When Joven C. Soro decided to take advantage of a “free concert” he’d seen advertised at the Araneta Coliseum in the Philippines, he received far more than he’d bargained for.
“I was surprised when the program started, because the praise and worship team started to sing about Jesus Christ!”
At first, Joven was convinced he’d wandered into a group of “crazy people” – but it didn’t take long for his mind, and his heart, to change.
“When the preacher started to preach, my heart was touched by the Holy Spirit,” recalls Joven. “I surrendered my life, and I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.”
Revealed in a Dream
Within a month of that first encounter with Jesus in 1990, Joven knew everything needed to change. He resigned from his job as a factory worker and enrolled at the Univeristy of Manila with the intention of pursuing a career in Computer Programming.
But God had other plans.
“One night I had a dream that I was preaching the Gospel in my hometown in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija,” says Joven. “So because of that, I decided to go back to my home town and plant a church.”
Since then, God has used Joven in a number of capacities to help build the kingdom. He has completed his B.S. in Secondary Education in Mathematics, as well as an M.A. in Educational Management. He spent 13 years helping train Church Planters through the Bible League Philippines and has served as Executive Secretary in the Mayor’s Office and as Spiritual Director for the Tanglaw ng Buhay Founday.. Currently, he is a full-time Missions Director at Faithworks Christian Church Global.
Renewed Passion, Changed Vision
After more than two decades of ministry, Joven says that he felt he had come to a plateau stage in August 2011.
“I asked God to revive me,” recalls Joven, “to bring back my passion in ministry that He gave to me.”
His answer came just one month later, when Jim Montgomery visited to lead the Bible League Philippines staff through the Lead Like Jesus (LLJ) Encounter workshop.
“I am revived and blessed by God because of Lead Like Jesus,” says Joven. “My opinion, understanding and perspective about leadership is changed; leadership is about becoming less, being a servant.”
Today, Joven is helping inspire others to lead like Jesus as a Master Trainer for LLJ in the Philippines. And one of his greatest hopes and prayers is that funding will become available so that Lead Like Jesus will be able to train more Church Planters in his country.
“Many of our church planters have no formal training how to plant a church through their respective communities,” says Joven. “Many local churches – especially in the rural areas – have no financial funding for Church Planting.”
Joven, whose life has been forever transformed by Jesus, believes Lead Like Jesus-trained Church Planters would make all the difference for his nation.
“Lead Like Jesus increases the effectiveness of our Church Planters in the community by showing them how to approach people,” he says. “They learn how to show love, compassion and care to unchurched people.”
“I pray that we start a Church Planting Ministry here in the Philippines,” concludes Joven, “and I want to involve myself.”