Philippines’ discipleship movement underway

Philippines (MNN) — Jesus led a mentoring movement.  For most of his life, although he did help the thousands, he focused his energies on teaching and encouraging 12 specific people.  Those 12 took what he taught them and spent the rest of their lives doing the same thing with a core group of people, and the evidence is chronicled through the Pauline epistles.  That’s what Asian Access wants to do: change the few who change the many.

Philippines launch (Photos courtesy of Asian Access)

Asian Access country director Herman Moldez explains, “Our vision in the Philippines is to double the churches to 220,000 by the year 2020.”  How do you do that?  By bringing in deep leadership development, he says.  A2 is developing church leaders to plant multiplying churches throughout Asia.  Having just celebrated a 50-year anniversary, they’ve just launched into the next half century with A2 biz in India and the first pastor’s module last week in the Philippines.

Moldez also helps lead Mentorlink and TOPIC for the Philippines.  Prior to the Philippines’ startup, Moldez observed, “Many pastors all over the world are trained to be good, and even great, leaders.  However, there are only a few godly leaders who are humble, honest, and holy. In many parts of the world, pastoral leaders reflect the leadership style and status of their culture — corporate CEO, tribunal chief, strong man, dictator, etc.”

His hope is to change the thinking and influence the culture.  “In our conversation, to support this movement of planting churches, we anticipate the need for more leaders.  Our vision for the church is to be a healthy church, holistic church, that doesn’t only respond to the religious needs, but also to the social, political, and economic needs of the people.”

(Photo courtesy of Asian Access)

Healthy churches need healthy leaders, and that requires ongoing discipleship.  “This will require, really, pastors who are not just responding to the needs and preach to that, but to be able to reflect the meaning of the Gospel in the kind of situation where we are living, and to be relevant in our conversation with the people and contribute to the thinking that is happening in the government.”

This is what the week looked like:  In this first conference, participants shared their stories, and then worked on their biblically-based, individual purpose statements to help them focus their ministry.  From there, they organized themselves into support groups, built around their geographic locations.  The final leg of the first session involves leaders beginning to develop their personal vision — a practical step that flows out of their individual purpose statements.

Moldez will continue to assist these groups as they gather between A2 sessions for mentoring, support, and accountability over the course of the program during the next two years.  It could be especially challenging since, “We have a new president, a very controversial one.  The Christians are not fully united about that, but we [avoid talking] about it because we already had experience that when you talk about politics in the Church, it creates division.”

(Photo courtesy of Asian Access)

However, it’s a crucial time as well for influence, Moldez adds.  “There are many believers in the government and the business sector.  They are really open and they are expressing their views and bringing in their Christian perspective and challenging the people to put their hope in the Lord.”  What’s  ahead?  Staying energized for the next couple years — it’s something he’s praying for and asks that you join him.

“The challenge is really, for these people, to stick to their discipline and to their commitment.  They’re willing to invest their lives — not only their lives, but also their money, so that others will have the same experience.  So pray for that.  I think that’s the work of the Holy Spirit.”