Planting Seeds, Planting Churches - Trans World Radio Canada

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    • Jul28Wed

      Planting Seeds, Planting Churches

      July 28, 2021 By the TWR Canada Team
      Filed Under:
      Asia, Discipleship Essentials

      Elena is our Discipleship Essentials champion in the Philippines. She is passionate about discipleship and small groups, as well as growing leaders and church planters. In the fall of 2017, Elena spoke to a group of women at a conference and shared how to start a small group using DE. One of the attendees was Julieta, who took the lessons to heart and tried to apply them in her church. Eventually, Julieta and her husband were commissioned in their home church to start a new ministry. (Read more of their story here.)

      In 2018, they planted their first church, and in 2019, they had grown to two daughter churches born out of this first church plant! In April of 2021, they dedicated another church. "We praise God, for we have just dedicated the newly-constructed church which we call Life Give Christian Fellowship. This is a product of small groups in homes. As of now, the Lord is continually bringing people to hear his Word," said Julieta.
      This story is such an incredible example of the parable that Jesus tells in Matthew 13: “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches” (Matthew 13:31-32, ESV). Elena sowed the seeds of discipleship and inspired Julieta to do the same. The church in the Philippines is ‘growing larger than all the garden plants’ to become a tree! More and more people are coming to faith and joining small groups.

      Audrey is a minister at Bacolod City Alliance Church. She attended leadership training with Elena and began running a small group using Discipleship Essentials material. “My husband and I first ran it in our group for couples, but more groups have grown out of it,” Audrey explained. “There are six first-generation small groups that we are running using the material and two second-generation (young people’s) small groups that have started from the original ones that we disciple. Even though a lot of our small groups have moved to Zoom, we still love using the material because not only is it interactive, it's also God-focused and biblically grounded. It's also easy to lead because of the available leader's guide and Leadership Essentials materials. My husband and I have been praying for material that would be spiritually deep and interactive. We praise God for TWR and our church district for making this material readily available.”


      In addition to regular small group meetings, seven webinars were held throughout 2020 and early 2021. These were designed to equip district small group leaders and coordinators with skills in discipleship. Virtual meetings and webinars were also held for youth. These brought encouragement, support and fellowship for young people when they could not meet in person. They addressed and discussed the needs of young people during the pandemic and challenged them to live for God. These webinars resumed in June.

      It is so amazing to hear how the gospel is flourishing in the Philippines. Be encouraged by the number of churches, church plants, small groups and baptisms in the Philippines for the year 2020. Praise God for the continual growth of his Church!