Posts Tagged ‘Training’

The Journey Continues!
Dave leading one of our training sessions for the incubator

Dave leading one of our training sessions for the incubator

Today I’m off to Mexico City. Dawn isn’t joining me on this trip. We enjoy traveling and ministering together, but I’m going to visiting some of the sites where the earthquakes from last Fall caused the most damage, so we decided it would be better for Dawn to stay behind. Her mom is with her, so I’m sure they will enjoy the time together.


A Wonderful Accomplishment!
The Pastors who took the Incubator Church Planting Training and Finished!

The Pastors who took the Incubator Church Planting Training and Finished!

Last week we accomplished a first for us. We finished up our incubator church planting training!

The incubator takes close to two years to cover the 16 modules that we train on. There were 10 people that took the course and 8 of them finished and graduated. I could tell that the guys were excited to graduate from the course. We gave each of them the opportunity to share their highlights. It was gratifying for us to listen to their testimonies.

One of the things we focused on throughout the training was the importance of being Christ-centered and gospel-centered. That the gospel and grace must permeate everything we do both inside the church and as we reach out to a world that is in deep need of a Savior.

Beautiful to See the Church Come Together
Pastor Jorge Aleman leading one fo the Sessions

Pastor Jorge Aleman leading one fo the Sessions

The participants that took the incubator training were from two main groups, Ministerios Transformación and the Presbyterian Church. Even though they come from different church traditions it was so good to see them come together to learn. They forged a friendship among themselves.

One of the pastors that helped us to teach the course is Pastor Jorge Aleman from Monterrey, Mexico. I’m thankful for the effort Jorge made to fly out and lead. He has some great experience in the church and he is a gifted communicator. Jorge encouraged the guys to invite one another to preach at one another’s church and to continue to further develop their friendship.

Church planting is the best way to do evangelism and to reach a city for Christ. If we want to have successful church plants we need healthy, fully trained and equipped pastors. That is one of the major goals of the incubator, to prepare the church planter for the ministry that the Lord has called him to.

Join Us In Prayer!
Prayer is an important part of the Incubator training

Prayer is an important part of the Incubator training

Dawn and I appreciate your prayers as we continue to coach, mentor and train these friends and partners in the ministry. Pray that they will be effective in their respective churches. They are all at various stages in their church plant. There is one common goal among them they desire to have healthy and growing churches. That is our prayer as well!

Thanks so much for joining us on this journey! Remember to pray for me as I head off to Mexico City to minister in and around the city for the next 10 days. I will also be in Oaxaca for 3 of those days. Much of the earthquake damage occurred in Oaxaca.

Lord, do pour out your Spirit and do I mighty work as I seek to minister and represent Christ and his church!

In His Grip, Dave

Thankful for Kingdom Activity
Incubator Church planting training

Incubator Church planting training

We started the new year off running with our church planting incubator training. The activity hasn’t stopped since as I was in Monterrey, Mexico last week to pray and plan about how we can partner and collaborate with other like-minded ministries to reach Mexico with the gospel.

Dawn and Dave with David Jr. when we first arrived in Mexico City

Dawn and Dave with David Jr. when we first arrived in Mexico

The last few days Dawn and I have been in Mexico City, which brings to our roots in ministry. We had only been married a little over a year when we first moved here. What we’ve found when we are in this huge city is the Lord always has some surprises for us and some amazing opportunities for us to minister here. One of my goals is that #MTWMEXICO (MTW) will have a greater presence in Mexico City. I’m praying for more workers and more opportunities to partner.

In all of the training and meetings I’ve had it’s with one purpose to see the kingdom of God extended in Mexico and beyond.

Thankful for our Partners & For All That God is Doing!

Enjoying a meal with the Cisneros family. Dave met them the first time in 1985 on his initial trip to Mexico. Thankful for Special memories!

Today I met with the national leadership of the Presbyterian Church in Mexico. We discussed the progress of some of the projects we are working on together as well as dreams for the future. I felt encouraged as they shared how a donation we gave them from MTW helped three churches in three different regions in Mexico that were damaged by the earthquakes in December. It bothered me when I first learned of all the damaged caused by the earthquakes. Now that Dawn and I are here many of our friends have shared how much it scared them when the earth shook so violently in and around Mexico City.

Thankful for our friends and for all the Lord is doing in Mexico

Thankful for our friends and for all the Lord is doing in Mexico

When Dawn and I go on these trips the Lord does so much in our midst that I find it hard to capture it all. I feel like I need a way to share those stories as well. Part of the challenge is the long days don’t leave me much time to write it down.

Next Stop Cuba

Tomorrow (Tuesday) Dawn and I are off to Havana, Cuba, which also promises to be an amazing time. Please pray that the Lord opens many doors for us to minister and love on the people while we are in Cuba.

Thank you, dear friends, for joining us on this journey of faith.

