Be The Church.
*We wrote this blog for Nuevo Creación (New Creation) church in Guadalajara, Mexico as a chance to summarize our partnership and ministry work with them and High School Ministry at Brave Church in Englewood, CO.
HUGE thank you to Both Josh Mackey & Brave for inviting us, and to Jeremiah Frey & Nuevo Creación church for setting up all the ministry activity that we did while there!
Check out the links below to learn more about bother their ministries!*
In June of 2021 Brave Church had the amazing and unique opportunity to partner with Nuevo Creación church in Guadalajara for a week in a short-term mission trip. A couple dozen students and a handful of leaders booked flights on the tail end of the Covid19 pandemic to serve and show God’s love in mission.
What defines a successful mission? Accomplishing the task before you? Raising enough money? Impacting a community? Seeing growth? Staying safe? When we decided to travel to Guadalajara Mexico with twenty high school students right on the fringe of the Covid 19 Pandemic, we didn’t know what to expect. In fact, less than three months before we found our passports stamped, we didn’t even know that we would be going. But from the moment that our plane touched down, there was something special…something divine about the trip that God called us to.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
So what did we accomplish?
How many lives did we impact?
How do we know if it was a “success”?
Before I get into that, can I just show you something really quick?
These photos are only a taste of the moments captured in Guadalajara, Mexico.
When I think about all that was accomplished, it would be really easy to simply say…
We helped create a space to worship and do ministry.
We mixed and poured concrete.
We invited people to church.
We shared our testimonies.
We hosted a soccer tournament.
We painted a beautiful mural.
We made new friends.
We prayed over one another.
We praised God.
We did those things. We did them and much more. But just doing those things doesn’t mean that we accomplished the “mission” that we set out to do. The beauty of what we accomplished is that we didn’t set out to do much…we simply set out to be who God has called us to be. You see, what was evident, every day of this trip, was that this Brave Church Group was determined to BE THE CHURCH.
We created a space for worship, by pouring concrete, painting over graffiti, creating a mural, and putting on a roof. We did that, but more importantly, we were the church. We bonded with fellow workers, we prayed over the space, we invited Holy Spirit to be present in that place and we listened to and shared testimonies. We were the church.
Later, we had the chance to hold a soccer tournament and invite every household in the neighborhood to come to church. We did that, yes, but more importantly, we were the church. We showed love, patience, and kindness to complete strangers. We were bold in faith and invited people to church in a language that we didn’t speak. We showed God’s love language of fun to kids who will hopefully know him someday soon, and we served a community by giving them joy and hope in a time where many were desperate for it.
These students then had the chance to again be the church when they poured their love out on one another.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
By spending hours in affirmation of one another, our students were able to both express and experience the Love that is God to and from their fellow classmates. Hours spent washing one another’s feet was a chance to truly humble themselves and then be lifted high by their brothers and sisters in Christ (Matthew 23:12).
The worship. This team worshipped God! Through the partnership with Nuevo Creación, we were able to host two church services at their different locations. Bi-lingual students led worship in English and Spanish and brought the love of Christ pouring over two separate communities. Seeds were sown of what it looks like to praise God despite your circumstances and through every worship song we sang we were able to watch Holy Spirit touch the lives and hearts of his people in Guadalajara. We explored the city. We saw new faces, tried new food, danced in new streets, and sang songs with new friends. What a way to serve a community, by simply engaging with it.
So what did we accomplish? Seven days of ministry. Two hosted services with pastors lifting one another up in prayer and over one hundred kids engaged through devotionals at the soccer tournament or a kid’s program at church. Daily prayer and devotionals were led and participated in by students, which led to more seeking of the holy spirit, more prayer, and more worship. At least two worship sets every day praising God for who he is and what he is yet to do. A new space was created for a church to gather and worship together. The bonding of two church communities that are closer to looking like the global church than there was a few short weeks ago.
So, was our mission experience a success? Yes. It was. Through the love, planning, open arms, and organization of Nuevo Creación, Brave Church was able to truly be the church. We were able to serve one another and be the church together. How beautiful it is to see students and adults using their different skills, talents, abilities, resources, languages, and love to further the name of Christ together.
HUGE thank you to New Creation for their love and willingness to host us and to continue to give us opportunities to serve and live out the gospel!
John & Viv
See the students of Brave Church take over the vlog to tell you what God is doing in Guadalajara, Mexico below!
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT OUR MINISTRY PARTNERS?
(Click Their Links Below)