My Spiritual Journey:
From a Defiant Persecutor of the Word to a Preacher and Defender of the Word
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus! My name is Sergio Umali III. Most people call me Serge. Some called me SU3 in the Christian Broadcasting Network Asia – Operation Blessing Philippines. That is where I volunteered as Database Management Staff before becoming a regular employee later. Currently, I am studying to grow in skills and knowledge for ministry at the Christian Leaders Institute with free online ministry and Bible courses (Learn more about free ministry and Bible courses online, Click Here).
I grew up in the City of Makati. Recently, I searched to see if there is an online school where I can enroll for free or with a scholarship to learn and develop as a church leader. I needed it now that I am leading a church planting team for our Central Church. Therefore, it is indeed a great blessing that I was able to encounter the Christian Leaders Institute. It will help me to grow in the skills of ministry and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
My Early Years
My journey as a Christian started when my father brought us to a Christian church. It was the Word for the World Christian Fellowship. Being 7 or 8 years old, every time we went to church, I clearly remembered the Sunday School. There was a classroom, crayons, and a teacher that taught us to sing and put colors to printed drawings. However, we did not continue attending that church because my father was not a committed Christian at that time.
It was when I was in college that my father invited us again. The whole family went to a church called Take the Nation for Jesus. He had a colleague that invited him to go to that church in August 1999. It was a bit awkward at that time for me. I was not comfortable with people singing worship songs with a band, dancing, tambourines, and flags.
An Open Door: Call to Ministry
At that time, my father also opened our house for a Bible study group. But I wasn’t ready at that time since I had just come from the Catholic convent with my aunts who are both chief nuns. Though I did not vocally disagree in my mind, I was persecuting my father for inviting a born-again Christian to conduct a Bible study in our house. Although I did listen to their discussion, I also made soft or indistinct words at the same time telling myself that what they were studying was not true. I was indeed a hardheaded, defiant son who didn’t want to see the whole family converted to the born-again Christian faith.
Little did I know that shortly after that God would call me to the ministry. God called me to the Ministry of Youth, Dance, and Sunday School as a volunteer. Also, our pastor would invite me to attend their meeting with the elders of the church even though I was still in the youth ministry. I did not know why I had to attend such a meeting at first. But now I know that the Lord prepared me at that young age. He did that because I would later be leading my own small group. Then, I would lead youth ministry and then midweek prayer gathering. Not long after that, I became an elder and became a preacher in our local church for like six or seven years.
One time, the Lord showed me in a dream our pastor going down from the pulpit. She sat in the chair in front of me. Then, I saw someone that wasn’t shown to me. He turned His head and spoke to me inaudibly. Though not seeing who He was, my spirit knew Him, and I responded with the words, “Not now Lord, I can’t lead. I can only be an assistant for now.” That dream was in the year 2009.
So, I consulted one of the pastors about it during our LRT or MRT training. That pastor asked, “What else? What else do you need to hear to believe and be convinced that you have a calling to leadership? That God is calling you to become His servant?” However, since I was young, I did not listen. I continued to tell myself that there were a lot of people more qualified than me.
Answering God’s Call and Studying at CLI
After all the avoidance I did to not answer the call of God in my life, I am now leading a new church plant in the City of Makati. Now, the Word that I tried to persecute before is the same Word that I am now preaching and defending. I pray by our Lord’s grace, I do not just grow in ministry skills and knowledge but also grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. I want to be an effective and more mature church leader and pastor. Praise God! I found the Christian Leaders Institute! Thank you, CLI, CLI staff, and professors! God bless us all!
Steps to Sign Up At Christian Leaders Institute
Step 1 – Register for a free study account that automatically enrolls you in the Christian Leaders Getting Started Course Part 1 &2.
After you register, you will automatically be enrolled in the “getting started” course. You will locate the course at your “home” button when logged in. Scroll down to find the Christian Leaders Getting Started Course Part 1 &2 Link. Click the link and open the course.
Step 2 – Complete Part 1 of this course. Then you can enroll in mini-courses or regular courses.
The Christian Leaders Getting Started Class Part 1 shows you how to enroll in courses and mini-courses. Part 2 of the course connects your calling into ministry with programs offered through Christian Leaders Institute. Part 2 will offer some ministry training and introduce you to the other programs offered through Christian Leaders Institute.