Life Change is Not the Goal

Life Change is Not the Goal

“What happens on the inside will eventually show up on the outside.” Discipling others means bringing them closer to Jesus. Victory Fort pastor Paolo Punzalan reminds us that genuine life change comes from God, not from us. Check out his blog post!

Nich Walks the Talk with Peakna

Nich Walks the Talk with Peakna

“When I understood about what Jesus did for me, I just had to share the love of God with her.”

Discipleship is relationship! In this missions story, a young girl in Cambodia demonstrates God’s love to her physically-handicapped best friend.

Making Disciples as one Body

Making Disciples as one Body

Pastors and leaders from different evangelical churches in Metro Manila joined us at our Discipleship Summits for 2015 last March 26 and May 21. As one church, we shared to the Body of Christ what helped us make disciples the past thirty years. God has been faithful to enable us to come up with different ways to preach the gospel and develop leaders who will, in turn, make disciples.

Our first Discipleship Summit was held at the Victory Ortigas center in Robinson’s Galleria in Pasig City, while the Every Nation Building housed the Taguig Discipleship Summit.

OrtigasDSummit

Because we know that we are better together, we took the opportunity to serve the Body of Christ by sharing tested methods on how to reach our communities and nations with the gospel. With the vision of making disciples as our focus, we discussed important principles of discipleship, including having a vision for the multitudes, why discipleship is an important mandate for churches, building the right biblical foundations, and the dynamics of small groups.

“(I was reminded of) what was in the heart of God for His people, His church, and the lost.” Renee Kern, a church administrator from Hope of God Manila, shared. Since her involvement in the first Discipleship Summit, they have taken active steps in applying what they’ve learned. “We are now training people in discipling others. Because of doing intensive discipleship and training people, a number of new Life Groups has emerged.”

TaguigDSummit

Pastors Dan and Jean Parilla of the JCA God Most High Church also recounted their experience in the Summit. “The Great Commission must be part of every church member’s DNA,” they shared. Pastor Conrado Santos of Ministries of Jesus Christ International also agreed with this. “(As leaders, we must) not doubt that (everyone) can make disciples, even if they’re new. We need to trust that they can be used by God.”

Two more discipleship summits are scheduled for 2015 throughout Metro Manila. As we lock arms together as one Body, we are excited to witness growth in churches throughout Metro Manila and the Philippines!

Lead to Leave

Lead to Leave

“If you go to the Scriptures, Jesus defined leadership differently. He said, ‘Leadership is serving.’” How do you define leadership? In this blog post, Pastor Paolo Punzalan shows us what it takes to be a true servant leader.

What Your Mentors Say (About You)

What Your Mentors Say (About You)

“You can tell a lot about a person by who they choose to listen to. It tells you if they’re really looking for wisdom or just someone to agree with them.”

Learn helpful guidelines in selecting the right kinds of mentors in this blog post by Pastor Joseph Bonifacio, Executive Director of Every Nation Campus.

Share the Gospel NOW!

On March 7, over 10,000 Victory group leaders were equipped and empowered at Discipleship 2015, our annual discipleship convergence.

Every year, we gather our Victory group leaders at Discipleship 2015 to jumpstart a new year of honoring God and making disciples. This happened simultaneously in fifteen Victory Metro Manila locations and our churches in Cavite. For the first time, we held two discipleship convergences in one day, which happened at Victory Metro East!

Discipleship Pasig
Leaders from Victory Pasig are excited to engage, establish, equip, and empower others!
What is the gospel? We learned about what the gospel is all about in Pastor Rice Broocks's message to all the leaders.
What is the gospel? We learned about what the gospel was all about in Pastor Rice Broocks’s message to all the leaders.

Our Victory group leaders heard a message from Pastor Rice Broocks, who encourage each of us to share the gospel to the people around us. He explains that as we do so, we are opening their eyes to the truth of God’s Word. Click on this link to download Pastor Rice’s message, “Open Their Eyes.”

