Posts Tagged ‘Training’

Growing Together in the Gospel
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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?
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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.

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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

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

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

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

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

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

My Cup is Overflowing: Tremendous Advance!
Pastor Daniel Nuñez with Arturo Vasquez and his wife on the property for MT's church plant #28!

Pastor Daniel Nuñez with Arturo Vasquez and his wife on the property for MT’s church plant #28!

One of the things that fills my cup to overflowing is to see God’s church grow! And it really gets exciting when I’m able to help and be involved in seeing that happen.

Some awesome doors are being opened for us right now!

Ministerios Transformación: Gospel Advance
Church planters Obed & Cesiah Lares

Church planters Obed & Cesiah Lares

Last Monday pastor Daniel Nuñez put the money down on two lots that will be used for church plants. The churches will pay off the land over time, and we’ve raised the money to help construct the churches on the land.

We are directly helping with one of these church plants that will be led by Obed Lares and his wife, Cesiah. Our target is to build to launch the church plant in October.

The other church plant will be built and launched in August. Arturo will lead this church plant.

Both Obed and Arturo are going through our church planting incubator training that we just started this month.

I give thanks to the Lord for our relationship with Ministerios Transformación and all the wonderful ministry that is taking place through their ministry! There are other church plants that started over the last few years that we are also coming alongside and encouraging, but these two are the most recent. Thank you Jesus!

New Projects with the NPCM
Church planting incubator training

Church planting incubator training

There are two new projects with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico (NPCM) that we are also involved in at various levels. I’ve written about the good work and the excitement of the new project in Ensenada led by Jesus “Petri” Petrikowski. The plan is to launch the Renuevo project this Fall.

I’ve also been building a relationship with another church planter with the NPCM, Deivis Pardo. Deivis and his wife, Luz are starting the first church for the NPCM in Rosarito.

Petri and Deivis went through our church planting evaluation last November and were approved along with their wives to plant a church. Now Petri & Deivis are going through the incubator church planting training along with our friends from Ministerios Transformación.

I think it’s significant that we have two groups participating together in the training. They are encouraging and strengthening one another. We hope that as they get to know one another better they will create a network to see a growing movement of church planting on the border, and the Baja that influences the rest of Mexico as well.

Ministry flows out of relationship. This is especially true in a Latin context.

Many of the pastors we work with feel alone and isolated. We want to change that. As a friend and church planting network colleague, J.D. Pearring, says “we are not trying to change the whole world, but we do want to change the church planting world.” Of course, if these church plants are healthy and as effective as we pray they will be they will influence and bring change to the world through the gospel. In that sense we are trying to change the world!

Pray that it will be so in Christ!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

Kingdom Expansion
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In front of the land where church #29 will be planted for Ministerios Transformación

Today I finished the day feeling fulfilled. I don’t always feel this way, but the Lord gave me a wonderfully fruitful day with our partners in ministry.

In the morning my MTW colleague, Jim DeWitt and I headed into Mexico to lead some training on coaching/mentoring church planters and leaders. When we got there we were greeted by my good friend, Pastor Daniel Nuñez and his family. Jim and I got set up for the training time.

Then Daniel offered to take us to see the land that we just helped them purchase for the 29th church plant of Ministerios Transformación. I will write more about this new work in another post, but I never get tired of seeing God extend his kingdom!

I loved being able to pray for the new work with Pastor Daniel and the others that accompanied us. Awesome experience! After our visit we went for some delicious fish tacos.

Upon our return to the pastoral retreat house, where we held the training session we finished prepping for the workshop.

Training Leaders to Coach
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Jim DeWitt leading a session on coaching

The Lord gave us a good group. It wasn’t a necessarily large group, but they were eager to participate and the size of the group added to the openness and the intimacy of the participants.

Jim and I worked hard to get them involved in the learning process. In other words, we didn’t just lecture. We used an interactive style of training.

One of our goals was to give them a review of the Gospel Coaching training we did with them last December. We sought to build on the foundation we had laid in the winter.

Those that came really got into the learning process. We gave them each a chance to practice coaching one another, and it was heartwarming seeing them encourage and minister to one another through coaching.

When we got towards the end of our time together. Daniel asked, what are the next steps to implementing a coaching strategy for their network? It’s as if I had planted that question. It gave us a launching point to try to figure out how they could multiple coaches, and make sure that each pastor has a coach.

