One of the Asia-Pacific Region’s priorities is Ongoing Discipleship. One way that the region is achieving this goal is to use small group ministries as a way to disciple Nazarenes throughout Asia and the Pacific.
One example is in the Philippine-Micronesia Field, where SDMI in partnership with NYI launched a series of Nazarene Discipleship Summits. The goal of these summits is to teach, train and equip every Nazarene to make Christlike disciples in their sphere of influence through small groups. Included in the schedule for these summits were plenary sessions and different workshops, including topics such as starting and/or leading small groups, writing small group materials, and mentoring leaders.
The first summit was held at Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary (APNTS) near Manila on June 16, 2018. Most of the approximately 250 delegates came from the Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog, and Bicol District. One of the participants commented, “We would also like to thank you for organizing such an amazing event like this one. It was informative, helpful and beneficial to our local churches. I personally learned a lot. To God be all the glory!” Soon after this summit, several churches began forming small groups in their local church, schools, and workplaces.
After the successful summit at APNTS, plans were made to host summits throughout the central islands of the Philippines, known as the Visayas. Speakers were selected who spoke the local languages of these islands, and who already had experience in starting and leading small groups. Summits were hosted on every district in the Visayas, on the islands of Negros, Panay, Cebu, and Leyte. At the Panay summit, attendees were transported in via bus to allow large numbers to attend. One summit, hosted by the Central Visayas District, directly resulted in a newly planted church in the southern part of the island of Cebu.
The movement continued to the southern island of Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philippines. Both the East Mindanao and West Mindanao Districts hosted their summits during their District Conventions, to allow as many people as possible to attend. After this, the final round of summits was held on the largest Philippine island of Luzon. During May 11, 2019, the Luzon and Metropolitan-Luzon Districts hosted a joint summit at Philippine Nazarene College in the city of Baguio. With a final summit hosted by Eastern Visayas District in August, there has now been a Discipleship Summit hosted by every district in the Philippines.
“We are committed to being disciples of Jesus and to inviting others to become His disciples,” said Ernalyn Longcop Fausto, who led the planning of the summits throughout the Visayas and Mindanao. She added, “We are committed to providing the means through which believers are encouraged to grow in their understanding of the Christian faith and in their relationship with each other and with God. We understand that discipleship includes submitting ourselves to obeying God and to the disciplines of the faith. We believe we can help each other live the holy life through mutual support, Christian fellowship, and loving accountability.”
The Nazarene Discipleship Summit throughout the Philippines was an initiative of the Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries (SDMI) of the Philippine-Micronesia field, with Dr. Dick O. Eugenio as Field SDMI Coordinator. In addition to the organization of Mrs. Ernalyn Longcop Fausto, the summits were planned in partnership with Asia-Pacific NYI, through Regional Coordinator Rev. Janary Suyat de Godoy.