One of CBM’s key causes is to Build the Church around the world. We believe that God brings healing to a broken world through local churches. That’s why we aim to equip and empower congregations to share the gospel and proclaim God’s love in their communities.

Church leaders are uniquely positioned to respond to the needs of their communities, but many don’t know how to reach out to people outside of their churches.

Byron Velasquez, National Field Staff in Guatemala, shared the following in a recent report. “José’s church used to be focused on their work within the four walls of their building. They never interacted with their community members or formed collaborative networks with local organizations and leaders.”

After enrolling in the Church Coaching and Leadership Development program, José was taught how to walk alongside his community members, acknowledge their needs and get involved in the solutions.

“Today, the changes are palpable,” noted Byron. “We see a church with open doors, a church that looks after its community, serves its community, and a pastor who is known by the community – a pastor with a different mentality. Community leaders have also changed. Now they sit with the church members, listen to one another, and work together on planning, organizing, and serving their community. It is great what God is doing right now. The pandemic has accelerated the relationship between church and community, which is a great blessing.”

Before, the community did not know about the church, even though the church had been there for years. Now the church is well known due to its involvement and commitment to the community. People are more receptive to experiencing the gospel through the services.

José shared the following testimony of what he has learned through the program: “My understanding of being a pastor has dramatically changed. Now my vision is to look after the integral needs of my community. This mindset allows me to be much more effective in how I serve. The church has to embody its community and should respond to the call to serve its neighbourhood. I want to see the people around me grow and develop while the gospel continues to transform and impact their lives in a holistic way.”

We have seen time and time again how the work of local church leaders can unite communities, promote discipleship and encourage congregations to show the love of God to their neighbours in times of need. Please read the enclosed letter from Adrian Gardner, Director of Canadian Partnerships. Will you stand with us? Support CBM as we respond to the call to strengthen and build up the body of Christ.

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