Growing the Church in Bolivia, One Family at a Time
By Paul and Kattia Jones
The Church of God in Bolivia continues to grow and expand into new areas. Many ask how this works when in Bolivia we do not have official “pastors” in our congregations. Actually, we do have pastors—lots of them—in all of our congregations. In fact, all believers are invited to minister to one another in many ways.
Recently there was an example of what we mean. We were invited to a “congregational visit” in the home of one of the church families. We have seen this over the years, and it helps us to better understand how the Bolivian church continues to grow. Unlike the traditional pastoral home visit, the entire congregation showed up—approximately 200.
A regular church service took place, complete with music and preaching. Afterwards the congregation was at work ministering to one another. Anyone who so desired had the opportunity to share a Biblical text and give words of encouragement or sing a hymn for the family being visited. Finally, the family and all of their relatives are invited to come forward so the whole congregation can join together in prayer for them. Next week another family is chosen to receive the visit.
One of our congregations has a list of the names of all the families in the congregation (nearly one hundred families). Each one will receive a visit at least once this year. That means that the congregation will either make two visits a week or they will divide into two groups.
The congregational visit is one of the many ways the Church of God in Bolivia continues to be a growing and vibrant church.
Paul and Kattia Jones serve as missionaries for Global Missions in Bolivia. If you would like to read more about Paul and Kattia Jones, visit www.chogmissions.org/jones.