On Worship, Education, & Ministry

(Source: 2017 IFI EXECOM approved WEM booklet) 

Worship, Education & Ministry is crucial to the growth of faith of member because it is the primary, sustained & repetitive common experience of the faithful – the WEM experience. Your first experience of Christian faith and practice is Worship, Education and Ministry. After baptism, a baptized IFI begins to experience primarily the worship, education and ministry of the church every time they come to worship – the WEM experience. This WEM experience will be continuously repeated at least every Sunday. As this experience is continuously repeated this shapes the child’s perception and view of God, the Church and his community. WEM experience therefore strategic in the formation and growth of faith of every church member. 

Our journey to faith maturity begins with praising God in worship, continues in knowing God in Christian education and manifests in serving God thru the various ministries of the Church. Like a spiral, on the next round we found more meaning in worship, we learn more about God and the faith shared by the IFI, we are engaged in the ministries inside the church and begin to appreciate ministries that respond to human needs in the wider society that we are not yet engaged in but can see that possibility when we are ready. And so on and so forth in the spiral of continuing growth of faith and practice. 

It is very important therefore that we take seriously the WEM experience that we offer to our faithful. First, by ensuring that the worship service is vibrant, meaningful & relevant to the congregation. Second, by instituting a Christian education program that is biblically sound, liberative and holistic and see to it that every faithful undergo the program. Sunday mass will not suffice to nurture the faith of members. Third, by instituting ministries where members are formed and enabled to practice their learned faith. 


In worship, faith is proclaimed and celebrated

  1. At the heart of Christian life is Worship. 
  2. The IFI is a renewed congregation that is dedicated to the worship of God in spirit and in truth. 
  3. According to the IFI Statement on Church Mission, Worship is the offering of our total self to God in Christ that involves participation in the proclamation of the Life, Death & Resurrection & second coming of Christ to the end that faith may be awakened and made alive in all men (Iglesia Filipina Independiente, 1976).
  4. Our life of faith begins in worship, celebrated in worship and culminates in worship.  
  5. Our entrance into the Church of God through baptism is normally administered in the context of worship. Since baptism is intimately connected with the corporate life and worship of the Church, it should normally be administered during public worship, so that the members of the congregation may be reminded of their own baptism and may welcome into their fellowship those who are baptized and whom they are committed to nurture in the Christian faith. (World Council of Churches, 1982)
  6. Baptism is incorporation into the body of Christ, the Church, which primarily mean the ecclesia or gathered assembly which God has called out to be his people. Thus, at least every Sunday, the Church gathers to worship where every baptized is expected to participate. 
  7. In the worship service, the Church regularly and continuously confess, affirm and re-affirm the faith professed at baptism. 
  8. To set foundation on the understanding of worship it is basic for every IFI faithful to study and understand the Declaration of Faith and Articles of Religion (DFAR); Worship and Liturgy section of the Centenary of the IFI: Celebrating the Heritage for National Freedom, Independence and Abundant Life; Worship section in the IFI Statement on Church Mission. 

Christian Education

In Christian education, faith is initiated, learned and developed

  1. In baptism we are incorporated into the body of Christ, the Church. Baptism is both God’s gift and our human response to that gift. It looks towards a growth into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13). The necessity of faith for the reception of the salvation embodied and set forth in baptism is acknowledged by all churches. Personal commitment is necessary for responsible membership in the body of Christ (World Council of Churches, 1982).
  2. Baptism takes place in the Church as the community of faith where every baptized believer is expected to grow in the understanding of faith. At the same time, the Church is also expected to take more seriously our responsibility for the nurture of baptized children to mature commitment to Christ (World Council of Churches, 1982). This is where Christian education comes in. 
  3. In Christian education faith is initiated, learned & developed in and by the individual together with the faith community. 
  4. The IFI adhere that the Holy Scriptures contain all things necessary to salvation, and nothing, which cannot be proved thereby, should be required to be believed (Iglesia Filipina Independiente, 1947). Christian education for the IFI therefore must be biblically founded.
  5. Also, the IFI also sees as a renewed congregation that is educated in and liberated by the teachings of Christ. Christian education for the IFI therefore is liberative.
  6. For the IFI, Christian education is also holistic. IFI seeks education that is holistic, that is for the realization of Shalom, and for the empowerment of the marginalized and oppressed. Education is enabling, integrative and inter-relational, hence, individuals and communities come together to participate in God’s Oikoumene (Iglesia Filipina Independiente, 2002).
  7. Christian education is concerned with nurturing the hearts and minds of the faithful be able to grasp the faith shared by the community. For after all, the Christian community is a gathering of people who share the same faith. 
  8. Therefore, every IFI member must receive Christian education. So that they will all become a part of the community in their hearts and in their minds. 
  9. There must be Christian education program for all levels. Christian education for children as well as adults. Christian education for new converts and newly baptized as well as for practicing faithful. For WOPIC, for YIFI, for LIFI as much as there is for the ordained. 
  10. Christian education must be continuing and encompassing. Christian education must be when there is opportunity. Christian education in the Church, outside of the church, in the chapels, in the communities. Christian education at home. Wherever necessary. 
  11. To lay the foundation of our Christian Education it is basic for the members to study and understand the IFI Declaration of Faith and Articles of Religion (1947), Constitution and Canons of the IFI (1977), Towards a Common Understanding and Vision of the IFI as a Church (1998), and the Centenary of the IFI: Celebrating for the National Freedom, and Independence and Abundant Life; A Historical Sketch (2002). The IFI Vision and Mission Statement (2002). There are many more old and recent documents and statements on the IFI history and heritage, faith and doctrine, mission and ministry that can be studied after these basic courses. There are also several ecumenical documents that affirm our basic Christian faith and imperatives thereof. 


