Michael and Pastor Cirilo discuss what's needed to put together a large Easter production and why the pastor chooses to focus on wins.
Show Episode Transcript
Leading to Big Moments with Efrain Cirilo
Intro:Welcome to manufacturing leadership, a podcast for young professionals in and out of the oil and gas industry. And now here's your host, Energy WeldFab's Michael Clements.
Michael C.: Hello listeners, welcome to manufacturing leadership an oil and gas podcast, I'm your host Michael Clements and I'm with my good friend, my pastor and I would say also mentor. Someone I talked to first about this podcast, Pastor Efrain Cirilo, how are you doing pastor Efrain?
Efrain Cirilo: I'm doing well Michael, thank you.
Michael C.: Man it's awesome to have you here. So pastor Efrain he's the senior pastor at Cross Point Fellowship Church here in Kilgore, or right around the corner in Kilgore with a satellite campus also in Longview. So the church is growing Efrain?
Efrain Cirilo: Yes, the church is growing, God's doing some amazing things and I'm just excited about what God's doing.
Michael C.: Well it's a privilege to have a young leader like yourself on the show today, and someone who also has already shown you're having great success so far, so wonderful to have you on the show and I think you're going to be able to offer our listeners quite a bit today.
Efrain Cirilo: Well praise God.
Michael C.: Well Efrain so let's get started here, a little background on yourself, what do you got?
Efrain Cirilo: Sure, well I been here at East Texas now for about seven years and here with my beautiful wife in Megan and our three beautiful kids, and we just enjoy being here in East Texas and we've been doing ministry here at cross point and God's been doing some amazing things. I'm originally born in San Juan Puerto Rico, was raised in the Bronx New York for about a good 16-17 years.
Michael C.: Not a Yankees fan?
Efrain Cirilo: No, not at all no, I'm a Mets fan. So we've never really liked the Yankees, but no blue and orange so yes.
Michael C.: Well whenever if you go check out the church app or the website or anything after this show, you'll notice our colors are blue and orange. So our pastor here is a Knicks fan and a Nets fan, so I wonder where those colors came from.
Efrain Cirilo: Man I don't know.
Michael C.: I don't know if anybody else has put the dots together on that or not, I think I have but I'll keep the secret to myself. So Efrain you grew up in New York and you moved to east Texas, what happened there in the middle?
Efrain Cirilo: Sure, well in the middle I actually attended a small state school in central Pennsylvania called Lock Haven University, and I went there and ended up meeting my wife there. Did my undergrad and graduate work there, and throughout that whole time God was really just stirring my heart for ministry, and reaching people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. And through that time I remember I went and did student teaching in Spain, and on the trip back from Spain I was out there for a practicum and I was teaching, and on the way back from that trip just the Lord really impressed upon me and said Efrain I have plans for ministry for you.
And through that we ended up attending a church, a church of God Church in central Pennsylvania called Jersey Shore Church of God, and got connected with a pastor there and through that time of attending the church and being a part of the body of Christ, God just really grabs ahold of us and catapulted us to ministry and leadership in ministry. And so we started off as greeters at the church, and greeting people in and through some time we attended Bible studies and all that. And from there we'd led life groups and God we were just doing an amazing work and then we got involved in college ministry, and we did college ministry for a good five to seven years, so it was just an amazing time there.
And it was during that time of discipleship and mentor and growing in my walk with the Lord that God really just was impressing upon me that he had something else, he had a deeper calling within me to leave what I was doing to go full-time into ministry. At the time I was working for the University, I spent about ten years in higher education administration and just working for the university, but at the same time I was helping lead a college ministry, but God was saying man there's more, I have more for you full-time and so yes.
Michael C.: How important was it to your leadership and to where you're at today, I mean listening to God back then, what type of impact do you think it's had on you today?
Efrain Cirilo: Oh huge, I mean just listening to the voice of God it's so important, and just really understanding what God has for you. It's in those moments where God speaks I have found in the quiet time, and those intimate time. It's like going into a room and shutting the door and opening up your Bible and reading the Bible and staying in the Word of God, and you're saying God I know that you have something for me, I know you have a purpose for me revealed that to me, what is that and as you search and look into the scriptures, the Lord says seek me and you will find me. And so through that process and through that time the Lord just really did an amazing work in leading us to where he has us.
Michael C.: I know one thing that you're very adamant about at church and also our private conversations is, you have to be intentional in your walk with Christ, and it's not something that happens, it's not like you can just plan a year out, well yes I'll get to God here in a little bit.
You say it's a daily thing, it's an everyday walk and I mean it compounds over time to now you're in East Texas, now your family's here, you're starting a family, your brother is at the satellite campus with his family, I mean this is a wonderful story that what we're living right now.
