August 2016 Velasquez Family Update

Dear Pastor, Congregation and Friends,

“Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” I believe that the ultimate purpose of the church is to glorify God. In other words, the church exists to display the glory of God through the proclamation of the gospel and through the way in which we live our lives as members of the church. That is one of the ideas that I will be teaching from the Scriptures during the month of September in both churches (Parla and Colmenar). The theme for the sermon series is quite simply ‘The Church’. The reason I will be preaching on the subject of the church is because very soon we plan to formally organize the group of baptized believers in Colmenar as a church. I want them to be ready for that day.

The work of gospel proclamation continues in both churches. In Parla, several unbelievers have been attending the  ‘Come and See’ Bible study. Every week Paco and Flavius go through the gospel of John, explain the passages and answer their questions. In Colmenar, our plan is to start the live radio programs in September and promote them through Facebook ads. In addition, we are going to go through the city and ask people to give us their questions about God and the Bible for us to answer during the radio programs and then invite them to listen. We pray that God would open up doors for us to share the gospel with people as we fill out a short survey for the radio program with them. Our desire is to involve as many believers as possible in this project. Flavius is now in charge of the radio ministry. He selects the themes for the programs, prepares an outline for the program, edits the audio and uploads the new programs each week.

The work of training men continues. I am almost done studying systematic theology with Flavius and now Paco is going to start studying the same course. Also, I have started preparing a course on church polity which I will be teaching them every Saturday. I want them to be ready to lead the church when the time comes for them to be ordained as pastors. I believe one of the greatest responsibilities they will have as pastors is to faithfully teach the Word of God to the church. For that reason starting in January they are going to be preaching a lot more. Every other month they are going to be taking turns preaching through 2 Peter. In preparation for that series, they will be reading the entire book several times in order to determine the theme and they will outline the book and divide the book by sections or units of thought. Then we will discuss the messages together before and after they preach them. Please pray for me that I would lead these men by example. But most of all, pray that they would follow Christ. Thank you for your prayers and support. God Bless.

Training men and Scripture Memorization

A spiritual discipline that has helped me immensely in my Christian life is Scripture memorization. I started memorizing Scripture intentionally when I was fourteen. One of the first changes that I noticed was that I started thinking biblically. Please don’t misunderstand and think that I stopped sinning and achieved perfection. That is far from the truth. My wife could attest to that! What I do know is that my way of thinking changed. I don’t know exactly when it started, but I noticed that little by little verses started popping up in my mind that altered the way I thought and acted. I noticed that I was able to explain the gospel more clearly. I noticed that I was able to answer the objections of skeptics more effectively. But the greatest benefit of all is that I began to desire the things of God. Again, it did not fix all my problems. I still struggle with sin. I still fail in my Christian life. However, Scripture memorization has been a tremendous blessing.

Also, Scripture memorization does not replace other spiritual disciplines. Every believer ought to read his bible and meditate on it day and night. Every believer ought to learn to pray and to diligently seek after God. But I find that very few Christians memorize Scripture. I don’t understand the reason! My challenge to those that find memorization tedious and boring is for them to memorize one of Paul’s epistles. It doesn’t take long to memorize an epistle and the spiritual benefits are eternal. I’ve never met a born again believer that has memorized a book of the Bible and hasn’t been spiritually enriched by it.

So what does Scripture memorization have to do with training men? I believe that the discipline of Scripture memorization enables the men that we are training to think biblically. What skill could be more important for a future pastor or missionary! I’ll give you one example. Flavius Tabardau is a young man that I am training for ministry. One of the first things he did after he was saved was memorize 1 John. I noticed immediately that he had a very clear understanding of true biblical conversion. He would talk about the importance of loving his brethren in Christ and why it’s foolish to love the world. How did he learn those things? Did he learn them by reading a book on spiritual growth and maturity? No. He learned those things by meditating on 1 John as he reviewed his verses every day. When he started preaching five-minute messages, guess from which book he preached?

Next, he started memorizing Romans. We are actually memorizing it together. We are almost done with chapter five. Whenever we meet together to study, we begin by reviewing our memory verses and discussing the meaning of what we’ve memorized. It has helped both of us tremendously. What a book to study! What I have noticed is that his understanding of the gospel is solid. What’s great is that he isn’t learning the gospel from me; he’s learning it from Paul! The other day he said to me, “David, I think I know how to summarize the gospel in two words.” I said, “How”. He replied, “The gospel is: ‘for sinners’.” His answer thrilled my heart because he had understood Paul’s point in the first three chapters of Romans: we are all sinners and in desperate need of Christ! Then he shared with me how he had taught the gospel to one of his friends. He said, “All I did was explain the first five chapters of Romans to him.” Praise the Lord!

