GBS and the Local Church

Pastors Lucatero and Miramontes
Pastors Lucatero and Miramontes

The gentlemen in the picture to the right are Pastors Carlos Lucatero y Manuel Miramontes. Pastor Miramontes has served for many years at the Iglesia Bautista Cristo la Roca (Christ the Rock Baptist Church) in Fresno, California. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to preach in that church, and I can tell you that it is a dynamic ministry, filled with people who are clearly concerned for one another and busy reaching their community for Christ.

This was one of the very first churches to adopt GBS’s Spanish language Bible Institute, Seminario Bautista Panamericano, and Carlos Lucatero graduated in their first class several years ago. I first met Pastor Lucatero when he called me a couple of years ago and introduced himself. By the time he made that phone call, he had left his home church (with his pastor’s blessing), had gone several miles north, to the town of Madero, California, and had planted a new church. The purpose of his call was to see about the possibility of starting an SBP study center in that new church. I am happy to report to you that they not only began the Institute program, but they are continuing to use it fruitfully.

Pastor Miramontes’ goal is to see many sound churches planted in central California and he knows that in order to do that, he needs to be training workers. The work in Fresno is just one step toward that goal. Another work has begun in Tulare under the leadership of a pastor who also graduated from the SBP study center in Fresno.

Churches planting churches. Men training other men for the work of the ministry. That is the New Testament pattern and the goal for every church today. Our role at Global Baptist Schools, we believe, is to assist churches in that process, providing them with tools, resources and encouragement. We have no building to fill, no campus to beautify and no tenured professors. We simply exist to help churches, generally laboring behind the scenes, assisting pastors in their work.

Pastor Lucatero and the GBS students in his new church.
Pastor Lucatero and the GBS students in his new church.

So when someone asks me if GBS is a local church ministry, I feel that somehow we have failed in communicating our vision. Everything we do is local church centered:

  1. Our materials are specifically produced to be used within the setting of the church.
  2. Students cannot individually register for classes through SBP. The only way to study through SBP is via a study center, which is operated and directed by a local church.
  3. The pastor is intrinsically involved in the progress of every student, serving as a mentor and director of studies.
  4. Local churches receive the direct benefit of students staying “at home” to study, rather than “going off” to a Bible Institute or College (if one is even available). Each student must actively serve within the church as a part of his study program.
  5. Our students are specifically trained for the purpose of serving within the structure of a local church, whether they remain where they are as Sunday School teachers and deacons, or move on as church planters or pastors.

In short, GBS is nothing but a local church ministry. We are supported by those churches that we serve, and others who share a like-minded missions vision for planting churches, seeing them established with sound doctrine, and going on to plant other churches. That was the New Testament pattern (2 Tim. 2:2) and we believe that it is still our mandate today.

If you would like to help us in that process, we would be honored to partner with you. Click here for more information on how to give. Or, contact me for a presentation at your next missions conference or church service. We would love to share the ministry of GBS with your church.

One Comment

  1. Good post.