This past Sunday the Path of Life Bible Church–Palmas celebrated the recognition of its first two Mexican leaders. As we’ve been mentioning repeatedly in our leadership studies, there are really several terms in the Bible for the principal leaders in a local church: elders, supervisors, bishops, pastors, overseers. The purpose of a church planting missionary is not to establish one church and stay there forever…that sounds like the role of a pastor. Our function is to help with the initial formation of a church, then to pass on the responsibility of local church leadership to Mexican men and women who will do a much better job at leading a local flock than we ever could!
So it’s always a great day when we are able to begin that transition, convinced that God has called men and women to serve His church. We had around 100 people in attendance, including pastors and elders from four other churches. Ezequiel and his wife Esther, and Oscar with his wife Viriana, were named the Palmas’s church’s first elders/pastors. In the ceremony we also included several symbols representing pastoral ministry, including a shepherd’s staff (pastoral care), a towel and basic (servanthood), a sign saying “Mi casa es tu casa” (hospitality) and a framed Bible verse, to remind us of the priority of the Word of God in ministry.
After the service we had an awesome meal of roast pork, pasta and vegetables, followed by several cakes, one of which had the entire text of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 on it. Games and fun followed. Finally, at around 6 p.m., we finally wrapped up our time. It was quite a day! Here are some pictures. Thanks, David Gómez, for some of these images.