Again, I don’t believe memorization is the only important spiritual discipline. Also, I’m not against formal theological training and reading books. As a matter of fact, Flavius and I are studying Systematic Theology right now and he is devouring books like crazy. What I am saying is that memorization has greatly helped me and it has helped the men I am training here in Spain. Do you think it could help you? What would happen if you memorized a book of the bible? What would happen if you memorized four? Would if affect the way you think? Would you love God more? Would you be better prepared? If you accept my challenge, please let me know if there is any way I can help you in the area of Scripture memorization.

October 2015 Velasquez Family Update

Dear Pastor, Congregation and Friends,

Does the gospel work differently in Europe than in other parts of the world? Are Spaniards more hardened to the gospel than others? The Bible answers these questions clearly. The gospel is powerful to save in every place. Its power is not diminished by geography (Romans 1:16; Colossians 1:5-6). Also, all men are hardened to the gospel. Nobody is naturally inclined to it. Every man is sinful by nature and rebellious against God (Romans 3:10-12; Ephesians 4:17-19). So, why is it that so few spaniards believe the gospel and why does the work appear slower in this part of the world? I believe that one of the reasons is because it is harder in Spain to gain an audience for the gospel. In other words, for cultural reasons, it is harder to get people to even hear the gospel. Because less are willing to hear the gospel, less get saved.

So, what is our challenge as missionaries to Spain? Getting more people to hear and learn the gospel. One of the ways that we plan to gain a wider audience for the gospel is through the internet. Last month we started working on our gospel website (estudialabiblia.com). I went down to Seville and recorded three videos that will be featured on the home page. This is a joint project with several other like-minded missionaries. We believe God is going to greatly use this website! Another way to get more people to hear the gospel is by multiplying our efforts. We need more gospel-proclaimers! That’s why it isn’t a waste of time to invest in men like Eduardo, Paco and Flavius. Every disciple-maker that we train will mean more voices to proclaim the good news of Christ.

Another potential disciple-maker is Harold. A young man that was saved in April. I have been spending a lot of time with him. He is sixteen and struggles with peer-pressure at his high-school. Flavius is a great example to him. He is twenty and  on fire for God. I know that Harold respects him and in many ways would like to be like him. I am praying that God will grow our youth group. One of the ways that we are trying to reach young people is through the free English classes. We distributed ten thousand flyers directly in people’s mailboxes and we had three new kids sign up. A few from our last trimester of classes have returned, but we feel that the group needs to grow a little more in order for us to maximize our time and have a greater impact. Because of that I am going to go fishing for young people every Friday night with Flavius and Harold. We’re going to invite them to the classes and share the gospel as well. Thank you for your prayers and faithful support. God Bless.

August 2015 Velasquez Family Update

Dear Pastor, Congregation and Friends,

The two-year anniversary of the Biblical Baptist Church of Colmenar was a great success. Thirty-eight people came out to celebrate this special day. Fourteen of them were first-time visitors. What’s great is that several of the visitors were family and friends of the church members, which means it will be easier to follow-up with them. We are looking forward to school starting back up because that will mean that people will be getting back from their summer vacations and we can launch several evangelistic ministries. We plan to teach english to teens again and continue with the Friday night “Come and See” youth bible study. What’s new is that we are going to start teaching adults as well. This will be a great way to meet people and share the gospel with them. We are also going to finish updating our church website and completely redo our evangelistic website (estudialabiblia.com). Once it is finished we will be able to distribute postcards and use Facebook ads to promote the website. In addition, we will continue passing out gospel literature and evangelizing in the streets.

Summer is a great time for training men! Flavius has been spending over twenty hours a week with me studying Systematic Theology among other things. His love for the Word of God amazes me. A few months after his conversion he memorized the entire book of 1 John and he can still quote it perfectly. During these past two months Flavius and I have been memorizing Romans. The wonderful thing is that it was his idea! He has also been preaching five-minute messages every week and is doing a great job. He has been helping me in every way possible. I thank God for giving me the privilege to train this young man for ministry. Paco is currently on vacation with his family but when he returns I will be teaching him and Flavius a wonderful course about the gospel written by a missionary friend to Morocco. Please pray for men! As a team my father and I are working hard to prepare both churches for the day that we go off to start more churches. We want to leave these churches with men trained and prepared for the ministry. We also want the churches to be ready to support these pastors financially.

