I. General Comments
1. As a whole, the Filipinos are very warm and friendly people. However, those of them who are working as domestic helpers might feel inferior to the local people due to the nature of their occupation. We need to make them aware that they are accepted in the church as equals.
2. At times, they may be sensitive and emotional. It will be advantageous for us to learn something about their background and culture if we are burdened to work in this ministry.
3. Speak slowly and clearly to those who are here for the first time. Using simple English is important as most of them cannot understand the
II. Newcomers’ Class
1. Create a friendly atmosphere and try to find out about their background as much as possible before starting to present the Gospel to them.
2. Most of them come from a very strong Roman Catholic background. As teachers we must be familiar with the Roman Catholic faith and its differences from the Protestant faith. Assure them that we sincerely want to show them the way to be saved by grace alone, through faith alone and in Christ alone. We do not want to argue with them about their religion.
3, Stress on salvation by faith alone and make sure that they understand the meaning of being “born again”.
III. Teaching Methods and Materials
1. For the young believers, the regular Sunday School material may not be suitable. Try using workbooks or worksheets with simple and straightforward questions which require short answers or “fill in the blanks” or “multiple choice”. The advantage of using such material is that the students have to submit them for marking and in so doing, their level of understanding of the lessons can be gauged.
2. Try using many analogies and examples to illustrate a point. Filipinos love stories and they are more likely to pay attention to a story than just dry facts. Keep to just a few main points and focus on principles rather than get lost in details.
3. For the more advanced students, encourage them to pray, share and even lead a small portion of the lesson when they are ready.
4. When the students are familiar with the basic doctrines, topical studies may be relevant.
5. For those who cannot come regularly, a correspondence course may help them to read the Bible on their own.
IV. Dealing with Their Problems
1. When they are facing problems at home, pray with them and lend them a sympathetic ear.
2. Where employer-employee problems arise, one has to remain objective and neutral, rather than take sides without listening to both sides of the story. Encourage the student to deal with the problem directly herself if possible, eg. talk it over with the employer or even the employment agency. On our part, we can assure them of emotional and prayer support. Try helping them to apply biblical principles in solving their problems. We must ask the Lord to give us wisdom, discretion and sensitivity in dealing with individual cases.
(The above article is written by Mrs Dixie Chua, based on the feedback from the teachers of the Filipino classes).
Recommended reading for Filipino Class Teachers
Books on Roman Catholicism:
1. *Salvation, the Bible and Roman Catholicism, by William Webster, The Banner of Truth Trust 1990.
(This is a concise treatment of the subject by an ex-Catholic, and the second portion of the book is evangelistic in nature, pointing out the way of salvation by faith alone as the only true way.)
2. *Roman Catholicism, by Lorraine Boettner, P&R Publishing 1962.
(An excellent and thorough treatment on the major teachings of the Roman Catholic faith. Good for in-depth study.)
3. Once A Catholic, by Tony Coffey, Harvest House Publishers 1993.
4. *Far From Rome Near To God: Personal Testimonies of 50 converted Roman Catholic priests. Editors: Richard Bennett & Martin Buckingham, Assoc. Publishers & Authors, 1994.
(Interesting reading, but use with caution as some of the priests were converted into Charismatic and Seventh day adventist churches.)
5. *All Roads Lead To Rome? by Michael de Semlyen, Dorchester House Publications, 1993.
6. *Global Peace and the Rise of the AntiChrist by Dave Hunt, Harvest House Publishers 1990.
7. *A Woman Rides the Beast by Dave Hunt, Harvest House Publishers 1994.
Book on Cults:
8. *Witnessing To the Cults by Alex Wilson and Christine Tetley, Printed by Church Strenthening Ministry, Conservative Baptists in Manila, 1985.
(This book deals with some cults prevalent in the Philippines, such as The Iglesia ni Cristo, Jehovah Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists etc.)
*Available in the Sunday School Resource Library.