Church Planting Takes Off in Guerrero
If you were asked where the mecca of church planting is today, what would be your answer?
If you answered Guerrero, Mexico, you would be right on target.
“This is the best movement in the world for planting churches,” said Daniel Caceres, church planting strategist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.
In the first 136 years of the Southern Baptist Convention of Guerrero, 43 churches were established. In the last two and a-half years, 17 new congregations have been planted.
In a vision meeting in 2006, convention leaders, led by Hilario Rojas, a professor at the Seminario Teologico Bautista Del Sur in Guerrero, issued a challenge to start 25 new churches by 2010.
“God has called more than 25 church planters in Guerrero,” said Rojas. “The seminary role is important in the church planting movement. Seven church planters are full-time students, 14 are former students and five laymen are helping.”
Rojas added that 75 percent of the new church planters are women.
The new churches have baptized more than 25 people already, with about 250 people attending the new churches.
“Every week, we have 400 contacts from the new churches,” Rojas said.
The new movement has a budget of 25,000 pesos, or about $2,000 a month, provided from the churches, the national convention of Mexico (CNBM) and partnership churches in Oklahoma. The challenge is to have 25,000 pesos per month for 2009 and 30,000 for 2010.
Four of the new congregations are meeting in rented houses, and the remaining meet, either under trees or in homes of members.
Rojas has taught at the seminary for five years, and is also pastor of a church in Petatlan, Guerrero. He and his wife, Rocio, have two chidren, Rebeca, 11, and Hilario Junior, 6.
Rojas, who was in Okahoma to speak to the annual meeting of the Hispanic Baptist Convention, said he is grateful to Oklahoma Baptist leaders, such as Anthony Jordan, Sam Porter, Randy Adams, Bo Holland, Jim Brunk, Antonio Conchos and Caceres, as well as Oklahoma churches who have partnered with the area, for their support
“I owe a gratitude to Oklahoma churches for their support and to the leaders investing their time to help us,” said Rojas. “Our challenge now is to reinforce and mature these new churches.”
Oklahoma churches interested in participating in the partnership with Guerrero should contact Porter, BGCO partnership and volunteer missions specialist, 3800 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City 73112; phone 405/942-3800, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.