Aiming to boost its global expansion, the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals or BCBP has created a new organization to primarily focus on international missions.
Known as the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals International Foundation, Inc. or BCBP International, the new organization is registered in New York City, USA as a non-stock, non-profit organization. It will represent BCBP in mission areas where government and church recognition are necessary, and will also provide administrative assistance to BCBP chapters outside the Philippines.
Serge de la Fuente, former Managing Director of the BCBP National Office, has been named president of BCBP International. He said the new organization is expected to provide added recognition to BCBP communities in foreign territories where the BCBP or even the Philippines are less known.
Aside from Serge, other elected officers of the BCBP International are Fr. Herb Schneider as Chairman; Doy Nunag as Secretary; Jimmy Castro from BCBP New York as Assistant Secretary; and Rusty Cabilin from BCBP Los Angeles County as Treasurer. These officers will be assisted by elected trustees, namely PV Beley, Caesar Altarejos, Bert Masiclat, Joffe Almoro, Tito Serafica, Doy Nunag, Eric Cordeta, Etchin Sumagang, and Noli Castro.
The BCBP has chapters, outreaches and missions in the United States, Canada, Singapore, Bangkok (Thailand), Jakarta (Indonesia), Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia), and Guam. BCBP International will now assist them in administrative matters and in complying with juridical requirements in their localities.
POISED FOR EXPANSION
As a Catholic Charismatic community that targets the marketplace, the BCBP has been poised for global expansion since its founder, Fr. Herb, articulated his vision of seeing a BCBP chapter in every major city of the world where business leaders submit to the lordship of Christ.
Fr. Herb even foresaw the time that all chapters from all corners of the globe would gather as one community for the annual BCBP anniversary.
And it seems the Covid-19 pandemic is opening new possibilities for this vision to be realized — through online technology.
“Our National Anniversary Celebration last year was done online because of the pandemic. And for the first time, all our chapters including those outside the Philippines were able to participate. Apparently, our global expansion is being fast-tracked by technology,” said Serge.
PURPOSE AND FUNCTION
The BCBP International now serves as BCBP’s arm in promoting honesty, integrity, morality and other Christian values, in the workplace all over the world. It will also promote genuine camaraderie and human values in the workplace regardless of race, nationality, or gender. And it will be a tool for BCBP in promoting business as a vocation.
As a BCBP subsidiary, BCBP International will provide assistance to BCBP communities outside the Philippines in seeking formal government and church recognition in their respective localities. Ultimately, its role is to help BCBP communities create a roadmap to grow in alignment to BCBP’s vision, mission, and core values.
The BCBP International’s first initiative was a series of online strategic planning sessions where leaders of its various foreign missions identified their respective area’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It is also in these sessions where the leaders introduced five-year strategic plans.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Among the challenges identified during the sessions were the lack of recognition by government and church leaders in some areas; the widening gap of young and mature members; regionalist tendencies among members which often alienate locals; the harsh weather conditions; and long travel time for some countries; the limited network of top business leaders and the lack of influence in the business sector.
Add to this the stiff competition among Charismatic groups in some countries; the frequent turnover of leadership in areas where Filipinos are expats; and the language barrier in areas where English is not widely spoken.
BCBP International leaders have come up with strategies to address these challenges. They include aggressive efforts to earn government and Catholic Church recognition; the introduction of the Christian Young Professionals program to attract younger members; the creation of locals-only mission teams targeted to locals; the switching of BCBP activities to a hybrid of face-to-face and online to lessen the need for travel; and the holding of business gatherings where local business leaders will be invited as resource speakers.
On top of this, BCBP International leaders also plan to translate BCBP materials to local languages and train members of their mission teams to converse in the vernacular. They also intend to integrate the local culture in BCBP talks.
Overall, it appears that BCBP will have a more focused approach to global expansion with the existence of BIFI and the use of technology.
“Now we are able to draw ideas from all our leaders via regular communication, something we found very hard and expensive to do in the past. It seems God is accelerating our global expansion amidst this pandemic,” Serge said.
This article was written by Junep Ocampo, Head of the Communications Ministry.
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