Apr18WedApril 18, 2018
How Discipleship Essentials is Impacting Filipino Christians
Christianity is the dominant religion in the Philippines, with many of its citizens excited about the hope of Jesus. Yet there remains a deep need for discipleship training, and Discipleship Essentials, TWR Canada’s multi-media, multi-lingual library and discipleship training tool, is filling that need for both Filipino Christians living in their country and those working overseas.
There are approximately 2.3 million Filipino citizens living and working outside their country. Many of them are Christians, and while they work all over the world, the vast majority work in Middle Eastern or Asian countries where Christianity is a minority and sometimes even a persecuted minority. This provides the opportunity for them to be a witness to Christ in areas where Christianity is very small or even illegal. However, they often find themselves without the know-how to disciple others and without leaders and teachers who have the training and tools needed for discipleship.
How it Started
McDaniel Phillips is a long-time TWR missionary and is giving leadership to DE. He was in the Middle East and spoke with Filipino workers and leaders who asked for our help. He saw the need for DE training and the resources TWR Canada could provide. As a result, he met with the Philippines Mission Association – a partnership of evangelical mission agencies, local churches, denominational missions commissions and cross-cultural missions training organizations committed to mobilizing the Philippine Church to reach unreached peoples of the world with the gospel. He challenged them to use DE to prepare Filipino overseas workers before they embark on their foreign work assignments. This way, when they do move away, they are equipped with the training and resources needed to accurately explain Christianity, model Christ-like living, grow their faith and teach others about the hope of Jesus. They will be prepared to disciple others in these potentially challenging locations. The results have been encouraging!
Speaking about how DE is used, McDaniel says, “We don’t prescribe how or in what way the tool is used … [we seek to] raise awareness of discipleship as a lifestyle consistent with the life of the Son of God. Our desire is to teach them how to model good leadership and good moral character at the same time, and fully embrace the gospel for his or herself within a small group learning environment so that they are able to stand firm in their faith in Christ no matter the cost or circumstance.”
How God is Using DE
McDaniel also noted that, “Our experience has shown that the key to successful implementation is the right on-the-ground partner.” God raised up the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church of the Philippines to be our primary on-the-ground partner who will work in cooperation with the Philippines Mission Association. They also immediately launched the Centre for Evangelism and Discipleship at their Bible school, using DE as their main training tool for future pastors.
With the right partner in place, it is also critical to provide training for those who will be using DE, and TWR Canada is committed to providing effective training. We conducted three 3-day orientation training sessions in February 2017 for 120 pastors representing 600 churches. During this training, these leaders each developed a strategic plan to launch a discipleship movement in their home churches; this ensures that the discipleship model is sustained and continues to grow.
A leader was appointed to be a DE champion, someone who works full-time overseeing DE in the Philippines. She has already begun running training events and workshops in many different regions across the country. In November and December 2017, six training events were held, attended by 450 leaders. In one area, 43 people were baptized as a result of what they learned through the DE lessons and training!
Join us in praising the Lord for the work he is doing in the Philippines and around the world through Filipino Christians effectively using DE! Please pray for continued growth and training of leaders and the impact they have on those they encounter around the world.
To learn more about Discipleship Essentials, click here.