Efrain Cirilo: I'm telling I'm amazed to just be a part of what God is doing, I mean I really am.
Michael C.: Well it's been impressive just to see your discipline to the word and your discipline to what the Lord is doing in your life, and for me we got connected probably about what six years ago now six - seven years ago, so to be able to look at you and you're just a few years older than me, but the initial thought I had was this dude's pretty cool and he follows God, I mean no pun intended religiously.
So I thought hey, I want to be like that, I want to be more like Efrain. And so we've been able to grow our relationship over the last few years, and I just appreciate that a lot Efrain.
Efrain Cirilo: Well love you brother.
Michael C.: Yes sir. So Efrain who do you work with on a daily basis, how are decisions made at the church, who are all the people behind the scenes?
Efrain Cirilo: Sure, man we have a great team at the church, we work well together and we have an amazing staff and also an amazing Board of Elders. A team of people that just are sold out to the cause of Christ, and want to see his mission advance. The mission is to worship God, reach others for Christ and equip God's people to love, serve and transform the world. And it's really derived from the Great Commission that Jesus gave us in Matthew 28, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you, and the promise is this I am with you always.
And knowing that mission, and seeing that mission our team realizes it and gets it, they see the urgency so we have a great team of people ranging from an associate pastor that's on staff, a worship pastor, an administrative assistant, children directors, Longview campus pastor, as well as worship leader at the Longview campus.
And the heart of all of this through and the decisions that we make is prayer, we have a great prayer team as well that's really praise about every ministry and everything that we do. So it's just a great group of people that just are making a difference that right there, that's the reason why we're able to accomplish what we're called to do, is through that team.
Michael C.: Well just in the last few years, the church has went from just having a service that was partially full to now you have a service that is full, another service that is partially full and growing. You have another campus that is partially full and growing, record attendance last Sunday's, how is the team important to that?
Efrain Cirilo: Oh man, I mean if it wasn't for the team we would not be able to accomplish what we were set out to do. The team they work hard, they're constantly in a mindset of accomplishing the kingdom initiatives that have been set forth. The big thing for us is accomplishing the mission and staying focus on a mission, as you know Michael with businesses and leadership there's a lot of different distractions that are out there that could lead you astray, and lead you away from your mission. But when your mission minded as Jesus was, Jesus was mission minded, he was focused on the mission of reaching those who are far from God, and we too as a church have that mandate to reach people who are far from God.
So we focused on discipleship that's the key, that our heart is to make disciples and it's through the mission that God has given us, worship, reach and equip. So all the ministry that we do at the church comes out of the mission, so it's not like just because somebody else is doing it or just because that, now how does this relate to our context, how can we reach people in our community and let's get after it, let's do it. So we put all of our ducks in a row behind the mission, the mission is the driving force, and behind a mission is prayer, nothing's done without prayer.
So we have a group of people that gather together we call it sweet Tuesday's of Prayer and we pray, we pray for the mission of the church, we pray for God to pour into people's lives, we pray for people to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ, we pray for open doors and favor in the community, we pray for partnerships, we pray for God to do a great work every Sunday. Every life group, every outreach, and every initiative that we do we ask for God's blessing and favor. And our key prayer is this, Lord may we be obedient that's our heart; we just want to be obedient, whatever you want God we just want to obey.
Michael C.: Man that's awesome Efrain, that's terrific because just thinking about where the church has been, where it's going and what's happening just the sweet Tuesday's of prayer and hearing that, I mean I'm getting to see it firsthand and I've been able to see it grow firsthand. I've been able to have the conversations that we have over lunches and talking about hey man we're looking at this idea, we're thinking about doing this, next thing I know you're doing it and hey wow it worked, like cool but that's motivating.
I think hearing that from a young leader whether you're in church, whether you're in business, whether you're in nonprofit it doesn't matter what you're in, athletics it doesn't matter I think that that is something that can be motivating to anyone, especially someone who puts all their all their eggs in God's basket and says hey I'm just going to let God handles this, I'm going to let him take care of it. And to be able to see that our church is doing that and you're not forcing things, you don't have to make things happen they'll happen in due time and Lord willing. So that's just wonderful to hear Efrain, and to also just give her a little more background, some of the other things I've seen come along, I can now go on the app and watch you, I can see that, that's so cool.
I can listen to the to the services on my phone, I can be in my car, I can listen to them right off listen to this podcast you could go listen to a service from Efrain so you can get to see how that knows. And that speaks directly to the mission of worship, reach, equip you're doing that every single day, but you're living that mission every single day and what you're working on and what you're doing as a church it's wonderful to see that hey, okay we're going to let God handle this, we're going to let him take it now.