 

Our leaders also had the opportunity to learn about Two-Verse Evangelism and the Two-Minute Miracle. Two-Verse Evangelism talks about sharing the gospel using two key verses that explain what Jesus has done for us. The Two-Minute Miracle, on the other hand, explains how each of us can share our testimony in two minutes!

Two-Verse Evangelism gleans from Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23.
Two-Verse Evangelism gleans from Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23.

 

Our Victory group leaders had the opportunity to receive a free limited edition ESV Bible and ONE 2 ONE booklet!
Our Victory group leaders had the opportunity to receive a free limited edition ESV Bible and ONE 2 ONE booklet!

We are excited to share the gospel NOW!

These parents from Victory Malate are excited to share the gospel to the next generation!
These parents from Victory Malate are excited to share the gospel to the next generation!
Open Their Eyes

Open Their Eyes

God has called us to be eye-openers. Every Nation Ministries founding pastor Rice Broocks spoke at Discipleship 2015, where he explained that people learn that by explaining the gospel, they deliver the truth to someone and literally become God’s instrument to open their eyes to the truth of God’s Word. Listen to the podcast.

New Series: Simple

New Series: Simple

Join us at all our Victory locations for our newest series, “Simple.” In this series, each of us will learn the value of being a disciple and making disciples.

Here is the list of weekly topics:

  • Week one: The Lord
  • Week two: The Lost
  • Week three: The Church
  • Week four: The Journey

Join us at a Victory location nearest you! Victory is one church meeting in fifteen different locations in Metro Manila. We also meet in multiple locations across the Philippines.

If you’re tweeting about our “Simple” series, please use our official hashtag #SimpleSeries.

See you at our services!

ONE 2 ONE in ESV: Now Available!

ONE 2 ONE in ESV is now available! Our seven-chapter discipleship guide now uses Bible verses gleaned from the 2011 English Standard Version (ESV).

ONE 2 ONE is a seven-lesson follow-up and discipleship guide to help facilitate conversations to jumpstart your walk with God.

The topics in ONE 2 ONE are:

  • Salvation
  • Lordship
  • Repentance
  • Baptism
  • The Bible and Prayer
  • The Church
  • Make Disciples

For those of you who’ve been wanting to share your faith with your friends and family, ONE 2 ONE is a simple tool for you to do so. You can help your friends and family know more about Jesus and follow Him through personal follow-up and discipleship.

ONE 2 ONE in ESV is now available at the different Victory resource centers and book tables and on the app. If you’ve downloaded the ONE 2 ONE app, simply update your app to get the latest version.

You can download the ONE 2 ONE app for free on iOS and Android.

What do you remember most from the person who discipled you?

What do you remember most from the person who discipled you?

Week 3 of our #myVictoryStory focused on discipleship. We asked this question:

“What do you remember from the person who discipled you?”

Victory bloggers had their own take on the topic, and here are the blogs they wrote:

  • More Caught than Taught. Pastor Paolo Punzalan of Victory Fort emphasizes how discipleship is more potent through actions.
  • The Essence of Discipleship. In this blog post featured on DoCampusMinistry.com, Pastor Joey Bonifacio of Victory Fort encourages young leaders to go back to basics on discipleship.
  • The Defining Minute of my Manhood. Victory Greenhills pastor Dennis Sy recounts how his discipler spoke words that changed his life.
  • What’s the Big Deal? Every Nation Campus National Director Joseph Bonifacio shares the value of discipleship, and why we as a movement push for it.
  • On Discipleship. Carla Peralejo-Bonifacio honors the mentors who’ve walked with her and shares important principles on discipleship.

This week’s roster of blog posts also includes different people honoring the men and women who discipled them.

You can still submit your blog posts on Lordship, Evangelism, and Discipleship! Join us next week for our topic on Leadership. See you at our services this weekend!

Unstoppable

wishFrom living a life apart from God, Wish Castro of Victory Fort understood what it meant to have a relationship with Him—and learned to share this truth with others in the process. Check out her testimony here!

