How Discipleship Works in Real Life
Guest blog by Stefanie Villarin
I believe God has orchestrated everything to happen for a reason in my spiritual walk. Remember, nothing is coincidence in Him. He might have planned this day 5 or 6 years ago…. So since I cannot contain it to myself, let me share with you my insights and testimony as well, being a Christian for 5 years now.
The series for 2 weeks in Victory Christian Fellowship is about Wikichurch inspired by the concept behind Wikipedia. The topics are about Empowering Church and Making Disciples. (see http://victory.org.ph/resources/?series=wikichurch ). And today as Pastor Richard Lee talks about Making Disciples, I found myself seated side by side with two faithful women of God – Ms.Lanie Teves, a professor in PUP, one of the prettiest women I’ve met whose beauty radiates from inside out, who introduced me to “Youth Jam” as she called it before, way back in 2006. This woman patiently listened to me as I vented all my emotional burdens that time. She was the one who did One to One and accompanied me to the worship service in Victory U-Belt. I remembered how I traveled all the way from North Caloocan to SM City Manila where we met in KFC for the One to One session. I knew she was also ministering to other people but she made me feel I was also valuable and worth her time. All her efforts were not in vain. Neither did I know, that was only the beginning of so many great things to come. I wasn’t aware yet that I was heading into God’s purpose in my life.
When I moved to Victory Novaliches, I met another passionate woman of God – Ms.Agnes Arguelles, a graphic artist. She motivated me to go further on my spiritual walk. There, I finished my One to One, Victory Weekend and enrolled in Training for Victory . As a new believer, I was still hesitant and full of inhibitions about my new-found faith. As my leader, she was closely guiding me and at the same time pushing me to get involved and take responsibilities in the ministry. She kept on reminding me the importance of the 4 E’s – Engage, Establish, Equip and Empower…which she applied to us in her small group. I was a witness on how we grew in numbers. I saw her faithfulness in each of us- to follow up, to counsel, to rebuke if necessary and to motivate us to be a leader. I can still remember clearly the first time she asked me to lead our small group. The topic was ‘Church as a Bride’ and until now I kept that small group material as part of my testimony on how God moved into my life – from an average, low self-esteemed, no purpose, confused woman into a passionate, motivated, purposeful, spirit-filled, empowered Christian.
I have always been the talkative and hyperactive person but people did not listen nor care on what I say. My presence was not even recognized before.
Now, when I speak, people would tend to listen because I speak not my words of wisdom but words of truth, wisdom and encouragement from the Lord. I never knew my smile and laughter would cheer up people. I never knew that hugs and laying of hands could mean so much to a person with a heavy heart. I never knew that by standing firm with my convictions I would earn respect. And most of all, I never knew that my worth as a woman could not be defined by other people but only on what Jesus Christ did at the cross for me.
I never thought He would use someone like me. But as the message of this series says, The Lord uses people – imperfect and works in progress like you and me, who God enables and empowers to the works of His kingdom. Everyone is a minister. We don’t need to be an expert of the Bible or theologian to be able to share the Word of God. All we have to do is to share our faith…tell our story on what was our life before..and how we encountered Jesus. We do not need to be burdened if the person responds inappropriately. Just do our part, anyway. Plant the seed. And God will make it grow. (1 Corinthians 3:5-9). Let God deal with the person’s heart. We can only do possible things. God will do the impossible. Like these two amazing women did to me. They shared their faith..their lives…they ministered to me…and later on, they equipped me and empowered me. I am glad I responded correctly. Now, I can say I am living on the purpose God has called me to do.
I am a product of the obedience of the people who committed their lives in following Jesus and make disciples. Now I am also into the same calling. That is why I am also encouraging all Christians whether you have just received Jesus Christ a few minutes ago or you have been a church attendee for quite some time, to be aggressive and have that boldness to obey the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) and step out in faith – share the good news of SALVATION! Let the Word of God be heard! The kingdom of God has come upon us and we are all anointed to preach His word. And we will not do it alone. The moment we received Christ, we also received the gifts from the Holy Spirit that will empower us to advance God’s kingdom. (Read: Romans 12:4-8, Ephesians 4:11-13. 1 Peter 4:10-11).
If we will only allow God to use us whatever age, status or stage in life we are now, then that’s the only time we will realize we are living a life with a purpose.You could be an answer to someone’s prayer.
Stefanie with the two women who discipled her.