. . . They urgently pleaded with us for the privilege ofsharing in this service to the saints. ~ II Corinthians 8:4
READING: Acts 15:36
In my years living in Peru as a son of missionary linguists, Wes and Eva Thiesen, and the years of experience as a church planter along the rivers, I have noticed one very important principle. A church must be connected in a living, real way to an organization of churches that will commit to visiting and encouraging each church and leader on a regular basis. I don’t believe there is a single church that can last if it is isolated from fellowship with others.
In our travels we have often found villages and towns that once had a church, but, because they lacked a committed network, they got discouraged and eventually disbanded.
It is one of my highest priorities to establish a network of sister churches that functions well with a vision for the long term. We teach our leaders the value of visiting and encouraging sister churches close by, and even encourage them to visit the ones that are harder to reach.
In our network, the key for me is to invest my life in the individuals that God has sent to work with us. Jorge has a strong calling and love for the people out there on the rivers. He in turn is training, discipling and mentoring a dozen men that each represent a smaller geographical area. In these men and their wives we hope to cultivate that internal, God-given motivation to plant and build in the lives of the church leadership in each of the villages around them.
How related are you to other sister churches? How willing are you to be an encourager to the leadership of other churches?
Father, Please help me to remember that I am part of a larger body of believers who need encouragement and a friendly visit. Amen.
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