The 18th Pastoral Care Conference with Dr. Gary Rieben – August 7 to 9, 2012

This 2012 is the 18th years of Pastoral Care Conference sponsored by Christian Growth Ministries and ACTION International Ministries. This year, the event was held last August 7 – 9, 2012 on its regular venue at Jabez Campsite, Dasmariñas, Cavite.
Days before the scheduled conference, we were bogged down by calls and text messages from the delegates if the conference is pushing through. There’s a nonstop heavy rain that flooded the National Capital Region and its neighboring provinces. 
Nonetheless, seventy two percent (72%) of the 300 Pastors and Church workers arrived. Some came as far as Bicol, Mindoro, Pangasinan and Palawan. The other 28% were not able to make it because of the flood. Some houses were neck-deep with waters or if not the road they’re passing were not passable.
In her welcome remarks, Ms. Rosely Fornoles, CGM President, greeted the crowd of enthusiastic delegates with a hospitable promised that as long there is CGM and ACTION there will always be Pastoral Conference such as this.


Delegates started to arrive in group. Some get there with their belongings in plastics in order not to soak in water.


Ptr. Ronald Camiling who handled the devotion warmed the heart of the audience by asking the question “What is your mark of identity?” the distinguishing mark people see in a pastor.  From which he himself answered, “Jesus is the mark of my identity.” He reiterated that pastors cannot make it alone. He challenged the crowd to invest in other’s lives, not to end everything after the seminar. That after the lesson is examination time and the determining factor of the impact of the conference is when everyone gets back to their own churches.
Our visiting guest speaker from California, Dr. Gary Rieben of Give Me That Book Ministries delivered the message on ‘Building a God-glorifying and soul-satisfying Life. He speaks more on the use and importance of the Word of God in our lives. He said that taking out the scriptures is also taking out the power of God, that when the word of God is not clearly declared; there is famine in hearing of the word. The Law of the Lord is perfect, complete, sufficient, lacking nothing, it has everything.
He is the only foreign guest speaker and handled 6 sessions of the 3-day conference. In the question and answer portion, mostly personal, he reiterated the importance of family over and above ministry, though his wife is ever supportive of his ministry. But he mentioned the importance of the kids letting them practice memorizing the scriptures.
Dr. Gary Rieben on "Building a God-glorifying & soul-satisfying Life"
Ptr. Gary’s message was so rich from the first session “Our Battle for Faith and Joy in Jesus,” that states, if you are a believer you are in a spiritual battle. His other sessions are as follows: The Sufficient Word: It is the ability of Christ to address every area of human existence through the word of God; The Battle for the Bible:  Even the enemy knows the scripture can use it against us especially if we are not adept of the Word of God and the enemy’s tactics and God’s promises; Interpreting the Word: How we approach Scripture is crucial to understanding its meaning and purpose; Meditating on the Word: Bible memorization is crucial in battle and a fundamental way in filling our minds that goes straight to our hearts once meditated alone with Jesus; and lastly, Doing the Word: Taking action on what we’ve learned from the time we heard God’s instructions and promises. Isn’t James 1:22-23 famous in this area, instructing us not to simply be hearers of the word?

He concluded his last session with a prayer for the delegates, that they may take hold of God’s Word and run the race of their lives, praying that the Holy Spirit of God will make Jesus Christ precious in everyone’s soul. 
In Glorifying God in the Gray areas’ (The Christian in Today’s World) topic of Bishop Reuben Abante of Lighthouse Bible Baptist Churches, Missions and Ministries, he spoke more on being blameless and harmless as children of God, that as children of God, especially workers for God, representing His name, we must show proof of our relationship with Christ. 

The workshops or seminars were divided into two; one is with Ptr. Leo Galanza tackling “Developing Effective Pastoral Study Habit.”  He reiterated that Theology must be able to help the church, and he never stops from learning (the word of God) because he wanted to be developed unto the image of God.  The measure that you love your church is you develop a good study habits.  Going back on what Ptr. Ronald Camiling said, “We (as pastors) cannot give what we do not have.”  Ptr. Gil Balignasay on the other hand, talked on ‘Raising the Bar of Transformational Leadership.’  A National Training Director of WorldTeach Phils., he adapted his message from the notes of Dr. Guy Saffold. He articulated what leadership really is! It is taking the initiative to know God deeply, to reflect His Holy character through
Bishop Fred Magbanua challenging the participants
loving relationship to draw others together in fulfillment of God’s creative purposes in the world. 

Bishop Fred Magbanua, concluded the conference with the challenged that in order to be able to ‘Build a God-glorifying and Soul-satisfying Ministry,’ one must adapt the Ministry of Jesus. That the method, motive and main focus of ministry is the same way our Lord Jesus used. Pastors should balance the ministry between compassion and motive. What he said encapsulated all of the previous speakers’ messages.



The group picture of the 18th Pastoral Care Conference Delegates, speakers and CGM staff.

In between breaks, Pastors were treated with free medical check-ups and given over the counter medicines, free hair cut, free shoe repair and polish, inexpensive second hand clothes and discounted books. Aside from the low books for sale, pastors were given at least 6 free books after the conference.

To complete the pastors’ treat, medical check was coupled with free shoe shine/repair and hair cut.

There are first timers who attended but most of them were long term attendees, like Ptr. Arnel Herradura that was given a title of PCC Hall of Famer.  He’s been attending this event for 18 years. He mentioned in his testimony that he was able to build a mini-library because of the books he received in through the years of his attendance. Below are some first- timers’ feedback about their experience in this event.
“Very useful.  In pastors busyness, we are tired in the ministry.  Eating the word of God and be part of the conference is beneficial to us.  We can share it back in our respective churches.  Plus the free books, these will benefit not just us but the waiting congregations.” 
- Ptr. Jun Señoren of Jesus Christ the Messiah Christian Church
 “This is an unforgettable experience for me.  I was able to meet my Dean in Bible school” 
- Ptr. Jun Lumbre of IRM Bulacan District
“Timely.  This serves as a timely reminder to us as pastors, the importance of studying
the word of God.” 
- Ptr. Ronie Salvador, Jr. (a 21 year old youth pastor)
of Imus Bayan Luma Only the Church.
“Malaking ambag sa mga pastors as leaders (great contributions to the pastors as leaders).” 
- Ptr. Edmar Ikan of UNIDA, Imus


More Pictures:

The delegates actively participating in the action song the worship leader taught.
Bishop Reuben Abante as he shares “The Christian in Today’s World” in his topic Glorifying God in the Gray areas.
The night to remember for the pastors who played Double Jeopardy, it’s a fun night for everyone.  It pays to be a child sometimes.
Grateful of God’s goodness, Ptr. Willy Basilio led the closing prayer with fervor and reverence to the Almighty Father.
After the conference, we’re not yet done.  It was concluded with the giving away of free books, courtesy of generous donors and authors of the books given away.
Pastors cannot get enough of the give-away books, they still throng at the book display offered by the Literature staff of CGM.
Enjoying the fellowship, they made it more valuable by bonding through swimming and playing basketball, enjoying the amenities of Jabez campsite and the newly built gymnasium of Jabez Christian School.

The working management from CGM of 18th Pastoral Care Conference together with Dr. Gary Rieben and Bishop Fred Magbanua.