As part of the process of training men we had the opportunity to take Flavius and Paco to Morocco last month. We joined a group organized by Alberto Puente, missionary to Sevilla. It was a great encouragement to all of us. We were able to visit two missionary families and hear the testimonies of Moroccan believers. It is thrilling to see what God is doing in North Africa. It was a reminder that the gospel works!  We cannot buy into the lie of the devil that some places are gospel-proof. Wherever the gospel is proclaimed and taught, it brings forth fruit! Continue praying for fruit in our ministry here in Spain. We want to see more people saved, leaders trained and churches started to the glory of God!

June 2015 Velasquez Family Update

Dear Pastor, Congregation and Friends,

The first Sunday of July we celebrate the two-year anniversary of the Biblical Baptist Church of Colmenar Viejo, Madrid. As this special date approaches I am reminded of why we started the church. It has always been our vision to start multiple churches. When we arrived in Spain in 2010 we joined my parents and sister and brother-in-law who had started a church in Parla, Madrid about seven months earlier. From the beginning we explained to the Parla Baptist Church that one day it would reproduce another church. We didn’t know at that time how soon that dream would be realized. Exactly two years after our arrival the Lord began to work in my heart about starting a new work. It was God who opened up the door. I had been having Bible studies in the home of Eduardo and Angie Sedoski for several months in 2012. This couple had been saved in the Parla church but lived fifty minutes away in the city of Colmenar Viejo. It was so far away that it was hard for them to invite people to church. As we started making contacts in this city of 50,000 people it became clear that Colmenar needed a gospel-preaching church. A few months later it was born.

What has God done? The first thing we have witnessed is multiplication. We are now saturating two cities with the gospel. Everything we attempt for the glory of God has twice the impact. Evangelism, Discipleship and leader-training is happening in two places at the same time. Here’s another blessing: we are reaching new people that otherwise wouldn’t have had access to the gospel. How has this happened? Colmenar Viejo was saturated with invitations to the inauguration two times. We have distributed thousands of gospel tracts throughout the city. We started the “Come and See” Bible study on Thursdays and several unbelievers are being taught the gospel every week. We saturated the city five times with invitations to the “Come and See” Bible study. We started free English classes for young people followed by a youth Bible study. Our average weekly attendance for the church is between fifteen and twenty. Two recent converts are Javier and Harold! The former is one of Eduardo’s friends. For over a year I have personally shared the gospel with him and he has attended the “Come and See” Bible study. He has given a clear testimony of salvation and will be baptized shortly. The latter is a young man that was invited by his girlfriend. He is being discipled and growing in the Lord. This is why we believe in church-planting. What would happen if we started more?

This leads us to the task of training men. We will only see churches started in proportion to the men trained. Pray especially for Paco and Flavius, both members of the church in Parla who are preparing for ministry. We want to see more men trained. Thank you for your faithful prayer and support. Rejoice with us at what God has done!

Evaluate your strategies

A while back I wrote a couple of posts on the subject, “What do you do when nobody shows up?” You can read them here: Part 1, Part 2. I had originally planned on writing a third article but forgot about it. Recent events have reminded and motivated me to complete the series.

The reason I wrote the original post was because of a special evangelistic campaign that we had realized in Parla and Colmenar Viejo. We had distributed thirty thousand invitations to a month-long sermon series geared towards the unsaved. The result was zero visitors. As you can imagine it was a discouraging time for us and the churches. This led me to ask myself the question that is the subject of this series.

So what happened recently in our ministry that motivated me to write the third and final blog post? We decided to start English classes for young people between the ages of thirteen and twenty. The goal was to distribute three thousand invitations to all the high-schoolers in Colmenar Viejo. The flyer was two-sided. On one side was an invitation to free English classes; on the other an invitation to a youth “Come and see” Bible study. The idea was to meet young people and share the gospel with them in order to start a youth ministry. As I shared in an earlier post that is an impossible dream. Thankfully, we serve the God of the impossible.

This was not something that we planned quickly or poorly. We worked the details out with Eduardo Sedoski and Flavius. In fact, everyone in the Colmenar church was involved. For instance, we decided to schedule the youth “Come and see” Bible study immediately after the English class; that way we could encourage the students to stay for an extra hour and discuss Biblical Christianity with us in a dynamic, participative environment. They would not have to make an extra trip. We also debated whether to simply invite them to the English class and then talk to them about the Bible study once they signed up or to make it very clear in the invitation that we also offer the “Come and See” class and that we would love for them to be a part of it. In the end, we opted for including the Bible study in the flyer, thus making our intentions clear from the outset. That way they wouldn’t be able to accuse us of pulling a bait-and-switch on them. Why do I include all these details? So that you understand that we thought it through diligentely.

