Greetings from Mexico,
This month we finished our 14th year of our local church planting school and in this update, want to share with you the good news of what God is doing through this program! This year we had 43 students enrolled in our two weekly classes! (Both afternoon and evening courses)
Each one of these students are committed to serve at our local church weekly, complete a load of homework, and prepare and present a Bible teaching every Monday to their fellow students and their pastor/mentor. They are also open to and praying about being sent out to church plant or to be part of a church planting team!
Over the years, every one of our 34 church planters that have been sent out completed this program, and I believe that this year’s crop was our best group ever! One of the special blessings of this years class was numerous married couples taking the course together that are praying about being sent out!
I know that the idea of a church planting school based out of a local church is a strange thing, so I wanted to let you know what we do in these classes! The students begin each 2 ½ hour class by breaking into teaching groups, where they spread out across our church campus to teach a short Bible study in a small group setting. Upon finishing their teaching, the students get critiqued and receive constructive criticism from the rest of their group. The best part of this weekly teaching practicum, is we get to literally see these students improve before our very eyes!
During the final hour of the church planting class, we all gather together to be taught a topical sermon designed to equip and train them up to be sent out! These classes are taught by our staff pastors, as well as guest speakers. The classes I taught this semester included finances for the church planter, developing your CORE team, using humor and illustrations to capture your audience, and the blessings of women’s ministry! (And I was very careful on that one!)
After our students graduate, our Pastors gather to talk and pray about which ones we believe are ready to be sent out. It was a great blessing to see my good friends Jose Luis and Sarah graduate from our church planting program this semester. This gifted couple, along with their three young boys, have driven north from Ensenada every week for the last few years to serve at our church and attend our church planting class! Now God is preparing them to plant a church in Ensenada, a large city of over 600,000 that is located 50 miles south of us! Please keep them and their summer church plant (Calvary Family Ensenada) in your prayers!
One of the most exciting aspects of our church planting program, is now we have 9 of our church plants hosting their own church planting classes! To give them a helping hand, this past year we began to professionally record all of our classes and teachings, and we have made them available to our church planters so they can use them as a resource for their own local classes!
In May, I was also blessed to travel up to Pomona with my good friend (and church planting assistant) Super Mario Medrano! We were part of the first ever Spanish church planting conference in Southern California! I was blessed to teach in Spanish about how any local church can start up a church planting school! The conference was fantastic, and the conference host Pastor Marvin Marroquin has agreed to start up his own church planting school in August! Please keep this new class based up in Southern California in your prayers!
As I drove back to Mexico, I chuckled at the irony of what God allowed me to do! He called an American with no Spanish to move to Mexico, to then go back up to America to teach in Spanish! Only God could do something as crazy as that!
A final blessing in May was to witness many Haitian Refugee’s begin to attend our church and profess faith in Christ for the first time! We have started two Haitian life groups (home groups) and we have a couple of these gentlemen praying about joining up with our church planting program next semester! I have a dream to plant a Haitian church (speaking Creole) in Tijuana to reach the 5,000 plus Haitians that live there! Will you please keep a future Haitian church plant in your prayers?
Finally, I want to thank you for choosing to partner with us and support our family as your missionaries! God has been so good to us, and we have been blessed to see so much spiritual fruit recently! And as we thank the Lord for that fruit, we also want to thank you our precious ministry partners. All of this spiritual fruit is yours! We love you, are praying for you, and thank God for you!
Con mucho amor de Mexico, (with much love from Mexico)
Mike, Sarah, Grace, and Daniel
#1- That God would raise up some Haitian men to join our church planting program and plant a church in Tijuana!
#2- That God would bless Jose Luis and Sarah as they plant their bilingual church in Ensenada this summer!
#1- Praise God for our 14th graduating class from our church planting program!
#2- Praise God for the new church planting schools that we are blessed to be partnering with!
For our personal support, checks should be made out to Saving Grace World Missions with “Vincent support” in the memo section. For special projects, checks should also be made out to Saving Grace World Missions or SGWM, with the project name in the comments section. Use the enclosed envelope or mail directly to Saving Grace World Missions, 17451 Bastanchury Rd., Suite 203, Yorba Linda, CA 92886-1873
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