BEC is more than 30 years old in the diocese of Marbel (1968-2005). Early BECs (late 60’s) were mostly initiatives of some parish priests. BECs of the 70s were influenced by two main factors: MSPC 1-2-3 (1971-1974-1977) and KRISKA (1974-1975-1976). BECs of the 80s were spurred on by the adoption of BEC as a Diocesan Thrust in 1983 and a more systematic re-organization of the Ministries in 1986.  BECs of the 90s up to the present are encouraged by the re-structuring of the Diocesan Commissions and the re-aligning of the Ministries in 1996. According to our records 27 BECs were established in the late 60’s (4 parishes), 277 in the 70’s (17 parishes), 747 in the 80’s (22 parishes), 216 in the 90’s (23 parishes), and 143 additional in 2002. Total number of GKKs as of year 2005 was 1,610.



  1. The Diocese of Marbel (City of Koronadal, South Cotabato) is located at the southernmost tip of the island of Mindanao.
  2. It is one of younger dioceses in Mindanao: established as Prelature Nullius of Marbel in 1960, and became a Diocese in 1982.
  3. Marbel is one of the big dioceses in Mindanao in area and population.
  4. Area – 10,000 sq. kil.
  5. Population – 1.583,208 million; Catholics: 1.220,356 million (77.13%) (2005 data)
  6. Diocesan Priests – 70 (2005 data)
  7. The Diocese comprises: the Province of South Cotabato, Sarangani Province, the City of General Santos and some parts of the neighboring Province of Sultan Kudarat.
  8. Number of Parishes: 24, plus 2 Missions for Indigenous Peoples
  9. Number of BECs: 1,610 (2005 data)



1.    For us in Marbel, the terms BCC-BEC-GKK refer to the same thing. We use these terms interchangeably, but the most common term we use locally is GKK (which literally stands for “Gagmayng Kristohanong Katilingban).

2.   Among the early GKKs that were established in Mindanao (even before MSPC-I) were those of Marbel. Marbel started adopting GKKs in the late sixties and early seventies. These early GKKs, however, were found only in some parishes and were established due to individual efforts of some dedicated priests.

3.    From the early 70’s on, we can identify 4 main stages in the Development of BECs in the Diocese of Marbel. These stages are:

a)       Period of Formation – the 70s

b)      Period of Consolidation – the 80s

c)       Period of Re-alignment – the 90s

d)      Period of Later Developments – Year 2000 to the present


1.   MSPC (Mindanao Sulu Pastoral Conference) which started in 1971 adopted as its main thrust the formation of BECs in Mindanao. Every diocese in Mindanao was encouraged to establish BECs by MSPC. Marbel was one of these dioceses.

2.   KRISKA (Kristohanong Kasilinganan) was started in 1975 as a Program for Adult Formation in the Diocese of Marbel (then Prelature of Marbel). The Formation of BECs was one of the program’s top priorities. KRISKA was instrumental in the establishment of many BECs in the 70’s.

3.   According to our data, about 294 BECs were organized in the 70’s through the influence of MSPC (1-3) and KRISKA.


1.   1982 – Levelling off on BEC concept. This was decided upon after leveling off among priests regarding BEC concept and processes. BEC was defined for what it is and what it is not (v.g. BEC, is not a community of religious sisters, not a group of KC, CWL, Samaria-Cursillo, etc.). The process in the building of BECs was also agreed upon.

2.   1984 – BEC/GKK as Diocesan Thrust was formulated. It says that the main thrust of the Diocese is: “The building and strengthening of BECs/GKKs towards integral liberation and development in order to help bring about the ‘new self’ and the ‘new earth’ thereby glorifying God.”

3.   1986 – BEC/GKK ministries were organized and strengthened in the diocesan and parish levels. Diocesan GKK Ministry officers were elected. In the parishes the Parish GKK ministry was organized. Its composition, functions, and programs were identified.

4.   1988 – The first Diocesan GKK General Assembly was held. This was attended by more than a thousand GKK members and practitioners. Since then this GKK General Assembly becomes an annual event held in November or December of every year.

5.   According to our record, about 747 BECs were organized in the 80’s.


1.   1991 – PCP II was held in Manila. PCP II points out the value of BEC as a pastoral priority. It strongly recommends the forming of BECs in all dioceses in the Philippines. The Conference also recognizes the BEC’s potential for evangelization and ecclesial renewal for the country today.

2.   1996 – The First Diocesan Pastoral Assembly (DPA-I) was held in Marbel. Among its objectives were the implementation of PCP II Acts and Decrees in the diocesan and parish level. Highlights of the DPA-I:

a)       Drafting and Approval of the Revised Diocesan Vision-Mission

b)      Presentation and Approval of Diocesan Policies and Guidelines

c)       Drafting and Approval of Strategic Plan for 3 years (1997-1999)

d)      Promulgation of the DPA-I Acts and Decrees by the Bishop

e)       Creation of the Diocesan Monitoring and Evaluating Team (DMET) to monitor DPA-I implementation in the parishes.

