Sept. 27, 2018
The Philippine Bible Society’s (PBS) Adopt a Church program (AACP) has recently finished its first cycle of training sessions and church visits. This one of a kind initiative gives smaller congregations the opportunity to gain access to Bibles and discipleship materials by connecting them to gracious and open-handed donors. But before such a distribution can take place, it is vital that the adopted churches become equipped and ready to use the very materials they have been blessed with.
The AACP training session that was conducted last September 17, 2018 marked the beginning of the program’s second cycle. PBS Associate General Secretary Perry Cartera facilitated a whole day’s worth of discussion and interaction among 77 participants from 29 churches
Ms. Perry Cartera started the session by emphasizing the importance of discipleship. “Before going out of the church, start inside. Let us disciple our leaders and strengthen the foundation of our church.”
The participants were taught to take on a sense of urgency when it came to making disciples for it is Jesus Himself who tasked the believers with this mission. This is often referred to as “The Great Commission.”
Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 20 and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 Good News Translation (GNT)
This particular command resonated deeply with Ms. Elinor Yepes, one of the session’s participants. She shared, “I am part of God’s work. It is not just an obligation. Instead, it’s a privilege. We need to teach our small communities to be more like Jesus. And it starts with me.”
Aside from talking about the basics of discipleship and its importance, Ms. Perry Cartera was also able to facilitate engaging discussions among the participants. In one portion of the training, the participants shared their stumbling blocks in disciple-making. Answers ranged from lack of time, lack of experience, and even lack of commitment.
By the end of the session; however, everyone seemed more empowered than ever to either begin or continue the work of discipleship.
“I really enjoyed the training because I got more knowledge on how to handle things in my small group. I gained more insights on small group maintenance and care. My members will be happier since we now have new learnings.” - Mr. Albert Sabaco