The most important human element in the success of a new church plant or new RUF chapter is the organizing pastor or the RUF leader. The Network is implementing a program to have trained men available when they are needed for field assignments. The program will take advantage of all existing resources now available from Mission to North America (MNA), Mission to the World (MTW), and Reformed University Ministries (RUM).
Nurturing New Church Plants
Once a new plant is underway, the Network support continues in a number of ways. One important way we help existing church planters is to provide regular meetings with colleagues who are going through the same experience and those that have been through it successfully. These meetings provide opportunities for sharing, prayer and encouragement for those under the pressure of church planting.
In addition, the Network will provide assistance and guidance in facility and site selection, as well as in financing of new land and church building locations. While the churches are under the governance and oversight of Presbytery, the Network serves the purpose of providing a climate for sharing and support.
Hispanic Leaders Initiative
“Go, make disciples of all nations (“θνη, or “people”)….” With these words our Lord Jesus Christ called His church in every age and every place to put forth its prayers, its people and its resources to meet the challenges of reaching the lost in its generation. The Hispanic Leadership Initiative is responding to that call, in an attempt to meet this particular challenge facing the church today: the challenge of reaching the Hispanic people of the world.
Today, 48.5 million people or 15.8% of the total US population identify themselves as Hispanic, making Hispanics the second largest people group in the US and making the United States the second-largest Hispanic nation in the world. By 2050 this rapidly growing population is expected to reach 132.8 million. At that time, almost 1 in 3 Americans (30%) will be Hispanic! Mexico, the largest Hispanic nation in the world, has a population of over 110 million people and is expected to reach 153 million by 2050. North America is in many ways becoming the center of the Hispanic world.
But the church today is not prepared to meet this challenge. There are currently less than five Hispanic majority, self-sustaining churches in the Presbyterian Church in America. Each year, the number of Hispanic men graduating from reformed theological seminaries who want to enter pastoral ministry to Hispanics can be counted on one hand (with several fingers to spare!) Together, these two facts create a cycle of failure: we do not have Hispanic men preparing for ministry because we do not have churches in the Hispanic community, and we do not have churches in the Hispanic community because we do not have trained Hispanic men to plant and pastor these churches. HLI is breaking this cycle of failure.
HLI will be a network of PCA churches, institutions, and individuals who are committed to raising up Hispanic leadership for Christ’s church. In order to accomplish this goal, the partners in the HLI network will work together to:
- Identify Hispanic men and women who show potential as ministry leaders among Hispanics
- Encourage those individuals to consider a call to ministry and to begin actively preparing for ministry
- Support those individuals with the training, encouragement, and financial resources necessary to develop their gifts for service in Christ’s church
- Launch those trained and qualified individuals into Hispanic ministry using the connections and resources within the presbyteries and church planting networks of the PCA
As part of our efforts to increase the number of Hispanic candidates preparing for ministry, HLI will also work to cast a vision and equip existing non-Hispanic PCA churches to reach out to Hispanic men and women in their communities.
For more information please visit their website: http://www.hlipca.com