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church planting

Introducing Nieves and Karen!

Neives churchplanting.jpg

We are thrilled to be introducing the Vargas Rodriguez family: Nieves, Karen, and their 2 beautiful children. Nieves is the son of Pastor Luis Vargas—Pastor Luis is the pastor of the church in Bachiniva, Mexico where we have visited as a church while serving at the House of Blessing Orphanage. Nieves and Karen have been serving Jesus at their home church in the small town of Bachiniva as well as serving along with Jason Sanchez at the orphanage in Bachiniva. Several members of Redemption Church have been able to meet and become acquainted with this sweet family on our missions trips to Mexico over the last several years.

On our most recent trip, Pastor Daniel and his family were able to reconnect with Nieves and Karen and learn of their new calling to pastor a small church several hours from Bachiniva in the Sierra Madres mountains. They are taking a huge step of faith in leaving their families and home in Bachiniva to follow God’s calling for them to minister to the community there.

We are now partnering with Nieves and Karen through prayer as well as financial support for their family and ministry. Please take the time to read this brief update from Pastor Nieves below, and join us in praying for their protection, provision, and to be used greatly by Jesus in this new season!

Letter from Pastor Nieves:

On October 21st of 2016, the Lord spoke to my wife and I telling us that we were to follow his leading to take over a small church located in the town of San Juanito. San Juanito is a town of 10,500 people that is located on one of the highest points of the Sierra Madre Mountains of Chihuahua. Since November of last year, we have been drying from our home in Bachiniva to San Juanito every weekend to minister to the church and community. After many trips of hauling much needed stuff to San Juanito, praise the Lord! He has one again faithfully provided and set things in order for us to move up indefinitely to San Juanito. So on Saturday, April 22nd, we packed up the last of our stuff and set out to San Juanito. We are very encouraged and excited since we have a place to stay and will be able to engage even more in ministry! Although leaving our house, family, church, and commodities behind is a little scary, it cannot compare to the joy or excitement of serving Jesus. Despite our fears and anxieties, we are more than confident hat all things will work out for good and most importantly for the honor and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As we enter this new phase in our lives, we are in need of much prayer for protection and guidance. We are extremely encouraged and excited to continue in this adventure of faith.

In Jesus, 

The Vargas Rodriguez family


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If You Love Jesus, You Must Love People by Esteban Valenzuela

God is all about people and relationship.

His institutions that include the church, marriage, and family…guess what? They’re all about people. Ministry, both inside and outside of the church…yup…also about people. Life guarantees that challenging situations and difficult people will often come our way. We won’t ever be able to fully insulate ourselves from these factors, unless you want to live in some remote place, like Alaska. If, however, you find yourself wanting to live life with some sense of normalcy, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you’re probably going to be with and around people. 

As a parent, I have such a fierce love for my kids. I want the best for them and tend to worry about them here, in the now, but also about their health and safety in the future. In a sense, I see them as extensions of myself. Out there in life, exposed, there is great potential that I/they will experience life and feel pain. Sometimes it feels like a giant risk having kids. Risking my own sanity and my own emotions, as my very being is so tightly knit together in their existence. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It’s risky to trust people. 

It seems like a gamble to get out there and trust people with your heart and your friendship and to navigate this life and all the social and communal institutions that we potentially face. But it’s part of God’s plan. To be with Him. To be with others. To engage in relationship, fellowship, and community. When God asked Solomon what he would ask of Him, Solomon’s response was for wisdom and knowledge. This was in direct correlation with his relationship to his people, Israel, as their king. 

There won’t ever be a time or season when we are done with instruction in God’s Word. We learn some things, and then life throws new challenges, situations, and new people at us and we need to learn more. This is where God uses the church, pastors, and the Christian community to impact individual lives and whole communities so powerfully. A faithful expression of God’s church is going to have an emphasis on the most important training and equipping source…God’s Word. So, enter the community, get the big picture, and get into the game. Even if it seems risky. Understand that love, relationship, and community are a huge part of everyday life. Understand this is where the devil will often try to wage his war and bring division and a break in relationships. Let God’s Word train you, equip you, and dwell richly within you. Learn, affirm, and confirm to others the truth of His Word, and then encourage them to get in the game, too. Get to that place where the miracle of the Gospel is working something amazing in you, and help others to get there, too. 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is radical! It’s all about Him! Somehow, He has engaged us in His mission…

Romans 12:14-21 say this: “Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads. Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” 

In life and ministry Jesus Himself is the grand prize and the supreme goal. And He is all about people. 