 

I came to know God when I was at my lowest. The love of my life broke up with me, I lost my job, and I quit school. My friends left me one by one. My relationship with my family was also deteriorating because they could not understand what I was going through.

I turned to alcohol, thinking it would ease my pain. I spent most of my days alone, never leaving my house.

One day, I decided to go out and take a breather. I visited the mall nearest me—Robinsons Metro East. I went to the top floor of that mall, thinking that it was quieter since there weren’t many people who went there.

I discovered Victory Metro East there. I didn’t exactly find the place quiet, because the place was noisy during praise and worship, but I was attracted to how happy everyone else was. I told myself, “If one person here smiles at me, I’ll stay.”

Just then, an usher came to me, smiled at me, and welcomed me to the church. That day, I came to know God—and the rest is history.

 

Taking the next steps
Not long after, I found a job and transferred to the Fort area, where I attended Victory Fort. Here, I decided to look for a Victory group. I didn’t want to be part of a group before, to be honest. I didn’t want to have any activities aside from work.

There were a lot of people texting me, inviting me to their Victory groups, but I never replied to any one of them. Eventually, they stopped texting—but there was Siena, this one person who never stopped texting me. She always invited me to meet with her or attend Victory group.

I gave in to Siena’s persistent texting and joined the Victory group because I felt embarrassed. I decided to give it just one shot. I returned the week after that first Victory group meeting, and the week after that.

Wish (seated at the center) came to know Jesus more through being part of a Victory group
Wish (seated at the center) came to know Jesus more through being part of a Victory group

Stepping out
One day, our Victory group leader asked me to co-lead a new Victory group that we were starting. I was hesitant at first. I didn’t think I was qualified to do it! I later realized that God knew my heart, and He wouldn’t leave me.

I learned to appreciate discipleship the more I discipled people and shared God’s Word to them. Because I was so blessed and honored that I was first discipled, it translated to me having a desire to share what I had with others. God gave me a desire to lead others to Him, for them to know about His love, because His love is perfect and makes us complete.

We don’t have to be ashamed of discipling others! We need to get our strength from God and remember what He’s done for you and me. Only when you realize what discipleship has done for you will you gain the confidence to reach out to people.

I thank God that He used people to bring me to a relationship to Him. I also thank God that He used these same people to help bring out the leader in me. I know I’m called to do the same for others—and I share His love to others, every chance I get. And I’m not going to stop.

Wish now leads this Victory group of single women in Victory Fort
Wish now leads this Victory group of single women in Victory Fort

If you would like to share your discipleship testimony with us, email stories@victory.org.ph.

Going Forward: Discipleship in Tacloban

Going Forward: Discipleship in Tacloban

Even in storm-ravaged Tacloban, discipleship does not stop.

A few months after typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) hit the Visayas region, leaders and members from our church in Ortigas visited Tacloban to give running shoes away to students from Eastern Visayas State University. They also conducted running and basketball clinics for these university students.

Ehgie attended the basketball clinic, where he met Kix, the lone campus minister serving full-time in Victory Tacloban. Ehgie was EVSU’s soccer team captain. He, like many others, was one of those affected by the typhoon that ravaged their city.

Kix engaged Ehgie over a game of Monopoly Deal and invited him to a Victory group. Ehgie brought two of his teammates along, and the three of them are now being discipled in a small group setting.

Ehgie is now going through the ONE 2 ONE booklet with Kix. “He’s decided to follow Jesus for the rest of his life,” Kix shares. “I also encouraged Ehgie that he can do ONE 2 ONE with his teammates, too.” True enough, Ehgie is now doing ONE 2 ONE with the two friends he’s invited to Victory group!

Ehgie (right) is excited about his ONE 2 ONE session! Photo by Kix Javier
Ehgie (right) is excited about his ONE 2 ONE session! Photo by Kix Javier

Ehgie’s decision to follow Jesus for the rest of his life is not only impacting his life, and that of his family’s. It is a decision that will affect his campus and his city, and eventually the nation and the world.