3.   1997 – A general assessment of all Diocesan Programs was made in order to conform them to the PCP II and DPA-I implementations. The 3  Diocesan Commissions were created in order to align these various diocesan programs to PCP II elements of Integral Evangelization:

a)       Commission on Christian Formation (COCF) – corresponds to PCP II Renewed Catechesis

b)      Commission on Worship and Liturgy (COWL) – corresponds to PCP II Renewed Worship

c)       Commission on Social Apostolate (COSA) – corresponds to PCP II Renewed Social Apostolate


Introduction: The new Millennium brought new insights in the understanding of BEC theory and processes. Here follows some explanation about the following:

1.       BEC Theory and Structure

2.       BEC and BEC Ministry

3.       The NEC Coordinator

4.       BEC Processes



1.    BCC-BEC-GKK – These terms refer to the same thing. They are used interchangeably in this presentation.

2.    GKK and GKK MINISTRY – are terms that are not the same. GKK refers to the actual community (in a Brgy. sitio, purok) while GKK Ministry refers to persons whose concern is the welfare of the GKK and who compose the ministry.

3.    ZONES – are pastoral divisions of a Parish. GKKs are arranged according to such divisions.

4.    BUKLODS (also called Units, Celdas) – are smaller divisions of the GKK. 10-15 families compose a Buklod.

5.    KRISKA – is a formation program and central activity of the Buklod. Kriska is participated in by 6-10 families within the Buklod. (Note: Buklod is a bigger grouping than Kriska.)

WHAT IS A BEC-GKK? (Definition)

1.   BEC-GKK is a small community of Catholic families situated in a small locality of the parish (cf. DPA 1, Decree Standard Qualifications to become a BEC are:

1. Adequate size (of about 30-60 families) – not too small, nor too big in order to be manageable.

2. Definite territory – only people living in the immediate area are members

3. Homogenous membership – there are children, youth, adults

4. Self-reliance – it can support itself, its personnel, its needs and programs. It is self-nourishing, self-sustaining, self-governing community.

2.   BEC-GKK is “a new way of being Church” (Cf. PCP II). There are two things to be noted here: 1) BEC is Church, and 2) BEC is a “new way” of being Church.

·         Church – BEC is basic component of the local Church and part of its structure: Diocese – Parish – BEC.

·         New Way – BEC is characterized by 7 distinguishing marks (cf. PCP II):

1. Participation – each member participates actively in the life and mission of their community

2. Self-reliance – a self-reliant community

3. Members know one another

4. There is sharing and

5. Sense of belonging

6. It is governed by the lay

7.  Under the guidance of the parish priest.


BEC-GKK is not an organization but it has features of an organization with officers, personnel, council, and members.


1.       GKK President – presides over meetings

2.       GKK Vice President – takes the place of the President as needed

3.       GKK Secretary – records and keeps minutes of meetings

4.       GKK Treasurer – keeps custody of finances

5.       GKK Auditor – audits financial reports and transactions

Role: They are the corporate or group in-charge of the GKK and share responsibilities over the GKK.

Functions: As a group they have standard management functions and coordinating functions.


1.       GKK Catechists (at least 2 in every GKK)

2.       GKK Kriska Alagads

3.       GKK Family and Life Workers

4.       GKK Lay Cooperators (at least 1 in every GKK)

5.       GKK Lay Liturgists

6.       GKK Youth Leaders

7.       GKK Social Action Workers

Role: They are members of their respective Parish Ministry but live in the GKK.

Functions: They are in-charge of the services and programs of their respective ministry in the GKK.


1.     GKK President – Council Presider, Facilitator

2.     GKK Vice President – Council Assistant Presider

3.     GKK Secretary – Council Secretary

4.     GKK Treasurer – Council Treasurer

5.     GKK Auditor – Council Auditor

6.     1 Layco – Representative of the Laycos

7.     1 Catechist – Representative of the Catechists

8.     1 Kriska Alagad – Representative of the Kriska Alagads

9.     1 Family and Life Worker – Representative of the Family and Life Workers

10.   1 Youth Leader – Representative of the Youth Group

11.   1 Lay Liturgist – Representative of the Lay Liturgists

12.   1 Social Action Worker – Representative of the Social Action Workers
Role: They serve as Pastoral Advisers for Pastoral Programs and Activities of the GKK.

Functions: They have planning and coordinating functions. The GKKPC meets as needed.

Note: The above members of the GKKPC plus Officers of the Buklods form the GKK Extended Pastoral Council. They meet only once in a while or as needed.


1.   The members of the GKK are all Catholics living in the GKK whether active or inactive.

2.   Basic qualifications for GKK membership are Baptism and actual residence in the GKK. Once a person is baptized he/she becomes a member of the Church and automatically also a member of the GKK.

