. Testimonies are especially powerful, as they are illustrations of the truth. Paint a picture, and project an application or response.
- Wrap it up with a summary and a conclusion.
- Spontaneous / Free Flowing – You may change the message as the Spirit leads. Be open.
I think I made a mistake by adding in my thoughts while Pastor John was talking. But my point, my takeaway from that is that we are not what we excel in – our common ground is not Good News, nor is it the excellence we boast in – surely we ought to be seeing, especially after 40 years, that we will always boast in Christ?
Something I couldn’t put my finger in for the longest time, but it just seems like our accomplishments are celebrated and recognized more than our confidence in Christ.
Moving on, I honestly think that Pastor Joedy should have mentioned the difference between ‘self’ and the flesh – There’s nothing wrong with the self, as far as I’m taught, but the flesh in itself is a separate power – the flesh in the Greek, as I’m told by Andrew Farley, is the word ‘sarx’ – it ‘denotes mere human nature, the earthly nature of man apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God’
At one point Pastor Joedy pointed out how we love quoting 2 Corinthians 5:17, but we ought to look at it in context, meaning we involve the preceding verse, which happens to state: ‘We regard no one according to the flesh’. If we see this in the light of what was mentioned regarding sarx, we would say that we regard no one, and I’m assuming we’re specifying those in the body of Christ in particular, according to the earthly nature they had apart from divine influence – We regard no one according to their propensity to sin and opposition to God, which is what they WERE.
To clarify all of this, we’re to say that we hold no confidence in the flesh, and we put all confidence in Christ – as such, we naturally recognize and appreciate how we walk WITH God and He walks WITH us, clarifying as He must, just as He did for the men walking to Emmaus. And, that’s something else right there – just as He did not patronize these men, and regarded them according to their human nature, He saw them as He loved them, which is why I believe He took the time to school them on Scripture.
We have a new self which is not conformed to the flesh – we shouldn’t look at ‘self’ as a bad word.
It’s the flesh we deny. And to put it all together with what Andrew Farley teaches, it’s the flesh we cause to carry the cross, and consequently to be crucified. That’s what was done to our sin, and because all sin was slain on the cross, and because Christ rose from the dead… well, it’s no wonder we are bold to walk WITH Him.
It’s also sad that Pastor John immediately followed this up with what I expected him to say about rabbis: One of his favorite sayings which states, apparently, ‘May you be covered by the dust of your rabbi’s feet’, which he interpreted as, ‘may you look like your rabbi’. Pretty contradictory in my point of view – do we want to look like Christ or do we want others to see Christ IN us? Obviously Christ’s finished work changes MUCH more than the superficial; in fact, it’s not even about a change, more of a re-creation.
While we’re in the topic of honoring others, may we find our motivation in honoring how Christ honored us. There’s no shame in looking at the new self, because it is free from sin, it’s free from death, and it’s free from the flesh.
Finally, I have nothing more to add or react to when it comes to Pastor Joedy’s last message. It was more of an eye opener for me really. I did need help with organizing my thoughts. Just as I need help with managing my time. It’s all being done, but it needs work – Divine Intervention.
All in all I was reminded of the acts we do, and Christ who precedes it all. Christ honored us with all, that we are able to honor others. Christ sought us, so we could seek Him and seek others intentionally. Christ mentors and teaches us, so we could mentor and teach others accordingly.
Christ is NOT an example to follow behind, but the Lover of our souls, whom we cooperate with in awe and gratefulness.
I have much to learn.
We have much to learn.
But in all of this,
May we boast in Christ alone.