Sneak Peek 2016

Sneak Peek 2016

It’s 2016 goal making time and if you read my last blog post “Ready to Fail in 2016?” then you know exactly how I feel about it!

But here’s a quick summary:

Many are the plans in a man’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

Setting goals as Christians means maintaining the wonderful balance of putting your trust in the Lord but also planning to be active children of God, living life in service to Him.

As I mentioned in my last post, making plans has been on my mind a lot lately since my Kingdom Workers team has been working on a strategic plan for 2016. We have now been in Chile for 6 months (time flies!). Most of that time has been dedicated to building relationships, settling into new homes and teaching jobs, church participation and observation, learning Spanish, and applying for our Chilean temporary visas (a process that actually did take the entire 6 months).

 As we move into the new year, our team is excited to jump in a little deeper into the mission here in Linares. We are also excited to share our 2016 plans with you knowing with full certainty that God’s plan will prevail whether ours  are successful or not. What a relief!

The first thing to remember is that our purpose here is to support the Linares mission… not to run it! In 2017, Pastor Erickson will step down from his position leaving several churches to be pastored by men who are now training as vicors, our church being one of them. As our congregation transitions to full independence, our role is to support and encourage that transition.

With this in mind, our team sat down with Pastor Erickson and developed 5 areas of focus for 2016. Please take a look at them, PRAY about them, and ask God to bless them!

AWARENESS: Linares has an active Lutheran church, but many people don’t know what Lutheranism is or that a Lutheran church even exists close to their home! The goals are:
  • to work with a Chilean member(s) in sharing ownership of updating and maintaining the church website and an active church Facebook account.
  • to create information cards complete with the church address, social media accounts, and Ephesians 2:8 so that we can easily share church information with people we meet.
  • to collaborate with members on ways to advertise for church events like VBS, Youth Christmas Service, etc.
We have a beautiful sign, but there is a reason why the bottom of it is cut off in this photo! Our church event information is ready to be updated!
MEMBER MINISTRY: A church family is just like any family: the members need and value love, support, and encouragement! We hope to:
  • encourage consistency and membership growth in the women’s and men’s bible classes.
  • Guide and help church members in organizing a youth group.
  • Work with members to coordinate social events to strengthen member relationships and friendships.
  • Make home visits with members of the congregation.
  • Meet monthly with pastor to receive feedback and plan further opportunities to support the church.
Here’s a photo from one of our youth get-togethers. The woman in the white vest is Ericka, a wonderful loving leader in the church who is excited and passionate to learn more about teaching youth.
EVANGELISM: The Holy Spirit is at work at all times! We pray that more people can be reached with the good news of the gospel by:
  • growing awareness of the church through personal conversations and social media.
  • encouraging consistent church activities like bible studies and youth group so that visitors can easily be invited to participate.
  • supporting the evangelism team at the church.
  • starting social events or get-togethers as opportunities for visitors to build relationships with church members and to then hopefully feel less nervous about coming to a bible class or Sunday church.
Who wouldn’t want to come to our church after meeting these amazing men and eating their delicious food? A blessing from this social event was that two visitors showed up. One is now a regular in women’s bible class and the other has been in church multiple times!
PERSONAL/TEAM GROWTH: You can’t fill up the cups of others if yours is empty! Our team will continue to meet weekly for bible study and monthly with Pastor and Laura from Kingdom Workers. When you spend time with the one relationship that matters, the rest are blessed!
Team devo time.
ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE: We work as assistants in English classrooms four days a week in order to assist with our living costs and to become more established members of the community here. We hope to:
  • make positive impressions on our students, coworkers, and parents, and the Education heads in Chile so that our work for the church can continue
  • witness to the community about something much more important than learning English!
Jon with co-workers and a student at Los Cristales

So there you have it. We all feel so blessed to be here and filled with energy for 2016! The church here is truly something special and we are beyond thankful to be a part of it.

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