This is this neat, cool idea that someone came up with or someone heard about and said hey we should try it out, and like I said next thing you're doing it and it's working, and the church is growing, and we have more people coming in, you have more people listening, how many people did you say subscribe to the app currently?
Efrain Cirilo: Oh right now over 1500 I think people have downloaded the app.
Michael C.: I'm sure there was probably a conversation at one point of do we need an app; yes you need an app that's a wonderful. Man that's so cool, I love hearing that Efrain and motivating to young leaders, it's motivating people in the digital world to knowing that hey this is the direction things are going, get on board with it so really exciting to hear that.
Efrain I wanted to get into some subjects today one of the ones I wanted to talk about was leading up to big moments, and here in about a week and our podcasters will be listening to this after Easter, but leading up to Easter so that's a very big moment for the church, you tend to have an uptick in attendance, folks that go to church maybe once a year this is the Sunday that they go to. So Efrain why is Easter special?
Efrain Cirilo: Sure, Easter is just an amazing moment in the life of the church, it's one of the most powerful events in all of human history that Jesus Christ rose from the grave, he defeated sin and death and he offers new life for all those who believe. That Jesus died on the cross, and on the third day he rose from the grave, I mean just the fact that he rose from the grave and he defeated death, that right there gives full meaning to the faith. Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ all of this would be meaningless, but because God is alive, because Jesus is alive and he rose and he conquered the grave there's hope.
There's hope for anybody and there's no hopeless cause out there, there's no hopeless person out there, I don't care what kind of bondage they might be in, I don't care what they've done in their life, I don't care what kind of sin that they have been setback because of the sin in their life, I want them to know that there is hope because of Jesus Christ, he offers new life and he could change anybody's life. I mean that's the greatest story in the world, it's called good news, that's the good news.
Michael C.: That's the good news, and that is exemplified on Easter Sunday.
Efrain Cirilo: That's right and I mean it's traditionally one of the times where families come together and so with that we want the world to hear the greatest news of all, that we have a God that so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life, that's good news.
And we want to shout it from the rooftops, we want everybody to hear it, we want everybody to know so this is a big moment, it's a big day for the life of the church. So we get excited and we ramp up, and we do everything we can to reach people.
Michael C.: And it is a big production, Easter is a big production of you know I've been around Sundays that a church is that it's not a big production, but I really see that cross point wants to make Easter Sunday and not just a big production per se, but it's a big event, it's a big deal and the church wants everybody to know how big of a deal that is. And really why it is so special, it's not just another Sunday I mean this is like you said whenever you think about it like that this Sunday is the whole reason for the whole religion, the reason why we worship Jesus, why we want to be like Jesus and walk with Him and have that relationship with him it's all exemplified in that Sunday and because of that Sunday, so it's really neat.
And to be able to talk to a pastor only a week out, I think I may even mentioned in a text message that it's kind of like talking to Bill Belichick right before the Super Bowl, you know like hey how you feeling I'm feeling fine. But really I wanted to hear more about that because leaders out there every day especially young leaders are going into meetings, they're going into big board meetings or big decisions are being made, should we acquire this company, should we make this deal, should we purchase this, these are all big moments for individuals.
And so to be able to hear how you're leading yourself and leading your team leading up to one of your biggest moments, I think is just a terrific opportunity to hear more about why it's important to keep I guess your mind focused on where you're going, what you're doing and what the ultimate goal of it is. So what is the ultimate goal of Sunday for our church?
Efrain Cirilo: Sure, well the ultimate goal for Sunday is for people who are far from God to hear the greatest news of all, that God loves them and has a plan for their life. And not just that a big win for us is to have people take their next steps in their walk in God, that there's always a next step when you're following Jesus. Jesus is not going to just have you just sit there and not grow at all, the very essential nature of following Jesus is that Jesus will continually stretch us to a next step of obedience and faith and trust.
So constantly we are encouraging people to step out of their comfort zones, take that next step, whether it's making the decision to get baptized after they pray to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, that's the next step in obedience. Whether it's to God, whether it's getting connected in a life group or getting connected and serving the community, God reaches people through the local church. And man we are so excited that we get an opportunity to raise people up and speak life over them, that we could invest in others that they would be able to see their purpose here, and be able to go out and make a difference and that's the key.
We're here for a reason, this is not just come on Sunday mornings and just kind of hang out no we're all here for a purpose. And as the local church we want to raise you up and equip you, and invest in you and release you into the purpose that God has for you, so there is a purpose for everybody and we want to help people find that purpose.
Michael C.: So how far out did planning start for Easter, like how long ago was it that someone said or maybe it was yourself in a meeting said okay so Easter is coming up, when was that?
