Notes on Phyllis Tickle’s “The Great Emergence”

Introduction

As a Christian, I had been interested in the history of the faith. I got wind of Phyllis Tickle’s “The Great Emergence” through a friend who wrote a book using Tickle’s idea of a “Church rummage sale” every 500 years or so.

The last such “Church rummage sale” was the Great Reformation, which shaped the history of the church in Europe and, arguably, the whole world.

As is my usual reading process: I would listen to the Audiobook and then pick up the printed or electronic book to delve more deeply into the ideas of the book.

This blog post contains my notes–most of them will probably be in the form of direct quotes and paraphrases. I will put the page numbers as much as I could. I also include my reflections and questions as I wrestle with the material.

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Notes on Program Design, Implementation, and Evaluation 2: Strategic Planning

I am taking a class on Program Design, Implementation, and Evaluation this semester. This is part of my Master’s in Youth Development. To make my notes more accessible, I decided to put them here. Our textbook is “Effectively Managing and Leading Human Service Organizations, 4th Ed.” by Ralph Brody and Murali Nair. 

These are my notes from the chapters I am reading. 

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Chapter 2: Strategic Planning

“Strategic planning describes the process of addressing change. It develops goals, accompanied by a set of actions to help achieve those goals. Emerging from the organization’s key stakeholders…, it is a shared vision for the future. It is also a roadmap for achieving that vision, given known realities and facts.”

It leads to a written plan. It’s also equally important to engage stakeholders for buy-in and support.

Strategic planning “helps participants reach consensus on fundamental issues that require ongoing, concentrated attention. Through strategic planning, stakeholders stimulate their organization to move beyond doing business as usual, by considering innovative changes.”

Note: Strategic planning also helps organizations say NO to good opportunities but are not in line with the organization’s vision.

“Only when a nonprofit’s key performance areas are defined can it really set goals. Only then can the nonprofit ask, “Are we doing what we are supposed to be doing? Is it still the right activity? Does it still serve a need?” And above all, “Do we still produce results that are sufficiently outstanding, sufficiently different for us to justify putting our talents to use in that area?” Then you can ask, “Are we still in the right areas? Should we change? Should we abandon?” – Peter Drucker

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Notes on Program Design, Implementation, and Evaluation 1: Leadership

I am taking a class on Program Design, Implementation, and Evaluation this semester. This is part of my Master’s in Youth Development. To make my notes more accessible, I decided to put them here. Our textbook is “Effectively Managing and Leading Human Service Organizations, 4th Ed.” by Ralph Brody and Murali Nair. 

These are my notes from the chapters I am reading. 

* * * * *

Chapter 1: Leading the Organization

Effective managers have “the ability to produce results based on their leadership abilities.”

“Effective managers must provide both visionary leadership and day-to-day administrative direction.”

“Managers” and “Leaders” are interchangeable.

Leadership Styles

  • Directive leadership – the leader functions as a taskmaster or an orchestra conductor, and staff are expected to follow to achieve results.
  • Participative leadership – the leader has the final decision but invites input from subordinates. This style emphasizes relationships.
  • Delegative leadership – willing give subordinates the power to decide on important matters.

Different staff or subordinates tend to receive these leadership styles differently. Experienced and knowledgeable staff may be predisposed toward the latter two styles of leadership. But if staff lack experience and knowledge, they may prefer the first style.

Other situational factors also affect the appropriate leadership style in the organization:

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Amplifying Youth Voices through New Media Technologies

In the past decade, starting around 2006, a lot of Social Media sites started breaking into the mainstream. Blogs, Facebook, photo-sharing, and video-sharing sites started attracting hundreds of thousands and millions of users around the world.

As expected, young people led the way in adapting and finding various uses of these technologies. Some built blogs that earned the money, some started building their online following, and observers around the world were fascinated with the immense possibilities that these new media technologies represented.

Before long, these technologies were used for writing and airing personal opinions, on religion, politics, business, and other less controversial topics.

Looking back from 2018, these technologies definitely provided a venue for young people’s voices to be heard.

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We Need a Conversation on Evangelism, Discipleship, and Church Growth

This article was originally published at The Filipino Magazine.

