Filipino Discipleship and Evangelism

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The March 21 family march organized by the Manila episcopal area of The United Methodist Church in the Philippines was a “force to be reckoned with,” said Homer Ortega, chair of the event. Photo by King James X. Zaimur
By Gladys P. Mangiduyos
March 25, 2015 |QUEZON CITY, Philippines
Some 9,000 United Methodists converged March 21 to pray, march together and have fellowship for the family unity and solidarity.
… The Manila episcopal area launched the United Methodist Church Disciples of Christ movement to fulfill the Great Commission. Shared with the area’s conferences by the Rev. John B. Manalo and the Rev. Elino Rivera, the movement is a discipleship and evangelism model patterned after the small-group ministry of John Wesley.
“Through the formation of DOC care groups, United Methodist church members can now be a part of small group that resembles a family-like gathering of worship, sharing and prayer,” the Rev. Jestril Alvarado said.
The family march, said Manalo, was an effort to revive devotion among United Methodist families. “This would be one concrete manifestation that UMC families are united in faith, in prayer and in fulfilling Christ’s ministry and mission here on earth.”
The event emphasized the theme of bringing families to unity, he said, by upholding spiritual disciplines like family devotion, prayer, Bible reading and meditation and other practices that will strengthen relationships and Christian values.
The Rev Elijah Lorenzo, who traveled with church members early in the morning to attend, said the Disciples of Christ movement has “clarified the vision” for soul-winning and discipleship.
“Our church must respond to the needs of younger generation,” he said. “We must rediscover the Wesleyan zeal for intimacy with God and deep passion for souls, not just preserving the institution or our buildings and practices. Study the effect of longer tenure to local church growth. Leave too much of dirty politics out of the church.”
Mangiduyos is a deaconess in the United Methodist Philippines Central Conference and a professor at Wesleyan University-Philippines in Cabanatuan City.