Efrain Cirilo: Sure, well we plan a year ahead, so we have our staff retreats and through that staff retreat we plan for the following year. So we planned this, it's been a year-long worth of planning, and it's something that we get together. We have a culture in our leadership that's orchestrate and evaluate, it's a healthy culture. How can we improve in getting the message of Jesus Christ out there, what avenues do we need to take, what's in line with our mission, it's all key questions that we need to ask on a daily basis, what do we need to improve upon, how can we effectively reach more people.
And we had it and for us this year this is the second year that we are going to Sabine High School Auditorium, we made a decision last year to go to Sabine high school because we were just out of space, both services are filled and if people want to invite their friends and family we want to be able to have space for people that are not there yet.
Michael C.: Yes, much larger venue.
Efrain Cirilo: Yes, and it was one of a man one of the best decisions we've made in regards to Easter's going to the auditorium, gave us the space that we needed and man God was faithful. People from the community came out; to be honest it was a great outreach to the community.
Michael C.: Last years’ service as Sabine was so awesome, and to walk out of there and after the service I felt like the vision that you've been talking about that you've had for the church and where it needs to be going in the direction, I felt like everybody got to see a little bit of the vision that you've had in your mind for the church at the service last year on Easter. It just had that feel to it, it was a bigger facility, bigger stage, a lot more people were there, I mean you all were pushing quite a bit last year at the Easter service.
And so just being able to see that, I mean that had to be motivating to your team because I think that you were looking at it like hey I've been seeing this in my mind, this is what God's calling us to do and your team was also then able to see hey, okay this is the vision we're buying into, this is cool. And it was really exciting as a member of the congregation, I mean I've been a member of what was originally the Kilgore First Church of God since I was probably eight or nine years old with 23 people at church.
13 on one Sunday, 20 the next and now to see it to the level that it's at now as cross point fellowship is really just a privilege, and to still be a part of the church and to know even through some leadership changes and things like that, how our congregation is still pulled together and how it's growing and everybody's behind that mission, but to be able to see that last Sunday was like wow, God really does have some special plans with us and he's revealing him to us slowly, but he's showing them to us in little glimpses and I felt like last Easter was one of those glimpses.
And just from where I was sitting that was really cool, and I'm super excited that the church has decided to have the service there again this year. And we will go into it lightly and get back on the leading to big moments, Efrain you're doing a little bit something at the church right now too, to expand?
Michael C.: Correct, yes, we are in the process of expansion. And so we are remodeling our worship facility to be able to double our seating, so we are excited about that. And also along with that we are moving our offices to downtown Kilgore, yes so the Kilgore campus we are expanding and we have been able to double our seating, we're in a process of that.
Along with that we are having a our campuses are moving to one location for offices and that is in downtown Kilgore, we're excited about that, that should be opening up soon and we're excited to have offices and also have life groups and different kind of ministries in downtown Kilgore.
Michael C.: Super excited for you all Efrain. I love what you all are doing and how you're listening to God, you're following the path, you're following the leadership, and every Sunday is important, Easter Sunday super big time though.
The week leading up to Easter there's a number of things that happen I know we have Palm Sunday, you have some activities going on throughout the week, Good Friday; tell us a little bit about what your weeks going to look like next week.
Efrain Cirilo: Sure, it's going to be a full week, and we have something called Passion Week, and on Wednesday night we have a Passion Week service, we're going to have that at 7 o'clock p.m. on Wednesday night at both campuses. Where we're going to get together and just really look at Jesus's suffering, because right before the resurrection there came suffering, he suffered greatly and on that journey to the cross we're going to look at that and see his suffering and what that means for us and why Jesus went through it.
So we're going to have a time of worship, we're going to share a message and have communion and it's going to be an intimate time, I want to encourage people to come out to that Wednesday night at 7 o'clock.
Michael C.: Now what type of meetings will you be having throughout the week with your team, will you all meet on Sunday as soon as service is over the week before they all start meeting?
Efrain Cirilo: Sure, so we have a leadership community that meets, and this Sunday coming up we are having a big meeting with all of our leaders, everybody who's serving at the church we're all going to get together and we're going to recap our mission and our vision, and really just dot the i's and cross the t's for Easter Sunday.
Michael C.: In that meeting you're going to have greeters, you're going to have next steps, you're going to have everyone that's active in the church in that meeting?
Efrain Cirilo: Everybody who's serving, from the person who brings out the coffee and doughnuts on Sunday morning, to the person who is greeting. The ushers, the worship team, youth leaders, children's ministry, everybody is coming together.
Michael C.: Now will that be your only time before the church service that you'll actually be in front of the whole team and everybody and being able to express the importance and what's going on?
