Reflections on My Young Leaders Summit Experience
By Larren Jo Basilio
"The harvest is large, but there are few workers to gather it in. Pray to the owner of the harvest that he will send out workers to gather in his harvest.” - Matthew 9:37-38
The Bible verse above resonated with me after I attended the Young Leaders Summit last Nov. 9-13, 2016. I found a bigger sense of responsibility and ministry. My thirst for knowledge was satisfied during the Summit.
Serving in God’s vineyard since my teenage years, I have come up with multiple strategies to engage more youths in the church. I used trial and error for so long; thought of ideas on how to lead the youth with various activities. Some worked, others failed. Becoming an effective leader is a long process. You need to be patient, willing and open to possibilities of losing and winning.
Diverse people from different Annual Conferences in the Philippines: pastors and deaconesses, youth and young adults. Some participants also came from Mongolia, Vietnam and Laos. At first, I felt shy but I built rapport with other participants. This time I mingled, kept having conversations until I saw myself excited for more things to come. I heard stories of defeats and how they surpassed the challenges of being in leadership and ministry. The Summit became an avenue of sharing stories of striving in the fields where the Lord put each of us in.
Several topics became the highlight of my Summit experience: “Young people’s voices in the UMC”, “Program Planning & Implementation”; and “Technology, Social Media, Internet & Ministry” were the highlight of my YLS experience. These topics urged me to expand my thoughts on how to be effective in my ministries.
There was once a show in the Philippines with the tagline: “Dream Believe Survive.” During the Summit, we dreamed, envisioned, worked together and looked for ways to implement these dreams. We took time to look inside and outside the four walls of the church building. We also discussed some issues about church and society, which gave me another view through the words of wisdom by the facilitators and other delegates.
The Summit was a complete package of molding leaders, from spiritual visioning and planning to discussing issues about church and society, and maximizing resources (finances, Internet, etc) for our ministries.
I felt my thirst quenched during the event. But after the event, I was thirsty again—for opportunity to help others. I want to be part of quenching the thirst of more young people in my community and country.
Larren Jo Basilio is a National officer of the United Methodist Youth Fellowship in the Philippines. He attended the Young Leaders Summit in the Philippines on November 2016.