3.   Membership in the GKK is one thing and participation is another matter. Membership cannot be lost even if someone is inactive or rarely participates in GKK activities. In the GKK we have core members (active), second-liners (semi-active), and borderline members (inactive). All are members.

4.   GKK membership is for Catholics only. Non-Catholics and those of other religions are not members of the GKK, but they are objects of our concern. In times of need we have the obligation to help them.

5.   All Christian faithful, including those in the GKK, have certain rights and obligations according to Church law. Some of these rights are the right to equality, right to mission, right to the sacraments, right to obedience, right to be heard, etc.

6.   Strictly speaking, no one may prevent anyone to exercise his right. Such action belongs to a higher authority such as the Parish Priest and the Bishop of the Diocese.

7.   The use and purpose of the Information Sheet (Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage) are often misunderstood. These forms are diocesan forms and should be consistent with approved diocesan format and thus should not be altered. Main purpose of these forms is to get correct information or data. The Information Sheet is to be filled in either by the parents (baptism), by the candidate for Confirmation, or by the couple to be married. The role of any GKK officer who signs these forms is only testimonial in nature – to witness or to testify to the accuracy of the answers given. The signing officer should go over all the information given and if he finds any answer to be not true or correct, he has two options – he asks the persons concerned to put in the correct information, and if the ones concerned refuse to make the necessary changes, then the officer may not sign. But if all the answers are correct, then the officer may sign. This act of signing should not be interpreted as recommending, endorsing or approving. Such role does not belong to any GKK officer.

PARISH GKK GUIDELINES (From the DPA-I Acts and Decrees)

1.   THRUST. In line with the main thrust of the Diocese of Marbel, the “building and strengthening of the BEC” shall also be the pastoral priority of the Parish and of the GKK ministry. (DPA-I 1.2.1)

2.   ORIENTATION AND COORDINATION. All services of ministries, programs, rec­ognized organizations and movements in the GKK must be directed and oriented towards the establishment and growth of the GKK. All such groups must work within and under the structure of the GKK and must coordinate their activities with their GKK Officers. (DPA-I 1.2.1)


BASIC REQUIREMENTS. In order to become a GKK,

1.    There should be at least 30 and at most 60 member families in the target area.

2.    People should have a good knowledge of what BEC is.

3.    People are willing and able to support and sustain the BEC.

4.    They have leaders who are willing to accept responsibilities, like being GKK officers, KRISKA Alagads, FLM Workers, Catechists, Youth Leaders, LLL ministers, Lay Liturgists, Social Action workers, among others

5.    People decide responsibly to become a GKK


1.   Identify a suitable area where a GKK could be established (preferably a place where there already exists a beginning of a community).

2.   Conduct initial survey (PSI or DSI) to get the following data: area, number of population and families, situation, needs, and other related information.

3.   Establish contact with local leaders, other potential leaders and ask them to help.

4.   Organize meetings, lectures, orientations – to educate the people on the BEC – its history, nature, rationale, principles, processes, requirements, and other related topics.

5.   Consult the people and let them decide whether they are ready to form a GKK or not. Such decision is important because to be a GKK is a free decision and not imposed from above.

6.   Have election of BEC Officers – President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Auditor. These officers are the core in-charge of the BEC.

7.   Recruit other BEC Service Personnel – Layco, Catechists, Kriska Alagads, Family and Life Workers, Lay Liturgists, Youth leaders, Social Action Workers, etc.

8.   Help GKK leaders to formulate plans and develop on-going programs for organizing, education (catechesis), social apostolate (service), worship and liturgy of the BEC.

9.   Have regular schedule for monitoring, follow-up and evaluation of progress made.


1.   Organizing a GKK is a process (sometimes slow). The preparation phase may take at least 2 years.

2.   BEC is a free decision. People are not forced to form a BEC if they are not yet ready.

3.   BEC uses a developmental approach to BEC building. Small BECs may start with just 5 major officers, but as the BEC grows through the years, every BEC is expected to produce enough leaders to serve the community.

4.   Question. What do we do with GKKs that after so many years still do not have laycos, catechists, social action workers, and the like?


1.       Liturgical (Traditional)

2.       Developmental (Liberal)

3.       Transformative (Liberational)

BEC IN MSPC I (Davao City, 1971)

1.       Worshipping Community – Katilingban nga Maampuon

2.       Teaching Community – Katilingban nga Matudloon

3.       Serving Community – Katilingban nga Maalagaron

BEC IN MSPC II (Cagayan de Oro City, 1974)

1.       Self-Governing Community

2.       Self-Nourishing Community

3.       Self-Sustaining Community



May 26-27, 2003, Greenwoods, City of Koronadal


DEFINITION. GKK ministry is a service apostolate to serve the GKKs. It has two levels: parish and diocesan. The diocesan level has 24 members (called BPR), 5 major officers (called Execom), and 3 Standing Committees (Education, Finance, Planning and Evaluation).


