Participating in God’s mission can be a long, tedious process. It is the work of a lifetime, not just for one day. We may not reap the fruit immediately, but as long as we know that we are working for the One who sent us, there will always come a time for harvest.
Without much expectation, I went to the Young Leader Summit on Nov. 11-15, 2015 as the representative for the Northwest Philippines Annual Conference. Before leaving, I was singing this old song:
It started out as a feeling
Which then grew into a hope
Which then turned into a quiet thought
Which then turned into a quiet word
But then that word grew louder and louder
‘till it was a battle cry . . .
(The Call, Regina Spector)
Throughout the Summit, I kept hearing the word “VISION” from one speaker to another, and I felt God speaking to me about this word.
During the opening worship, Bishop Rudy Juan said “Leadership is a process.” I consider all my experiences as part of this process, including my struggles. When I began to understand that, it made me appreciate not only the successes but also the situations that challenge me.
Di Ann Sanidad, 2nd from left, poses with youth delegates during their district’s Christmas Institute
Rev. Jestril Alvarado addressed the need to redefine leadership in our churches. He shared Jesus’s leadership through vision, inspiration and strategy. “The equipping comes after the calling,” he added.
The first disciples that Jesus called were busy casting their nets on the lake (Mark 1:14-20). But Simon, Andrew, James and John followed Him when He called them to ministry: “at once they left their nets and followed Him.” (Mark 1:18)
These disciples walked with Jesus. I see them as men going through an internship. Before deploying them to their actual jobs, Jesus showed them His ways: how He teaches, how He heals, how He treats people. Through these experiences, Jesus equipped the disciples for what they were later called to do.
The disciples were fishermen by profession, but Jesus called them not only to follow everything that He was doing; He called them to be obedient to His call. Obedience springs out of faith. As Rev. Alvarado said “The equipping comes after the calling.” Jesus who calls us will equip us.
As we approached the last days of the Summit, I realized that I am a part of God’s family. I am called to participate and to respond to my accountabilities as a disciple. My prayer right now is to connect with the youth of Northwest Philippines Annual Conference (NWPAC-UMYFP) who are living, studying and working in Manila (Philippines).
It has been my dream to see a group of young people studying the Word of God and then sharing it with others. I hope to see young people sharing His Word not just inside the church, but also in their campuses and in their workplaces. I remember the words of Jesus to his disciples:
18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 18-20)
One of my prayers after the Young Leader Summit is that many people will see the fruits we bear as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. Let our mission flow from the visions God gives us.
I got the call.
I left with a vision.
I am living for God’s mission.
I am Di Ann Sanidad, a 2015 Asian Young Leader Summit attendee, and I am called for a mission. I am super blessed to be a member of the United Methodist Church family, whose faith goal is ‘To Know Christ and Make Him Known.’