In His Grip, Dave

The Incubator Church Planters Training
Incubator church planters training

Incubator church planters training

I always get encouraged when I hear one of our pastors refer to a principle that he learned during one of our training events. It means that they are beginning to process and apply what they found helpful to their specific ministry situation.

Last week we had the wonderful opportunity to train some of the pastors and church planters in our incubator church planting training. I love the seeing the guys connect and interact and to begin to think through how they can use the information in their context.

Our prayer is that we will have healthy and growing churches. In order for this to happen, it’s essential that we have well-equipped pastors and leaders.

Christ Centered Biblical Counseling & Conflict
Dave with Pastor Saul Lopez

Dave with Pastor Saul Lopez

The topics we covered during this training session dealt with Gospel Centered Biblical Counseling and Conflict. These are two keys areas that pastors deal with regularly. I enjoyed hearing the interaction as we discussed some of the difficult conversations they are dealing with in the church they serve at.

If you attend one of their churches, don’t worry names were not shared. We just shared the situations, and then how to navigate through the issues they were dealing with in a Christ centered healthy way. There are no copy and paste answers to most situations we face. Prayer is always key and seeking out the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The enemy of our soul loves to help foment division via conflict. I think it’s one of his primary means of attacking the church. Too often people run from conflict rather than choosing to wade in and work towards reconciliation. We grow as we work through the difficult conversations. This is one of the many reasons learning to deal with conflict is so important.

Join Us In Prayer
Pastor Jorge Aleman leading a session on Christ-centered Biblical Counseling

Pastor Jorge Aleman leading a session on Christ-centered Biblical Counseling

Thank you for standing with us in prayer. These pastors are under a lot of pressure from various sides. They need our prayers to stay strong and to walk closely with the Lord as they look to him for wisdom.

In His Grip, Dave

God is in the Highs and Lows

We experienced some highs and lows this week. The week started with our incubator training for church planters, which is always a highlight. Then this weekend I was an assessor for a Discovery Center for sixteen church planting candidates. Usually we spread those events out, but this time they happened on the same week.

Dawn’s Dad, Alfred Moore Passed Through Heaven’s Gates

Alfred Moore

In the middle of the week, in the middle of all this activity we sadly lost Dawn’s dad, Al. Alfred Moore went to be with the Lord at 2:12 AM EDT on Thursday, May 4. Dawn’s mom, Alice is thankful that Al didn’t experience any pain and that he didn’t suffer long after they discovered he had advanced stages of cancer. Dawn is with her mom and brother now in the Philadelphia area. When I talked to them today they mentioned that the Lord has given them peace as they mourn Al’s home going.

We appreciate your prayers for the Lord’s peace and comfort during this difficult time as we experience another significant loss so close to our daughter’s passing. The funeral will be on Saturday, May 13th.

God is On The Move Even Through These Difficult Days

The Lord is working in the midst of these momentary light afflictions. I’m grateful for the opportunities to invest in the lives of our leaders, pastors and church planters.



Incubator Church Planting Training

Three of the guys going through our incubator church planting training just started their church in the last few months. Many of them echoed the sentiments of our friend Petri, who is planting a church in Ensenada. Petri said that the principles we are training them in are coming just at the right time for him. He is taking what he learns during the incubator and sharing it with his core group.

One of the pastors in the group, Abraham said he was going to use what he learned with his leadership team as they had a meeting planned during the week. Many of the pastors there mentioned they hoped to implement what they were learning in their church.

Thank you Jesus for all the good things you are doing in the midst of our pain.

God is On The Move in Discovery

The Discovery Center

Then this weekend I was with eight couples who have a passion to seeing the Lord’s kingdom extended on the earth. Not all the couples are young, but they are youthful and have dreams and vision for a better tomorrow. It gives me energy when I’m with them. I also love being with the assessment team. They are great friends and we have a good time serving together. This is the joy of the Discovery Center.

Most of the candidates that are approved will go on to prepare themselves further and then plant a church in the next year. The hope, the vision and the passion to see the Lord bring change and tranformation to the lives of people in a new community is life giving.

God is with us, even in the middle of our pain. He is alive and he is on the move, which gives us life and it gives us hope.

In His Grip, Dave

Growing Together in the Gospel

Dave leading a Session on the Gospel, the Cycle of Renewal

God’s deep love for us is beyond comprehension. His grace is indescribable. The more we ponder what Jesus did for us on the cross through his death and resurrection, we find ourselves marveling at such an amazing and sacrificial love. These are all aspects of the gospel.

I’m sure it’s not too hard to believe that even ministers need the gospel. Actually, that’s a key point, the more the pastor understands the work of Jesus on the cross. The more he meditates on the depth of such love, and what it means for us. As he applies it to his own life, he is more effectively able to share it with others.

This was one of the key themes we covered last week during our incubator training. It fell to me to cover explaining how each of us is renewed by the gospel. We talked about the cycle of renewal – the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, we respond in repentance, which leads us to faith, which leads us to worship, and in response in faith and adoration we obey.

