Bishop Oriel M. Ballano

Doulos For Christ
World Harvest Ministry
Manila, Philippines

How has this Conference been for the both of you so far?

It has been a great blessing for Pastor Geraldine and myself to see Pastor Lee Seung Bang from Korea and Pastor Timothy Wu from Hong Kong rise up as G12 Coordinators and speakers at this Conference. You may not know this but years ago, they were trained by us back in the Philippines. Their success stories is evidence that the G12 Vision is not limited to the Colombians, but applicable to anyone regardless of culture or nationality. Any church can multiply if they follow the teachings of the G12 Vision.

Tell us how the G12 Vision started in your church and what were some of the challenges you faced?

When I first implemented the G12 Vision in my church, I lost a total of 60 people. This was as my church had its own "culture" then – a bad culture where members thought attending service was it. They also came late for service and would not bring a Bible. My congregation was used to this bad culture and did not want to accept the new culture that the G12 Vision brought.

But I persisted. I made a decision that the G12 Vision is to be established as the new culture of the church. I began to disciple and gradually built up my 12 or as I like to call them – my prototypes – to a new culture. And finally, it began to bear fruit. In a matter of 3 years, we grew from 200 people to 1000 people. 3 years following that, we had a congregation of 5000 people. Today, we are 12,000 member strong, and we aim for our membership to hit 20,000 by next year!

What do you say to churches who are facing similar difficulties implementing the G12 Vision because of their culture?

I believe there is not one culture in this world that will accept the Kingdom Culture, which is the G12 Vision. Each time the Kingdom Culture is implemented, it faces opposition. Why? This is because the Kingdom Culture is unacceptable to the world. As Romans 12:2 (NIV) says, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Some pastors have told me: "I think we need to adjust the G12 Vision to fit the culture of the people." That's where they're wrong!

Here's an illustration of one church in Chicago, USA, they began a service which was held from 8.00am – 10.00am. Not many people came and the pastor thought, "Maybe the service is too early, we need to change it to 9.00am – 11.00am instead." So they did, but still many were late, so the pastors changed it to 10.00am – 12.00pm, and later, 3.00pm – 5.00pm, finally the church shut down. Why? It is because the church changed to suit the culture of the people. When "culture" begins to change the church, it's no longer "culture", it's the work of the devil, a demonic attack against the church! At my church, we've decided the culture will not affect the Vision. The Vision will affect the culture.

Aside from establishing a new culture, what other advice can you give to churches that are seeking to achieve growth?

The key to church growth is coaching and mentoring. As every good athlete has a good coach, every good pastor must develop an atmosphere of coaching and mentoring. PersonalIy, I look towards my spiritual father, Pastor César Castellanos for coaching, as well as other teachers, such as Pastor Richard Witmer.

The church must also be well equipped. I've found that majority is driven by inspiration, through conferences such as these. It's not that inspiration isn't good, but it has to be supported by coaching and mentoring in order for it to manifest. If there isn't a strong coaching system established in the church, when they return home after the conference, they'd be lost.