We are privileged to be able to host the first South American Disciple-Making Seminar this September for national pastors and missionaries. Pastor Tim Potter, from Mentor, Ohio, will be the main speaker. In order to make this conference possible for many of the national pastors and missionaries, ARCH ministries has graciously agreed to cover the lodging, and our church in Pilar is providing the meals for this 3-day conference. We anticipate about 100 national pastors, missionaries and their wives to attend.
Our goal is to encourage these ministers to implement a culture of disciple-making in their churches through this conference and by making available to them the same resources that have been invaluable to us (i.e. discipleship materials). Here are the books we would like to provide for each pastor:
Foundations (Los Fundamentos) – We can get them printed here for $2.50 each.
Please pray for the Lord to continue to provide the funds and volunteer labor for this conference and for the Lord to give much fruit for these efforts.
Opportunities to learn and grow abound! Thursday night Bible Institute classes are going strong, with 10 students in the Bible Doctrines class. After a Sunday service, a young man approached James, indicating he would like to learn how to witness more effectively. So, a few of the teen boys are going to start evangelism training every Thursday morning!
One of the most exciting times of the week is early Sunday morning discipleship classes. James is taking the men through a discipleship workbook, and Amy is teaching the ladies an inductive Bible study on the book of Philippians.
Our goal is not only to equip the believers for their own spiritual growth, but also for them “to teach others also.” As we ultimately “work our way out of a job” at this church plant, we want to see the church continue to thrive by reproducing themselves.
What a joy to see folks saved and follow the Lord in steps of obedience! Victor and Rosa each trusted the Lord and then shortly later were convicted about their need to get married. They wanted to marry in the church so that all their friends and family would come and hear the Gospel, which they did! A few weeks later, three of those wedding guests each trusted Christ!
The Lord has brought us two new families recently and they both want to join the church! They are both from Pentecostal church backgrounds, but like the many others in our congregation, came to the realization that the Pentecostal preaching and practice does not line up with what God’s Word teaches. They were eager to get involved in some kind of discipleship. For the benefit and maximum growth of all, we’ve implemented a gradual, systematic discipleship program.
· Step 1 – Basics for Believers – 10 lessons covering topics like salvation, baptism, and daily devotions. This is usually taught in the person’s home, by us or another member.
· Step 2 – New Members’ Class – 6 weeks of Baptist distinctives, taught by the Pastor.
· Step 3 – Advanced Discipleship – 12-13 week, semester-based studies on Sundays, required for anyone who desires to serve in the church. This is taught on Sunday’s (like a Sunday School hour) by us or another member.
· Step 4 – become a small group leader – whether adults, teens, or children.
We visited both of these families and gave them the Basics for Believers booklet to start studying. We’ll set up a time to meet with them weekly to go through the book with them. This is a great way to get to know each other as well!
On the mission field, you really can’t take anything for granted. People grow up with no Christian teaching or training. Those from other church backgrounds have been confused by conflicting faith and practice. Systematic discipleship is so vital for a healthy church body!