Some of the simplest points of the gospel are also the hardest to apply. I’m not sure why, but I think one reason is that there’s something in us that thinks we can earn God’s favor. We quickly forget, it’s through grace. That’s why Luther said, “we have to beat the gospel into ourselves,” and that “all of life is repentance.” A number of people have also said that we need to preach the gospel to ourselves.

How Do We Reach Our Neighbor with God’s Love?

Jorge Aleman leading the group through a discussion on philosophy of ministry

Another theme that we covered was how to develop a philosophy of ministry. Related to that is the importance of considering the seeker, the not yet Christian in all our activities. In other words, when you are planting a church it’s good to keep in mind as you design your activities that there will be seekers there. There will be those who are interested, but don’t yet have faith.

The world is changing and it’s more apparent now than ever that we live in a hostile deeply divided world. The church planter has to keep all these things in mind as he reaches out to the community that the Lord has called him to minister in.

God has given us a wonderful group of guys that are going through the incubator church planting training. It’s always enjoyable to be around this group. I come away enriched from all the interaction.


Some of our pastors who are going through the incubator training

Prayer and Opposition

Thanks for praying! We experienced our share of attacks, set-backs as we prepared for the training. My phone died for two days. It’s not easy to live without a phone, especially in the middle of a training event. One of our colleagues forgot his passport, which meant we had to change some of our plans for our prep work. I got sick the week of the training event. The Lord led me to a doctor in Mexico that prescribed some medication, and by the second day I was feeling much better.

The latest setback is our van is not running well, and since it has 208,000 miles on it I’m working with our mechanic to see whether it’s worth it fix it. We will see! Still waiting on that. Dawn and I appreciate your ongoing prayer for that need.

In His Grip, Dave

Growth in Grace, Skills, Knowledge and Abilities
Our group of pastors that are going through the Incubator church planing training

Our group of pastors that are going through the Incubator church planing training

I love to see people grow! It excites me when those I work with learn more, especially when it is something that will help them in their ministry. The men and women that Dawn and I work with on the border are wonderfully gifted. They love Jesus, and they have a heart to serve the people in their churches and the communities they minister in.

One of the main ways our team is helping the pastors be more equipped is through training. We just completed our second of eight training sessions on church planting. We also are working with our friends at Ministerios Transformación to help them multiply coaches.

God Brings about Growth & Change
We seeking to keep them active and involved in the learning process

We seek to keep them active and involved in the learning process

It’s encouraging to see the hunger that these friends bring to the learning process. Sometimes I wonder if we are getting through? Are we making a difference? Those going through the training have assured me that they are learning, and it’s changing the way they minister.

In the area of coaching we are seeking to create a network of coaches within Ministerios Transformación. Pastor Daniel Nuñez would like for all of his pastors to have a mentor, so we are working towards that goal.

Good food is always an important part of our time together

Good food is always an important part of our time together

In the incubator church planting training we studied contextualizing the gospel for the areas the pastor are serving in. We gave them an assignment to go into the community and observe the types of buildings, houses and businesses that are near the church. Also to ask questions that will help them learn more about the people in the community. What are the perceived and felt needs? Then they are better informed about the neighborhoods surrounding the church. They can prayerfully come up with a plan to build bridges for the gospel with their neighbors.

We have three guys in the group who either have just launched their church, or they are getting ready to begin. This info helps them to think through how they can best reach the people who live in the area where the church is located. We pray and work for more churches, but we also want pastors who are better equipped. Pastors who have a good support system in place.

Prayer is the Key

Of course prayer is a big and an important component to everything we do. You can be involved in seeing the kingdom grow through prayer. Your prayers are invaluable, and we give thanks for the part you play.

In His Grip, Dave

Second Incubator for Church Planters
Learning in Community

Learning in Community

We are in the middle of our second incubator church planters training. I love the energy that the pastors bring. What an outstanding group! Men who love the Lord, and desire to learn and grow. The Lord has blessed us with a wonderful group of trainers as well.

There are so many pastors and leaders that have little or no training for their work. I give thanks to the Lord for this opportunity.

A Mixed Group
Who says learning can't be fun?!?

Who says learning can’t be fun?!?

This group consists of four pastors from the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico, and seven from Ministerios Transformación. It’s a good thing to have different ministries working and learning together. Both groups are enriched through the process.

Thrilled About God’s Work Among Us!
Hard at work in small groups

Hard at work in small groups

I’m exhausted from a long day, but at the same time I’m thrilled about what God is doing, so I wanted to send out this brief note before I head off to bed.

I realize there are some dangers in posting when I’m tired. In my last post I had numerous typos and formatting errors, because I was literally falling asleep as I wrote the post. Thanks for following along, and I hope in God’s grace that I do much better this time!

In His Grip, Dave