As the web designer and web administrator of the Philippine Missions Association (PMA) website, I was asked by the PMA national director, Dr. Rey Taniajura, to attend and observe their general assembly meeting. During that meeting, I learned some interesting information about “What makes a Church, a Church?” In a rather humorous way and in passing—to illustrate his point—Bishop Ephraim Tendero, the national director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC), explained that there are two mindsets prevailing among local churches. The first one he called the “ABC mindset” and the other one he called the “DEF mindset.” I thought it was funny but it really drove home the point.
The ABC Mindset in the Local Church
For the ABC mindset, this is what the letters A, B and C stand for: A is for Attendance, B is for Building and C is for Cash. Without having to explain it in detail, I readily understood that the focus of this kind of a church is on increasing its attendance—a numbers game of sorts. And secondly, while they may say they value sharing the gospel but this kind of a church is really more focused on their church building. Just check how much funds go into their church building! And lastly, they are so stingy about their church funds (it’s needed for the building, you see) and are wary to share it for other worthy causes.
The DEF Mindset
For the DEF mindset in the local church, D stands for Discipleship, E stands for Evangelism and F stands for Frontier Missions. The great commission is all about making disciples and yet discipleship is somehow missing in so many local churches according to Bishop Tendero. Evangelism is sorely lacking in many churches too. And, only a few give attention to missions—especially frontier missions. There are only a few churches that can be considered “sending churches.” That is, they send missionaries to go and make disciples in other nations.
Hmm… I thought it was a great observation from the PCEC national director himself on what goes on in the minds of local church folks across the country. This is really something worth thinking about.