In a little over two years time the Amato Church Plant Team has seen something very special. It wouldn’t be an over exaggeration to say they’ve experienced the blessing of seeing God’s Kingdom come to earth. Only two years ago, they started their church planting work with their team representing the Body of Christ, and now they are passing that work on to the community, the fruit, that the team has worked to cultivate. This is what we get excited about in Extreme. To see the leadership rise from within the culture and take the Great Commission as their own. We believe the world doesn’t solely need more foreign-sent missionaries, they need more people empowered to make a difference in their own communities. We just happen to be doing that using foreign-sent and national missionaries. As we look at the past two years the 40/40 Church Planters have worked in Ambato, we praise God to see the leaders assuming the positions the missionaries are passing on.
With the 40/40 Church Planters passing on their roles the leadership is taking on the challenge and is very excited about it. “I heard our new worship leader and our youth leader, you know, sharing ideas that they have after we leave in how to reach more teens and how to pack out the church for youth service,” shares David. Now that the leadership is taking charge of the work in the church, they are owning the vision. They are internalizing their roles and owning them. Can you just take a moment to praise God for this?!
It’s been encouraging to the team to see their “children” move into this transition with the passion they are showing. Brandon says that “it’s not like we’re leaving the church just in the pastor’s hands, but we’re leaving it with bunch of people that are passionate about Christ and ready to take this thing on for themselves. That’s been a huge encouragement and just amazing to see how they’re doing and that they are ready and that they are excited about it.” One of the main values Extreme emphasises in it’s church plants is duplicating the missionary. We call them the “Timoteo” (Timothy). The goal of each missionary is to practically work themselves out of a job. That’s how this team isn’t leaving the work of 10 people to rest on the pastor and his wife. There is a living community of Timoteos coming out of incubation to partner with the pastoral family.
Why are we so excited about this, to know that the work will continue in the hands of local leadership? Just have a look at our tagline, “change hearts, change the world.” We’re excited because we’ve seen people like Yessenia in one year come out of drug addiction, homosexuality and Satanism. We’ve seen people like Marcos who struggled for years with depression encounter God’s healing. We’ve seen people’s lives change, no, their hearts change. If people have a true encounter with God, and experience the change He imparts in their hearts, the obvious response is to share it. If we can plant churches where the community experiences God’s change in their hearts, they will be a people who go into the community to change more hearts. Eventually, it can change the world.
As of Thursday, February 12th 2015, the Ambato Church Plant Team has reached the end of the Ambato Church Plant Project. All glory goes to God as we celebrate with them the success of the project. Will you join your voice of praise with ours? On the count of three… 1, 2, 3, PRAISE!
We are excited also that several of the team members will continue working with Extreme in different areas of the ministry. David Morrison and Brandon Doerksen will continue on to work in Mobilization in Boise, Idaho. Ariel Perez, Nancy Ojeda, and Nikol Calderon will continue on to work in Mobilization in Ecuador. Chelsea Weber will continue on to work in Messaging and Communications in Boise, Idaho. And the Stringers will continue on to work in the logistics of Short Term Missions.
Thank you for supporting this church plant project, and we ask that you would continue to pray for the community there as they continue the ministry.
We understand ministry is not a thing driven by numbers. That’s why we publish these stats with the voice of praise and adoration that God is the conductor behind them:
- 155 – Highest attendance record
- 110 – Average Sunday attendance
- 16 – Graduated Leaders
- 13 – In leadership classes now
- 4 – Disciples in Pastor’s Group
- 7 – Disciples in Pastora’s Group
- 12 – Houses of Prayer (cell groups)
- 8 – Spiritual Retreats
- 9-55 – Attendence in those Spiritual Retreats
- 5 – Baptism Events