NATURE: A ministry that organizes, sustains and strength­ens the GKKs as churches.


1.   To organize and strengthen GKKs (Buklods, Units, Celdas, etc,)

2.   To tap and train potential leaders of the GKK (Buklods, etc.)

3.  To facilitate the formulation, implementation and coordination of the plans, programs and activities of parish ministries in the GKK such as: CATZ, KRISKA, FL&M, YOUTH, LLL, LLM, Social Action, and others. (These programs once established become part of the GKK Programs)

4.   To sustain the formation of the GKK officers and mem­bers. (Also Buklod officers, etc.)

5.   To monitor and evaluate the GKKs (Buklods, Units, Celdas, etc.)

6.   To mobilize the GKKs for parish-wide or diocesan-wide activities

COMPOSITION of the Parish GKK Ministry:

1.   Parish GKK Presidents and GKK Ministry Officers )5 Major Officers of the GKK)

2.   Parish GKK Ministry Core Group (Execom Officers and members)

3.   Parish GKK Coordinator

4.   Parish GKK Organizers and Lecturers


The Parish GKK Ministry Office is the Secretariat of the Parish GKK Ministry and the Service Center of the parish GKKs. Its functions are:

1.       To formulate strategies that will implement the direction, policies and guidelines set by the Diocese, Parish and the GKK ministry

2.       To implement, monitor, evaluate the plans and programs that the Ministry has formulated and approved

3.       To establish linkages with other groups, agencies, and institutions of related concerns

4.       To facilitate and/or provide basic services to the GKKs

Note: The GKK Ministry Office Personnel are the Parish GKK Ministry Coordinator and Staff.


GKK Ministry Programs have four (4) main components: Organization, Education, Worship, and Social Apostolate (based on PCP II Elements of Integral Evangelization)

1.       Organizational Program (for strengthening the Ministry)

  • Schedule of meetings
  • Organizing and strengthening of GKKs (Buklods, Units, Celdas, etc.)
  • Monitoring, visitations of GKKs (Buklods, etc.)
  • Assessment, evaluation of GKKs (Buklods, etc.)

2.       Education Program (for on-going education of Ministry members)

  • Seminars (Updating, Skills Training)
  • Lectures, inputs
  • Diocesan/Parish Campaign (Alay Kapwa, Vocation, Mission)
  • Assemblies (parish, zone, GKK)

3.       Worship and Liturgy Program (for spiritual development of Ministry members)

  • Sunday Masses and Bible Services
  • Retreats, recollections
  • GKK Day Celebration
  • Involvement in Parish Fiesta, Holy Week activities, Pasko ng Pamilya, etc.

4.       Social Action Program (to improve social awareness and involvement of Ministry members)

  • Communal action (in coordination with parish and diocese)
  • Social issues and awareness programs (social teaching, environment, current issues)
  • Political education, Pollwatching, OQC, etc.



1.       Liaison Officer of the Parish Priest to the GKK Ministry.

2.       Consultant/Adviser/Program Implementor of the GKK Ministry.

3.       Companion to the Officers of the GKK Ministry and works in coordination with them.


MAIN FUNCTION – In general to coordinate/facilitate the implementation of plans and programs of the Parish GKK Ministry.


1.   TO GIVE ASSISTANCE – The Coordinator assists the GKK Ministry Core Group in formulating plans, programs and activities of the Ministry. Planning is usually done at the end or beginning of each year.

2.   TO SUPERVISE AND MONITOR – The Coordinator coordinates, supervises, follows-up, and assesses the plans, programs and activities of the GKK Ministry during the year.

3.   TO KEEP RECORDS – The Coordinator compiles information-data-statistics on ministry leaders, accomplishments on ministry plans, programs and activities, prepares reports on observations-problems encountered, distributes and collates evaluations, etc.

4.   TO ATTEND MEETINGS – The Coordinator attends meetings of the ministry, represents the ministry in the PPC, attends diocesan meetings, etc. (That is, if he/she is designated to do so).

5.   TO MAKE REPORTS – The Coordinator reports regularly his/her findings, observations, accomplishments, and suggestions to the Ministry and to the Parish Priest.


Parish Ministry Coordinators are hired either as full-timer or part-timer. (In this sense there should be no such title as “volunteer coordinator”).

1.       A Full-timer – reports regularly and does work at least 8 hours a day with regular salary

2.       A Part-timer – manages own time and does minimum work as agreed upon with allowance


1.   Plans are made by the Ministry and not by the Ministry Coordinator. The Coordinator plans with the Ministry Officers. Then the Plans are presented to the Ministry members for information and approval.

2.   Ministry plans, programs and activities are the responsibility of the Ministry Officers. The Ministry Coordinator is the implementor of such plans. He reports progress of implementation to the Ministry.

3.   The Ministry Coordinator is not the President of the Ministry. He should not preside during the meetings but leave such function to the Ministry President. The Coordinator however is given time to report later.