Truly, discipleship is not just about us, or the circumstances surrounding us. It’s about advancing God’s kingdom, one person at a time.

Leaders Respond to Discipleship 2014

Leaders Respond to Discipleship 2014

Last February 1, we held Discipleship 2014, our annual leadership conference. For the first time, this event was held simultaneously in all our fifteen Metro Manila locations. Over 8,900 current and upcoming Victory group leaders were equipped and empowered to make disciples and build foundations.

http://storify.com/victoryph/discipleship-2014

Discipleship 2014: Building Foundations

Discipleship 2014: Building Foundations

February 1, 2014 marked our biggest discipleship event of the year: Discipleship 2014! 8,959 current and upcoming Victory group leaders from our fifteen Victory locations gathered as one church in Metro Manila to be equipped and empowered to reach the next generation for Jesus. For the first time ever, Discipleship 2014 was held simultaneously in all our Metro Manila centers, all the way from Alabang, to Quezon City!

Pastor Steve Murrell delivered a message about building foundations. Gleaning from the story of the Apostle Paul, Pastor Steve shared how we can be established in the Word, the church, and our faith. He also emphasized how practicing God’s Word builds foundations in our lives, enabling them to become storm-proof. More importantly, each Victory group leader was reminded that “Jesus is the foundation.” Indeed, He is the Rock on which we stand!

Our Victory group leaders learned about iLead, a really easy way to remember how to develop leaders. This process encourages leaders to identify, instruct, impart, and intern their Victory group members, training them to do the same to others.

Our Victory group leaders were also invited to participate in our ongoing Every Nation Building Phase 2 Project. Our senior pastors cast a fresh vision of training leaders and transforming nations in the next twenty-five years and beyond.

Finally, our Victory group leaders received a free copy of Pastor Steve’s new book “100 Years from Now,” which explains the importance of understanding the mission, values, and culture.

Youth Victory group leaders at Victory U-Belt excited to receive their own copies of "100 Years from Now!" Photo by Ryan Tan
Youth Victory group leaders at Victory U-Belt excited to receive their own copies of “100 Years from Now!” Photo by Ryan Tan

After Discipleship 2014, we’re excited to see more Victory group leaders activated to honor God and make disciples! To all our Victory group leaders. thank you for locking arms with us as we share the gospel in our families, communities, campuses, and offices!

Victory group leaders come together for Discipleship 2014

Victory group leaders come together for Discipleship 2014

On February 1, 2014, thousands of Victory group leaders will come together for Discipleship 2014, our annual start-of-the-year gathering of current and upcoming Victory group leaders in Metro Manila! A year ago, over 6,700 Victory group leaders converged at the PhilSports Arena for Discipleship 2013, where they received brand-new discipleship tools, were reminded about their own discipleship journey, and listened to Pastor Steve Murrell deliver a message about passing the baton of the gospel. This year, Victory is calling almost 10,000 Victory group leaders from all walks of life, to converge at our fifteen Metro Manila locations! Discipleship 2014 will highlight our latest strategies for discipleship and leadership development. Featuring stories of discipleship, new materials, and a time of worship and prayer, Discipleship 2014 will encourage Victory group leaders to continue honoring God and making disciples in their homes, campuses, offices, and communities. Visit Discipleship.ph, Victory’s online discipleship resource center, for information on Discipleship 2014. Discipleship.ph also provides free resources for discipleship and leadership development. Let’s continue honoring God and making disciples together! See you on February 1! next-thumbnail

Passing it on

Passing it on

“It will only be through discipleship that we can pass on the word.” Ambo Lingan of Victory Baguio shares how a relationship with Jesus changed his life, and given him a new perspective.

When I was a college student, my family had high hopes for me: take my board exams, pursue law, and establish my path to politics. There was just one problem: I was not prepared to take the next step for my future. I didn’t prepare for the exams, and when the exam days arrived, instead of going to the exam venue, I went to different malls and watched movies.

