I drove to Altamira on Monday for our annual year-end leadership meeting. Among other things we all submit our next year’s budgets at this meeting. Where we spend our money and time has a direct relationship to our values. If the Xingu Mission can be remembered for only one thing, I hope it is that we are focused on starting a national movement of Church Planters. We love the local church and Brazilian people.
During the Leadership Meeting on Tuesday, November 12, 2013, Clenildo and Elba shared their vision for planting churches across Northern Brazil. About two years ago Clenildo shared a vision with me and others that he felt was from God. There were fires being lit in seven northern states. These fires grew and starting spreading, sparks jumping out and starting other fires. He felt God was calling him to lead this movement to plant churches in these states, an impossible task. He asked God how he could possibly do this. God said something like this, “First you talk about it. Then start visiting these places. Then watch it unfold.” Clenildo has already travelled to some of these states on survey trips, and shared this vision with the national church leadership team. Christian leaders who knew nothing of this vision have told Clenildo they have seen him in many Brazilian airports visiting these other states. This has happened at least a couple of times.
Last week Clenildo and Elba presented us with a paper entitled “Project to Plant Churches”. The seven northern states they want to plant churches in are Amazonas, Acre, Rondonia, Roraima, Maranhão, Ceará, and Piauí. This is in addition to the three states where we are already planting churches, Pará, Amapá, and Tocatins. The plan Clenildo and Elba presented is really optimized for their growing council of Brazilian church here in the North. Currently churches give 5% to an outreach fund for church planting. The mission wants to work with the young national movement.The really cool thing is that the plan presented does not depend on the mission. It can continue on without us if necessary. Clenildo and Elba are challenging the local churches, and us as a mission, to help with church-planting in the way that was summarized by William Carey. He said missions or sending agencies need to plan, plod, pray, and pay.