May 26-27, 2003, Greenwoods, City of Koronadal


STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES. We in the BEC, together with our Diocese and our Parish, duly affirm that:

1.   Our Vision – is to be a Community of Disciples of Jesus Christ, and Church of the Poor

2.   Our Mission – is Renewed Integral Evangelization

3.   Our Thrust – is Building and Strengthening of BECs towards integral liberation and development

4   Our Hope – is to bring about a society that is God-centered (maka-Diyos), democratic (makatao), nationalistic (maka-bansa), just (makatarungan), respectful of human life (maka-buhay), and integrity of creation (maka-kalikasan).

5.   Our Commitments are:

· To promote and strengthen the BEC-GKK as a new way of being Church

· To adopt and practice participative style of leadership and processes

· To live a simple lifestyle

· To actively support the thrust, plans and programs of our Diocese and our parish

· To promote and practice transparency in financial matters

· To reach out to people of other faith and cultures.


1.       Our Core Values – are participation, self-reliance, subsidiarity, transparency, simplicity of lifestyle, ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue

2.       Our Processes – are liberating and participative

3.       Our Programs – are Organizing, Education, Worship, Social Apostolate

4.       Our Structures –are the 5 Major Officers, Service Personnel, Advisory Council, Buklods


1.       Our Core Model – is Jesus the Good Shepherd – He is Shepherd, Servant, Steward

2.       Our Ideal Leader – is a Proactive leader, People-oriented leader, Process-oriented leader

3.       Our Leadership Style – is Democratic, Participative, People-oriented, Process-oriented


PROCESS is a transition – a passing from one state to another, a movement from where we start (starting-point) to where we want to be (end-point). Process takes into consideration various factors – present situation, restraining forces and supporting forces that may affect the transition.

BEC-GKK PROCESSES are liberating and participative – leading towards consensus-building, co-decision-making, team-building and net-working.

·     Liberating process – implies method that is non-coercive, not by force or pressure, not imposing one’s will upon another, not oppressive, not suffocating, not burdensome, etc.

·     Participative process – implies openness, transparency, cooperation, coordination, willingness to share with others, dialogue, etc.


Assumptions. It is easily presumed that a person who is BEC-oriented knows not only BEC theory but also BEC practices. Likewise, it is presumed that someone who accepts BEC as thrust also adheres to BEC processes.

Dilemma. If that were so, why then do we have many practices in our GKKs that are clearly contrary to what BEC processes should be? Some of these cases in point are the following:

1.       Instant GKKs or insufficiently formed GKKs

2.       Common use of pressure tactics

3.       Management by policies and rules

4.       Installing red tape

5.       Wrong use of the Information Sheet (Katin-awan)

6.       Exclusivist and elitist tendencies

7.       Defective decision-making processes, etc.


PARTICIPATION is the most distinctive characteristic of the BEC. BEC is where more people participate in the life and mission of the Church than in the larger community of the parish.

Guideline. Participation must be practiced in all levels – by officers and members alike. Such participation includes the following:

1.       Participative leadership among GKK Officers (sharing of responsibilities)

2.       Democratic process in planning, decision-making, implementation, evaluation

3.       Transparency in financial matters – recording and reporting of funds

4.       Self-reliance in terms of financial support of programs and personnel

5.       Coordination with diocesan and parish programs and activities


Guideline. Knowing theory of participation is not enough. Participation must also be built into structures. Structures for participation must be created. In the GKK such structures are the following:

1.       GKK 5 Major Officers – Structure of participative leadership and common responsibility.

2.       GKK Advisory Council – Structure of coordination of GKK programs, services and activities

3.       GKK Service Personnel – Structure that provides Programs and Services

4.       GKK Buklods and their officers – Structures for coordination, communication and communal action

PARTICIPATIVE LEADERSHIP – is shared leadership. In this type of leadership the GKK 5 Major Officers act together as a group and they fulfill their role as corporate in-charge of the GKK and share common responsibility over it. Examples of this unity in role and functions are as follows:

1.       Meeting of the 5 officers after Mass (Bible Service) to share observations, suggestions, plans

2.       Taking turns in making announcements at Mass (Bible Service)

3.       Filling in for one another at parish meetings, zone meetings, seminars, assemblies, etc.


Guideline. Participation is the most important principle in liturgy. Active participation of the faithful in liturgical activities must be promoted rather than obstructed. Examples of such participation are as follows:

1.       Mass sponsoring – by Buklod, by GKK, by family or combinations

2.       Sponsoring Group assigning – chapel cleaners, decorators, readers, psalmist, offerers, collectors, etc.

3.       Sponsoring Group preparing – offerings in kinds, Mass stipend, breakfast or merienda for priest

DEGREE OF PARTICIPATION. There are 3 levels and degrees of participation.

1.   Information – sharing/providing relevant data (like announcements). Comment. This kind of participation is low level but many people can be involved; only they are mostly passive onlookers and listeners.

