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Filipinos to expand ministry offerings

DALLAS (BP) — Considering an executive director job description and hearing proposals for new ministry initiatives will be among highlights of the Filipino Southern Baptist Fellowship of North America’s annual meeting in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Dallas.

The fellowship will gather Tuesday, June 12 at 8:30 a.m. at Dallas Metroplex International Church, less than 20 minutes from the site of the SBC annual meeting. The theme of the Filipino Fellowship’s meeting is “Together for the Gospel,” based on 1 Corinthians 3:8-9.

A worship service will feature preaching by Russell Diwa, pastor of Biblical Community Church in Richardson, Texas, and music led by the host church’s worship team. Jeremy Sin, a national church planting catalyst for the North American Mission Board, will bring greetings.

The executive director job description will be presented by the Filipino Fellowship’s officers, as directed by attendees at last year’s annual meeting in Phoenix. At the 2017 meeting, Florida pastor Dan Santiago was nominated as the fellowship’s first executive director. While the body supported his leadership, attendees asked the officers to clarify the role of an executive director and postponed a vote on Santiago.

“Hopefully, by next year we will be able to identify the potential executive director of our group,” said Santiago, pastor of Covenant Christian Church in Jacksonville, “somebody who will be able to work with our fellowship on a regular basis,” possibly as an unpaid volunteer initially.

Several ministry proposals will be presented at the annual meeting in an effort to “become an association focused more on different ministries we can do for our churches,” Santiago said. “For many years,” emphasis has been on worshiping together “and spending time with each other. But we don’t have formal ministries that we are doing as a fellowship.”

One ministry proposal involves providing training for pastors and churches on topics like conflict resolution and best practices for pastor search committees. Another proposal involves connecting Filipino church planters with individuals who want to help support them — an initiative to bolster the fellowship’s goal of planting 100 new Filipino churches between 2015 and 2020.

Because the success of Filipino Fellowship ministries depends on participation, Santiago said, the group’s officers are encouraging more churches to join. Of approximately 200 Filipino Southern Baptist churches, only about 40 currently are fellowship members, he said.

“We’re expecting more,” Santiago said. “Now that the meeting is getting closer, some churches are coming in and joining us. Our goal is to reach 50 [churches] by June.”

To register for the annual meeting, email Santiago at [email protected]. The fellowship has a Facebook page and will post updates on the June gathering as it approaches.