Effective Mentoring: From a Wish to a Reality
The growth of Hispanic populations throughout North America provides the church with opportunities to proclaim the gospel and plant new churches. The task, then, is to identify people with an authentic calling who can be trained and equipped to be effective mentors to the leaders of new church plants and can walk alongside them as they become established beacons of spiritual light among Spanish-speaking neighborhoods.
That was the purpose behind a collaborative mentoring workshop held Aug. 25-26 in Houston, Tex. The event was organized by the CRCNA’s Consejo Latino, Resonate Global Mission’s church planting core initiative team, and the Multiplication Network.
“The Multiplication Network is a partner with Resonate in many countries, supporting our church planting work with their training resources,” said Tim Sheridan, Resonate’s church planting leader. “This was the first event where we collaborated in North America, and it is worth celebrating.”
“I deeply appreciate the opportunity to participate in this event. . . . it has been a personal refreshment and great encouragement to me, and has inspired me to continue serving God. This workshop enhanced my call to witness and mentor others and continue with the Great Commission. It provided a clear and dynamic conceptualization for mentoring and opened the space needed to continue in that mission,” said Gabriela Deguer, a workshop participant and the ministry coordinator of the Covenant CRC Hispanic Ministry in Woodstock, Ont.
Twenty CRC leaders from different regions of the United States and Canada gathered in Houston for this workshop. They were welcomed by both the warm weather of the region and the warm Latino hugs and hospitality of the pastor and leaders of Carismah CRC in Katy, Tex., a Houston suburb.
On the first day of the event, participants learned about the relational aspects of mentoring and how best to walk alongside new leaders during church multiplication processes.
Joan Sebastía, leader of Carismah CRC, said, “By focusing on the perspective of mentors and the responsibility we have to guide and walk alongside someone, we can examine ourselves and see the possible mistakes we can make, whether due to inexperience or bad habits.”
Participants learned that training and preparing new mentors is essential to the church planting process, and that new church plants can only be possible through permanent and healthy mentoring programs.
The instructors of the Multiplication Network agreed, adding, “healthy mentoring ensures that the investments we make in personnel, resources, and time will be successful in the birth of a new ministry that brings glory to God.”
At the close of the workshop, participants acknowledged they were encouraged and inspired by the event.
“I feel more motivated in my work of mentoring others. Do not lose heart, continue helping the leaders, and be firm and constant because the work we are doing in the Lord is not in vain, ” said Obelto Cherubin, a pastor and church planter in Orlando, Fla.
He added that training people and equipping them to become effective mentors can be a great challenge, but the joy we receive when these men and women return to their communities and strengthen the capacities of others in the process of multiplying churches is even greater.
“Thanks for the invitation. And thank God for giving [leaders] the discernment for these times when training in the area of mentoring for future leaders is so necessary,” added John Granada, a pastor and church planter in Miami, Fla.
He also thanked the organizations that planned the event and made it possible for participants to attend for free, and the community of Carismah CRC for providing tasty, Venezuelan breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
With God’s guidance and the will, talents, and resources of people like those who attended this event, the growth of the kingdom in Latin communities can turn from a wish to an undeniable reality.