Edric and Joy Mendoza: Starting a Smallgroup

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Edric E. Mendoza, Jr. is President of TMA Homeschool (an international home-school services provider with over 1,200 students across 24 countries) and Founder of the Homeschool Association of the Philippine Islands (HAPI)). He is also lead anchor at ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC)’s On the Money, a daily show on personal finance that was awarded Gawad Tanglaw’s “Best Business Show” in 2012. WhenInManila.com named him among “15 Filipino Motivational Speakers You Should Hear.”  He is a keynote speaker for multi-national companies, a Registered Financial Planner (RFP),  licensed Guerrilla Marketing Coach, and family man.

His beautiful wife, Joy, in her very popular blog, www.teachwithjoy.com, describes herself as “a happy wife, mother to five, and a follower of Jesus Christ. I write about the joys and honest struggles of marriage, parenting and homeschooling.” She authored When A Good God Allows Rape available at OMF Literature, Cup of Faith, online at Amazon and Kindle, and other bookstores nationwide.  She is a Family, Marriage, Homeschooling Advocate, and a sought-after speaker nationwide.

edric joyedric joy mendoza familyTogether, the couple is asked to speak at various events nationwide and abroad including a recent one at Kerygma Conference.

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They conduct Training and Counseling for families in the areas of marriage, parenting, and money stewardship. Their family is a brand ambassador for Cetaphil (2014-current).

In last weekend’s IDC2018 event at CCF, they spoke about mentoring others on the ways of the Lord… that is Discipleship through Smallgroups. Here is an interview where they shared on its How’s and Why’s.

Edric:  Let me first say that there are no qualifications because we’re all unqualified. What qualifies us is who it is that they’re actually following and it’s not us. It’s Christ. So as you go about following Christ, the Why is the more important question. The bible says, “Christ’s love compels us.” If we truly fully embrace what He’s done for us, why not pass that on?  There are so many people who experience the same thing. And the fact that we received it [discipleship] from someone means that someone actually had to do that for us.  So it’s almost obligatory for us to say, “I need to do this for someone else, too.”  That’s the Why because His love compels us. Once the Why is clear, the How becomes easy.  We’ve tried so many different permutations and failed so many different times but we have kept going because the Why is clear.  We follow Christ and as we do, they copy us as we copy Christ. And they do the same.

Joy: If you look at Jesus’s life, He really went up to the mountain to pray and fast about whom He would disciple, who He would call as His twelve and I think we have to be intentional first about that, “Lord, who are the people You want to bring in to my life for me to mentor, for me to really have the discipleship relationship with?” I think the other thing is really to love people.  When people see that you’re a loving person, when you’re someone they can approach and have a relationship with, they’ll be attracted to that and they’ll really want to know more about your relationship with God. All of us can choose to be loving.  We can choose to react differently to situations where people are watching us. The truth is everyone’s watching us because the bible says, “There’s a cloud of witnesses around us.” So when people watch our lives, do they see Christ in us?  Is it attractive to them?  Because if it’s attractive to them, then when we say something like, “Hey, do you wanna meet maybe sometime for coffee and we can talk about what it means to love God and follow Him, they’ll be open to it. But if there’s no evidence in our lives, they won’t want Jesus.

Edric: As you go and do this and show love and care for them, you wanna make sure that you facilitate more than lecture.  [The latter] doesn’t really work in Small Groups.  You want to be able to say, “Hey, how are you doing?” and then draw them out. There’s a lot of material. If you think, “I’m not equipped. I don’t know too much about the bible,” there’s so much material.  One simple way is if you’re from CCF, there’s a summary of the [Sunday] worship material [that you can pick up from the lobby guard’s desk]. You can just ask them, “What did you learn from the worship service? How can we apply this?…. because that’s really key: [life] application. Don’t lecture. Facilitate.

Joy: Before, Edric was more the type to talk a lot and by God’s grace he learned the art of asking questions.

Edric: I’m still talking now as you can see!

Joy: There’s really an art to asking questions where people know you’re engaged and you’re very interested in what they have to say.

Edric: Open-ended questions, not yes-no questions. Instead of “Did you like it?”, ask “What did you like about it?”

Joy: “What did this mean to you?  How did it impact you?”

