What do we do?
We equip Turks and Turkish speaking believers for ministry in Turkey and in the nations.
Our training is not simply an information download, but an intensive year-long program that fosters growth in three areas:
knowledge, experience and character.
The Filipus program includes eight months of classes in five areas:
- Old Testament: A four week, book-by-book survey
- New Testament: A four week, book-by-book survey
- In depth studies covering various topics / biblical themes
History / Religions
- History of Christianity
- Intro to Islam and the Koran
- World Religions
- Four weeks of systematic theology
- Development of doctrine
Practical Ministry Topics
- Bible study and small group leading
- Worship leading
- Children’s ministries
- Family and relationships
Spiritual Formation / Discipleship
- Four weeks of spiritual formation and prayer
- Leadership and character development
- Spiritual warfare
An essential part of the Filipus program is providing opportunities to live out that which is being learned in the classes. Over the years Filipus has both partnered with, and also initiated a number of different ministries with the aim to bring truth and compassion to the world around us, and also to equip participants with useful practical skills to engage with the world. .
Filipus takes the great commission very seriously and each year participants have regular opportunities to connect with those outside the church to demonstrate and communicate the Gospel message. At times this looks like blessing the neighbourhood by making a large pot of soup and welcoming folks into the church for soup and conversation. At other times it looks like prayer walking through neighbourhoods or towns which currently have no Christian witness. Some times this looks like going to parks or cafes seeking to pray for the sick or discouraged and to share the Gospel message with those interested in hearing more. At still other times it looks like interacting with online seekers, answering questions and doing follow-up for those interested in understanding and hearing more about the Christian faith through social media platforms.
Filipus also takes very seriously the compassion of God. God pleads for the orphan and the widow and embraces and heals the leper. At times expressing the compassion of God looks like making food to distribute to the homeless. At other times it looks like reaching out to the many refugees who are within Turkey’s borders, with clothing and food distribution, medical help, or practical training such as language classes, barista training, or sewing projects. Some times this looks like organizing and implementing programs for children, whether as part of a conference or as part of an outreach to a refugee neighbourhood. At still other times this looks like helping out a family with special needs with tasks that may be difficult such as cleaning or moving.
Filipus recognizes that in order to impact the world around us, we need to be skilled and active contributors within it. There is no dividing line between service in the church or service outside the church, all must be seen as service unto God. Being equipped with practical job skills, a solid work ethic, and principles of good stewardship and team building are essential parts of preparing participants to be effective ministers for Christ. At times this looks like barista and business training with participants through CoffeeHaus roasting company based in Ankara. At other times this looks like learning and helping out with administrative and practical tasks in any number of parachurch ministries Filipus has connections with, such tasks are essential for any secular job or ministry.
Filipus Program Details:
Timeline: Filipus is a ten month program beginning in September and running until the end of June.
Residential: Participants accepted into the Filipus program are required to come to Ankara to be in community with other program participants and Filipus staff. Parts of the program will involve travel to other cities as well as to another country but the base is always Ankara.
Provision: Filipus is a ministry that continues by God’s provision. Those involved in helping run this program—administrators, teachers, mentors, or various ministry partners—volunteer their services and their time, trusting that God will provide for their needs. Basic living expenses of program participants, such as room and board, are provided for through the generosity of the wider body of Christ. We are so grateful for partners from around the world who make this ministry possible. Please contact us if this is something that you feel you or your group would like to invest in.
The first eight months consist of a rhythm of early morning devotions, followed classes which run from 10:00-13:00, each topic lasting for a week or two. Afternoons are spent engaged in group prayer sesssions, outreach and mercy ministries, practical skills training, cleaning, or meeting with mentors. Evenings are generally open for homework, joining church activities, connecting with friends, or for relaxing. At least one night a week is reserved for a Filipus family dinner at one of the Filipus properties or at a staff home.
Following the initial rhythm of class, ministry, prayer, and fellowship comes an in-country internship where participants travel to other cities around the country to serve with a church community or a para-church ministry different from their own. During internships participants have opportunity to apply what they have been learning in Filipus with a greater level of responsibility as they serve the wider body of Christ in Turkey. The internship is an opportunity to learn and grow by experiencing a different environment, structure, and community.
The final portion of the Filipus program is an out-of-country internship. Partcipants travel together to a neighbouring country and for three weeks serve together with partner churches and ministries. In the past, Filipus program participants have traveled to Bulgaria, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Cyprus and Armenia.
There are two week long holidays in the course of the Filipus program. One to break up the classes portion of the program and another before the students head off to their interships.
*Note: The exact dates tend to vary from year to year.
Requirements for program participants:
• Must have made a commitment to Jesus as Lord and saviour for more than one year.
• Must be baptised.
• Must commit to a lifestyle of prayer, study, ministry, community, and faithfulness.
• Must be able and willing to set aside other obligations and responsibilities (such as school or work) for the full ten months in order to be able to engage fully with the program without feeling overwhelmed or disconnected from other participants.
Must be able and willing to abstain from alcohol, tobacco products, and the pursuit of dating relationships for the duration of the program. Participants are expected to commit to a higher standard of holy living for the duration of the program in order to focus more intentionally on God and the Filipus family, and in order to present a good testimony to others.
• No illicit drug use, immoral sexual practice, or violence will be tolerated.
• Room and board is provided for participants formally accepted into the program but personal expenses (clothing, telephone packages, hair cuts, etc.) are to be found by the participants—either through personal savings, support from family, friends, or a church, or through some other means.
etc.) Are to be found by the participants—either through personal savings, support from family, friends, or a church, or through some other means.