2.   Consultation – getting other’s opinions, feedback. Comment. This kind of participation is medium level with significant number of key leaders involved. Result however is important to arrive at good decision.

3.   Decision-making – making conclusions, judgments. Comment. This kind of participation is high level but with still fewer leaders involved – the decision-makers. Note. Good decision involves all three levels.


1.   It is not possible (nor desirable) to involve everybody in every decision. The key factor is deciding who should be involved in the first level, second level, and third level of decision-making processes.

2.   Decisions are based on data. Defective or insufficient data will result in defective decision. Defective decision is difficult to implement.

3.   There are various types of decision-making: one man, group, majority, consensus, unanimous. A good leader would know what kind of decision is appropriate at any given circumstance.

4.    It is not advisable to always use the majority vote in any kind of decision-making. Basic rule is – people who will be deeply affected by a decision, should also be involved in the process of decision-making.

5.    Decision-making in the Church context has certain limitations (parameters), such as:

· No decision should go against faith, morals, Church disciplines, higher laws, etc.

· No decision that limits participation or that which could be interpreted as exclusivist or elitist.

· No decision that imposes penalty or punishment for such decision belongs to a higher authority.

6.   Basic questions to be asked in decision-making. Does the group have the competence to make this kind of decision? Will this decision need the approval of a higher authority?


Question. Given the above situations (in our GKKs), where do our problems lie? What are the solutions? Some of the answers may be found in the idea of paradigm shift.

PARADIGM – means model, theory, perception, assumption of how we see things and how they should be. They affect the way we think (attitude) and the way we act (behavior).

PARADIGM SHIFT – means changing the way we look at things (perception) and the way we do things (behavior). It means unlearning “old ways” and learning “new ways”. Among the paradigm shifts that are needed today are the following:

1.       Understanding the BEC as Church,

2.       Use of authority in Church context,

3.       Proactive and participative leadership style

4.       Participative, people-oriented, process-oriented management

5.       Wholistic (integral) approach to mission and evangelization

6.       Promotion of BEC Core Values and Practices


1.   To be poor does not mean only economically poor. To be poor means to rely on God’s providence (spiritual poverty) and live a simple lifestyle (evangelical poverty).

2.   For the GKK simplicity in lifestyle means the following:

  • To be self-reliant and self-sufficient in plans, programs, personnel, and finances
  • To rely only on what the community can afford to give
  • Not to burden people with so many contributions and fund raising activities
  • Not to put up projects that the people cannot afford
  • To buy only things that are most necessary for their needs
  • To avoid unnecessary expenses or burden people with unnecessary requirements
  • For any group not to rely too much on their GKK for their expenses
  • For the GKK to make a budget at the beginning of the year
  • For the GKK to define limits of support that it can give to any group.
  • For the GKK to be transparent in its finances and make report once a month.


(Supplementary Section Follows Below)


National BEC Assembly (2004)


How many BECs in the diocese?  Ans. 1,410 BECs

What percentage of the BECs are active?  Ans. about 80%.

What percentage of parishes has BECs?  Ans. All 24 parishes

When and how did BECs start in the diocese? c.f. history)

BEC organizing process.

Basic Requirements for a BEC:

1.       There should be at least 30 and at most 60 families.

2.       People should have a good knowledge of what BEC is.

3.       People are willing and able to support and sustain the BEC.

4.       They have leaders who are willing to accept responsibilities,

5.       People decide responsibly to become a BEC

Basic Process in Organizing a BEC:

1.   Identify a suitable area where BEC could be established.

2.   Conduct initial survey (PSI or DSI) of people, their situation and needs, get statistics

3.   Establish contact with local leaders and other potential leaders and ask their help.

4.   Organize meetings, conferences, lectures, orientations on BEC

5.   Consult the people whether they are now ready to organize or not.

6.   Have election of 5 Major Officers – President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Auditor.

7.   Get other Service Personnel – Lay Minister, Catechist, Kriska Facilitator, Family and Like Worker, Lay Liturgist, Youth Leader, Social Action Worker, etc.

8.   Help BEC leaders to formulate on-going programs for education, training and skills development of BEC leaders and members.

9.   Have regular monitoring and evaluation of progress made.

WHAT IS THE PLACE OF BEC IN THE DIOCESAN STRUCTURE? Ans. For us BEC is “a new way of being Church.” BEC is not an organization but a basic component of the local Church. In fact BEC is in itself a small Church. As such BEC is therefore part of the structure of the local Church which is the Diocese – Parish – BEC.

DOES THE DIOCESE HAVE FULL-TIME (EMPLOYED) BEC PASTORAL WORKERS? Ans. YES in the sense that we have a full-time Diocesan Pastoral Director and a full-time Christian Formation Center Coordinator who supervise and monitor all our pastoral ministry programs including the BEC Ministry in the diocese and parishes.

