I just came from a lunch where a few of our senior leaders honored Pastor Luther Mancao. After decades of service in the Philippines, he’s now going to help our Every Nation churches in the Middle East.
Pastor Luther is many things:
- The World’s Oldest Teenager – effective in campus ministry for decades, proving that you can stay in campus ministry indefinitely if you have the heart for it.
- A Living Legend – he was the second senior pastor of Victory U-Belt, the product of Victory’s first (and only?) merger, bringing along powerful leaders like Robert Hern.
- A Church Planting Machine – In the past seven years alone, he and his partner, Pastor Joseph Carodan, have spearheaded 43 thriving church plants all over the Philippines. That’s one church every other month for seven years!
- A Preaching Maestro – Youth services, Sunday services, funeral services, baby dedications, conferences – there isn’t a public speaking venue that he hasn’t aced. He would also be the teaching foundation for most of our preachers today.
- A Man of Many Interests – With his immense energy, Pastor Luther has gotten into mountain biking, motorcycle riding, Airsoft, and being a general handyman around the house.
- A Devoted Friend – Pastor Luther has time to make conversation with EVERYONE in the building. The crazy thing is he remembers everything about you – asking you about health conditions, relatives, and remembering the names of your family.
- A Family Man – He always dotes on his wife, Ms Nenette, and brags about his four children. I’ll always remember how I stayed with them for a week in Cape Town (they lived there for a while). Their home was such a place of fun, comfort, and encouragement.
As the different pastors honored him and thanked him, I had a few thoughts:
Be generous with honor.
In some groups, honor is a scarce resource. People are slow to appreciate one another. I’m privileged to see leaders who are so generous with honor.
After hearing so many stories honoring him, Pastor Luther got up and passed it back to everyone else: he credited Pastor Jun Escosar for teaching him to plant churches and he said his successor would go even further than him.
Great leaders are quick to honor others.
Build deep friendships.
As they talked about one another, it was obvious that these people didn’t just work together, they were bound by a deep friendship. They cared about one another’s families. They supported each other in difficulties. That’s the real secret to success that many people don’t recognize.
I wanna last long too.
There was a slideshow of pictures from Pastor Luther from thirty years ago to the present. It made me wonder where I’d be thirty years from now. In keeping a healthy family life, maintaining his personal hobbies, working hard with friends, and trusting God all throughout, Pastor Luther has lasted this long.
I want my family to last long with me.
Pastor Luther once stopped me in the lobby a month before my wedding.
“Joseph! How are your wedding plans?”
“They’re going well! Thanks for asking.”
“But the honeymoon is the most important! Did you plan that already?”
“Of course! I wouldn’t forget about that.”
“Very good, very good. How long is your honeymoon?”
“WRONG! Your honeymoon is for the rest of your life! Don’t forget that.”
Then he stepped into the elevator and the doors closed as he grinned at me. He really has a gift for the theatrical.
Thanks for everything, Pastor Luther! God be with you, and we’ll visit you soon!