More than 40 pastors and their spouses from Costa Rica’s two districts participated in a church multiplication event called Barnabas Initiative. Participants committed to completing several church growth projects, and each participant will continue to be trained and mentored to successfully finish these projects.
The event, organized by the Mesoamerica Ministry of Education and Clergy Development, the Oaxaca Center for Praise and Proclamation in Mexico, and the Church of the Nazarene Seminary of the Americas in Costa Rica, was held 7-8 June in San José, Costa Rica.
Mesoamerica Education and Clergy Development Coordinator Rubén Fernández spoke during the event opening to explain how Barnabas, an early church disciple, inspired the name of the event through his proactivity and multiplication mindset.
Other event speakers included Olivet Nazarene University Professor Wilfredo Canales, Mesoamerica Regional Director Carlos Sáenz, and Oaxaca Norponiente District Superintendent Elías Betanzos.
“On the Mesoamerica Region, we are fully aware that the Lord gives us growth, and we are simply collaborators of the Holy Spirit in what He is already doing,” Fernández said. “The Barnabas Initiative is about learning principles which will enable [us] to increase the number of congregations and members.”
Costa Rica is the first country to embrace the Barnabas Initiative, but the region hopes it will not be the last. The plan is to continue hosting Barnabas Initiative events over the next three years across the region.
“The experience of seeing the response of so many people during the activity was very rewarding and confirms the support of God and the power that prayer has in the life of the Church,” said Walter Caravaca, local pastor.
Betanzos preached during the event, challenging those in attendance to have a personal encounter with God as they are called to multiply the Church.
“At least eight people went to the altar to receive Christ or to be reconciled with Him,” Caravaca said. “We know that God’s Word does not return void, and we trust that the seed that was planted in the heart of each of our special guests will bear fruit in time.”
The Barnabas Initiative has given the church in Costa Rica a series of goals and objectives that challenge them to step out of their comfort zone, go to deeper waters, and extend the kingdom of God.