Filipinos ‘well-suited’ for multicultural gains
Adam Miller & Norm Miller, Baptist Press
June 21, 2011

Filipinos ‘well-suited’ for multicultural gains

Filipinos ‘well-suited’ for multicultural gains
Adam Miller & Norm Miller, Baptist Press
June 21, 2011

PHOENIX – Filipino

Southern Baptist leaders met June 14 in Phoenix

to ramp up church planting efforts among the 3.2 million Filipinos living in

the United States

and Canada.

“We want to see the number of Filipino churches double,” said Roger Manao, president

of the Filipino Southern Baptist Fellowship of North America and pastor of

Philadelphia Bible Church International. “We have 200 churches, and we are not

doing enough. We have to do more.”

Manao said a strengthened emphasis among Southern Baptists toward reaching

cities has infused excitement into Filipino pastors who see great opportunity

among Filipinos to reach multicultural communities. Cultural understanding and

insight into city life among Filipino Christians, most of whom live in the urban

areas of the U.S.

and Canada,

make them a strong force in reaching population centers for church planting and


“We are well-suited for cross-cultural ministry because of our cultural

background,” Manao said. “We are multi-lingual, adaptive and accepting of other

cultures. These are all strengths we can be proud of and use when it comes to

partnerships with other ethnic groups.”

Photo by John Swain.

Southern Baptist Filipino leaders discussed church planting and evangelism among Filipinos in North America as well as cross cultural ministry mobilizing Filipino Southern Baptists whose culture, history and languages make them effective at reaching many cultures with the gospel. Ken Weathersby, the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) associate vice president for Multi-ethnic Church Mobilization, talked about the open door North America provides for reaching the nations for Christ.

Jeremy Sin, the North American Mission Board’s multiethnic team coordinator for

Asian people groups, encouraged the pastors to get mobilized through NAMB’s new

Send North America strategy for church planting.

“We at different times and at different places have been blessed by Southern

Baptists,” Sin said. “But we also have an opportunity to be a blessing – to see

ourselves as part of that same Kingdom work that God has done in our cultures

through Southern Baptists.”

Ken Weathersby, NAMB’s associate vice president for multi-ethnic work, said

Filipinos in North America have a great opportunity to

have an impact.

“God has given us an open door in North America,”

Weathersby said. “It’s an opportunity to make Christ’s name known, to encourage

the saints and to make disciples and new believers. It’s an opportunity to

plant churches.

“With Filipino churches mobilized to partner with Southern Baptists through

Send North America, our Filipino brothers and sisters will help us reach people

regardless of ethnicity or other barriers,” Weathersby said. “They have been

very effective and we expect even greater things as they continue to reach

across their culture and outside their culture.”

The Filipino fellowship, during its June 14 session at North

Phoenix Baptist Church,

reported on its own church planting project, the Asian Multiplication

Evangelical Network (AMEN).

“The aim of this year’s meeting is to educate and mobilize our Filipino pastors

and church members regarding AMEN,” said

Manao, chairman of the initiative which operates under the fellowship’s

umbrella. “I’m praying everyone will be challenged to get on board our Filipino

church planting movement.”

Created in 2010 by Filipino Southern Baptist pastors and NAMB, AMEN

is focused on nine of the most populated regions in the United

States, with “the objective to create church

planting and multiplication awareness, and with a goal of planting 30 churches

by 2021,” Manao said.

The Filipino Fellowship is comprised of 200 churches. The June 14 meeting drew

about 60 pastors and laypeople from nine states and Canada.

(EDITOR’S NOTE – Adam Miller is a writer for the North American Mission Board;

Norm Miller is a writer based in Richmond, Va.)