All of Peru Mission's urban ministries ultimately serve the goal of church planting. The Church is God's new creation and the instrument through which he is renewing the world. We plant churches because we long to see the “city” (the Church) descend from heaven to fill the earth (Rev. 21.2). The two most distinctive features of our church planting efforts are seen first at the level of philosophy and second at the level of strategy.
First, philosophically, we believe that the Church is the "City of God", which means that she is a genuine and complete human community or society. She testifies to God's love, not only through the Word she proclaims, but also through the visible unity that she lives out before the world, and through her sacrificial service to the poor. By Christians growing together into a beautiful and harmonious community the nations are drawn to the Church’s light, seeking citizenship in Zion (Ps. 87).
Peru Mission is building this kind of community in the urban centers of Peru starting, in each case, with a church plant in the downtown area focused on outreach to university students, professionals, artists, and government officials. This central church provides leadership and resources for a network of "parish churches" in the shantytowns and underdeveloped neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city, as well as those neighborhoods within the city. Alongside each parish or neighborhood church, and as a fundamental part of her testimony to the surrounding area, we develop a medical clinic, microfinance bank, and Christian school. Through these institutions the Church is able to show the compassion of Christ to the sick, the poor, and children in need of a strong Christian education. Each of these ministries provides the natural context for the task of making disciples.
Second, strategically, missional cell groups are the fundamental unit of discipleship, community, and leadership development in the central churches as well as in each parish. Local pastors and elders call each member not just to attend worship on Sunday, but to be personally involved in the task of making disciples in their neighborhood. To that end, missional cell groups organize our congregations into smaller units who are reaching out and enfolding neighbors into a new family. Discipleship happens only in the context of growing personal relationships lived out in community. Similarly, leadership development happens only as an extension of the process of discipleship. All of our church leadership grows out of the context of missional cell groups, where gifts and calling are discovered, tested, and developed. Related to leadership development, the multiplication of missional groups, and thus the growth of the Church, follows naturally upon the multiplication of new leaders. For more on this missional cell group ministry, read this interview with Peru Mission missionary Allen Smith.
Join us in planting churches and establishing missional communities by giving now or serving with us in Peru.
For more information, please email Wes Baker or call 601.500.7698.
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