My FaBros 1st Christmas Party Closing Remarks

December 9, 2012

At JL Picones’ Residence, Binganonan, Rizal

I started attending Victory Quezon City in September 1999 months after my sister got miraculously healed of TB Meningitis in just a week. It was 2001 when I got baptized to Christianity through our church’s first Victory Weekend ever and 2003 when I started leading my own Victory Group when my former Cell Group Leader, now Lead Pastor of Victory Nova, got married. I lead the group with Jeff, a buddy from the same church, who’s also now married and will have a child soon.

Our Philcoa Single Men Outreach was the biggest Victory Group (VG) in our local church at that time. It’s such a joy to see many men’s lives transformed by God in their personal, career, and family life with my contribution. That’s why since 2003 until now, I continue to honor God and make disciples through Victory Groups.

As the year 2012 closes, our Victory Group Network “Family of Brothers” (FaBros), is the biggest Single Men’s Victory Group in Victory Metro East with a breakthrough growth of five Victory Groups in a single year alone with an average of 50 strong men, passionate, and committed to living for God.

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Leading Victory Groups through the years is not an easy task. Many challenges and sacrifice go with it. It requires a lot but it’s all worth it seeing how God changes mine and the lives of others this way. These are Three C’s I value that helped me grow “boys to men” living for God’s glory:

1.     Commitment

“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” – Philippians 2:8

 “The big C that makes a big difference in everything you do…commitment. Anything and anyone worth succeeding with are worth committing to.”-Adrian Pantonial

Our commitment to God and to fellow believers is what will make a difference in our lives and other people’s lives too. Commitment is demonstrated by…

  • Reading your Bible, applying it to daily life and praying every day
  • Being intentional in relating, taking time to hang-out with VG bros outside the VG meeting
  • Praying for your VG bros and leaders throughout the week, not only on Sundays.
  • Being accountable with your leader, sharing with them your joys and pains, struggles and significant life changes so they may pray for you specifically, to help and serve you better.

2.     Community

“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”-John 12:24

 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”-Galatians 6:9-10

 “Multiplication happens not in hoarding but in giving.” – Pastor Rommel Sumaway, Unlimited Series, Week 2

This growth of our Victory Group is not about me. It’s not about any single one of us. It’s all about us, working together to glorify God because it’s all about God.

It was some time in May 2009 when I started attending Victory Metro East, started my VG in 2010 but it never really had committed VG bro’s not until 2011. It was also last year when I started praying for three VG Leaders to rise up from my VG but that never really happened until this year.

When Kenjie and Edi left for abroad, separation anxiety kicked in. Those left behind in my VG were not yet ready and equipped to lead a VG. It’s painful seeing people come and go in Victory Groups. To cope up, I focus helping VG bros who are committed. My time is too precious and could be use for other efforts in advancing God’s kingdom in my life.

At the last quarter of 2011, I was about to give up leading my VG. My then VG members know that. I was in pain, hurt, questioning God where is Adrian now? Some of my former VG members were already married, have better careers than I have while I am still a Victory Group Leader.

In our Christmas Party last year at Gilligans Island – SM Masinag, I told them that by faith, I will still continue leading our VG because I want to obey God’s call in my life in that season. Had I given up leading a VG, we guys won’t be all here.

Our calling is always connected to a community. We are not meant to live our lives for ourselves but also for the community God is reaching out to.

Living for God’s community means…

  • Dying to self daily (Luke 9:23), giving up our selfishness,
  • Resolving conflicts God’s way: talking to the person who hurt you first before talking about it with others.
  • Going out of our comfort zones, doing extra mile to show that we love and care for our VG bro’s (John 15:13)

 3.     Character

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” -John 14:6 NIV

 “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”-2 Timothy 4:1-3

 The goal of Christianity is Christ-likeness. We need our leaders and this community of believers to encourage, strengthen and correct us. We mature as a Christian in this succession: it all starts with our thought which eventually leads to forming our destiny.

 Thought > Action > Habit > Character > Destiny

When you surrender your life to Christ, He continues that work until He comes again, perfecting it, sanctifying it, cleansing it all through out.

 “Moses had a staff. David had a sling. Samson had a jawbone. Rahab had a string. Mary had some ointment. Aaron had a rod. Dorcas had a needle. All were used by God. What do you have?” – Max Lucado

What you have when you were born are God’s gift to you. What you become in the process is your gift back to God.

 “ Seek the Kingdom of Godabove all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” – Matthew 6:33 NLT

Building our family of brothers, our community of believers, while growing boys to men requires commitment, and Christ-likeness.

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