Under-equipped pastors in the Philippines might have Bibles, but they lack the necessary study tools to lead their churches. One Filipino ministry became aware of this need and now works to relieve it.

Purpose and Passion Ministries (P&P Ministries), founded 10 years ago, provides training that enables rural pastors to better reach the Philippines for Christ. The ministry consists of a volunteer team that travels around the country conducting free classes for pastors and leaders. Class attendees on the larger islands later disperse the resources and knowledge to those on smaller islands—typically harder to access due to poor transportation on the undeveloped roads.

Jeffrey Co, a P&P Ministries elder, says the pastors “do not even have the financial resources to acquire necessary Bible study tools such as a concordance, Bible dictionary and commentaries.”

The Philippines is a predominately Catholic country of almost 99 million people dispersed among 7,101 islands. But many Catholics and Protestants have only nominal faith. The chances of the Gospel taking a firm hold here can seem bleak. However, with more than 50,000 evangelical pastors committed to sharing the Gospel in this country, God’s name is being proclaimed in the Philippines.

Many Filipino pastors are bi-vocational—farmers by day and pastors by night. Limited financially, the majority of these pastors have received little or no formal Biblical training.

Co points out the danger this lack of formal training presents: “A poor pulpit ministry gives rise to false teaching, formation of cults and, at best, weak congregations.”

Study Bibles for Pastors

The Gospel Coalition-International Outreach (TGC-IO) has donated resources to Purpose and Passion Ministries on an ongoing basis. In May 2013 they sent P&P Ministries four cartons of ESV Global Study Bibles for distribution to eager rural pastors and leaders.

“The ESV Global Study Bible contains practically all of the tools necessary for a serious Bible student to exegete the Word of God accurately,” Co says.

This Bible version contains a precise translation from the original Greek and Hebrew, a cross-referencing system, concordance, map, book outline and many other features that aid in Bible study and preaching.

Before receiving the study Bible, each pastor must attend a 3-hour seminar on how to use it as part of the Inductive Bible Study Methods class the P&P Ministries elders teach.

Training Those Who Will Train

While conducting classes on the island of Mindoro in June of 2012, Jeffrey Co saw the need for classes to train those who would train others to teach rural pastors. In the past year, five such training classes were conducted. Since last July, nine graduates have begun teaching classes at their local churches.

In September P&P Ministries held a 3-day conference in Davao City for over 170 pastors and church workers. Located on the southern island of Mindanao, the city was a strategic place to conduct the conference. Pastors received training that will help in their outreach to thousands of Muslims on the island.

Noel Garcia, another P&P elder, expressed appreciation for those who support their ministry. “We praise God for giving us this opportunity to minister to our brothers and sisters.”

The Most Valuable Thing They Own

One pastor, Filemon Rey, was so determined to attend a conference in San Jose, Mindoro in October that he traveled 20 hours to get there. He arrived with tattered shoes and his Bible. He and the other pastors left the conference with ESV Bibles.

Jeffrey Co says these Bibles will be the most valuable thing that many of the pastors will own. “The pastors expressed their gratitude to the Purpose and Passion Ministries for not only teaching them Hermeneutics, but also for providing them with the ESV Global Study Bible.”

He says Purpose and Passion Ministries hopes to offer training to pastors in other parts of the Philippines.

“Please pray with us as we wait for opportunities.”