Fearful of my family’s response to my wrong decisions, I decided to mask my mistakes by attending the Tuguegarao church my oldest brother attended. I thought to myself, “Maybe if my brother thought I was like him, a born-again Christian, he would back me up with our mother so she would take pity on me and continue to support me.”

The first time I attended, I did not intend to take the service seriously. Just be quiet, I told myself, and see what’s in it for you. Well, something funny happened: I found the morning service so interesting that I ended up attending the afternoon service too!

I attended the next three Sundays after that. Little did I know that, in spite of my “grand scheme,” God had bigger plans for me.

One Sunday, the pastor called for an altar call for people to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I stood up to make that declaration of faith. I felt something I couldn’t explain in the previous weeks I’d been attending, and it was more than just God’s peace.

Manuel, the man who approached me after my altar call, befriended me and built a relationship with me. He got ahold of me and got to know me better. He started asking questions about myself. I lied about some things because I was wary of him. “Just because we pray together doesn’t mean that I should pour out all my information to him,” I thought to myself.  “It feels good talking to him, though.”

Manuel and I ended up having coffee several times. In those conversations, Manuel shared his life to me. I began to feel at ease with him. Slowly, because he shared experiences I could relate to, I started to take off my own mask.

It took time before Manuel shared about the Bible to me, and more time before he invited me to be part of his Victory group.

It was through my relationship with Manuel that I got to know Jesus. I discovered that He is not just my Savior; He is also my Lord. Jesus made the complicated simple for me. With Him, I discovered that I can start all over again. For all the things I thought was hard, He accompanied me and made it easy.

I’m grateful for Manuel who was bold enough to approach me and make time to build the relationship. If not for him, I would not have known about Jesus. And now, I’m excited to pass this on, and share the gospel to whoever God calls me to.

Sharing the Message of Hope

Sharing the Message of Hope

Kix and his wife Bless
Kix and his wife Bless

In the wake of typhoon Yolanda bringing destruction to the Leyte city of Tacloban, Kix Javier felt a strong urge to take part in helping the fallen city.

“Even before I went there,” he says, “something was tugging at my heart.”

Five days after the storm hit, he flew to Tacloban from Manila. He was a few weeks shy of graduating from the Every Nation School of Campus Ministry, where he was training to be a campus missionary under Victory Tacloban.

Kix collaborated with Victory churches spearheading relief and rehabilitation efforts in the area, even sleeping at the airport to properly receive the goods being sent to church members affected by the typhoon. He also assisted Tacloban’s city government, offering aid to government employees who lost homes, possessions, and even loved ones.

“During the first few days,” he says, “they were also victims.”

The whole time Kix was in Tacloban post-Yolanda, mobility and transportation posed a challenge in accounting for church members and distributing relief goods. “Some of the roads weren’t clear (because of debris),” he explains. While some of Victory Tacloban’s church members sought refuge in Pastor Eugene Ramirez’s home, Kix chose to travel by motorcycle to visit and account for members who couldn’t leave their homes. All in all, the Victory Tacloban team was able to account for sixty-six church members, including Nessa Gardiola, another incoming campus missionary.

Kix flew back to Manila to attend his graduation from the School of Campus Ministry on November 28. He was chosen to deliver a speech during the commencement exercises.

“Loving God and loving others became more real in my life,” he shared of his Tacloban experience in his speech. “Christianity is not confined in the four corners of the church, but in the places where the gospel is needed.”

What’s next for Kix, and Tacloban? Kix has a stronger resolve to share the gospel in the campuses in Tacloban. “There is an even greater storm coming,” he says, “and that is the storm of the gospel.” To date, forty colleges and universities have been destroyed by Yolanda’s wrath, but there is no stopping Kix from being used by God to preach a message of faith, hope, and restoration in brokenness.

