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GCI Latin America Leadership Meetings

Healthy Pastors = Healthy Churches

From November 12 to 14, a meeting of Latin American and Spanish speaking USA churches’ pastors was held in Mexico City.

The meeting was led by Heber Ticas, Superintendent for Latin America and the Spanish-speaking churches in USA.

Pastors appreciated the fact that the focus of the meeting was on the healthy pastor. Hawthorne, CA, Pastor Manuel Ochoa did an excellent job setting the scene for the weekend. He shared some aspects of his 45-year experience as a pastor: from going through theological changes, broken relationships, discouragement and fear, and durability in ministry. This exposed the need for pastoral care and at the same time gave a sense of unity and empathy and marked the common denominator of what pastoral ministry is. We need to pay more attention to the individual needs of pastors! The union that we achieved will help us make the journey and not feel isolated.

Heber Ticas provided training on some of the GCI Tool Kit and together with his wife, Xochilt, shared some talks about pastoral and family health.

One of the highlights of the meeting was that we were able to advance the vision of Healthy Churches. Hector and Paulina Barrero showed visuals of what the structure of the three avenues looks like in the church of Bogotá, Colombia, which helped us to see how to move the structure from theory to practice.

We also had a sample of how this Team-based-Pastor-Led model is working in the Mexico City congregation. The champions of the Avenue of Hope, Yessi and Gustavo, showed us photographs of what the services and the loving atmosphere look like. These counts were very motivating for the pastors of the rest of the focus churches.

Heber and the regional directors, Héctor Barrero (Central and South America) and Luis Soto (Mexico) spoke about the fact that we share the same history, we have theological and ecclesiastical unity.

We also managed to advance our vision forward. This has to be our main focus for a better future. In Heber Ticas´words, “The Lord has given us vision and we in the power of the Spirit need to develop strategies, and the Lord will give us growth. If we walk together, the rest of the church will walk together.”

It was a great blessing to have this time to get to know each other, have some social activities, learn and pray together. At the end, we shared Communion.

In Christ,
Selena Venegas, Elder, Guadalajara, Mexico


Who Attended the Event?

  1. Heber and Xóchilt Ticas, Los Ángeles, California
  2. José Luis and Esperanza Escalante, and Manuel Ochoa, Hawthorne, California
  3. Enoc and Lourdes Palacios, Los Ángeles, California
  4. Carlos and Margarita Duarte, California
  5. Gildardo and Karina de la Rosa, California
  6. Mario y Marina Saenz, Monterrey, México
  7. Rigoberto and Esthela Pantoja,Tamaulipas, México
  8. Silvano and Martha Rojas, Tlaxcala, México
  9. José Luis and Reginalda Seba, Tlaxcala, México
  10. Natanael and Valery Cruz, and Rosario Cervantes, México City
  11. Héctor and Paulina Barrero, Bogotá Colombia
  12. Ruth Nieves, Piura, Perú
  13. Joel and Dania Alemán, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
  14. Sonia and Luis Vengoechea, Barranquilla, Colombia

What does healthy church and leadership look like in their specific congregations?

“A healthy church is one that sets its eyes on Jesus as its Lord and joins the work that he is already doing on earth and shares the good news of him by embracing others and leading them to him through service so that we can walk together with faith, hope and love. -Ruth Nieves, Piura, Perú

“A healthy church is one that is growing in knowledge, in numbers, but above all in grace and love internally and externally. It is being equipped and prepared for the future, as we await an eternal inheritance. He who began the work in us will continue to perfect it every day until the end of the world.”–Silvano and Martha Rojas, Tlaxcala, México

“The healthy church celebrates its salvation, grows in the knowledge of Christ and shares its faith guided by the Holy Spirit.”-Héctor and Paulina Barrero, Bogotá, Colombia

“The healthy church is fearless, it is focused on Jesus Christ, and loves its neighbor.”-Rigoberto and Esthela Pantoja, Tamaulipas, México

“The healthy church is organized and has a sound doctrine. In addition, it is focused on Jesus Christ and worship. Its members are loving and make the visitor feel at home. The church spreads the gospel.”-Xóchilt Ticas, Los Ángeles, California

“The healthy church is one in Christ and embraces the structure of the avenues of love, faith, and hope led by people who in turn lead others in various ministries for building the body of Christ and sharing the gospel with others.” -Mario Saenz, Monterrey, México

“The healthy church is having a vision. It is to live the avenues with commitment and satisfaction for the improvement of the work.”-José Luis and Regina Seba, Tlaxcala, México