While we, as missionaries, operate within our own focuses and ministries, our connection to other Chilean Christian Churches and Christian Church missionaries, as well as other denominational Christian churches and their missionaries is also important for several reasons:
- We have a commitment to know and to support each other as Christian Churches.
- Facilitating and building healthy relationships and communication honors God and develops community.
- Perspectives of others of like faith (especially Chilean) are good sources of counsel.
- Good Christian churches/ministries serve as placement options for interns coming to Chile.
- Our relationship and partnership with Chilean churches in general in carrying out ministry honors God.
- We can better pray.
Everything we preach and do as a church becomes important as the Holy Spirit does his work. As we grow together and become committed with other churches, our outward outreaches become that much more potent.
In terms of church leadership, Chilean Christian Churches/Churches of Christ are often earmarked by:
- “Pastor” control. As opposed to elder-based leadership, most of our movement’s churches are led by the pastor, who in turn closely “guards” his flock. Even dating someone is often done with the approval of the pastor. It is thus not common to find churches with solid teaching, preaching, and shepherding elderships.
- Many pastors work full-time secular jobs and as such are not able to put in the time they would like in serving their churches.
- Leadership is generally guarded, as letting others share in leadership or equipping others to lead is often seen as an open door to losing the power of leadership.
- The “power of the pulpit” is very important. At the same time, there is less time spent on good preparation and more importance on “God’s leading in the moment”.
Jack and fellow missionary, Mike Boyce, both have good relationships with various Christian Churches and Mike does teachings in several Santiago-area churches as well. Todd Kepschull, a new Christian Church missionary beginning in June, 2016, is now building these same relationships with other churches. Jack, Mike, & Todd participate in a monthly meeting of certain Santiago-area Christian Churches, which builds unity and community as well as giving them a platform of input and encouragement.
Country-wide Christian Churches/Churches of Christ pastor’s conferences, along with men’s and women’s retreats are held annually in Chile. Pictured below are photos taken at recent pastors’ conferences.