One of our goals this year is to strengthen the Luna congregation in João Pessoa. After the Luna birthed the Mangabeira congregation, things haven’t been the same. The potential is great, the obstacles are big also.
While Mangabeira is a neighborhood church with its members living close to one another, having more opportunity to be in contact several times a week, having a smaller area focus for evangelism, Luna is the opposite. I took a map of the whole city and put a pin where each family lives, so everyone could visualize where the church is: we are spread out all over the place. That is wonderful, because we have a Christian or family in most neighborhoods and even in neighboring cities, but it is difficult to connect more than once a week because of the distance.
By building up Luna, the church will be ready to spread to another neighborhood, and we already have access to any spot in the city. We are doing this through events to involve and mature Christians. We had a Ministry Fair, every area reporting on their service and needs. We have stepped up visitation. The youth are getting involved, planning several activities, some including the whole church, like the Purim celebration, in which the story of Esther was enacted.
We are also having intensive courses for the church, the latest, an introduction to the Field of Christian Growth. This course was developed from several sources by the church in Curitiba, Brazil, over 20 years ago, and it has helped several churches get back on track in the mission work. Quite appropriate for soccer-loving people of Brazil, it compares spiritual growth to a soccer player heading for the goal, each person being prepared to grow, mature, becoming God’s representative along with the church in this fallen world.
The whole process lasts twenty hours, divided into five sessions, the plan being for each member to go through them all. So when someone is converted, the new member starts at the beginning and discovers the gifts, given by God, and puts them into practice in Christ’s body. The sessions are continually repeated so no member is left behind. In this way, every single Christian is challenged to grow and keep growing into a mature man or woman of God.
I taught the introduction to the Growth Field two weeks ago to twenty people, each eager to open their Bibles and discover God’s purposes for the church. It was an eye-opener for some, like Clodoaldo, who saw for the first time how the Great Commission applies to him and the church.
The month of May, the Introduction and First Module will be taught simultaneously to further the twenty and start more people on the process. Please pray that the Luna church of Christ will become strong, each member reaching the goal through God’s wisdom and strength to further the Kingdom in this city of a million people.