Global evangelical leader Bishop Efraim Tendero challenged Olivet University graduates to have “daring ambitions” as they are about to begin a new chapter in their lives.
Apostle Paul never sought the easy route, Tendero — secretary general and CEO of the World Evangelical Alliance — said at Olivet’s commencement ceremony in June. Instead, Paul’s ambition was to preach the Gospel where Christ was not known, the WEA head noted.
With advanced education and professional training now under their belt, the graduating class of 2016 was encouraged to become visionary leaders in their respective fields.
Tendero, who traveled from the Philippines to serve as guest speaker at OU’s Riverside campus, outlined three attributes in a visionary leader.
Firstly, a visionary leader must clearly understand God’s calling on his or her life. Apostle Paul confessed in Romans 15:16 that God’s one simple but definite calling for him was “to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles.” This calling actually applies to all those who have been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and have been reborn, Tendero noted.
Secondly, a leader must be willing to be used by God to accomplish His work. Again drawing from Paul’s example, Tendero highlighted the apostle’s complete submission to Christ and reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit, which led to his great accomplishment in the spreading of the Gospel. Paul testified that he would not speak of anything except what Christ accomplished through him.
“It’s not about our ability, but it’s our availability,” the WEA leader emphasized as he urged graduates to open themselves to the Holy Spirit so that God can do what they cannot through their future works.
The final attribute of a visionary leader is having a daring ambition. Tendero urged graduates to dare to dream big just as Paul did as he boldly took up the challenge to expand to new territory for the sake of the Gospel and for the glory of God.
“You can do all things through Jesus Christ!” Tendero exclaimed.
In his closing remarks, the evangelical leader called on the latest graduates to move forward with Olivet University’s vision — “For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Graduates and the Olivet University community were very grateful to receive Bf. Tendero’s encouragement during commencement, and to meet him personally.
The two-hour commencement also featured student speaker Abraham Qijun Li, who testified of his journey from atheism to Christianity.