The invitation clearly stated that the classes were free and that there were only thirty available slots. We put two dates down for the registration. On the first day of the registration we waited at the church with sign-up sheets in hand. Only one kid showed up. Three thousand invitations for free English classes and only one guy signs up.

So what do you do in these type of situations? I believe the answer is to evaluate your strategy. The wrong conclusion would be to automatically assume that free English classes don’t work in Spain. Thankfully I had prepared the Colmenar church for any outcome. I told them that this was an experiment for us. We had no clue what would happen. The only thing we knew for sure was that if we tried nothing we would get just that. We knew that young people would never get saved if we didn’t proactively go after them.

Here is an idea of how we evaluated our strategy:

– Maybe getting the invitations in the hands of the teenagers wasn’t the best approach. Most kids don’t want to take on any more classes even if they are free. Maybe it would have been better to distribute the invitations in all the mailboxes. The parents would probably be more interested in the classes and encourage their children to sign-up.

– Maybe we shouldn’t have included an invitation to the Bible study in the flyer. This was probably the number one reason we had only one sign up. Spaniards are very private about religious matters and it probably scared them off.

Instead of dismissing the idea altogether we immediately began to think of a better strategy. None of us were discouraged. We were thrilled about the kid that did sign up! Everybody worked really hard. We are attempting great things for God! This is reason to rejoice.

Things have worked out great since then. We now have eight kids signed up for the English classes, all invited by people from our church. This turns out to be a much better strategy because follow up will be easier. The one kid that did sign up was not only interested in the English class but the Bible study as well. This showed us that it was a good idea after all to be upfront about our intentions for the class.  We believe the class will grow even more through word of mouth.

I think sometimes we consider it unspiritual to evaluate our strategies. As if we are somehow questioning God’s plan. But we need to realize that God is a God of order and design. He gave us our rational faculties for a reason. It isn’t a sin to think and plan. I believe it glorifies our maker. God does the work, but He has sovereignly chosen to use us. Instead of giving up when things don’t go as planned maybe it would be better to learn from our mistakes and make the necessary changes. We can’t continue doing the same things in the same way and call it faithfulness to God. We must be willing to evaluate and change. Certainly not our doctrine or message, but our strategies.  I am certain that we will learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t as we deal with these young people. We may have to change our strategy again, but what will never change is our relentless effort to make disciples of Christ.

The work of the ministry

I memorized Ephesians 4:11-14 a long time ago because those verses help me remember my primary responsibility as a missionary. Verses eleven and twelve mention that God has given gifted people to the church (pastors and teachers) for a specific purpose: “…the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” My job is to disciple and train believers to maturity so that they can experience the joy and the privilege of serving Christ.

One step that I have taken in the ministry here is to create opportunities for people to serve. I could very well lead every ministry in the church but  I would be robbing them of so many blessings. I don’t want to be a one-man band. I cannot reach Spain and beyond by myself. I must multiply my efforts through others.

Recently my parents have gone on a short furlough and have left me with the full responsibility of both churches. Instead of this being a stressful time for me I have enjoyed seeing how God is using the believers in Parla to do the work of the ministry. I live fifty minutes away and I go to Parla only to preach on Wednesday and Sunday. They are taking care of the day-to-day work. I have never seen the church so excited. They are experiencing first-hand the joy of serving Christ. They are sharing the gospel. They are inviting friends to church. I spend my time helping the leaders of the various ministries in Parla to serve more effectively. By the way, they are doing a great job!

The work of the ministry isn’t for an elite few; it’s for the church as a whole. If I attempted to carry every load and lead every ministry, I would only be hurting them. Just like the parent that does everything for his children and doesn’t prepare them for the challenges ahead. God spare me from that sort of leadership. I can think of no greater joy in the ministry than being used of God to help others serve Him.

Acknowledge your responsibility

Last week I shared with you a recent disappointment that I experienced in the ministry which led me to ask the question, “what do you do when nobody shows up?” My purpose in writing the post wasn’t to whine or complain but to legitimately explore this question in order to encourage myself in the Lord and to help other missionaries that are in similar situations, especially those serving in Europe. I am not worried or depressed. I have seen God do amazing things. As a matter of fact, up until this last evangelistic campaign all of our outreach had yielded positive results.

