Archive for May, 2008

We’ve just gotten back from Bicol here in the Philippines where we were part of a Level 1 GYMN training last week (May 20-23, 2008). Wow! would be the short summary of what we’ve experienced. For the details, I’m breaking the whole thing down into a series of posts that started two days ago. This is the third post:

I like this shot. It captures the exuberance and uncontainable joy of the participants. Is it because the whole thing is over? This was captured just after the last lesson. No more goals, nothing left but the graduation celebration.

But there’s also more to it than that. I like it because it shows heart. The youth leaders’ heart – one big thing significantly impacting our trainings. It is a great blessing to be in a training where there are hearts already passionate for God and the youth, as is the case with this training. To the participants of the Bicol GYMNet Conference, if you’re reading this, know that we too have been blessed by who you are.

My hope is that we also, have contributed to the fire in your hearts for God, and that your passion will be passed on to the youth under your care.


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We’ve just gotten back from Bicol here in the Philippines where we were part of a Level 1 GYMN training last week (May 20-23, 2008). Wow! would be the short summary of what we’ve experienced. For the details, I’m breaking the whole thing down into a series of posts that started yesterday. This is the second post:

After lunch of Day 1 we began the training. The Basic GYMN seminar for youth leaders, known as the Level 1, is composed of 13 teaching sessions, patterned on the life of Jesus and his ministry. Personally, they are a joy to teach and as a trainer I have learned much teaching them. If all the lessons were taught by only one person, it would require a lot of energy, creativity and spirit. Good thing, there were four of us to teach the sessions in this event. Aside from me, there was…

Ptr. Abel:


and Ethel.


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Me and my wife Ethel have just gotten back from Bicol where we were part of a Level 1 GYMN training last week (May 20-23, 2008). Wow! would be the short summary of what we’ve experienced. For the details, I’m breaking the whole thing down into a series of posts starting with this one. These will include not just my take on things but also perspectives from the participants, hosts and other trainers. Let me begin here…

Last Tuesday morning, a little before dawn, we got off the bus, and found ourselves in the municipality of Daraga, some distance from where we would have the training. This was at around 4:00 in the morning and still dark so I called up Pastor Abel Manzanilla, the head organizer of the training, and asked him for directions. After 8 hours on the bus, I may have still been groggy from the trip as I couldn’t understand the instructions he gave. Thankfully with the help of a few people we met along the way we arrived without incident at the home of Pastor Abel and his wife Mhel, who is also a GYMN trainer.

On the way to meet up with them, one of the most beautiful sights met our eyes, Mt. Mayon rising up into the sky in the shape of a near perfect cone.

Here I am on Day 1 of the Bicol Training which promised to be a very beautiful day. (more…)

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It’s hard to describe in words just what goes on in a GYMN training. Let me try to do that here using the pictures from the last GYMN training in Cebu.

First off, a set of youth ministry principles will be taught by trainers who have applied these principles in their youth ministry:

Next (more…)

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This post was written by Faith Mandalupe, GYMN trainer and volunteer.

“Before the GYMN manual, there exists this book…”

Upon hearing, I was but amazed by those words referring to God’s word – the Bible. I came to hear those powerful words while joining the Trainer’s Training last April 16-18, 2008 at Cloud of Glory, Liloan, in the northern part of Cebu Island.

Yes, indeed the GYMN manual is one of those materials that can help us train youth leaders and workers. But one good thing about it is that it is patterned after Jesus’ life and ministry and it acknowledges the full authority of the Bible.

The Trainer’s Training that we just had was more than what I expected. For one thing, I thought it would be a training were in we were just going to be receivers, listeners and attendees. To my surprise we were expected to speak in front and share one session from the material with only a short given time to prepare plus we also had some jurors to make comments on how we did our session. Nevertheless, it sure helped me a lot, it made me get to know the material more and also helped me correct myself when it comes to speaking in front of people.

Having the Trainer’s Training is such a nice way to maintain the quality of training GYMN wants to have for the youth leaders. Like on my part, I didn’t get the whole pyramid thing especially the old model… I just got the whole idea and the process that the whole youth ministry had to go through but the pyramid model was just so confusing for me to understand at first. I remember my first encounter with the GYMN training, my main goal before was to learn how to really properly organize the youth in my church. And by the time I had the chance to be one of the lecturers a year after; my focus was just the session that I was assigned to share. I wasn’t seeing the big picture, and most especially the entire message of the whole material. But now, with the Trainer’s Training, I understood the pyramid model (new model) so well and was able to see the entire picture clearly. Everything is connected.

For me it was more than just a training. I was refreshed, rejuvenated and was corrected. Which I so needed, to continue on with the youth ministry. I praise God for that.

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This post is part of a collection of articles sent as a follow-up to GYMN trainings. You can get a pdf version of this file to download or print out here: april_2008_youth_connection.

picture by ToastyKen

As a young Christian I was once invited by my friend to join a course on world missions. I was hesitant at first, little did I know that that would be the start of a love for missions that has brought me to remote islands of my country and placed me in an organization that is reaching youth globally. By missions, I refer to the effort of all the body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission as found at the end of Matthew:“And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:17-20

My plea is that you include world-missions in your overall strategy and make it more central in your teaching. Consider the following reasons why missions is so important:

1: Missions is Biblical

The verses often talked about on this topic are Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8 which we will look into later, but these are only two among hundreds of verses in the Bible that show God’s concern for the nations! From Genesis where he calls Abraham and blesses him and says to Abraham “…in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” to the book of Revelations where the following song is sung to Jesus “… you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” We cannot escape the fact that missions is one of the major themes of the Bible. If we do not tackle missions in our youth group we are missing a big part of what the Bible is all about.

2: It is the Greatest Cause

Human beings give their life for great causes and no cause is greater than this one. From my own experience, I am not a person easily moved but many times I have been in tears at the greatness of God in missions. Youth especially love a challenge and the Great Commission is the biggest challenge there is. It is more important than creating solutions to any global crisis, for those deal with this short life while missions deals with where people will spend eternity.1

3: We Get More of God’s Greatness

Missions is important most of all because it enlarges our view of God. This is true not just for our youth but also for us, as youth leaders. As we look into missions and deepen our involvement in it we get to see more of the magnificence of God’s character. As we begin to discover God’s concern for every family of the earth we begin to comprehend just how deep the love of God is. When we look into how God has worked from history until today we start to understand the power of a God who watches the nations like ordinary men watch over sheep.

To put it negatively: If we do not have a world-view of missions we risk belittling our God. John Stott once told a story of visiting a tiny church in England while on a study leave. He worshipped with them every Sunday, participated in their fellowship, and heard their discussions. He related his dismay when week after week, the pastor would preach about issues facing the village, pray about concerns in the church, and discuss decisions related only to their congregation. “I came to the conclusion,” Stott observed, “that these people worship a village God.” 2

We cannot allow the same things to happen to us. We cannot afford for us and our youth to have a small view of God. (more…)

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Promo Team of GYMN

Here’s a picture of our team promoting GYMN at the Alliance Youth Congress. From left-to-right are Bennette, Shayne and Jeff. To know more details of what they did there, check out the previous post.

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