NAFAUM News Coverage (Day 3)

Agtarap’s Challenge to GO and MAKE

January 5 – “Making Disciples is not a Program. It is a PROCESS” At 10:00 AM this morning, Rev. Dr. Bener B. Agtarap, Associate General Secretary of the Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church, started his lecture on INTENTIONAL DISCIPLESHIP: A Strategy to New & Vital Church Development. He started the discussion by reiterating the message of the passage from the book of Matthew 28:18-20 and asked this question, “Why Discipleship?” He quoted two important words in the passage, and that is to GO and MAKE.

The Rev. Bener Agtarap highlighting discipleship intentionality

He also stated the 3 C’s in Jesus Model of Discipleship. The first C is “CALLED”, we are called by Jesus to be His disciples, to respond to His call and to share that call to others. And in order for us to justify this calling, he added, we must believe that we are called. Second C is “COMMUNITY”, Rev. Bener emphasized that the relationship happens in the community. He used John Wesley as an example wherein our founder started by building communities of faith during his time. And the third C is “COMMISSION”, he highlighted that the actuality of us being commissioned is not just to be gathered but to be scattered as well. This model is our guide to go and make other disciples.

Making Disciples is OUR MAIN THING. During this presentation of his lesson, he wanted us to talk with our neighbours and answer the following questions, IN WHAT WAYS DOES THE CHURCH ENCOURAGE ME TO “OWN MY OWN GROWTH AS A DISCIPLE? IS OUR CHURCHDOING EVERYTHING IT CAN TO OFFER OPPORTUNITIES FOR DISCIPLES TO GROW AND MATURE? ARE WE INTENTIONAL? These are the questions that challenged the delegates both clergy and lay of the NAFAUM.

Making Disciples WITH A THANKFUL HEART. In this part of the lesson, he showed us the kind of disciples that we should be, DISCIPLES WHO GROW TO GO. DISCIPLES WHO MATURE TO MAKE DISCIPLES. And, DISCIPLES WHO TRANSFORM THE WORLD. To do this, we must share the love of God to many. We are not to promote the church but we are to promote the love of God to others. Knowing our purpose and how to live it out will help us big in understanding our task.

And finally, as he ends his lesson, he shared 5 ways to vitalize congregation. 1. Be a Leader. 2. Extend Yourself. 3. Notice God’s Activity. 4. Engage Your Church to do New Thing. 5. Refresh Yourself. …“If you try to build the church, you will rarely get disciples. But if you will make disciples, you will always get the church.”-Mike Breen

NAFAUM News Coverage (Day 3)

Buenaventura visits NAFAUM Convocation

5 January- Unprecedented events took place today in the convocation of the National Association of Filipino American United Methodists (NAFAUM) in Central United Methodist Church, Manila, Philippines.

Bishop Arichea led the NAFAUM delegation into a moment of prayer together with Rev. George Buenaventura

In the second study of a three-part Bible study series, the Rev. Daniel Arichea, Retired Bishop of the UMC emphasized the call for the Church to express love in more tangible ways amidst the diversity within. Themed as “Therefore Go in Unity”, Arichea expounded on the writings of Paul to the Corinthians. After expounding over the diversity of spiritual gifts among the believers in 1 Corinthians 12, he furthered that as per the succeeding chapter of the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians, such gifts are nonsense and futile if not used inspired and motivated by love towards God and towards one another. He points out that such love includes loving beyond economic, social, political and even between gender lines.

In addition, Arichea highlighted the parallelism between the Corinthian church and the Philippine Methodist church of today as he claimed that the divisions within the former are also present in the later. He added that the reason of such is the absence of authentic love within the church.

In response, delegates shared their opinions and laments over the state of the church. One of the issues pointed out is that of the Ang Iglesia Metodista sa Pilipinas (AIMP) that decided to form a new organization away from that of the United Methodist Church.

The Rev. George Buenaventura on his greetings to the NAFAUM delegation

After the study, the Rev. George Buenaventura, one of the leaders of AIMP was warmly welcomed in the plenary. Buenaventura extended the greetings of his denomination to the delegates, and wished them the best as the delegates confer together. In response, the delegates, inspired by the lecture of Arichea calling for the church to love, joined hands and prayed, also led by Arichea. ###

Richard Mel Caplis