Efrain Cirilo: Yes, that Sunday we're going to have, I'm going to share and speak a mission and vision and talk about what are some things we need to be aware of, and continue to spread the word to invite people.
But that way every team is prepared, and then we're going to have a breakout session afterwards, after I give a talk to our leaders we'll have a breakout session where the worship team at both campuses will meet together, the greeters will meet together, the children's ministry team will meet together, the next-step team will meet together and so forth. So we're all meeting gives us an opportunity to orchestrate and evaluate, debrief and pray together and plan and go after Easter for the glory of God.
Michael C.: That's awesome, and I guess I'll put my little plug in there at the Longview campus my wife calls me the next steps guide, but that's what I get to do on Sunday. So Efrain you actually spoke on it earlier how it's always like you want to be increasing your walk across, there's always a next step, there's always the next step and that was something in my life I felt like I'd been missing a little bit was not knowing what direction I was supposed to go.
It's like well I go to church every Sunday, I feel like I'm reading my devotionals, I'm reading my Bible but like hey what's kind of next and I'd reached out to you and you said hey man, why don't you try doing the next steps at church on Sunday and that really has been, it's been awesome for me, it's really allowed me to lean on God in that moment right before I came on stage and I talked to the entire congregation and let them know what's going on and everything, and yes it's cute my wife calls me the next steps guy.
Efrain Cirilo: Yes, and those next steps are huge man because that gives people an opportunity of all right what are some on ramps, what are some ways that I could get plugged in connected and the important part grow in following Jesus and we're helping people with that, so we appreciate you thank you.
Michael C.: It's so neat to be able to I guess just share your journey, and I mean anytime someone gives you a platform if you like to talk, I'm doing a podcast so, but if you like to talk I mean sometimes I'm like okay we're going to keep it short this Sunday, and which I mean only it only takes about a minute and a half, but every Sunday right before I walk up I do have to pray about it.
I say Lord just take this moment, use it, I don't have anything to do with it, I'm just your vessel, just let me speak the words that you put in my heart, my mind and the Lord's really worked through that and it's really grown my relationship, so thank you for that Efrain. And also thank you for being a testament to your mission in the church, and being able to not only tell everybody you're doing this, but I'll firsthand say you were doing this as well as the rest of your team is. So Efrain what was your first Easter service like as a leader, yes what was it like?
Efrain Cirilo: Yes, you know well the first one is just something that one thing that's for certain for every person that's in ministry is Sunday is right around the corner. I mean a moment you get off that platform and you're done preaching your sermon, you're thinking already all right here you go next Sunday and you just thank God for speaking through you and working through you, and now you're planning for the next one and so forth.
But yes you know the first one it's something that we just have to take in pretty much, and know that Easter is a big time and we do everything we can to dot the I's and cross the t's and make sure everything is ready and prepared for people to come. But I think one thing that you learn from that first Easter within the church it's something that we have to just trust in the Lord, you really have to trust in the Lord and not be so consumed with worrying about things.
Michael C.: Making it perfect.
Efrain Cirilo: Yes, making it perfect, I mean you prepare you do the best you can and when the team is clicking on all cylinders, and you pray, you trust in the Lord, it's like I tell our team that and I say this a lot is, you do what you can do and you let God do what you can't do, you do the natural let him take care of the supernatural. You put in the work in preparing and through the power of the Holy Spirit, and you allow God to move and do what he needs to do on the day up.
It’s kind of like preparing for game day like an athlete they're training, taking batting practice and working out, and run in, but once the game starts it's kind of like all right you are already prepared just relax, have fun and trust the Lord and let him work through you and that's a key aspect. It's just enjoy the moment, don't be so caught up in the moment of worrying that you lose sight of being in the moment and experiencing what God has for you.
Michael C.: You know Michael Jordan said that game days was a day off because he practiced so hard, he wanted to be sure in his moments of preparation that he was giving it everything he had, that way whenever he went out there and actually had to do it would just fall natural and you're exactly right, you can't worry about the supernatural.
And we tend to, as a leader if we start worrying about things that we can't control, it ends up consuming the things that we can control and therefore the whole ship starts rocking at that point.
Efrain Cirilo: That's why I encourage people never minimize the power of prayer, pray over your businesses, pray over your family, pray over your children, pray over your spouse and ask God for His guidance, pray God pray that God would lead you and guide you and direct you. Because all of this we've been praying for over a year for Easter Sunday, we've been praying for over a year for this year, that God would do amazing things and that he would use us to reach people for Christ.
Now all we do now is just walk in obedience, continue an attitude of prayer, but it's been prayed for, we're trusting God, now we move both forward by faith and trust the Lord.
