Since its formation a little over two years ago, Impact Latin America has seen a significant growth in new believers, leaders and Houses of Peace which alone have grown by 170%. This raises questions in many people’s mind: Can such rapid growth be healthy, and can it be sustained?Over the last year, the structural support needed to ensure that this movement is deep and sustainable has also been growing. Teams have been formed in areas such as curriculum, training, coaching, communications, and prayer. This is a movement of God sustained by the Spirit and prayer – and the Spirit has led this team to develop sound strategy and infrastructure.
Leadership Support Structure
One of the keys to the success of this movement is that no one does it alone. There is an organic, relational infrastructure to provide training, encouragement, accountability, and care. As Impact’s Executive Director, Dr. Ricardo Gómez, has said, “Unless we ourselves are healthy and transformed, we cannot expect to participate in God’s transformation of people and communities.”
We develop five types of leaders, investing in the formation of head (knowledge), heart (character) and hands (ministry skills). Multiplication is built into this support structure with each one seeking to raise up others, following the pattern of 2 Timothy 2:2.
It begins with a simple biblical model. Believers are trained to share the good news of Jesus through Disciples Making Disciples (DMD) and encouraged to pray for God to lead them to people whose hearts He has prepared. God is bringing great results as 4725 people have come to Christ in less than two years. Most are involved in ongoing relational and holistic discipleship through the Houses of Peace.
As sowers grow in faith and use their gifts, many feel called by God to intentionally start a House of Peace. At this stage they are invited to become planters and join a cohort. A network coordinator mentors and coaches them in holiness and healthy life balance in addition to training in how to begin, lead and sustain a House of Peace. Multiplication is in the DNA as each House of Peace is encouraged to start other Houses of Peace. Currently, there are 539 planters leading 775 Houses of Peace.
Planters who demonstrate fruitfulness in multiplying disciples, leaders, and Houses of Peace are invited to coach a cluster of planters. Where possible these cohorts are grouped by location and have an average of 10-15 participants. Network coordinators receive ongoing training to multiply leaders and churches. And they are mentored to establish healthy rhythms of life amid bi-occupational ministry. The coordinators are featured in a rotation in Impact Latin America’s monthly Prayer Calendar with prayer requests for their networks.
The 64 local networks like those described above are spread across 16 countries, spanning the length of the continent. Regional mentors and trainers support network coordinators in one or more countries. Usually former network coordinators, they receive training on growing leaders and movements and are placed within a relational pastoral care group of other leaders.
Finally, to provide overall guidance there are movement leaders. These are people who have internalized and implemented the biblical principles of multiplying disciples, leaders and churches. They have the gifts and abilities to keep the whole movement on track by reinforcing the mission, vision, and values. They also introduce the model of Community Church Planting to other associations and networks. Although they have a high level of perspective and knowledge, they are also supported with ongoing training and pastoral care. The movement leaders include Dr. Ricardo Gómez, John Jairo Leal, David López, Jenmira Sánchez; and Andrés Agudelo.
In this community of over three thousand men and women, 99% are bi-vocational. These Latin American leaders devote countless hours to implementing CCP’s revolutionary and biblical model, not for money, but because they believe that through it, God can transform families, neighborhoods, and countries. The less than 1% who receive funds from Impact Latin America, whether full or part time, are those whose leadership has been proven and whose responsibilities require that they be freed up to devote themselves to the movement.
These are the leaders that you support when you donate to Impact Latin America. Your prayers and financial support help ensure that this rapid multiplication is sustainable and will continue to multiply to the 3rd and 4th generation.
This leadership support structure is more than strategy and training materials; it is relational at every stage. According to Dr. Ricardo Gómez, “It’s about lasting relationships. Pastoral care is about traveling together toward holiness.” This is more than leadership development; it is community development. Thank you for being part of this community that is planting God’s peace in Latin America.