ARE THERE NEW FORMS OF BECS THAT ARE EMERGING IN YOUR CONTEXT? Ans. No. Because we have set a standard for establishing a BEC. Standard qualifications to become a BEC are as follows:

1.  Adequate size (of about 30-60 families). Not too small, nor too big. It is manageable.

2.  Definite territory (Only people living in the immediate vicinity are members)

3.  Homogeneous membership (there are children, youth, adults)

4.  Self-reliance – self-nourishing, self-sustaining, self-governing (It can support itself, its personnel, its needs and programs)

Note: The term “BEC” is a technical term. Thus, strictly speaking, there could be no BEC in a school, nor a BEC which is Sectoral, etc. Such groupings may only approximate some aspects or characteristics of a BEC but they are not real BECs. Such groups may be called some other names but not BEC.

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT OF BECS (name three). People in the community are more organized and cohesive. There is greater participation in the life and activities of the BEC.  People respond more easily to the needs of members and even those of other faith.

GREATEST DIFFICULTIES BECS ARE FACING (name three). Poverty. Indifference. Ignorance.

FOREMOST CHALLENGES BECS ARE FACING (name three). Program for Renewed Integral Evangelization, Opportunities for Livelihood Projects, Development of Social Awareness and Empowerment.



Holy Family Retreat House (Redemptorist), Lahug, Cebu, Sept. 19-22, 2005




1.   Number of BECs (Diocese of Marbel 2004) – Ans. 1,517 BECs

2.   Who coordinates BEC efforts in the diocese? – Ans. A fulltime (employed) Diocesan Lay Coordinator

3.   What place does the BEC coordinator / BEC occupy in a parish and diocesan structure? – Ans. BEC is a basic ecclesial community which is a part of the parish, under the direction of the parish priest.


Please assess the growth of your BECs in terms of units. Please plot your growth from the year you started until 2004 in a three-year, 25 unit interval.

  • the late 60s – 27 BECs
  • the 70s – (27 + 277) = 304
  • the 80s – (304 + 747) = 1,051
  • the 90s – (1,051 + 216) = 1,267
  • 2000-2004 – (1,267 + 250) = 1,517 (end of 2004)

What factors could have strengthened / sustained your growth? Please name three.

  • Influence of MSPC and KRISKA in 1971-1976
  • Adoption of BEC as diocesan thrust in1983
  • Systematic organization of BEC Ministry in 1986

What factors could have weakened your growth? Please name three.

  • Lack of skilled BEC leaders and workers
  • Lack of skill in planning, organizing and management
  • Lack of financial support for BEC activities and programs

Please note below the most significant thing that happened to your BECs in the past three years.

  • Significant number of BEC leaders emerged
  • Increased awareness and participation in BEC-parish-diocesan activities
  • Adoption of new skills in participative leadership and decision-making processes



What operative values in the community have helped in strengthening / sustaining your BECs? Please name three.

  • Pakikisama – more appreciation of sense of belonging, cooperation, participation
  • Bayanihan – increase in concern for the needs of others (death, sickness, etc.)
  • Pagsasarili – growth in self-reliance (in planning, programming, financial support)

Please tell (attach or write below) one particular story / experience/ situation.

What operative values in the community have contributed to the weakening of your BECs? Please name three.

  • Ningas cogon mentality – short-lived enthusiasm of some leaders and members
  • Fence-sitting attitude – lack of involvement of some members
  • Weak leadership style

Please tell (attach or write below) one particular story / experience / situation.

What operative values in the community your BECs found difficult or failed to practice?

  • A more developed sense of community
  • A more active participation in community life and activities
  • A more participative leadership style and processes

Please tell (attach or write below) one particular story / experience / situation.

What operative values in the BECs contributed to the wider community?

  • A more positive response to parish and diocesan programs (including financial)
  • A more active participation in parish and diocesan mobilizations
  • A gradual strengthening of the parish community from the grassroot level.

Please tell (attach or write below) one particular story / experience / situation.


Are popular religious practices part of your BEC life?

  • Not much have been noticed and not very significant.

What popular religious practices in your area are practiced by your BECs?

  • Mostly seasonal in nature and connected with standard patronal fiestas and holy week activities.

In what way have those religious practices strengthened BECs?

  • These practices during fiestas and holy week somehow are expressions of the simplicity of the faith of ordinary people.

Please tell (attach or write below) one particular story / experience / situation.

Have there been religious practices which contributed to the weakening of your BECs? If yes, please name them.

  • None that we know of.

In what way have these religious practices weakened your BECs?

  • None that we have noticed.

Please tell (attach or write below) one particular story / experience / situation.

Have your BECs introduced new religious practices? If yes, please name them.

  • None so far.

Have your BECs influenced the general religiosity of the people in your area? If yes, in what ways?

In a way, Yes, through pre-fiesta seminars given by parish trained speakers before the fiesta which includes explanation of the life and virtues of the patron saint.


What positive aspects of globalization helped in the strengthening / sustaining of BECs? Explain.