Michael C.: Man and there's a special peace that can come over you when you're content with what the Lord gives you, there's no reason to think that oh it should be bigger, it should be better or it should've been this big or should have been as good as this, we shouldn't really ever question that. We should be content and happy with what the faith is provided for us, and I think that's one important thing for leaders is sometimes after the event or after the meeting or after the decisions been made, sometimes there's a little bit of some remorse on did we make the right call there.
I think it's just important like once you make those decisions and you start going forward with it, you just got to say to yourself hey, it's in the Lord's hands right now, there's really no reason for me to worry or fret or look back or do these things, do a double-take on it. Do you feel the same way about kind of your team?
Efrain Cirilo: Yes, you know we have a saying on Sunday we praise God right, because we prepare it all the way up to Sunday and so we praise God. Monday we're celebrating wins, what can we celebrate, what's first we have to identify the win, what was the win? What did God do? How did God do it? What can we celebrate? And on Mondays we're celebrating wins.
Michael C.: How far into your leadership did you start doing that on Mondays after church?
Efrain Cirilo: Shortly after I got there we really started focusing on wins, there are just some great leaders in the church world right now that are out there one is Andy Stanley, another one is Craig Groesch and they've written a lot of great material for leaders.
And one of the big things that they talked about was celebrating, celebrating wins with your team, identify that win and celebrate it. Because often time we could get caught up in the whole nitpicking, well that didn't work out, this didn't work out what and then we could just nitpick and be negative and critical right before you get into certain things within the staff.
Michael C.: And I tell you I think God wants us to celebrate his blessings too.
Efrain Cirilo: Big-time, and his we opened the staff meetings up with prayer and then hey, what can we celebrate, I don't want to hear complaint. Right now I don't want to hear, there'll be a time for going over complaints and criticisms, there'll be a time where we will orchestrate and evaluate, but right now we're praising God, we're praying and we're celebrating wins.
Michael C.: And that's how you start every week off?
Efrain Cirilo: Man that right there takes care of just the atmosphere of the rest of the day. And then in the staff meeting, we will evaluate, we will evaluate and you go from there you make changes and you could move forward.
Michael C.: Was that something that you had always done in your leadership meetings on Monday?
Efrain Cirilo: Yes, it's something that we have grown into I want to say, it's not something that right away I came across.
Michael C.: It's fun growing as a leader.
Efrain Cirilo: It is and I'm still growing right now, believe me I'm learning every day, I'm constantly reading books, I'm constantly listening to podcasts, I'm constantly along with being in the Bible I mean the Scriptures nothing takes the place of the Word of God. But in order for you to grow as a leader, you need to continue to read, you need to continue to fill your mind with things that are going on, and we constantly have to keep an open mind to different leadership practices and things like that.
Michael C.: Well if you seek you will fine and that's right, the Lord works through that. If you're called to leadership, if you're called to do that and you have a heart for the Lord, the Lord's going to see fit that that's what you're going to be able to do and that's what you're going to do. Now of course if you're going towards that and the Lord puts it in your way that that isn't your calling you'll probably know, but you can't force it.
But I would say the majority of leaders and people in leadership positions that I know that call on the Lord, and that really seek him out for advice, those individuals are the ones that I see growing as leader’s right in front of my eyes every day and you're one of those individuals.
Efrain Cirilo: Well thank you, it's just leaning on God that's what it is and asking him, and if you ever find yourself in a situation where you're not sure, ask God for wisdom. The word says, if you lack wisdom ask him and he will give you wisdom and so.
Michael C.: No matter how large or how small it is, I can remember back to a service that you had a handful of years ago, and you were talking about being up in your attic and you were nailing something and you drop the screw, and you couldn't find it, you said you were getting flustered, and getting frustrated and you're sitting there and it's hot, it's summer in Texas, you're sweating, you're ready to get out of this attic and now you got to stick your hand down an insulation, wonderful afternoon.
And I remember I have been in moments like that, it was like I was sitting in church that day I was thinking I've been in a hot attic before, I've never had to stick my hand in insulation, I've been around insulation, my foot has got stuck in insulation before, but I was thinking like man that's not an easy situation to be in. And I remember you saying like you know I finally just calmed down I said God help me just figure this out, help me get through this moment and he said you stuck your hand right down an insulation it landed right on top of the screw, you pulled it out and you finished your job in the attic.
And that story I just always think back to that, and think okay there's really nothing too big or too small so whenever I lose my keys around the house that's my initial thought, I could lean on myself to try to find these keys or I could lean on God and a hundred percent of the time I found my keys, so I'm going to keep leaning on the Lord in those moments.
Efrain Cirilo: I'm telling you that's so true God is with us, and when he says in his word I am with you that means he's literally with you. We kind of make things complicated he's with us, and at that moment I said Jesus help me, and there goes the nail, I was like wow, thank you.