Are we living in peace as much as it depends on us? It can be a challenging, messy, swampy relational world everywhere you go. If we claim to be His, this should lead us ask how we think about and act toward each of the precious people He has put into our lives and the various situations we face. Are we being faithful?  Like Solomon, we need wisdom. He’s got the blueprints for a life triumphant and victorious. So, be instructed. Allow Him to guide, direct, and equip you. He doesn’t simply desire us in heaven, but He desires for us to be fruitful and victorious here on earth! 


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Church Planting Is Not A Method by Alesha Sinks

Church planting is…

...not about the method.

...not about the plan.

...not about the systems.

...not about the schedule.

...not about the organization.

...not about the vision.

Vision and direction and methods and plans are good, valuable, important things. But I often find myself getting so caught up in the plan and the system that I miss out on the main point.

And the main point is Jesus. Always and only Jesus.

The main point is Jesus.

Seeking Him.

Knowing Him.

Loving Him.Serving Him.

Proclaiming Him.

Worshiping Him.

Glorifying Him.

And the systems and methods and schedules we use can be glorifying to God, but they cannot be God.

Methods cannot lead people to repentance. Plans cannot humble and restore us. Systems cannot produce changed lives. Schedules cannot bring us into relationship with God. Organization cannot wash away sins. Vision cannot heal the brokenness this world produces.

"There is power in the gospel, not necessarily the method."
Pastor Daniel Williams

And it is easy to get so caught up in our plans and our systems and our organizational structures that we forget these things are powerless.

They are powerless to save.

They are powerless to convict hearts.

They are powerless to bring repentance.

They are powerless to restore intimacy with God.

They are powerless to produce worship in us.

We need God's Spirit with us and the gospel flowing from our lips and through our lives in order to produce any true fruit for God's glory.

So don't ditch your systems or your vision. Maybe you even need to work harder at your plans and methods. But all of those things will be a waste unless God Spirit is behind them and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is what is being taught through them.

Be blessed


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You Are His Mission by Daniel Williams

YOU ARE HIS MISSION

The work of church planting is a crazy, exhilarating, draining, rewarding and faith-filled ride. It’s a different life than you lived before in many ways. Many of us left our homes and communities and immersed ourselves in a new place with new people and new surroundings. We’ve seen God provide for our families and our churches in miraculous ways. We’ve been moved to tears when we see a person drawn to Jesus for the first time. It’s often hard, but we wouldn’t choose anything else because God has called us to it and He is leading us faithfully! And yet, in this extraordinary work that God is doing in and through us, it becomes easy for us to forget that God’s love for US is what has compelled us to serve in these unusual ways in the first place.

GOD LOVES YOU, THE WORKER, NOT JUST THE WORK.

It has been said that God calls some to pastor (or to marry a pastor) just to keep that person that much closer to Him. God’s calling on your life is not merely to accomplish a mission through you. You are His mission as well! Have you seen God change you through this journey you’re on? I know that through our church planting journey, my relationship with Jesus has become more real and more a part of who I am than at any other time in my life. God knew this when He called me and when He called you. Never forget that it was His love for YOU that changed you and led you to this place in your life. It is his kindness to YOU that caused you to listen when He called you to plant a church.

REMEMBER YOUR FIRST LOVE

Don’t lose sight of this. Church plant or not. Pastor or not. Leader or not. God loves you. Let this simple message wash you today and reassure you. He doesn’t love you for what you do or how you may or may not see yourself or your ministry. Even if nobody else comes to your Sunday service, God is there to teach YOU. His mercies for YOU are new every morning. So, whatever your day or week looks like, be refreshed in the truth that Jesus is with you and will accomplish what He began in you from the very beginning. Your Saviour, your God. Remember Him and His love for you today.

Be blessed,

Daniel Williams


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