PD Global PEACE Church Gathering
After The PEACE Plan’s success in Rwanda gained international interest from other countries, the Purpose Driven (PD) and PEACE teams have been actively laying the groundwork to implement the same training and national strategy across the world. As we recently reported, other countries committed to launching the PEACE Plan include Brazil, Cambodia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, India, Mexico, The Philippines, and Russia.
Implementing the PEACE Plan not only builds and unites healthy Purpose Driven (PD) Churches, but it transforms lives across entire communities. Instrumental in sharing this global movement is Saddleback’s PEACE Plan Pastor, Mike Constantz, who recently traveled to Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Colombia. Over the course of three weeks, he trained church leaders in PEACE and the Purpose Driven movement, explaining how these strategies can impact an entire nation.
Pastor Mike’s journey began in Toronto where he met with Pastor Samuel Chan, recipient of the original Purpose Driven Church Health Award in 2003.
For over 30 years, Pastor Chan has served as Senior Pastor of Richmond Hill Christian Community Church (RHCCC), one of the largest churches in Toronto. Recognized for its flourishing multicultural, multigenerational diversity, RHCCC is committed to equipping the next generation of pastors and leaders. To help continue these ongoing efforts, Pastor Mike dedicated a week to training 50 leaders and 200 members at RHCCC’s PEACE Institute, launched in 2005.
The focus of the training was to teach members how to get further involved in The PEACE Plan. Dedicated both locally and globally to missions, the 4,000 member church is now seeking ways to connect to and serve the Roma people. In addition to preaching during weekend services, Pastor Mike covered five main subjects of training: Foundation of PEACE, church health, mobilization of members, transformation in the community, and expansion beyond community.
Traveling from Toronto to Puebla, Pastor Mike dedicated the next four days to meeting with pastors at Saddleback Puebla, our partnering church celebrating its one-year anniversary on December 18.
As we shared earlier this year, PD and PEACE have made their way into 1,800 churches in five southern states across Mexico. Over the course of three years, we’ve also provided PEACE Leader Training to 30 coaching churches, that will now pass on PD and PEACE in highly-concentrated areas of unengaged, unreached people groups (UUPGs). During the event, Saddleback Puebla Pastor, Hector Tamez, was able to train leaders on how to reach these UUPGs.
Pastor Mike’s recent visit also paved the way to connect with new pastors who are introducing PD and PEACE in their areas. As he explains, “We discussed how to implement a statewide initiative based on the Rwandan model. They are now gathering a leadership team to start launching PD and PEACE in their own states.”
With approximately four million people in each state, and an additional five states planning to launch in 2018, this is just the beginning for Mexico. The next phase involves skills PEACE Training, uniting of coaching churches to form leadership teams, and spreading the word of a statewide vision for The PEACE Plan. For now, each state plans to build momentum by hosting a conference.
Based on Paul’s mission model, the six phases of a movement are 1) PREPARATION (prayer, building relationships, forming leadership teams) 2) INTRODUCTION OF STRATEGY (enter the center of influence and begin PD and PEACE training 3) CONCENTRATION (master the understanding and skills of PD and PEACE; enter into other churches) 4) EXPANSION (go into other centers of influence with translation to cross through cultural barriers) 5) SATURATION (cover the area with strategy, church health, planting churches) 6) CONTINUATION (final phase, but you’re never done).
Once the churches are healthy,” says Mike, “that’s when we go after the whole state. I’m really excited about introducing this scalable model into Mexico.
SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR
From Mexico to El Salvador, Pastor Mike met with a group of 20 pastors who are completing training in PD Essentials. The gathering was organized by Pastor Juan Angel Castro of Centro Evangelístico de San Salvador, head of the largest Assemblies of God church in El Salvador.
Following a two-day PEACE training event led by Pastor Mike, the church hosted a special banquet at a nearby hotel for 25 leaders. The purpose was to discuss a nationwide PEACE Plan movement with national leaders. Of all the topics discussed—from education to corruption—the nation’s greatest global giant to overcome is poverty.
HEREDIA, COSTA RICA
Unlike El Salvador, Costa Rica is one of Central America’s more stabilized countries, yet aims to focus on the global giant of corruption. For three days, Pastor Mike met with 70 people finishing PD Essentials training at Vida Abundante (Abundant Life Church).
Under the direction of Senior Pastor, Rudy Corea, the team was trained on PEACE as part of their church’s missions week. Focusing on seven global and 10 local outreaches, their members are currently working to share the Good News in China, India, Venezuela, and Chile. In attendance was one pastor from Niger, which has since sparked discussions about Vida Abundante becoming an International Partnering Church (IPC) for the West African country of Niger.
Closing out the event was a banquet for 20 leaders meeting to consider a nationwide movement to implement The PEACE Plan.
“Costa Rica is ready to embrace the vision,” says Pastor Mike. “They are starting to talk about next steps with politicians and other leaders.”
Following the success in Costa Rica, Pastor Mike flew directly to Bogota where he met with 30 pastors who were finishing PD Essentials training. The gathering was a chance to connect with Family Christian Community Pastor, Nelson Contreras—a leader who has been wholeheartedly committed to PD since attending the 2016 conference in Rwanda.
The timing of his introduction to PEACE could not have been better. Shortly after that trip, the Colombian government and FARC rebels signed a peace agreement that passed on November 2016. Taking part in the treaty was Hector Pardo, a former rebel who later served on the president’s council to implement the Colombia peace agreement. Included in the deal were five initiatives, of which one was forgiveness and reconciliation. Currently leaders are in talks of integrating The PEACE Plan to fulfill this specific initiative of the nation’s treaty.
“Hector saw what happened in Rwanda and said ‘this is what we need’,” explains Pastor Mike. “Saddleback’s involvement would be through the local Colombian churches.”
These ongoing efforts to launch nationwide strategies are just the beginning for the Global Purpose Driven movement. It takes a great deal of energy to not only launch, but to scale and sustain, no matter how big or small the country.
“Scaling is critical when you deal with large countries, and even populated states like those in Mexico and India,” explains Pastor Mike. “It can’t come down to funding and how much money is available for a nation. It has to be about building a network of healthy, PD training churches that live out the model.”
To learn how you can be involved in the Purpose Driven movement, visit pdchurch.flywheelstaging.com/start.