Michael C.: So the on the Easter service Efrain, what is the impact that the service can have on motivating the church congregation and the team, like can it really set a firestorm off, can it start a domino snowball effect?
Efrain Cirilo: It's a great momentum building experience and that's the resurrection, it's life changing. When you think about it the disciples weren't the same anymore, when they saw the resurrected Christ, and they had an encounter with Jesus after he rose from the grave, it was a life-changing experience. That it was because of the resurrection that they went from town to town, to city to city and they took this good news and they shared it with everyone, they invested in people, they made disciples because of the resurrection. I don't know about you but if I'm going to follow somebody it's somebody that rose from the grave, so with the local church we're called the body of Christ.
So on Easter Sunday, Resurrection Day we're celebrating that Christ rose from the grave that he is alive and he is able to do above and beyond than we could ever hope, dream, imagine, but that's our hope. And through that experience of Easter could really take the church and build and take them to the next step, and in momentum and yes.
Michael C.: Well the planning and everything that's involved with the church, we were talking about earlier how it's a big production and the church really goes above and beyond to make it big, but I think that really what needs to be said here is that the production isn't for the church, and it's not to show the power of the church it's to show the power of God and how passionate the church is about Jesus rising and the resurrection of Christ, so that is why it's such a big production.
It's not because the church or what the church is trying to do growth wise, listen those things will happen naturally that's part of that prayer on Tuesdays and the things you're doing behind the scenes, but what we get to see on Sunday at the Easter service is something that listen the church has to and wants to show the power of Jesus Christ, and it's exemplified through cross point fellowship I've been able to see that. And man it's a big moment for our church, it's a big moment for you Efrain, a big moment for your team and it really is just a wonderful opportunity to see a lot of things come together, it's a wonderful way to see how prayer is being answered and how the Lord is working through ordinary men and women just like you and I.
Efrain Cirilo: That's it, ordinary people that God works through, and I can't say enough again about the team, the team is what really is making a difference, and without this team I don't think we'd be experiencing what we're experiencing so.
Michael C.: Efrain so I'm sure you have some advice for some other younger leaders out there and older leaders it doesn't matter, and we've said it in other shows you can be a leader in business, you can be a leader at your home, you can be a leader in the church, you can be a leader at a non-profit, you can be a leader on a little league team there's many different ways that leadership I guess that we can find ourselves in a leadership position. And one of the things like to tell our listeners is, if someone is watching you and how you do things you're a leader, whether you know it or not you are leading.
And so you need to be leading by example and so Efrain just like to get a couple of thoughts here from you. So as you're leading up to Easter and also those other services and the big moments you have, I know that you all just hosted a Leadership Conference a couple of months ago at the church, really big things, really wonderful things are happening. But as you know for yourself and I know you're going to tell me that you pray and you look to God for wisdom, but how do you prepare yourself for those big moments?
Efrain Cirilo: Sure, the first thing we got to understand is that everything you do teaches. So how I respond, how I react, how there's difficult moments that my rise up, there might be conflicts that might arise, but everything that we do teaches, so it's important to know that we are living examples of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So I believe that the core values that we must have are our commitment to God first and foremost, that God comes first and through that God is able to lead us and guide us and direct us to accomplish what he has for us.
So it's important that through that relationship with God then now we are able to really pour into our family, and then from there into our businesses and our jobs and what God has for us, so it's a day-to-day process of selflessness I would have to say. Because a lot of things that we are all selfish by nature, but when we bring our own agenda before God and we say God is this what you have, I want your will to be done in my life and I want your agenda to be accomplished in my life, so please help me with that.
Michael C.: And moving on to you preparing your team for those big moments, we've already went through your meetings and the things you're going to do and the things you're going to talk about, but you know leading up to Sunday and how are you going to prepare your team in a few hours right before the 11:00 o'clock service.
Efrain Cirilo: Sure, so it's something where we are preparing and setting up, and dot in the I's crossing the T's and one of the things right before we begin is prayer. We get together and we again rely on the Holy Spirit of God, and we rely on God to do what he needs to do, we believe that God is working through us even in the preparation stage, even in the staff meetings, even in every aspect of preparation God is working up to that Sunday morning.
But we will continue to seek God, continue to rely on his power, continue to rely on his strength because he's the one that does the miracles, he's the one that does the supernatural stuff, he's the one that man really change lives. We're just servants, vessels being used by God to reach people who are far from God and don't know that there is hope in Jesus Christ. It's just being a part of the winning team and that's his team, God wins right so we know how the story ends.
