The PeaceBuilders Community Inc. (PBCI) participated in the 30th Biennial Assembly of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) last 02-05 July 2013, held at Clark, Pampanga.
The specific role of PBCI in this national assembly of evangelical churches was to provide a two-and-a-half hour seminar on Peace and Reconciliation (PAR). Dann Pantoja, Joji Pantoja, Tala Bautista, and Dawn Albert Pates served as the seminar and workshop facilitating team. They shared the PAR principles and practices among 32 registrants–pastors, bishops, educators, civil society leaders, and youth leaders.
More than 200 representatives from 115 denominations, churches and organizations joined this 30th PCEC National Assembly.
This year also begins a period of transition for PCEC. The Assembly ratified the appointment of Rev. Noel Alba Pantoja, younger brother of PBCI’s Dann Pantoja, as the new Bishop Designate of PCEC. The current National Director, Bishop Efraim Tendero, presented Noel Pantoja through the ceremony of foot washing, symbolizing the kind of leadership exemplified by the life and work of Jesus. Bishop Noel will be trained by Bishop Efraim in the next two years to be the next National Director of PCEC.
A new Board of Directors were also elected. 46 church groups and ministries were ratified as new members, the biggest in PCEC history.
The Assembly ended in a declaration:
CLARK II DECLARATION
PCEC 30th National Assembly
July 2-5, 2013
We, the 260 Evangelical Leaders representing 73 denominations, 202 Para-church and Christian service organizations and comprising over 30,000 local churches of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, that have gathered for the 30th National Assembly, in Clark Pampanga, make the following declaration:
The Church is the primary agent that God will use in transforming society. But for the Church to effect transformation, they need to be healthy. For the churches to be healthy, they should be led by healthy shepherds.
We heed the call to be healthy shepherds who can properly lead the flock of God. It is essential that before we can fully take care of the God’s flock, we need to have alignment with Jesus so we can effectively do our assignment. We need consecration before commissioning.
Our Guiding Principles
We love God. As shepherds, we love God above all. Such love is made manifest in our longing for a deeper intimacy with Him and loving and living His law.
We love God’s word. We do this by knowing and obeying the Bible, the written Word; loving Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word; and sharing the Word with others.
We love God’s world. We are to love humanity and be effective witnesses to reflect God’s love who sent His only Son for them. We are also to be good stewards of God’s creation, and should do all means to preserve our environment.
Feed the flock. Shepherds need to preach Biblically regardless of time, reason and culture, as the Word of God is the very authority that will speak the truth. We are also to stand in the council of God by spending more time in His presence and seeking the Holy Spirit. Moreover, for us to function as God designed us to do so, and remain in good health, we need to have proper nutrition and exercise for both our physical and spiritual conditions.
Lead the flock. This requires upright and compassionate hearts and skilled hands among the shepherds–character and competence to lead the flock to the right path. The continuing challenge for leaders is teaching people to recognize and obey the voice of God.
Protect the flock. Good shepherds do their best to protect their flock from self-centered life, Satanic attacks, and unnecessary harm and injury. Leaders should protect themselves with the disciplines of godly living and should accord the same protection and security to the people to defeat the enemy.
Raise younger leaders. We accept the challenge to develop younger leaders to be vision keepers of the ministry we will turn over to them, and to model before them a life focused on God.
Raise marketplace leaders. We will raise and equip people in the church to be God’s presence in the marketplace to become fishers of men, and be the salt and light in our society to accomplish our task of social and economic transformation.
Promote economic uplift. We believe that, since God gives His people power to produce wealth, then wealth creation, entrepreneurship and faithful stewardship must be promoted among God’s people. Generosity, giving and receiving, which are already inherent in our culture, should be practiced intentionally so that the mission work will be supported, poverty alleviated and God’s name honored.
Champion societal righteousness. We should impart righteousness in society and be engaged the fight against corruption by living a life of integrity and actively exposing the deeds of darkness.
As shepherds of the flock of God, we are mandated to prioritize these issues:
Care for Creation. While the earth is only our temporary home, we are called to subdue the earth and all who live in it. This entails being good stewards of the only planet that God has entrusted to us. Therefore, we are to be conscious and wise in using our environmental resources.
Children’s Ministry. We affirm that children are created in God’s image and identity. God’s love for children is immeasurable and He has chosen and equipped the church to respond appropriately and care for them in whatever situation.
Church and Politics. We desire for the government sector to initiate righteousness and lead the nation in integrity. We want to be channels of blessings to our local and national leaders by building good relationships with them and leading them to Christ. We also want to involve our churches to cooperate with the transformational goals of the government and to participate in community activities.
Church Planting. We believe that churches with well-nurtured flock can transform entire communities; thus we continue our battle cry to plant churches in every barangay, and reiterate our mission to catalyze the multiplication of Christ-centered churches.
Community Development. We only have one model in doing mission, and it is Jesus who said “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Thus, we adopt an incarnational strategy—building significant relationships with the community we serve. In so doing, we obey Jesus’ call to be His voice, His hands and His feet, serving and empowering the poor so that we are closer to God’s desire to have “no poor among us”.
Disciple-making. We believe that disciple-making is the heart of the ministry of the Church. It is the life transference of those who are imitators of Christ. It is about people connected because of Christ in a committed and accountable relationship working towards the goal of becoming like Christ.
Family ministry. We affirm that families need God’s life-changing power because of the oppression of the enemy, sin in the hearts of people, and media influence. We believe that the family is a primary platform for reaching people with the Gospel of Christ. We will, then, strengthen our ministry to families, which are the foundation of our character.
Pastoral Training. We believe that the priority task of pastoral leaders is to facilitate the growth of their people towards Christ like maturity as a foundation of church membership growth. Towards that end, pastoral leaders must mentor their people by modeling to them the life of Jesus and come alongside their journey to engage them in spiritual conversation. We must raise up pastoral leaders with character integrity, deep spirituality and competency.
Peace and Reconciliation. We pray and actively share the peace of Jesus Christ, which is central to the good news: harmony with God, with self, with others, and with God’s creation. By 2018, we dream of having a network of Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) communities throughout our land who are organized in partnership with various parts of the people of God, who are mobilized to do ministries of justice and peace, and who will lovingly serve all people regardless of religion, ethnicity and political ideology, to the end that our land will experience shalom transformation.
Missions Mobilization. We believe that Filipinos scattered around the globe have a strategic mission of spreading the Gospel. We reiterate our contribution to the global harvest force by equipping and deploying a million cross-cultural disciple-makers by 2020.
As shepherds of the flock of God, we recognize that the Holy Spirit has made us overseers to care for the church of God, which He obtained with Christ’s own blood.
Therefore, we resolve to watch over ourselves and all the flock which God has entrusted to us. We will seek to be the healthy shepherds that can fully feed and take care of the people of God.
July 4, 2013