As a church, we are good at in ministering to and educating children through Sunday School, Vacation Bible Church, Children’s camps, and many other ministries. When these children enter puberty and youth, they naturally attend the Christmas Institute ad join the United Methodist Youth Fellowship. A lot of these youth then become trained and serve as leaders in local churches, districts, annual conferences, in the national level, and even globally.

Young People Leaving the UMC

But something happens to our young people as they transition out of the UMYF age and into young adulthood. A lot of them leave the church. In the past few years, I have seen a lot of friends and batch-mates in the UMYF leave the UMC to join other churches, particularly those whose acronym end in _CF.

These young people are not just mere church-goers. When they transfer to a CF, a lot of them have the skills to lead bible studies, play in a band, lead worship, plan for events and programs, and participate in a church team. In short, they are leader materials!

I also know some friends who remain active members of the UMC. They go to a UMC worship service, participate in congregational life and yet on other days of the week they would go to a non-denominational church, attend worship services, and participate in small groups in these churches.

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Christmas Institutes and My Leadership Journey

Right before the Christmas vacation of 1993, my father, who was assigned as the Pastor of Roxas UMC at the North Central Philippines Annual Conference, told me to attend this gathering of church youth. I was 11 then, one year short of the official age of an official member of the UMYFer.

I didn’t know what the Christmas Institute was all about but right after Christmas day, I chose the nicest clothes from among the gifts I received that year. I watched as jeepneys and tricycles full of youth arrived at our church. I knew some of them—friends I met through cluster fellowship events of the church.

As the days progressed, Ates and Kuyas from Roxas UMC invited me to sit with them inside the church to participate in the activities of the CI. As a Pastor’s kid, I have had lots of practice sitting down inside the church, but the joy of the youth attending the event was so infectious that I found myself wanting to join in the fun.

For most youth in the United Methodist Church, the year is not complete without participating to the Christmas Institute. We learn more about our faith through the Bible studies, lectures, and group dynamics. We meet new friends through the small group interactions and the games we play. For young hearts, we even find childhood crushes and eventually, life partners.

a few friends from my district in Isabela (l-r Eufer, me, Kuya Fido, Pastor Randy).  This photo was taken in April 2008 in San Nicolas, Pangasinan during our National Youth Conference.

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Adulting: How Long does ‘Youth’ last?

In my line of work (youth and young adult ministry), we often talk about the age range of youth and young adults. It varies in different places around the world.

With our church in the Philippines, the age for youth is between 12-24. In the United States, youth is from 12-18. When a person turn 18 years old, then he or she is considered a young adult and has reached the legal age. It means they are expected to be responsible for themselves and be liable for potential crimes or misdemeanor.

How long does a person stay as a ‘youth’?

It is fun to be a young person. It has its ‘stormy’ phase and you’re affected by moods and self-consciousness and many other issues. And then you grow up.

‘Adulting’ is one of those terms that recently caught social media’s attention. People post about getting an apartment, cooking for themselves, or just doing anything that is responsible and things that adults usually do.

I have recently enrolled in a Master’s degree in Youth Development. I am reading and learning a lot about adolescence, youth, emerging adulthood, and a lot of other things related to the youth and the process of growing up.

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The Word, the Web, and the Youth

I served as the National President of the United Methodist Youth Fellowship in the Philippines between June 2006 to May 2008. It was a great experience and helped me develop into the person and leader I am today. 

On November 19-20, 2007, I presented a paper entitled The Word, the Web, and the Youth as part of the Philippine Bible Forum organized by the Philippine Bible Society. Back then, Internet technologies such as blogs and social media started to takeoff. I explored the ministry implications of these technologies with young people. 

This paper represents some of earlier writings and it is one of my earliest efforts to understand the issues, trends, and challenges that young people are facing. In the process, I also wanted to help our church address these issues.

Reading it now, ten years later, some of it has become obsolete. That’s how quickly the Internet and the Web is evolving. But there are still some insights worth going back to. 

This paper was published on the compendium of papers presented during the Bible Forum.

Abstract

The Bible is the timeless word of God (Isaiah 40:8, NIV). Through the Bible we gain wisdom, guidance for our everyday lives and solace in times of trouble and grief. More importantly, it helps us to know God more deeply. This paper seeks to describe the characteristics of modern young people and their culture. The internet, Friendster, blogs, online communities, video games and other online platforms affect the social skills, the learning processes and the spirituality of young people. Undoubtedly, the Bible is still relevant in the lives of young people. But do they perceive it that way? This paper will present a cursory glance on the issues being faced by young people and the relevance of the Bible to these issues.

