By Pablo Chavarría
City to City’s International Intensive is a multi-week program designed to prepare urban church planters by exposing them to urban church-planting concepts, theological resources to grow churches, leadership modules and other church-planting principles. The Intensive has been held annually in NYC since 2007 and in Asia Pacific since 2012.
As I write this, City to City Latin America (CTC LATAM) is preparing to hold its first Intensive in Latin America. The dates for the Intensive are 7-22 November, so as you read this, we will have just concluded this significant, inaugural event.
This first Latin America Intensive is in Monterrey NL, Mexico. We are thrilled to be hosting and training 20 church planters from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru. The diversity and caliber of these leaders represent a watershed for our organization.
I had the opportunity to participate in the Intensive in NYC in 2008. It was definitely a cultural, relational and spiritual experience that radically transformed my life. I gained a deep understanding of the gospel and its implications for life and ministry, so I can attest to the impact that the Intensive has on the life of the urban church planter. I have just recently joined CTC LATAM as a trainer and a coach, and I feel so blessed and privileged to now be helping to train new leaders through our Intensive.
We are amazed by all that God has done in Latin America in the last two years with the church-planting networks that are being raised and strengthened in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Mexico. For the first time, we held Gospel in the City events in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Medellín and Guatemala City, and we offered Incubator (City to City’s key two-year training to serve, train, and develop church planters) in Santiago, Buenos Aires, Lima, Medellín and Monterrey.
In September, CTC LATAM had the opportunity to gather in Monterrey with 15 other church-planting organizations and city ministries, such as Acts 29, South American Mission and Mission to the Word, to begin to work together toward gospel renewal in our cities.
Recently the network leaders of Latin America gathered for our first CTC LATAM retreat. We were refreshed and inspired as we experienced deep community with each other and fresh vision to follow God's call for the development of our networks in the cities of Latin America.
Looking ahead, Tim Keller will travel to Brazil for two conferences in São Paolo and in Rio de Janeiro. We are expecting 3,000 leaders to attend. After our first conference in Mexico City last year, we received much interest and experienced many relational open doors, so we are anticipating good things.
We are deeply grateful for the opportunities God has given us, but we feel a great responsibility as we view the tasks before us. Please pray that these training events will impact the life and ministry of each participating church planter so they will continue to be used powerfully by the Lord in the great call they have in these cities of Latin America.
Pablo and Velia started Cumbres del Rey in 2008. In addition to pastoring this church, Pablo is now the CTC LATAM coordinator for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean where his primary role is to train church planters and leaders. He and Velia live in Monterrey with their seven-year-old daughter, Grace.