This fall, Central Filipino church launched a weeklong evangelization summit entitled “Journey to Secured Hope” in collaboration with other Asian/Pacific Region churches in the Southern California Conference.
As with many gospel proclamations, the event also included health messages. Pacific Union Conference Vice President for Asian Pacific Ministries VicLouis Arreola III led nightly presentations of the gospel message. His wife, Imelda Arreola, physician and director of Optimal Health and Wellness, and their son, VicLouis Arreola V, a resident physician at Loma Linda University Health, presented health messages.
The event’s core objectives were to revive the evangelistic zeal of the church by training the church for witnessing and to create an avenue of community engagement by bringing in new believers.
“The initiative was built around the motif of reshaping the evangelistic culture of the church and tilting its posture toward its future growth objectives,” said Cris Manlongat, Central Filipino church senior pastor, “and to get a pulse of the trending narrative of public evangelization’s dwindling life, at least in an urban context.” Indeed, the initiative has yielded baptisms, commissioned local missionaries, and grown the church’s perspective in witnessing, community awareness, and engagement.
To counter the reputation of public evangelization as challenging, intimidating, and unpopular in individualistic societies requires determination, collaboration, and innovation. As such, technology has become a valuable tool to increase connection and reach broader audiences. The nightly proclamations were livestreamed and broadcast on Hope Channel Philippines, viewed by thousands across the Asia Pacific Division, and reached more than 100,000 viewers worldwide.
Central Filipino church is working to establish a culture of evangelization and community engagement with intentional collaboration with community leaders and entities. Prior to the event, the church conducted a health outreach and community engagement fair. This event offered glucose and cholesterol screenings, blood pressure checks, plant-based cooking demonstrations, fall prevention, emergency preparedness, Hands-Only CPR, free clothing, and haircuts. The event resulted in making new friends and connections in the community. Additionally, the church distributes thousands of pounds of food every month and delivers pre-packed sandwiches to temporary shelters in Los Angeles.
These events were conducted not without challenges, but they achieved their objective through thorough preparation and collaboration with other churches. Central Filipino church recognizes that evangelization is the lifeblood of the church, and it is on a path to rediscover this organic means of growth.
“One single step does not accomplish that much, but it is required to get to the desired destination,” said Manlongat. “It is true in life; it is true in evangelization.”