A set of strategies will then be proposed in order to make the Bible more relevant to young people. Three main principles will be used in proposing this set of strategies. First, creative, “out of the box” methods should be used in presenting the stories and message of the Bible. Interactivity is the language of this generation so qany effort to reach young people should have this element. Finally, practical and contextual issues will serve as gateways in teaching “deeper” spiritual truth to young people.

Lastly, this paper will call for the establishment of a think tank body or a network that can help recognize the trends in youth culture and how churches and ministries can present the Christian message more effectively. The Philippine Bible Society, together with other youth and campus ministries can assist in setting up this body.

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The Filipino Methodist is Back as a Magazine

Long time ago, The United Methodist Church in the Philippines had a monthly publication called The Filipino Methodist. It was a newsletter printed on newsprint and sent to subscribers by mail. It folded in 2010 after being in existence since 1969.

In the age before the Internet, the Filipino Methodist newsletter was the main way for Filipino Methodists to read about ministry news and features from all over the Philippines. Because of the increasing costs of printing and sustainability issues, it had to shut down.

But now, 7 years after it folded, the Filipino Methodist is back as a magazine. Kudos to Tita Phebe G. Crismo, publisher, Kuya Fort Nicolas, editor, and their team for working hard to bring this publication back.

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How I Got Started in Writing

Like most diligent High School students, I was part of our school paper. I was even the Editor-in-Chief right before I graduated. I even dabbled in some, rather cheesy, poetry… you know, the kind that you write for a girl you like. Thankfully, there’s evidence that such cheesy poems existed ever.

Those were my early start, but writing in high school probably doesn’t count for much. But even at a young age, I’ve been a reader. I didn’t know about literary awards back then. We live in the province of Isabela, which is two mountain ranges and about 10 hours away from Manila; so I didn’t have access to people who could recommend good novels or literary outputs to me. But I still learned how to read long-form books while in High School: some novels, graphic novels, and nonfiction books among others. This was before the widespread popularity of the Web and the Internet.

A photo by Aidan Meyer. unsplash.com/photos/Q9GlzfhYgGk

Dr. Sicat and my Hate-Love Relationship with Journal Writing

I went to College and took BA Political Science at UP Diliman. My first English teacher, Dr. Sicat, required us to write five pages of journal writing everyday! Imagine that?! Five pages of letter-size paper every single day!

She didn’t really read every single page or thought we put on our journals. I sometimes cheated and wrote lyrics of songs I liked. Most of the time, though, I tried hard to write in English and express myself. Oh, but I hated that subject all semester long.

The next semester, though, I had a change of heart. I finally understood what Dr. Sicat was trying to teach me–expressing myself and my thoughts in this language. By writing everyday, even though I felt stilted and “trying hard,” I developed confidence in my ability to think and write in English. So, I took my old notebooks from that first semester, got the unused parts and recycled them as a place to let my thoughts run free.

Literary Things

It’s a long story how I got to be friends with Butch. But he has been a great part of my life–as a mentor, brother, and friend (oh yeah, best man at my wedding, too!). He introduced me to all sorts of literary things. He’s the reason I read C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and Silmarillion.

By the end of my second year in College, Butch and I, together with other friends, had talked about literary things, theories, and I finally knew where to look for good stuff to read. I’ve also started reading some poetry, short stories, and even got introduced to some Filipino writers. I even took additional English subjects–poetry and Business English as electives.

I would have transferred from Political Science to Creative Writing or Comparative Literature had it not been for my agreement with my parents–I was only allowed 4 years in College.

The pen or the guitar?

I learned to play the guitar when I was in second year High School, but I only got serious with it upon entering college. I practiced my chords, scales, and was even part of a fledgling band. I was so into the guitar that I was practicing 3-4 hours at least three times a week.

Within a year, I felt my guitar skills growing. But if I were to be really good at it, I still had a lot to go.

And I also wanted to be a writer. Badly.

So I had to make a choice: the pen or the guitar?

And I chose the pen (or the computer keyboard maybe).

I still play the guitar occasionally. But I have taken writing as the bigger part of my life. In fact, I consider it as an important part of my calling.