By Roy Calleja, BCBP Quezon City
As we face the year on fire with the recent visit of Pope Francis and our resulting Transfiguration because of this visit, we need to keep that fire burning throughout our 35th year as the BCBP community and even beyond. The flames should continue to burn bright and not wane even if there will be times of tiredness and weariness in the face of doing God’s work. I am reminded of St. Ignatius’ exhortation: “Go forth and set the world on fire.”
Last year by end of November I was a tired person. Friday I served as Worship Leader of the Sectoral Assembly for the empowerment of the servant leaders of the North Metro Manila Sector who will be serving in NAC 35. On Saturday we had a MANCOM meeting in preparation for the MANCOM Plans for 2015, then after lunch, I presented in the BOT meeting, together with Mel Rebutica and Rey Feria, which lasted for several hours, the revisions in the Community Manual and the other manuals we had been working on for the last couple of months. After the whole day meeting at 7 pm, we had a joyful BOT/MANCOM Christmas Party.
By Sunday I was tired physically, emotionally and spiritually. But I still had to attend a Catch Fire Prayer Rally in Smart Araneta. I wanted to skip the meeting but I found myself going there tired but, boy, did the Catch Fire Rally lift me up. The worship led by Shok of Couples for Christ and the talk by Bobby Quitain set the place on fire, the sharings of the 3 persons, one from Familia, one from BCBP Ormoc and a young man from Ligaya could lift up even the dead. We ended up lighting our cellphones, one small light per person but with over 5,000 persons there, Smart Araneta looked Ablaze, on fire with God’s light and love. God brought the speakers and over 5,000 people to encourage, empower me and set me on fire. The theme was Set the World Ablaze.
God has brought into my life, people who have empowered me, encouraged me and set me on fire. They brought me to the Lord, encouraged me to serve, did not force me on what to do but instead encouraged me to seek and follow God where he leads me, follow the vision and mission of God to the BCBP. They opened the doors to God for me.
I would like to share with you 3 steps on how we can empower, encourage, set others on fire:
Enter into a relationship with family, BCBP members, officemates, people God brought into your lives, and build relationships to build trust. Life is all about relationships, our primary relationship with God then relating with others in a way God relates to us. Listen first before sharing and speaking. If you are a leader in the BCBP, be a friend first then a leader second.
Enjoy your relationships. Inter into a relationship with the not so active in your chapter. Encourage them to be active in the BCBP, Heb 10:24-25 “We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works. We should not stay away from our assembly, as is the custom of some, but encourage one another, and this all the more as you see the day drawing near”. Pope Francis said go to the peripheries and these inactive members are the people sitting in the peripheries during FF Mass, Assemblies, gatherings. Talk to them, build relationships with them.
Empower people given to you by God by encouraging them to set goals, follow their dreams, and for the Leaders to delegate (stewardship delegation). I was talking to some leaders recently who had taken the SLT and I told them that the highest level of delegation is when members say “we did it ourselves”. Do not control but learn to empower and let go. Be available to them in times of need, pray and intercede. Empower not only by teaching but by mentoring.
2. Be the Best Man:
Our role is like the best man who sets up, prepares for Jesus and our friends to meet and develop a relationship. Point to Jesus, bring others to Jesus, empower them to develop the relationship with Jesus, help the person grow according to God’s likeness and image not your own likeness and image, and when they are on the honeymoon, have the decency to get away, When my son Migs took the BCLP in BCBP QC after graduating from College, I was sure he would get a job right away because of his high school and college performance but months passed and he did not get a job. God promised a job which I thought would come after his Baptism in the Holy Spirit but it came after making his commitment to the BCBP. In my prayer, God was telling me to share with Migs, who was very happy he landed his dream job, that God wanted Migs to know from the heart that God was his true Father in heaven.
In trials and suffering point to Jesus is the only answer. Jesus embraced all of humanity including the most horrible of trials and suffering for us to know that there is no aspect of human life bereft of Jesus presence.
3. Be an Example:
BCBP is a witnessing community; witnessing must be our way of life. Witness to an empowered way of life, live an empowered way of life. I shared with a core group of members in BCBP QC my inspiration that becoming a better BCBP active and serving member is a good way to ensure my family life is in order and that my children also develop their relationship with Jesus. We can only serve effectively if our family life is in order. So I set up together with this core group and with the help of BCBP Las Pinas, the BCBP QC Young Adults Program called Pro-Active Loving Servants of the Lord or PALS now in its 21st year. I also attended and served for over 10 years in the BCFR to strengthen the relationships between family members and to evangelize our BCBP children, the future BCBP members.
Then 3 years ago as majority of the children of BCBP QC members were working but struggling to find themselves and God in the workplace, we set up Christ’s Young Professionals or CYP. After seeking guidance from God I volunteered to finish the BCBP Book and the 3 manuals for the future BCBP members and leaders to enable them to know the past in order to have a true vision for the future.
Witness to your relationship with Jesus, witness to inspire, witness for others to follow, witness for others to serve especially in the hardest of service where others are afraid to serve: in mission, in the breakfast and family life programs. Witness, persevere in tough situations even when others do not support you. Heb 10:35-36 “Therefore, do not throw away your confidence; it will have great recompense. You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised”.
If you want to empower others, experience in a deeper way the love of Jesus, grow in that relationship though prayer, in all your decisions choose a path that will bring you closer to Jesus. God bless.