Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Gains and pains in serving the pastors

Given the overwhelming mandate, I made true my commitment to integrate my learnings from previous experiences in development work in leading the association. Soon, I realized even those unlikely experiences in past life were similarly useful. Like risk taking, from gambling, and the skills in arranging/organizing cards, mahjong tiles to win despite their weak/losing state. Likewise, calculating combination and predicting occurrence in the numbers games like jueteng. These were further honed and given social component in my involvement with the people’s struggle and in practice of social work profession. Of course, the spirituality that has been developed during the illness and crises in life served as overarching foundation.

Using participatory approach, consultations were conducted in grassroots. Board meetings were expanded to include provincial presidents. This was supplemented by informal ones like regular Kape-kape@CPU, extension classes in provincial centers, and intentionally soliciting member’s opinion/suggestion. The collective wisdom of senior ministers was maximized by creating Council of Elders to assist in major organizational changes. Subsequently, the vision- mission statement was formulated, employing Appreciate Inquiry approach which was accepted and collectively owned by members. It has provided the direction of the association which broke the cyclic tradition and set the foundation for continuity.

My stint as CBMA president was captured by our slogan: MINISTER & LEAD. The first term was focused on service reflected by the series of assembly themes in 2005-2007: Ministering the Ministers: Locating the Pastor’s Milieu… Empowering the pastors in respective milieu, and Advancing the pastors cause… (LEAD) Thereafter, we move to the second level i.e. leadership with the following series - Ministers as Leaders: Leading the churches in the Philippine Context… Leading communities and institutions... and finally, Leading the nation…. In a nutshell, we set the framework, must I say mandate: Ministering the ministers so that they become leaders of churches, communities, institutions and nation.

Indeed, God blessed our collective effort with considerable results. Some were not necessarily new but the realization of what my predecessors started.. Streamlining of the structure had put an end to perennial question on relation of provincial organizations and synchronize the activities of chapters with the national direction. Members’ organizational consciousness was raised. Annual assembly was no longer taken merely as time for fellowship but for planning and making major decisions affecting the lives of pastors. Hence, many perennial questions or issues were resolved e.g. Code of Ethics, Ministerial gown/Stola and pastoral identity.

(to be continued)

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