By Roberto Padinit and Rosella Abenio
It has been a while that Pastor Andrew Kwong had been burdened for the training of local volunteer church planters of JECPP. This need was further accentuated by the closure of the ECME (Evangel Center for Missions and Evangelism) Training School. However, while attending the 33rd National Assembly of Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) in Cebu City with some of JECPP’s Spiritual Leaders last July, he was drawn to the booth display of the Institute for Training in Ministry (iTIM). Upon closer inspection of their materials, he realized that it was God’s answer to the burden of his heart.
With the approval of JECPP’s Founding Chairman Rev. Dr. Robert Lim and Senior Overseer Rev. Peter Wee, a team of delegates from the five JECPP regions were sent to join the first iTIM Fast-track Master Teacher Training program at Christian Development Center in Tagaytay City last August 27-30, 2019. Of the 45 delegates from various denominations at the 4-day training, 23 delegates came from JECPP.
All delegates were warmly welcomed by Bishop Noel Pantoja, the PCEC National Director. He took over the opening session by giving an overview of the present health condition of Christian churches, and the importance of the said training.
During the second session, Dr. Cirilo Doguiles, Interim Dean of iTIM Philippines, together with Pastor Manny Dacanay, member of iTIM Philippines Advisory Team, gave an overview of what iTIM is all about including its vision. They placed great emphasis on its purpose. According to Dr. Doguiles, “iTIM’s vision is to equip, train, and resource materials for effective ministry – one pastor, one church, one movement at a time.” Right after the learning session, the delegates were formed into small groups to answer the question: What in the world is your church doing? The group discussions gathered different responses. It helped them to assess and to look closely at their current church condition.
On the following day, Rev Arnel Bernas, also a member of the iTIM Philippines Advisory Team, introduced the 18 iTIM courses covering the 5 Tracks. iTIM features a “head”, “heart” and “hands” approach to learning. This means that all courses include vital content, life applications and ministry involvement. In addition, Pas Jet Ato, iTIM Philippines National Coordinator, and Dr. Doguiles gave a detailed discussion on how to teach and facilitate a group study, iTIM educational philosophy, and Alternative Bible School Learning System (ABLS)/ Discipleship Multiplication System (DMS) implementation. After the lecture, there was a table talk for all the delegates. They spent time to share the challenges and issues they face in their respective ministries. After which, they went back to their accommodations with bring-home assignments for the next day’s group discussion.
With excitement and eagerness to learn, the delegates listened attentively to another lecture by Dr. Doguiles. He discussed several topics, one is how to lead an effective discussion, using iTIM in church planting, and implementing change. Right after the lecture was an interaction and sharing among the small group.
Aside from learning, JECPP delegates enjoyed a time of good food and fellowship. They spent time to bond and encourage one another over sumptuous meals.
God has blessed the entire iTIM training. It was indeed very successful and productive. The final day came with much excitement as the delegates joyfully received their certificates of completion. Aside from being trained to do greater works for God, the delegates were on fire to serve God as well.
Furthermore, Rev. Peter Wee, senior overseer of JECPP, believed that iTIM can help churches prepare God’s people for work of service, and so build up the body of Christ. In this regard, JECPP will officially launch the regional iTIM training after the Core Leaders Retreat in October, 2019.
The delegates were deeply thankful to God for leading the Spiritual Leaders of JECPP to send workers for this training. They have faith that the result will produce growth in the ministry God has assigned each one of them.