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Mexico conference

Greg Williams, Dan Rogers and Lorenzo Arroyo

This update is from Lorenzo Arroyo, who works in U.S. Church Administration and Development and assists with mission development in GCI Mexico.

On April 6-8, 73 of our Mexican pastors, leaders and youth attended the National Pastors and Leaders Equipping Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico. Instructors were Dan Rogers, Greg Williams and Lorenzo Arroyo of GCI U.S. Church Administration and Development.

Conference topics for pastoral leaders included missional church, discipleship pathway and leadership development. The teens and young adults took part in Journey with the Master – a Generations Ministries leadership training program conducted by Greg Williams and Samuel Mercado (see picture below). The youth devoured this material, with many writing out their responses during discussion periods (something Greg had never seen before!). The youth also made plans for a New Year’s weekend camp by the beach.

On Domingo de Pascua (Easter Sunday), 108 attended worship services. Dan Rogers preached on the Resurrection of Christ, covering 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. The conference then concluded with communion and a parting meal.

The conference was clearly a turning point for GCI’s Mexican pastors, leaders and youth. It helped them understand and embrace the concept of being missionaries in their own backyard, that is, engaging others by cultivating intentional relationships, sharing the gospel, and discipling new believers to maturity and reproduction. Most came to a clearer understanding of what it means to be a missional church, and are determined to take on a new paradigm in participating on mission with Jesus.

During the conference, three Mexican leaders were commissioned as senior pastors, two as associate pastors, and one as a commissioned pastor, respectively as follows: Ruben Ramirez, Arnold Trigg, Rigoberto Pantoja, Luis Soto, Humberto Perez and Mario Saenz. Most of these leaders had been serving in these roles for years.

Also, new Articles of Religious Association were ratified by the assembly of pastors, per the requirement of the Mexican government. Newly elected Association officers are as follows: Alfredo Mercado, main pastor; Ruben Ramirez, secretary; and Luis Soto, treasurer. We are grateful to Alfredo Mercado and the Guadalajara congregation for their generosity in hosting this event, offering us genuine hospitality (and lots of traditional Mexican food!). Also, we are grateful to the Seattle-Bellevue, WA and San Fernando, CA, churches for giving generous donations to make conferences like this possible.