Nurturing New Church Plants in the Philippines

Worship Service in Iligan
Worship Service in Iligan

By Pastor Glem Melo

Church PlantsThree weeks ago, my family and I went on a Bible Training and ministry trip to three (3) mission congregations.  Pastor Phil, our adviser at our denomination Presbyterian Church in America’s foreign missions committee, Mission To The World (MTW), was with us. He reports,

It was good for me that Glem’s family was included in most of the itinerary.  In the Antique trip only his daughter, Giona, joined us.  Glem has developed the habit of doing things as a family and it is important to model Christian family life. It turned out that family relationships became a major theme for our various visits as well as reflection on Presbyterian polity.

Seminar in Malolos
Church Government Seminar in Malolos

Malolos The congregation in Malolos is the newest of the three. Having embraced reformed theology and church government through Bible Training classes that I have been privileged to conduct in the city since 2012, a core group decided to establish a new reformed congregation. Building on our previous training classes and seminars, I (Pastor Glem) focused my preaching and teaching on the establishment of the Kingdom of God and the church in Christ as taught in the Matthew 1-7. Complimentarily, Pastor Phil taught on church government, which he also did in Iligan and Antique. He reports,

Worship Service in Malolos
Worship Service in Malolos

The main source for the content is from Stuart Robinson’s The Church of God. The approach was (1) establishing church government as an important teaching of Scripture, including some hermeneutics, and (2) presenting some basic principles upon which Presbyterian polity is structured. The aim was to help guide these congregations in their growing convictions as they decide how they want to be connected and structured. Also to help them to understand who we are.

I hope to visit the brothers and sisters in Malolos next week. Lord willing and working, I will teach and expound to them the structure and government of the church in the book of Acts.

Church Government Seminar in Iligan
Church Government Seminar in Iligan

Iligan In addition to Sunday preaching and the church government seminar, Pastor Phil and I spent much time meeting with the interim leaders and the congregation in Iligan. We discussed with them our future plans, clear positions/directions and the option of affiliating the congregation with a future Presbyterian body. In the days to come, I hope to draft a Memorandum of Understanding for the group. Meanwhile, my family and I continue to drive to Iligan every Sunday.

Worship Service in Iligan
Worship Service in Iligan

We thank the Lord for new regular worshipers in Iligan and for the mission congregation’s growth in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Please pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to use our new series on Matthew, preached during the worship services and taught during the afternoon Bible training classes, to nurture, purify and build up God’s precious children in this precious city.

Church Government Seminar in San Jose
Church Government Seminar in San Jose


The trip to Antique took us to three localities:

  1. Anini-y
  2. San Jose
  3. Bugasong

In Anini-y, I focused my session on the spirituality and holiness of the church as taught in 1 Peter 2:4-5, while Pastor Phil taught on the nature of the church and principles of church government. In the evening, we conducted a Bible study for the members of the congregation and their neighbors.

Bible Study in Anini-y, Antique
Bible Study in Anini-y, Antique

In San Jose, Pastor Phil taught on the Biblical Gospel. In the afternoon, I taught and expounded on the structure and government of the church in the book of Acts, the very same lecture that I hope to share to the brethren in Malolos next week. In the evening, we visited, counseled and prayed for a brothers and his family in Bugasong. On our trip to Antique, Pastor Phil reports,

This is the most remote of the three areas we visited. This group is substantially shaped by their shared past in a ministry, which three men left together abruptly a year ago. The handful of others who are involved share a background in the same ministry. Work turned out to be one of the big issues of our time with them. Unlike in their former ministry, Presbyterianism values work and considers providing for your family well as a prerequisite to leadership in the church. We want to establish a model of hard work and of self-funded churches.

Visitation, counseling and prayer in Bugasong
Visitation, counseling and prayer in Bugasong

Please remember to pray for our brothers and sisters in Iligan, Antique and Malolos. May the Holy Spirit continue to comfort, nurture and mold them in faith, life, worship and ministry.


About New Hope

We are a community of people who believe in and live for Jesus Christ. We embrace and proclaim the Gospel as taught in the Bible and explained in the teachings of the Reformation: Salvation is by grace alone (sola gratia) because of Jesus Christ alone (solus Christus), received through faith alone (sola fide), based on the teachings of the Bible alone (sola scriptura), all for the glory of God alone (soli Deo gloria). SALVATION IS BY GRACE ALONE, THROUGH FAITH ALONE, BECAUSE OF JESUS CHRIST ALONE, BASED ON THE TEACHINGS OF THE BIBLE ALONE, ALL FOR THE GLORY OF GOD ALONE.
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