In ministry, faith is practiced, actualized and strengthened

  1. In baptism an individual is not only accepted into the faith community but is also enrolled into the works of God. By virtue of our baptism, we are mandated to participate in the ministry of Christ (Iglesia Filipina Independiente, 2000).
  2. By virtue of our baptism, we are all children of God and endowed with different gifts by the same Spirit (Cf. Eph 4:11) to live out our calling and pursue the mission of God on earth, and to exercise the ministry of loving God and country, and hasten the realization of Shalom on earth, which is life in its fullness. (Iglesia Filipina Independiente, 2000)
  3. Within a fellowship of witness and service, Christians discover the full significance of the one baptism as the gift of God to all God’s people. Likewise, they acknowledge that baptism, as a baptism into Christ’s death, has ethical implications which not only call for personal sanctification, but also motivate Christians to strive for the realization of the will of God in all realms of life (Rom. 6:9ff; Gal. 3:27-28; I Peter 2:21-4:6). (World Council of Churches, 1982)
  4. According to the IFI, Christian Ministry is essentially a ministry of salvation and reconciliation in the service of the world (Iglesia Filipina Independiente, 2000). 
  5. Our ministry is rooted in our spirituality, nonetheless, not the spirituality that is passive ascetism, rather the spirituality that proceeds from the animated anticipation of the Reign of God. Our spirituality is what leads us to progressive ministry of renewing the human person and rebuilding the human community. The Iglesia Filipina Independiente carries out her ministry in the guidance of the Spirit of God who anointed Jesus “to proclaim the good news to the poor” (Luke 4:16). It is the one Spirit of God that is inspiring and inciting her to commit herself to the coming of the Reign of God (Iglesia Filipina Independiente, 1999).
  6. Ministry is initially and visibly experienced in the gathered community of God, in the eucharistic celebration, in the worship service. Here, we see visibly the sacred ministry of bishops, priests and deacons. This is also where the ministry of the laity is first observed. Music ministry, altar ministry, preaching ministry, teaching ministry, ministry of giving, ministry of leadership, etc., 
  7. Ministry is meaningfully experienced in the larger context of the community of faith – the world – the society. For after all, ministry is God’s work of salvation and reconciliation in the service of the world. These are pastoral ministry, sick ministry, prison ministry, ministry of presence, social ministry, prophetic ministry, healing ministry, peace ministry, etc.,
  8. The IFI therefore dispenses a holistic ministry. This come from understanding that the human person is basically both a physical and spiritual being and thus his/her needs are varied. As the church respond to these needs by loving service she will find herself dispensing holistic ministries ranging from those responding to the spiritual to other needs like economic, cultural, political, psychological, psycho-social, health, mental and others. This resonates with the platform of the ministry of Jesus that is to bring good news to the poor; to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind; to let the oppressed go free; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.


Holistic Ministries 

  1. As we participate in the ministry, we participate in God’s work of salvation and reconciliation in the service of the world. Ministry is therefore that moment when we practice what we believe. Ministry is faith in action. In Ministry faith is practiced, actualized & strengthened. 
  2. It is a very important moment in the growth towards Christian maturity. Nothing is more effective in the process of learning than practicing what was learned. Nothing is more evident that you truly understand God’s commands when you are doing it. Ministry is therefore that moment of growth when you manifest in practice the maturity of faith. 
  3. In the continuing growth of faith, doing ministry does two things, it affirms the faith already learned and introduces new learnings about that faith. Therefore, as we do ministry, our understanding of our faith deepens, strengthens and grows. As we do ministry we learn more of and about our faith. As we do ministry we grow in the faith.
  4. To lay foundation of our understanding on ministry it is basic for the faithful to study and understand at least the IFI Statement on Church Mission (1976), Aglipayan Spirituality (1998), IFI Statement on Ministry (1999), & the IFI Statement on the Ministry of the Laity.