Michael C.: Yes sir, take a lot of faith in already knowing how the story ends, hashtag winning God yes definitely. Man Efrain last final question here, as you're leading up to Easter Sunday and you know there's going to be a lot of eyes on you, a lot of folks are going to be wondering hey what does the Lord have in store for me for this week for me. What are those funnel minutes going to be like leading right up to the service for you, do you Google, do you do some speech, what do you do?
Efrain Cirilo: Yes well actually on my way I get up early Sunday morning, I spend some time with the Lord in prayer, listening to some worship music, getting pumped up for the day and get dressed and grab my cup of coffee and straight black coffee, that's how we drink it here in East Texas, right?
Michael C.: Yes.
Michael C.: And so get up and hit the road, and I'm worshipping the Lord and just spending some time with him right before we begin. And once I get there I'm just diving in prayer and then I'm just going to relax and visit with people, and talk with people and welcome them and be the hands and feet and lord use me that's my prayer, Lord use me, use me today. The I's are dotted, the T's are crossed if there's something that that we didn't see father we just leave that in your hands and you take care of it.
Michael C.: Are we planning on some baptism Sunday?
Efrain Cirilo: Yes actually, yes we are excited yes. We have some baptisms planned out, and we're looking forward to it.
Michael C.: Yes, and we'll finish with this, can you give the listeners a little bit of whenever you asked where we do baptisms that whenever you first came to the church, what was that conversation like?
Efrain Cirilo: Yes, well we were talking about baptisms, people who were wanting to take that next step after they gave their life to the Lord Jesus and the next up is baptism, and they've been happening. And it's something that we ask the question alright where do we baptize, we don't have a Baptistery already built in somewhere, how do we and immediately the thought came Hey horse trough, let's do it there.
Before I believe we used to gather at a church picnic over the summer time, and we would just have big baptism days there and we did that for a little bit. But then the number of people that wanted to just take that next step, we're like man we can't just wait till one time in the summer to do this, this is something that needs to be celebrated every Sunday and we were just thinking in the horse trough. So we went up to Atwood’s and got a horse trough, and we've been baptizing people in the horse trough for a long time.
Michael C.: What a blessing.
Efrain Cirilo: We praise God it's awesome and the people love it, it's part of the cultures, it's great. I've been getting a lot of feedback on that, whatever you do don't get rid of that horse trough.
Michael C.: Man it was so fun last year after the Easter service walking out into the parking lot, and I mean it's like everybody from inside the building walked outside and everybody was standing around this horse trough and I mean, I think there were people walking up saying you know what yes I'll sign up today, let me do that right now and man what a blessing, what a blessing.
Efrain Cirilo: I mean it really is amazing, it really is amazing.
Michael C.: Oh man Efrain it has really been a pleasure to have you on the show today, really come in full circle after our conversations over lunch talking about it and I asked you to pray for me, brother I'm thinking about doing a podcast, if I do it I want you on, and here we are doing the podcast together. And man Efrain just love your brother and I'm so happy that you came on the show today, really it was a privilege to have you on and I think the listeners are really going to have a lot to get out of this show here especially preparing for those big moments.
And also just seeing how important it is to rely on Christ in those moments, whether it's easy, whether it's difficult no matter what it is you can rely on Christ in those moments and Efrain just thank you again. You have anything for our listeners before we sign off?
Efrain Cirilo: Yes, I just want to let you know that God loves you, he's for you and he has a plan for your life, I want you to know that. And Michael God bless you brother, thank you for the invite, truly appreciate this opportunity to share with you and I will continue to pray for blessings over this ministry here.
Michael C.: Awesome, Efrain thank you. And you can reach out to cross point and pastor Efrain at email as CFCoffice@crosspointfellowshipchurch.com and the website is Crosspointfellowshipchurch.com. And you can also find the church on social media twitter @Crosspoint_TX and also on Facebook @CrosspointKilgore and also @CrosspointLongview for the satellite campus, as well as Instagram @Crosspoint_TX. And really exciting we mentioned it earlier on the App Store, you can find the cross point app it's cross point Fellowship Church you type that in it will come up, look for that orange and blue.
And then also if you have any questions for myself or Efrain you can also reach out to us here at Energy WeldFab Podcast@EnergyWeldFab.com also we're on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook @EnergyWedFab you can get in touch with us, we really want to hear from you. And really just want to ask you all if you're listening to the show, throw us a review on there, tap something out, throw us a review, share, comment, we need some activity going on in these podcasts and I'm getting a lot of feedback that we have listeners, but you all we need some feedback on this so we can get the word out about our show.
So I want to thank everybody for listening today, thank you Efrain again for coming on the show, and I can't wait to have you back on the show, and also can't wait to be back and have some more good material for our leaders out there. I hope everybody has a wonderful day, thank you.