TOPIC Philippines Luzon Regional Pastor-Trainers gathered at the Christian Development Center in Tagaytay, Cavite, Philippines (May 27-29, 2015). Participants included ninety-one pastor-trainers from the Island of Luzon. The gathering was led by the National Executive Team (Pastors Philip Flores, Herman Moldez, Nathan Costes, Gil Balignasay and Roli Manuel).
The theme was: Coming Together, Going Together! The objectives for the gathering were:
To explore possible collaboration with other pastoral training organizations.
To share stories, biblical principles, best practices and challenges in pastoral training, and
To promote the projected GPro Congress for Pastoral Trainers (Bangkok 2016).
Devotional messages included: "Coming Together"/Gen. 49:8-12 (Ptr. Nathan Costes) and "The Power of Journeying Together"/Eccl. 4:9-12 (Ptr. Herman Moldez). [His book Mentoring for Life & Leadership is available through Christian Growth Ministries/CGM]. Philip Flores (TOPIC Philippines National Coordinator) shared about the History of TOPIC (1999 – Present), Decade of Impact, and TOPIC Key Principles. Ptr. Philip gave special emphasis to the 2020 goal of trusting God for 10,000 Filipino pastors who are maturing and Christ-like. A TOPIC audio-visual presentation was also shown. Group discussions helped garner participant feedback throughout the event.
Ptr. Roli Manuel led the "Best Practices, Key Lessons" session. He used the 7 steps of design to determine what others are doing in relation to pastoral training (see diagram, below). He also shared the "Balanced Scorecard" perspectives to measure performance. Ptr. Gil Balignasay led the "Challenges, Issues" sessions. Participants shared the major opportunities and threats each faces while endeavoring to equip pastors. Ptr. Herman Moldez shared on the theme: "Transformational Learning." Ptr. Philip Flores also led a session on The State of the Pastor – emphasizing the need for a new breed of spiritual leaders in our day. [His books: A New Breed of Pastoral Leaders, and Kainos Leadership are available through Church Strengthening Ministry/CSM]. Ptr. Nixon Echavez promoted the Global Proclamation Congress for Pastoral Trainers, projected to be held in Bangkok, Thailand in June 2016. This included a special video presentation by Dr. Ramesh Richard (TOPIC founder and convener of the GProCongress). A highlight of the gathering was the moment when pastors washed each other’s feet – an expression of their commitment to serve each other – as they serve the Lord. This service was led by Ptr. Nathan Costes.
For additional information, please contact Ptr. Philip Flores
The Conference was uplifting, the food and accommodations were good. The combination of people tapped to carry the vision of TOPIC 10K by 2020 (the TOPIC Ex. Team, is a powercast). We were inspired to partner with you, and we believe this can be done. The whole program is balanced to the point. We really appreciate being part of this movement. God bless us all. – Ptrs. Ed D., Emmanuel S., Edmond R.
I have been to several local and international conferences. The TOPIC Pastor-Trainer Conference is great. Food, accommodations, program, content and spacing are very good. What I like most is your emphasis on discipleship. This should be a priority of every pastor and follower of Jesus. I was so blessed. The Lord has impressed upon my heart to collaborate and join with you in your desire to raise up 10K Christ-like pastors by 2020. The Lord be with us as we work together in fulfilling the Great Commission. Ptr. Adoniram S.
Pastor-Trainers Luzon Regional Conference, May 2015
For additional information, please contact Ptr. Philip Flores
Nathaniel asked Philip, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" When God wanted to save the world he came in the form of a despised Galilean who was known as a carpenter’s son from the poor, rural areas of Galilee. When God wanted to accelerate the training of pastoral leaders in Zimbabwe he raised up TOPAZ (the Trainers of Pastors Association of Zimbabwe).
Here is a ministry with no buildings of its own, no secretariat and no vehicle. And yet since 2011 this ministry has trained hundreds of pastoral leaders in seven centres: Harare Centre, Chitingwiza, Epworth, Mabvuku, Norton, Mutoko and Murehwa. And, all this has been accomplished through the volunteer board of trustees – people who also double-up as facilitators in our workshop and writers of TOPAZ manuals.
This all began when TOPAZ established a curriculum consisting of eight taught subjects and a ninth subject being the ministry practicum. In all the 8 taught courses TOPAZ established credible teaching notes which have now been consolidated into professionally printed training manuals.
Each training workshop brings together excited students eager to be equipped for ministry. The training takes the forms of plenary sessions, group dynamics and the completion of interactive notes in a non-threatening environment where the educated and not-so well educated can enjoy the fellowship of learning together.
When the year of learning in class and being mentored in-between learning blocks is done, the students eagerly look forward to the graduation ceremony – a real celebration of hard work and accomplishment. So far 200 students have graduated with their Foundation Certification in Pastoral Ministry and more than this number have taken one or more of our courses for edification rather than graduation.
BEHOLD what God is doing through what might have seemed an insignificant organization called TOPAZ. If you are still tempted to ask the Nathaniel type of question about TOPAZ, then I would simply give you the Philip type of answer: "Come and see".
Reported by Rev. Dr. Roy Musasiwa – TOPAZ Chairman and Facilitator
101 Pastor-Trainers, mostly from Mindanao, Philippines gathered with the TOPIC Executive Team at the Word of Life Seaside Bible Camp in Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines on June 24-26, 2015. This was another regional gathering of pastor-trainers who met with the theme: Coming Together, Going Together. The TOPIC Executive Team shared the same content and led similar sessions as the one held at the CDC in Tagaytay in May 2015 (see article above).
One participant, Ptr. William and Cecllia Espina, traveled 370 kilometers (12 hours) from Tcurong, Sultan Kudarat to Cagayan de Oro. They traveled by tricycle, which was driven by Ptr. Roger – their co-worker (as a participant). Pastor William is legally blind and conducts training for pastors. Their presence encouraged and challenged everyone. [See photo, below]
[Participants at the Word of Life Seaside Bible Camp]
[Pastors Roger, Wm & Cecilia Espina]
Feedback from participants ~
The conference was overwhelming. My mentees witnessed our togetherness and the humility of our TOPIC leaders. The messages were delivered with simplicity but with great impact to our life and ministry. Glory to God. Thank you servants of God. – Ptr. Alex A. (Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat)
The partnership approach is a giant step towards the attainment of our goal of 10K Pastors by 2020.- Ptr. Freddie I. (Lanao del Norte)
TOPIC Pastor-Trainers Conference (PTC) laid a good foundation about peer mentoring and building the Kingdom of God together as a Body of Christ. It was an eye opener with regards to the "State of the Pastors." It has challenged me to the vision of CORE 10K by 2020 and am now in the process of praying and selecting those whom I will be mentoring inside and outside my church. It has paved the way for me to rekindle some friendships and create new ones, – Ptr. Michael V. (Dipolog, Zamboanga de Norte)
I’m indeed blessed by the Lord through this TOPIC Pastor-Trainer Conference. It deepened my perspective on mentoring, not just leaders, but pastors…I decided to mentor more pastors. – Ptr. Elbert B. (Butuan, Caraga)