Listen Is What Our Global Church Needed
Charisma Life Church
"I first heard about Bible Engagement Project (BEP) and the Listen curriculum when I attended a Filipino-American fellowship Zoom meeting with our Assemblies of God Assistant General Superintendent Rick DuBose. I realized this would be a great way to re-unite the congregations within Charisma Life church that have been split apart since the pandemic."
Though physically located in Pomona, California, Charisma Life is a global church due to its five language services and online presence. Regular attendance at Charisma Life is around 700 people representing 28 different ethnicities. In addition, people from the United States and 42 other countries are beginning to join the online life groups overseen by the various staff pastors at Charisma Life.
"The Bible Engagement Project is what our global church needed," Pastor Dionson says.
Charisma Life Church has services in English, Indonesian, Spanish, Tagalog and Thai, but all of these have been disrupted because of COVID-19. Everything has been moved online.
Charisma Life Church in Pomona, California, averaged 700 people representing 28 different ethnicities in their services prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"When we learned of the launch of the BEP's Listen all-digital curriculum available for every age group, we realized that it could be the way to reconnect our people from kids to adults," Pastor Dionson says. Every age group in the local church can "engage" in the Word of God using Listen materials without fear of the virus.
Pastor Alan's leadership team is divided into seven geographical districts, each overseen by a district pastor who leads a team for that particular demographic. District pastors also oversee 5-7 life groups of 10-15 people each. Online life groups have been the lifeline of Charisma Life Church during the pandemic, with nearly 60 percent of congregants (about 380 people) remaining connected in this way.
Once weekly, Pastor Alan gathers these district pastors into "prototypes"—a small group of their own in which they pray over and go through the curriculum that will be implemented in the coming weeks.
"This is our life group, and we work through lessons together so that the district pastors can teach the lessons to their teams who will teach the rest of the people," explains Pastor Alan. "We can't really lead if we haven't been transformed by what we're learning in the Word of God."
The prototype groups began making their way through Listen, the first 40 weeks of Bible Engagement Project curriculum, and on the last Sunday in September, they kicked off a four-week promotional campaign introducing their church to Bible Engagement Project.
"Bible Engagement Project is a blessing to this diverse church," Pastor Alan says, "because, in a sense, it's plug-and-play: it comes with graphics, promotional material, small-group leader training, and all materials in-app, so I don't have to go print anything for all my small group leaders; I just send them a link to download the app, and they have what they need."