  • Very little that we are aware of, like proliferation of cheap goods (from China) made available to the people.

Please tell (attach or write below) one particular story / experience / situation.

What negative aspect of globalization contributed to the weakening of your BECs? Explain.

  • High cost of farming inputs (fertilizers, chemicals, seeds, etc)
  • Non-competitiveness of local products in world market
  • Materialism, consumerism, erosion in values among the youth
  • More poverty, decrease in quality of life among the poor.

Please tell (attach or write below) one particular story / experience / situation.


What aspects of mass media and entertainment helped in the strengthening / sustaining of your BECs? Explain.

  • Very little that we know of, like news coverage and updates of important events, cultural and sports activities.

Please tell (attach or write below) one particular story / experience / situation.

In what aspects of mass media and entertainment contributed to the weakening of your BECs? Explain.

  • Poor programming on Radio and TV which do not offer much variation
  • Inane programs and entertainment which cater mostly to the young
  • Telenovelas that compete with BEC meetings and religious activities

Please tell (attach or write below) one particular story / experience / situation.



Please use a word or a phrase to describe the relationships of the BEC?

Among its members – harmonious

With the BEC leader – openness

With the Parish Priest – full support

With the Parish Pastoral Council – cooperation

With other BECs – camaraderie

With Church Associations / Mandated Organizations – mutual respect

With the Barangay – coordination


How do most of your BECs deal with conflicts?

  • Discuss it after emotions have subsided
  • Negotiate resolutions

What could be the reason(s) they respond to conflict in this way?

  • To solve problems in a reasonable way
  • Dialogue among affected parties


Please describe the leadership structure in your BECs (positions, duration, style).

  • Each BEC has 5 major officers elected by the members from among themselves
  • The 5 major officers are assisted by the BEC service personnel
  • Regular meetings are held

What elements of this leadership structure within your BECs promote their growth?

  • Good relationship
  • Openness
  • Transparency

What elements of leadership structure within your BECs hinder their growth?

  • Authoritative leadership style
  • Poor leadership quality
  • Leaders that cannot inspire people

Please describe the leadership structure in the parish center and how your BEC leaders are linked to it.

  • A Parish BEC Ministry structure has been organized in every parish
  • The BEC Ministry sends 1 representative to the PPC

What elements of the leadership structure in the parish center promote the growth of your BECs?

  • The BEC leaders are organized as a body called Parish BEC Ministry
  • The Parish BEC Ministry formulates its own plans and activities presented to the PPC.

What elements of the leadership structure in the parish center hinder the growth of your BECs?

  • Most PPC members are not pastorally oriented
  • Most PEC and PPC members do not give enough moral and financial support


Please describe the decision-making process used in your BECs.

  • We promote democratic, participative, pro-active process.

What elements of this decision-making process in your BECs promote their growth?

  • They promote openness, participation and transparency.

What elements of this decision-making process in your BECs hinder their growth?

  • Limited participation, lack of interest of some members, leader-dependency attitude

Is your BEC part of the leadership structure in the parish center? If yes, in what way?

  • Yes, in a way that many parish leaders come from the BEC. No, in the sense that the BEC Ministry is only 1 among the many groups in the parish.


Please note at most three significant social action programs done in your BECs.

  • Sustainable Agriculture, Health and Nutrition, Alay Kapwa initiatives (for sickness, death)

Assess individually each of the above social action programs in your BECs in terms of the following factors on a scale of 1-5 (with 1 as the highest value). (Note: wrong scale value?)

  • Social Action Program – 3
  • Relevance – 2
  • Management of Finances – 3
  • Training of People – 2
  • Impact – 3

What were the factors that sustained the social action programs in your BECs? Please name three.

  • Answer to felt needs, help in times of emergency (sickness, death), communal action.

What were the factors that weakened the social action programs in your BECs? Please name three.

  • Lack of personnel, no clear social action programs, lack of interest among some leaders.



Looking at the theme (sustainability) and the questions asked, it is difficult to see the correlation between the two. For example, what have operative values, popular religiosity, globalization, media, etc, to do with BEC sustainability?

In other words what kind of information are the formulators of the questionnaire and the organizers trying to get and what do they intend to do with them? Or do the designers of the questionnaire have other purposes, objectives in mind? If they have, then what are they?

The way the questions are asked reveal some kind of confusion on the part of the formulators of the questionnaire as to what BEC is, its nature and its relation to persons who work for BEC (like the BEC Coordinator).

Some of the questions ask whether BEC is an association, organization, ministry, etc. But is it? Can a BEC be under the PPC, or be in the same level as other parish associations and organizations? This should not be so.

But if we talk about persons who promote BEC or work for BEC, then we are not talking about BEC anymore and should use other terms like BEC Ministry or BEC Coordinators. Persons who compose such group can then work in coordination with the PPC and other parish associations and organizations.

I think, a much better questionnaire should be designed!

Vicar General
Diocese of Marbel

My Source:

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