God is Growing His Church in Southern Florida
This last weekend Dawn and I were involved in evaluating church planters in Davie, Florida just outside of Miami. All the church planters that we evaluated were Cubans. Usually, when we do our Spanish-speaking church planting assessments they are done either in Mexico or on the Big Island.
The first time I was involved in assessing church planters was in Mexico City 24 or 25 years ago. Dawn and I had never done a Spanish-speaking assessment in the US. It’s always a rush for us to minister to our wonderful Latino familia.
Most of the assessors that Dawn and I worked with were from Tijuana, Mexico although there were a few from the Miami area.
Amazing Commitment and Sacrifice
What struck me as we got to know these couples is their willingness to sacrifice in order to see the Lord’s kingdom grow. All of the church planters that we worked with are somewhat recent immigrants from Cuba, the Big Island. They struggled to live in Cuba, but they were able to serve full-time in the church.
Now that they are in Florida they have had to become tent-making bi-vocational church planters. While this has its advantages, there are also some challenges. One of the big struggles that they face is being extremely busy, and having very little time to rest.
Most of them commented that it’s harder to plant a church here in the US. When the Cubans come to the US, it seems like the American dream consumes them, so their commitment to the church and to Christ is minimized.
Despite these obstacles, the couples that we evaluated are willing to make the sacrifice and share the love of Jesus in their community. When I meet people like this it forces me to consider my own commitment to love and serve the Lord. What are my priorities? What could I do differently to serve more effectively? How can I better minister and encourage these church planters?
I find that whenever I’m involved in a church planters evaluation process that I not only am scrutinizing the candidates, but I’m also reflecting on my own life and habits. Dawn and I are very pastoral so we love to connect and care for the people we meet. We do have to be careful to maintain some distance so that we can evaluate them objectively, which helps them. Even though we do ultimately decide whether we believe they can be successful in planting a church or not, we do much more than that. We help them to learn more about their strengths and weaknesses and how they can be more effective in their ministry.
Then when our evaluation is made they are able to go out stronger with more tools. We also connect them to a church planting network so that they are not alone and isolated. It’s always surprising to me how many church planters do feel like no one cares. They don’t have anyone to talk to about their cares and concerns. For them to be connected to a network that will support them is huge.
Join Us in Prayer!
Thanks for praying for us and encouraging us along the way, so that we can work with these church planters and help them to be more successful in their kingdom work. Join us in continuing to pray for strength and endurance for the church planters as well as for Dawn and me as we minister.
Extend Your Hands to Help!
Also, extend your hands to help our familia on the Big Island. The economy is not stable, and there are food shortages. Our familia tell us it’s not only that the food is expensive for them, but that there is also a lack of food. The lines are long, and sometimes even though they wait in long lines, by the time to get to the front of the line that there is no longer any food for them to buy. Make a donation today! Extend your hands to help and show the love of Christ. You can donate by clicking on the button below.
In His Grip, Dave