Becoming a shepherd

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Friday, March 21, 2014

“THOSE who claim to be pastors but just take advantage of their authority and are not leading people to Christ are false shepherds. They must be avoided.”

These are the words of 23-year-old Fundamental Baptist Church intern pastor Aljun T. Guilaran who believes that no religion can save man and that only Jesus can.

A mass communications graduate of Holy Cross of Davao College, he was known in the masscom division because of his intelligence and broadcasting skills, yet he was more appreciated because of his good values and passion in preaching the word of God.


As a kid, aside from studying, Aljun devoted his time in gathering kids in his neighborhood to tell them about Jesus and other bible stories.

“In high school, I gathered around 60-80 students to teach them God's word and practical Christian principles to live. Then I used to pray with counselors to dedicate my life in the service of God,” he said.

He said that it was his dream to become a pastor. “Based on my interests, passion and gifts and heart to care for people who need God's care and compassion, I have realized that God indeed called me to the ministry, yet it was after college that by God’s leading, I finally decided to enter the seminary in Manila-Baptist Bible Seminary and Institute.”

Aljun recalled his struggles in the seminary that he referred to as living in a confined environment.

“In the dormitory, I needed to adjust with 12 roommates with different personalities, attitudes and backgrounds in life. I also struggled with strict discipline and rules which later became beneficial. Some professors are really strict and are challenging us to study hard especially in biblical languages like Greek and Hebrew and also in Homiletics or art of preaching and teaching. They often say that what kind of person we were in the seminary will determine what kind of congregation we will have. So it was intense training like no other in the secular college,” he said.

Despite the challenges, Aljun’s efforts paid off.

He started off as production supervisor of Mango Radio 97.1 Davao, later became an intern OIC pastor at Angono Fundamental Baptist Church in Angono Rizal, an Intern Young Professionals' Pastor at Panabo Fundamental Baptist Church and currently working on to be considered as Davao Regional Coordinator at PRO-ACTS Philippines a non-denominational National Christian Young Professionals Ministry based in Makati.

Pastor Aljun wants to serve full time in God’s vineyard and that in the future, hopes to start a local church in his own place and with his visions and views about church, religion and salvation, I asked Aljun about what he thinks of people who put up their own church and claim that they are God.

“Church has only one head and it is Jesus Christ our Chief Shepherd. We as Pastors are called to be under shepherds or caretakers of God's flock. We will be accountable before God in how we lead people because we do not own them or have any right to exploit them for our own personal gain. Those who claim to be pastors but just take advantage of their authority and are not leading people to Christ are false shepherds. They must be avoided,” he said.

Aljun made it clear that God doesn't care about religion. Instead, He wants relationship with man, His wonderful creation.

“I like how the late C.S. Lewis, the late Christian author and novelist of the Chronicles of Narnia puts it, he said that while the rest of manmade religion tries all they can to reach God, what they do not accept and understand is that God already stooped down and reached out to man's level despite our sins and miseries,” he said.

In the debated issue of homosexuality and same-sex marriage, Aljun stands in what is written in the bible that marriage and sexuality are both intended by God for a good and wonderful purpose.

“Marriage as God instituted and intended should only be for man and woman and nothing else. As to sexuality, God only created man and woman so we must discover and grow in the kind of a man or a woman that God wanted us to be. I don't care about what secular media and psychology say. Distorting it is disrupting and sinning against God's created purpose and order,” he added.

At his young age, pastor Aljun has many years ahead of him. With the good values his parents, Jose and Allen imparted in him, he will probably bring a positive influence to his ministry.

To the young ones, Aljun left a very inspiring message, “Young people, if you are certain of your calling, do not doubt or be afraid to serve God and people. We must count it the greatest pride and privilege to serve God more than any job or vocation the world has to offer.”

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 22, 2014.


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