My desire in all of this is to encourage fellow missionaries and leaders in Europe to resist the temptation of “spiritualizing” everything. Now please don’t misunderstand what I mean by that. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t rely on the work of the Holy Spirit in our evangelistic efforts. I don’t believe that the outcome depends on us. What I mean by “spiritualizing” is that so many times we unintentionally blame God for our lack of results. How do we do that? We don’t directly come out and say that It’s God’s fault we just say things like, “Well, I guess it wasn’t God’s will for anybody to show up” or “I guess Spaniards are just more hardened to the gospel.” I am so guilty of this. It may be true that God has a purpose in our failures. He may also be trying to build up our faith in Him and mold our character through our lack of visible results. However, we need to be very careful about “spiritualizing” everything because that mindset often hinders us from evaluating the things that we may be doing wrong. We need to take the time to acknowledge our responsibility in the matter.

What we forget is that the Bible teaches that God is Sovereign and in control but that we are responsible. Both of these doctrines are true at the same time. What we don’t see is that God has ordained the means through which we are to evangelize the world and it certainly isn’t by giving up or by “just being faithful.” We are to preach until we can’t preach anymore, evangelize until our feet are worn out and disciple and train believers until they are reproducing themselves in the lives of others. We should never settle down and say that God has given up on our particular part of the world.

I refuse to blame God for my lack of visible results. Instead I will ask myself the following questions. Have I been praying enough? Have I been learning enough? Have I been preaching enough? Have I done everything that I could do? If I ever begin to “spiritualize” everything I won’t heed any godly advice. I won’t change what I’m doing in any way. I won’t be sensitive to the Spirit’s conviction in my own life. I know that God is in control, that He wants me to be faithful and that only He can save but I refuse to blame God in any way when things don’t go the way I planned. I like what Spurgeon said about our responsibility as ministers of the gospel, “If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.” I won’t make any excuses. I will pray, evangelize and train until I can say with Paul, “I am pure from the blood of all men.” Next week I want to discuss the importance of evaluating our strategies.

Our Ministry Philosophy – P.6

Our desire is that the churches planted through our ministry in Spain would have the same impact as the church in Thessalonica did in the first century of Christianity. The Bible says in 1 Thess. 1:8, “For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not speak anything.” This church performed exactly what we desire to do for the honor and glory of God in Spain. Our vision is that every man, woman, boy and girl in the city of Parla and beyond would have the opportunity at least one time in their lifetime to hear the life-changing message of the gospel. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could write a letter to all of our friends and supporting churches sharing how we don’t need any more missionaries in Spain because it has been evangelized? Once again, you may be thinking, “these missionaries are going to be very disappointed when they realize that their dream is impossible.” Well, I’m glad that it’s not my vision or my plan; it’s God’s. We just have the awesome privilege to be involved with what He’s doing in this world. All we can do is offer Christ our lives and obey Him with every ounce of our being and trust that He “will build His church.” (Matthew 16:18) In the 15th chapter of Romans we find the apostle Paul giving a summary of his missionary endeavors. All he did was faithfully obey the Great Commission until he found that there were certain regions were the gospel no longer needed to be proclaimed. Paul writes, “Yea, so I have strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named…but now having no more place in these parts…(Romans 15:20, 23) Do we serve a different God in the 21st century? Scripture declares that Jesus Christ is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8) I believe that we need to get back to the Bible and we will witness the same works performed in our midst today.

The Lord used the second chapter of Ezekiel to reconfirm his calling in my life. Verses 3 and 4 declare, “And he said unto me (Ezekiel), Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day. For they are impudent children and stiff-hearted…” I see several similarities between Ezekiel’s ministry and ours. Spain is a country that has historically been resistant to the gospel. I remember studying Baptist history and when it came to the section describing the Baptist presence in Spain down through the years it occupied a small paragraph in one page. As a matter of fact Spain has been without a major Gospel preaching movement for at least 1600 years (that includes all evangelical and protestant denominations). Spain has been a Catholic stronghold for centuries. The Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), one of the most militant orders within the Catholic Church, originated in Spain. The few true Christians in Spain during the Reformation were persecuted and kicked out by the Spanish Inquisition. Even though Spain became a democracy and provided religious freedom to its citizens in 1978, the people still remained very faithful to their Catholic faith. In recent years, the country has gone from 98% Catholic to 73% and most of them never go to church. The latest wave of opposition to the gospel has come from a new generation, which has rejected Catholicism and embraced Atheism and Humanism. It is sad that many of these young people have turned away from God altogether because the true gospel of Jesus Christ has been unavailable to them.

