After corresponding, interacting, and praying with key people for more than two years, the GTP team comprised of Gary Hoag, Ruthie Cristobal, and Anjji Gabriel finally set foot in Jakarta, Indonesia for historic meetings on 19-20 February 2020.
On the first day, 80 key pastors, ministry administrators, accountants, attorneys, and other professionals listened intently as Gary shared biblical teaching on stewardship and accountability. After discussing the implications for churches and ministries in their setting, they heard how God is stirring people to follow standards of faithful administration around the world, as well as in a neighboring Southeast Asian country. Anjji shared the story of Christian Council for Transparency and Accountability (CCTA), the peer accountability group (PAG) in the Philippines, similar to ECFA in the USA.
The need for standards and accreditation linked to church and ministry administration resonated with the participants, and they responded well to the invitation to establish a PAG in Indonesia. The participants brainstormed, suggested possible action steps, and asked “after-the-sale" questions showing both their excitement to get the PAG started and their need for assistance in navigating through logistics and other practical matters. Ruthie documented each remark so that GTP as a team can serve key volunteers eager to do the hard work of forming a PAG for Indonesia.
This is characteristic of the birthing stage of a PAG. We see similar steps being taken by skilled servants in movements happening right now in New Zealand, El Salvador, and Brazil. GTP is playing the role of convening, empowering, and assisting national workers to build trust in their local contexts as basis for growing local giving to God’s work.
As a result of this meeting, a core group has formed to conceptualize the PAG in Indonesia. Pray with us that the Spirit of God gives wisdom to this founding coalition as they craft standards and form a PAG.
The next day, 40 participants engaged with teaching from The Council, The Choice, and The Sower. Throughout the time together, attendees shared an eager willingness to take what they have learned and apply it in church and ministry settings. Each participating organization which opted for the English version was given a set of books as Anjji brought 40 copies each of the three books.
During this meeting, God surprised us when a participant spoke up with a willingness to champion the cause of getting The Council, The Choice, and The Sower translated into Bahasa Indonesian. This can potentially lead to a wider readership, critical for the work of forming and multiplying faithful stewards across Indonesia.
One participant emailed us saying, "These books are really rich in relevant and applicable content” with what she described as "clear direction and step-by-step guidance." She also said that she "will share these principles to some board colleagues," and is "planning to implement these principles to the commercial corporate world, too."
Pray with us that the translation of these books can be completed by next year and that the GTP team can return not just to Jakarta but to five other strategic cities—Surabaya, Bandung, Medan, Semarang, and Bali—to deliver biblically integrated teaching and possibly GTP’s Journey of Empowerment (JOE) training.
Anjji concluded, "We were truly blessed by the turnout during the meetings, which was the biggest number GTP have experienced in holding such meetings on a first visit to a country. It was also encouraging that a pledge of financial support for starting the peer accountability group in Indonesia was given by one of the participants in our meeting. This was another first time experience for us."
As GTP plants and nurtures seeds that can lead to peer accountability groups taking root, growing, and eventually blossoming to serve churches and ministries in a nation, may we encounter more encouraging first time experiences that remind us that God is indeed with us.