Listen to our 2023Q1 Ministry Update: Gaining momentum
(Author: Kyu & Anna Kim) (Read by: Anna Kim)
A growing church family
“Kyu, I feel uneasy about the number of people coming to church on Sundays.”
Pastor Jonathan sat across from me with an anxious smile while we debriefed about Sunday services in February. That same comment 3 years ago would have been a source of great discouragement, but now, it is a good problem.
We are starting to run out of available seating with our current layout in the church. Since the start of 2023, we’ve seen an increase in attendance. Some new congregants just moved to the city and were looking for a home church, while others are first-time visitors to any church.
Lately we’ve been asking people before starting the Sunday service to relocate toward the inner part of the church so that visitors or late comers can easily find seating closer to the entrance. Even our girls and Pastor Jonathan’s daughters have been proactive in giving up their seats when they see there isn’t enough seating for people coming in.
We praise God for His goodness in calling people to the good news of the gospel! Pray that many will hear and truly understand the gospel through our local church ministries.
I asked Aaron* as I greeted him on Sunday morning, “How are you guys doing as a community discipleship group (Camindando con Cristo = Community Walking with Christ)?”
He suddenly got serious. Clasping my shoulder, he responded, “It’s refreshing to be in a group where we can be vulnerable and challenge each other as couples to be more like Christ.”
Aaron* is part of a pilot small group that started in late 2021 with long-time members from our church. Due to historical and cultural context, many people in Medellín are extremely friendly but have few meaningful, close relationships. This profile had been true within our church as well. The couples in this group had known each other for years, but were still in the “friendly” relational stage. As we have modeled and invited them to participate in intentional Christ-centered community, the group has now established deeper friendship, and we have seen clearly how their love and care for one another has grown. It is bittersweet to launch this group as independent, since Anna and I have also enjoyed meeting with them for discipleship. Yet we praise God for His blessing on these dear couples, and look forward to inviting a new group of church members to start a community discipleship group in the coming weeks.
We are wrapping up our first week of women’s Bible study for 2023 as I (Anna) write. January is considered “vacation” time in Colombia, due to the Christmas/New Year holidays and longer school break. We were finally able to kick off our first women’s Bible study of the year in February, meeting at the church to talk about how to use the SOAP method for personal Bible study. My old teacher-whiteboard skills came in handy as I guided the women through an example passage. (Kyu helped me record and edit a video to demonstrate the method for those who were unable to attend our meeting.) Then, with great delight, each lady decorated the cover page of her Bible study journal, including the title, Filipenses: Escogiendo el gozo (Philippians: Choosing Joy). When I say delight, I mean it! We had markers, washi tape, stickers, and stencils for the ladies to use. Here you can see an example of some of their creative work. Praise the Lord, we have 30 women participating in our current study, which is a significant increase in participation since last semester’s study.
Asking the right questions
The Raíces Profundas (Deep Roots) family discipleship ministry team is currently working on becoming equipped in Christian Coaching. Each couple is reading through Keith E. Webb’s book, The COACH Model for Christian Leaders and we are beginning to discuss how this model will allow us to help Christians parents disciple their kids. Each of our ministry partners often receives questions from other Christian parents about how to teach, disciple, discipline, and educate their children.
As he has been reading the book, our ministry coworker Pastor John* remarked, “I’m starting to see that this method of Christian coaching for family discipleship is going to take a huge load of my shoulders.” Coaching focuses on using good questions to help an individual determine what goals she has, determine what steps she can take toward those goals, and provide accountability. Christian coaching is distinct in that we rely on the Bible and ask for Holy Spirit guidance during coaching sessions.
After this equipping phase, our team also plans to begin recording and publishing a podcast to address common questions with Biblical wisdom regarding various aspects of family discipleship and Christian parenting.
Local church re-plant (Redil Envigado)
- For Christian growth, fellowship, and maturity
- For wisdom to adjust our physical space to accommodate higher attendance
- For development of the kid’s ministry, as many new attendees are families with children
Community Discipleship groups (Comunidades caminando con Cristo)
- For 3 new community discipleship small groups that will launch this semester
- For the established small groups to flourish
- For growth in Christian maturity and Christ-honoring unity
- For wisdom to plan the rest of the ministry year with Jinneth, the pastor’s wife
Family discipleship ministry (Raíces Profundas)
- For our team to become proficient in the Coaching method
- For the planning, recording, and launch of a podcast that would truly serve Christian parents around Medellín
- For God to raise up healthy, Christ-centered families here in the valley
You are part of #TeamKimforColombia! We so appreciate your messages, your giving, your prayers, and your kindness toward us. Each Monday we pray as a family for our ministry partners, and count it a huge blessing to be the “hands and feet” in God’s work in Envigado, Colombia. May the Lord bless you for your participation with us!
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