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Advancing Ministerial Training in the Philippines

“Leaders from every non-western region say their number one need is leadership training.”

– David Livermore, Serving with Eyes Wide Open

“Leaders from every non-western region say their number one need is leadership training.”

– David Livermore, Serving with Eyes Wide Open

Global Situation

  • 178,000 people come to Jesus Christ everyday around the world.
  • 7,000 new church leaders are needed daily to care for the growing church.
  • 2 million pastors worldwide are untrained or undertrained.
  • 85% of the world’s churches are led by people who have no formal training in theology or ministry.

– Action Coalition, equippastors.org

“Even if all training institutions operate at 120% full capacity, they can only train less than 10%.”

– World Evangelical Alliance

Local Situation

  • Through the DAWN 2000 movement, the Philippines has an estimated number of 60,000+ churches.
  • Between 35,000-40,000 pastors are without any formal training.
  • These pastors are high in commitment, but low in competence; strong in worship, but weak in character.

– Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches

I had the privilege of leading a training institution for our denomination from 2004 to 2011— Conservative Baptist Seminary-Asia (CBS-Asia). During my leadership at CBS-Asia, I have sensed a great need and cry for training among local churches. Pastors and lay leaders, mostly from the provinces, do not have the benefit of having formal theological training. Not only is seminary training extremely expensive for these people, but it would necessitate resigning from their secular jobs and/or ministries to be trained for at least three years.

Aware of these realities, I changed approach in order to make theological and ministerial education affordable and accessible. I brought the seminary to the local churches. In my leadership, twenty training centers were established in various parts of the country where pastors and lay leaders are being equipped for the ministry of shepherding local churches.

In spite of our aggressive efforts however, there was (and is) still a great need to set up more centers. Further, the appeal for training did not only come from my denomination but also from other religious groups as well.

In light of this, I stepped down from my leadership role with the seminary in January 2012 to focus more of my energies on teaching pastors and leaders, not only of churches in my denomination, but of other religious groups as well. I partnered with Dr. Douglas Jue, a Christian leader with a similar burden and a board member of Triune Biblical University in the USA, to form a consortium of various ministries—theological training, church planting and church development. Thus, we formed Triune Biblical Asia.

Pastoral Training

My initial thrust was in the provinces of Laguna and Bulacan where my influence is greater, then moving to other places in the Philippines. When we started in 2012, we formed three training schools where pastors and lay leaders are receiving comprehensive training in Bible and ministry.

City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan

Pastor Virgilio Bongao, church planter and pastor of Christ-Centered Baptist Fellowship invited me to use his church building as the venue for training of his church leaders, and pastors and lay leaders of local churches within the area. Pastor Bongao is one of the leaders of the ministerial fellowship in SJDM and mentors other church planters in the area.

In January 30, 2012 I started teaching an initial batch of 30 students. To date, I teach courses there every Monday, while other professors teach on other days.

Siniloan, Laguna

In February of 2012, Pastor Joel Calzar of Siniloan Baptist Church (SBC) invited me to initiate a training ministry catering to the pastors and lay leaders of the local churches in this agricultural area of Laguna. Siniloan is the central town of the 4th District of the province. I travel to Siniloan every Friday to teach two courses—one in the afternoon, and another in the evening.

More than thirty students are enrolled in the program. They come from different denominations and towns in District 4—Siniloan, Sta. Maria, Mabitac, Pangil, Famy, and San Antonio. The mayor of Siniloan, Hon. Eduardo Tibay, who is also an elder of SBC and a former student of mine, attends the classes whenever he is available. His wife, Naneth is enrolled in the program.

Calamba, Laguna

From District 4, we went to District 1. Calamba City is the heart of this district. Pastor Oscar Bantatua of Community Baptist Church of Calamba (CBCC) has invited me to train his pastors and lay leaders, and those of other churches as well. About 25 leaders attend the courses taught there every Thursday night. These church leaders come from Calamba, Cabuyao, Los Baños, Sta. Rosa, Biñan, and San Pedro.

To date, we have added three more campuses to that initial number—these are in Dasmariñas in Cavite and Masantol in Pampanga. In addition, other places are in the waiting list.

Leadership Seminars

Aside from the ministry I conduct in the provinces, a number of churches in Metro Manila invite me to preach and lead trainings for their leaders. I teach Bible Surveys, Basic Doctrines, Spiritual Leadership, Disciplemaking, among other topics. The churches where I regularly minister are:

  • United Evangelical Church of Manila
  • Quezon City Evangelical Church
  • Union with Christ Community Church

Your partnership with me is helping make all these possible. Thank you for investing in raising up laborers for Christ.

In His grip,

Nicky

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