I don’t write these things to discourage you or so that you may feel sorry for us, on the contrary. We have a great open door in front of us. We must evangelize Spain! I will be honest, the people in Spain are not lining up in front of our little church waiting for us to give them a Bible or share the gospel with them. They have become hardened as a result of neglect on our part (they have had almost no gospel witness) and persecution. Just like Ezekiel, God has called us to work with stiff-hearted people. The middle section of verse 4 (Ezekiel 2) says, “…I do send thee unto them…” This reminds me that He is “…not willing that any should perish…” (2 Peter 3:9) No matter how hardened and disobedient the nation, He is so merciful that He sends a prophet (in our dispensation he sends missionaries) unto them. A good example of that is when God sent Jonah to preach to Nineveh. God loves the people of Spain although they don’t seem to love Him too much. Let’s look at the last part of verse 4, “…and thou shalt say unto them, thus saith the Lord God.” Do you know what the people of Spain need? It’s the same thing the people in China need, the same thing that people in Africa and India need. They need faithful men and women to be God’s mouthpieces and unashamedly proclaim the good news of salvation.

Then verse 5 says, “And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there has been a prophet among them.” In other words, whether they accept the message or reject it is not up to us. We cannot save anyone. All we are called to do is make sure that in the Day of Judgment not a single unrepentant Spaniard has an excuse. This is something that we can do in our generation. We are certainly praying for a sweeping revival and that many, many souls will be saved, but whether or not these things come to pass will not determine our success. We will be successful when every individual has been completely evangelized. C.H. Spurgeon said, “If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms around their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.” You see, inevitably many people will reject the gospel. We cannot control other people’s choices. What we can do is make sure that we have done everything in our power to keep them from Hell. All we ask is that you would pray for us as well as the other missionaries in Spain (and those preparing to go). We have big task before us, but guess what? We serve a big God. Our philosophy is based on our theology. It is impossible to read God’s Word with an open and sincere heart and not realize that we have a purpose to be alive. And that purpose is not to warm a bench week after week, but to worship and glorify God with our lives and obey His commands until He comes. “…As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” (John 20:21)

Our Ministry Philosophy – P.5

We are church-planting missionaries. We understand the command in Matthew 28:18-20 to evangelize, baptize those that are saved, and teach them to be like Christ (discipleship), but these demands can only be fully obeyed within the context of the local church. The first century Christians comprehended that they would be unable to reach the world (“…Jerusalem…Judea…Samaria, and…the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8) without establishing churches in every corner of the earth. That is why they naturally were involved in church-planting. They understood it to be the obvious and practical conclusion of our Savior’s command. We have a mission and God has chosen the church to carry out that mission. If a “church” is not obeying the Great Commission then it cannot biblically be defined as such. We understand the church to be a group of baptized believers gathered together to carry out the Great Commission. We are pioneer missionaries (we are starting a new work from scratch) that have moved to Parla, Madrid and have begun to proclaim the gospel to every individual in that city for the purpose of establishing a church that will obey and fulfill its mission. We are not in the business of constructing church edifices, but of organizing (directly or indirectly) visible groups of believers (starting churches) in every city to shake up Spain for Christ. As we start more churches our reach will be greater and we will be able to effectively evangelize more places than just Parla. We will reach Madrid as well as the other provinces in Spain, Southwest Europe and the world. In other words, we must start churches in order to reproduce what we are already doing in Parla, Madrid in other places around the world. Our desire is to establish churches that will fulfill our three basic and essential ministry goals.

1. Evangelize the lost:

Every single individual within the reach of the church must have the opportunity at least one time in their lifetime to accept or reject Jesus Christ. The church must find every way possible to accomplish that task.

2. Enable others: This means that we are to follow our Master’s example in training faithful men who will reproduce themselves in other Christians. This is not an option, but our solemn duty.

3. Establish Churches: We must start churches that will perform the first two goals in other places. The ideal would be a church for at least every 50,000 people.

We could go to Spain for a short period of time and carry out massive evangelistic campaigns and distribute millions of bibles and gospel tracts. Although through these efforts many would hear the gospel and some would be saved the effects of this style of evangelization are short-lived. The only way to make a lasting impact for Christ in this world is by establishing churches. A bible-believing, gospel preaching church will faithfully and continually evangelize until everyone within the reach of the church has heard the gospel. But then the church will disciple and train the converts and involve them in the work of the ministry and the cycle will be never-ending.