After successfully planting a church in Guadalajara, the second largest city in Mexico, last summer, Ben and Amy Meyer got an inspiration.
“[We realized] we could support many more than two church planters if we started a church planters’ network,” said Ben Meyer, who works with his wife on behalf of Christian Reformed World Missions. “I shared the concept with three other pastors/church planters in Guadalajara, and all of them agreed to help me lead and organize it.”
The concept took form this summer as a group of 20 men and women from Guadalajara and surrounding municipalities began meeting on Friday nights to talk and learn about church planting.
“The idea is to create a long-term community that will walk alongside church planters through the ups and downs of church planting,” said Meyer.
Part of a renewed effort by World Missions to strengthen the work of local church planters, the newly formed network is a mixture of pastors, elders, deacons, and lay people who share a vision for spreading God’s Word throughout the city.
Church planters face a unique challenge in the region of Guadalajara. A 2000 census found that just 2 percent of the population is evangelical or Protestant. Roman Catholics, who consider other churches sects, make up the majority of the religious community.
Through the new network, church planters are learning how to minister effectively in their local communities, Meyer said. “They have learned not to antagonize Roman Catholics, but to let the gospel speak for itself.”