Learning and Unlearning

Learning and Unlearning

Stephen Ong, a software engineering student from Far Eastern University, shares how a relationship with Jesus helped him become the man God has called him to be.

Stephen and his older sister (left) and mother pose in front of Victory Pioneer. He is happy to share that his relationship with his family has also improved significantly!
Stephen and his older sister (left) and mother pose in front of Victory Pioneer. He is happy to share that his relationship with his family has also improved significantly!

 

My Victory group leader, AJ, first shared God’s Word to me. I witnessed how God was faithful in his life, and I wanted to experience that as well. His life inspired me to believe God could change me into becoming the man He wants to be.

As AJ built a relationship with me and other young men in our Victory group, I learned about Jesus, discovering more about Him by reading the Bible and praying. The more I got to know Jesus, the more He showed me how great He is. I realized that I needed Him more than I needed anything else in my life.

Having a relationship with God changed my life as my mind gradually aligned to the mind of Christ. I’m now in the process of learning and unlearning things, and I’m excited for things to come.

For one thing, God opened my eyes to see the value of discipleship. There are many people who need to hear His message. I used to be one of them—and I know that Jesus’s love and sacrifice compels me to share who He is to others, especially to my fellow students.

Jesus called me to “go and make disciples” because He gave me His great commission. He wants me to be a representative of His image and work. With this, I believe that making disciples is one BIG opportunity for me, because I’m part of God’s big work. And you are, too!

It is my prayer that He would still continue to entrust me with people who are in need of hearing His message, and that I would be a great example of His love. At the same time, I want to grow deeper in my relationship with God, and encounter more godly people who would help me in my walk with Him.

 

Stephen leads a Victory group of students in his home church, Victory Pioneer.

Nothing to Lose

Nothing to Lose

Mitos Aguadera is simple, straightforward, and passionate about who God is and who He called her to be. Discipled as a young woman, she readily accepted an invitation to be part of a Victory group in her current home church of Victory Iloilo.

“I’ve always wanted to lead my own small group,” she shares. Her discipler, whom she considers “one of the best leaders,” empowered her by giving her valuable tips and pointers en route to letting her lead the Victory group discussion among her classmates.

“She would always tell us that our foundation should be Jesus and His love for us,” she shares proudly.

Being fully aware of Jesus and what He did for her, Mitos decided to focus on her relationship with Him. “I decided to follow Jesus because I had nothing to lose if I followed Him.”

Not long after making this life-changing decision, Mitos was forced to become her family’s breadwinner when her father passed away. The blow may have been painful, but Mitos found a peace and joy that sustained her through that difficult time.

“The gospel changed my mindset on how I see myself, my life, other people, and God,” she says. “It made me feel secure of God’s love for me,” she adds, sharing on how the gospel transformed her.

She also recounts how God has created in her a heart of compassion, putting this burden into action by “an innate desire to share Jesus to all people.” As she herself puts, “God’s love for me made me want to disciple others. I always remind myself that if I love God, I should love His people. One way to put this into action is through making disciples that will also make disciples.” Mitos currently leads a small youth group, and is an active Kids’ Ministry volunteer at Victory Iloilo.

Mitos understood what it meant to live for God, not only in her relationships, but also in productivity. She graduated as a cum laude in college, and is now an account manager in a business process outsourcing (BPO) firm. All this is because “I always do my BEST as a form of worship to God.” To her, God deserves the best of all that she is.

Of course, Mitos is far from perfect. “I struggle with my temper and impatience sometimes,” she admits, “but I believe God will help me overcome this.” Other than this, she believes that meditating and applying God’s Word in her life is the best way to live life in Christlikeness.

Mitos is in faith not only for the things that are her weaknesses, but also for discipling others. “I want to (disciple) future campus missionaries, church planters, and missionaries.” Indeed, she has seen how God’s love has made an impact in her own life, and having that desire to disciple the nations and the next generation is her way of giving back gratitude and worship to God.

Mitos, like all of us, has nothing to lose when we lose ourselves for God’s purposes in our lives.