Missionary Sponsors from the Get-Go

New Colorado Hispanic congregations pledge to support AGWM.

Half a dozen new Colorado church plants pledged to sponsor Assemblies of God world missionaries at their first missions convention for the Central District of the Assemblies of God.

Janie Wead-Mobley, church planting director for the district — which encompasses Hispanic congregations in the six Rocky Mountain states — is leading the charge in encouraging new congregations to make supporting and sending world missionaries a part of their DNA. She believes the work of planting churches in the U.S. and spreading the gospel globally go hand in hand.

Wead-Mobley, 71, served as an AG world missionary for 16 years in Spain and the Middle East. She has spent the past 17 years as a U.S. missionary with Intercultural Ministries.

Throughout her ministry, Wead-Mobley has felt strongly about the need to help church planters survive the financial struggles of the first couple of years after opening. Yet, after watching a guest mariachi band sell an entire table of books, Bibles, and compact discs at a church plant, she sensed God directing her to encourage congregations to give regularly to AGWM from the start.

“I went from simply supplying finances to encouraging planters to support the work of missions, because I saw visibly that there was money for God’s work,” Wead-Mobley says.

At a recent missions convention, Wead-Mobley gathered planters together and urged them to challenge congregants to give from a position of need, in the same way the widow gave her mite (Luke 21-1-4). While she recognizes the unusual nature of the concept, Wead-Mobley says she has seen church plants thrive, and go from merely giving to missions to sponsoring missionaries from within.

“I anticipate we are going to see the missionaries come out of these churches that gave,” she says. “Going from giving to sending is when you see the full cycle, and it’s beautiful.”

Horacio V. and Angie L. Lopez planted Centro Familiar Cristiano in Aurora, Colorado, four years ago. They caught the vision for missions when Wead-Mobley took them to a Hispanic missions convention in Springdale, Arkansas, where they saw how the generosity of church plants could impact the lives of missionaries. The Arkansas church sent three young people to the AGWM Live Dead initiative.

“We saw that they started as we started — small — and we saw how much God blessed them,” says Angie Lopez, 40. “Seeing the pictures hanging in the church foyer of the missionaries reaching the world put a desire in us to reach out to these different missionaries.”

Centro Familiar Cristiano now supports five missionaries.

Rebecca Burtram

Rebecca Burtram is an Assemblies of God pastor in Charlottesville, Virginia, a pastor's wife, mother to three, and an English teacher. She is the author of Our Broken Hallelujahs, and she blogs at rebeccaburtram.com.