Edric: Second practical thing after the Why is very clear is: Creating Environments. You want to be able to see what do they like?  What are their interests?  As you see those interests, if you can now create opportunties for them to use that for God, that will help engage them better and help them catch a vision for what God can do.  That’s so important. That’s one of the things I learned early on in my discipleship with my mentor, my father-in-law.  He created opportunities, to plug me in…
Joy: So you could serve…

Edric: so that I could see, “Wow, this is what God could do in me.” It’s not just… we meet weekly and we facilitate. It’s really what God can do through me in the course of that relationship.

Joy: There are many opportunities to facilitate.  There’s Couples’ Retreats, Singles Retreats, Youth Retreats, Welcome Wednesdays, Saturday Events for Couples… it’s called TwoGether. So all these opportunities, can be venues for people to see what it’s like to lead the group and if God wants those people to stay with you and do something after the event, you can say, “Hey, why don’t we meet on a more regular basis, we can continue this relationship? So I think first, it’s the

willingness to be loving people

the willingness to [disciple]

praying for the right people

looking for opportunities where you can get into a facilitation situation where you can practice facilitating.  From there, you can continue that relationship because there are many opportunities within the church.

Edric: Take turns, rotate.

Joy: We all have spheres that we belong to— the family sphere, your household, friends, neighbors, workplace. All these spheres, there are people you can disciple.  You don’t have to think about it as, “Oh my goodness, I have to have twelve people that I’m discipling. I have to have boardroom style… I’ll be teaching, lecturing. Sometimes, it’s just very simple like one-on-one with your child or with a friend.  And then from there, God can build that.  But you have to start with at least one person.
Edric: So remember, the Why is key. After that, the How becomes easier.

BITS: How about the time? You both are so busy but how do you get to [disciple others]?

Edric: There’s various ways. For example, we have several groups. One of them, since we’ve been meeting with them for a long time, we go to them and we meet with them once a month.  There are those that live near us, so since we all live near each other, we can meet weekly.   There are some people I meet with online because we can’t just even meet each other [physically]. Really, I think the How becomes a lot easier when the Why is present. So your question on time and managing the time, just like any other thing in life, finding time to do my work, or school, or with my children.

JOY: If it’s important to you, you will find the time.  In our life season, we have young children.  Most of the children we’re discipling have young children so we say, “Hey, invite your kids over!” So they don’t think like they’re taking away another night from their family.  Because if you’re discipling a group and then you belong to a D-group, that’s already two nights in a week.  And that can be a lot for people. So you have to find ways to converge.  If you’re a family, then you attend the discipleship group as a family or you invite other families into your home. So you don’t have to leave your home again on another night.

BITS: For those who are beginners, do you have some motivation like what has been rewarding for you?

Edric: The closest friends we have in our lives, our highest highs and lowest lows, we’ve shared with the people [in our discipleship groups] because… It’s family. It’s not a program. It’s not an activity. It’s relationship. As people get to know each other, they become each other’s best men, maids of honor, Ninong, Ninang, because this is God’s design.  I firmly believe that God has designed these relationships. The bible says, “By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” That for me is one of the greatest joys, experiencing that love amongst us and them and even them among each other and how that attracts people to Christ.  It’s so amazing!

JOY: There’s really a delight in it when you serve God. The bible says, “Where your heart is, that’s where your treasure is.”  When you invest in the lives of people, that investment turns into a delight because the time you spend with them, you build relationships.  I get so excited about going to see these people or being with the D-Group.

EDRIC: Not always to be honest, in counseling, it hurts because we’ve been hurt, they’ve been hurt… but generally, it’s a delight… like seeing your kids.

JOY: Yes, generally there’s really a delight. When it’s a Christ-centered D-group, it’s not about us or about them but about Christ, it’s like a foretaste of heaven on the kind of fellowship we will have when we’re with the Lord someday… because there’s that joy, that unity of faith.

EDRIC: serving God, worshiping Him glorifying Him.

edric joy dgroupedric joy dgroup 2

For more information on joining a Small Group where you can grow in learning the ways of the Lord that transforms lives and families, find a Christ-honouring, Bible-believing church like CCF for instance. At CCF, you can visit on a Welcome Wednesday evening and get matched to a small group there. Online small group is also available through Skypleship.

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