Discipleship is really about following Jesus. While there are hundreds, if not thousands of books about leadership. As Christians, however, leadership is not just being in front of people, it is about being a servant, and most of all, being a follower.
Encountering young leaders who want to make a difference in the world is probably one of the greatest joys of my work. I’ve seen this in Ndola, Zambia last April, and this November, I saw it again in the Philippines.
While on the bus to the venue, we already experienced the warmth of Christian fellowship. Such fun!
About 28 young leaders from the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia came together for five days of learning, fellowship, and dreaming.
Bishop Rudy Juan opened with his keynote about the connection of discipleship and leadership. Particularly, he said that as Christian young leaders, we needed to be mindful of three things:
- The VISION of the United Methodist Church: To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
- Giving VOICE to young people in the church: Speak up in a loving manner.
- Listen & Learn from the experiences of elders in the church, then add our own experiences to that.
Speaking of giving voice to young people, we also had a session on Young People’s Voices in the United Methodist Church, led by my good friend, Earlie Pasion-Bautista. It wasn’t a simple session by any means. It was done remotely via Skype! This is really my first time in a church event with a remote presenter. It worked out well, too!
I led a session on Program Planning and Implementation on behalf of Mr. Caloy Diño. After that session, the young leaders implemented what they learned by thinking of a project and plan for its implementation.
They also had some fun through the Trust Fall and other games during the Team-building session. There were even some #hugot moments as the facilitator said “you should be ready when you fall.” That statement probably doesn’t make sense to somebody who’s not Filipino, but it was definitely funny while the participants were doing this trust fall game.
There were many more sessions during the Summit, but easily, my favorite part is having conversations with these young leaders while drinking coffee, while eating meals, and just hanging out.
The Young Leaders Summit is one of the biggest training events in the Philippines and in Africa organized by Young People’s Ministries. But of course, it doesn’t just end at the event. The real challenge is to live out our calling as leaders as we integrate our faith into our daily lives.
To read more about what our previous participants are doing in ministry, visit our website: http://UMCYoungPeople.org