The pastors and wives that came to the training our wonderful friends of ours, so when I’m with them I always leave encouraged. God is doing an amazing work among them. Thank you Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnBorder.org

Training Off to a Great Start!
Our group of pastors and trainers for the incubator church planting training

Our group of pastors and trainers for the incubator church planting training

How would you feel if you had to start a new job, and you received little if any training? Or if you were starting up a new business and you just had to wing it? Believe it or not, many church planters receive almost no training. Sadly, it’s a sink or swim scenario.

We are trying to stop that trend, and help church planters to be better prepared for the ministry the Lord has called them to. Last week we held our first incubator training for church planters in the Tijuana region.

God Gave Us a Great Group
Dave leading one of the sessions

Dave leading one of the sessions

Ten pastors attended the training, and began the process. The incubator is a year and a half of preparation for starting a new church.

Our Baja team partnered with MTW’s team from Monterrey to provide the training in Rosarito/Tijuana Mexico. The church planters came from the two groups we are working with, Ministerios Transformación and the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico.

The Lord gave a great group of guys, who love the Lord and desire to see his named proclaimed in the communities they are serving in and beyond! Three of the men are starting up new church planting projects this Fall.

I’ve dreamed about providing church planting training for the pastors we work with since Dawn and I arrived on the border almost four years ago. I feel like it’s so important that we see men and women equipped to serve the Lord in the church. There are too many pastors who are struggling to survive and they don’t know where to turn.

A Network of Support
Pastor Jorge Aleman sharing with the group

Pastor Jorge Aleman sharing with the group

I am thankful that we can train our friends so that they are better equipped to plant churches. My hope is that these pastors develop strong and enduring friendships so that they can encourage and support one another. Some of the pastors that came said they felt all alone. They don’t feel like they are receiving any support from the outside, or even within their own camp.

One of the challenges to providing the training and encouragement is manpower. We could use more workers. Yet, we are doing all we can to train and multiply coaches and mentors who can support leaders in ministry.

Pray with us for the Lord’s continued and ongoing encouragement for these pastors. That the Lord will raise up a mighty army of equipped leaders, who will be effective in ministry.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Learning From a Pioneer, Dr. Allen Thompson
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Dr. Allen Thompson, The Master at Work

I was blown away by all that the Lord is doing in Cuba. Fortunately, I ended up arriving in Havana one day before we began the training. This gave me some time to interact with Dr. Allen Thompson, a long time missionary to Cuba. Allen’s parents first came to Cuba as missionaries, and they helped start the Los Pinos Nuevos Seminary.

Dr. Thompson served in Cuba as a missionary, but he was forced to leave when the revolution began in 1960. Allen is now in his 80’s, but you can’t tell when you are around him. He has so much life and energy, and he is still going strong. I pray that the Lord will still use me in a similar way when I am in my 80’s.

Allen and his family have such deep relationships in Cuba, and they’ve stayed connected to their many friends over the years. This foundation laid years ago led one of the leaders to call Dr. Thompson five years ago. Pastor Pachy, who is now leads Los Pinos Nuevos called Allen and asked for help. Allen had been working with Redeemer New York’s City to City worldwide outreach, but when Pachy called he came to help.

The Explosive Growth of the Church
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Interaction during the training

The people had a foundation from the seminary, but many of them were legalistic, so Allen and the people he brought in to help began to teach and preach the gospel. This brought about transformation and a hunger for more.

The fact that the people are very isolated, and even bored because of the lack of entertainment gave the people a greater hunger to study and to learn. That’s how the church began to grow.

Pastor Pachy says he doesn’t know exactly how many churches they have, but he estimates that they have about 40,000! I mean that is amazing and explosive growth. It sounds similar to the type of things that happened through the house church in China.

The Fuel of Prayer & Training
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The Students enjoying themselves while learning.

As I interacted more with Dr. Thompson I realized that prayer played a big part in the movement. They believed in it. They taught it, and they practiced it.

Another important component was gospel centered training. Allen said they use non formal training, which means that they don’t give certificates of completion, and the lessons are adjusted to the culture and the level of the students education.

One of the principle ways that they measure success is that they ask those taking the training if they are sharing the material with others. Most of them are. They encourage them to share the material as soon as they’ve taken the class.

That’s how multiplication happens!

While I was there I began to dream. I began to wonder how could we use this in Mexico. We don’t have all the same circumstances in Mexico, but surely parts of this model would work. I think it’s a brilliant idea to encourage the students to share what they’ve learned with others as soon as they can.

Pray with us that the Lord will guide and lead us and show us the way!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org