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Victor Martinez (left) with Clemente Bustamante and Marq Toombs

Toward a Diverse 1%: Perspectives from Redeemer Presbyterian in San Antonio

By Jerry Gibson, Jun 25, 2019

MTW South Central hub director Jerry Gibson recently asked Rev. Victor Martinez, associate pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, Texas, and board member of the PCA’s Hispanic Leadership Initiative, about his perspective on diversity and the 1% Challenge.

Q. Why is diversity important to Redeemer?

A. San Antonio is 64% Hispanic. Beyond demographics, San Antonio is thoroughly Hispanic in almost every way. Our city also hosts the largest Martin Luther King, Jr. march in the nation! It boasts 250,000 participants every year. It’d be hard for any church to claim that they have a significant ministry to the city if that church isn’t serious about diversity.

Q. Why is MTW’s desire for diversity important?

A. If we are not putting diversity and missions together we will not reach the world. Our churches, locally and globally, will be more beautiful with diversity. We will be better able to speak and boast in the gospel of God’s grace. Our richness would be evident culturally, theologically, in worship, and in service.

Q. What are some of the things Redeemer is doing to help raise up diverse missionaries?

A. Redeemer is partnering with MTW’s Northern Mexico Team in Monterrey. I’ve gone to Monterrey, Tampico, and Laredo, Texas, to teach church planters. Redeemer has invited leaders of the Church Planting Institute in Monterrey to come and sit down with us to discuss the next step in partnering to plant more churches. We believe this partnership will spill over in fruits of grace across the border to bless God’s Church on the Texas side.

We need to continue building up Latino brothers in our churches so they can develop leaders. Redeemer has 15 men going through Third Millennium Ministries for theological training. If we are praying and we have a vision for it, some of these men will be called to serve overseas.

Q. What would you say to encourage more churches to take up the 1% Challenge? 

A. I would encourage churches and presbyteries to share stories of grace about the power of the call to missions and how God uses missionaries abroad. Enlist elders who will take the lead in praying that God would raise up an additional 1%, of all ethnicities, and make sure that this spills out into their churches. The 1% vision of raising up more missionaries combined with the vision for diversity will help the Church become a true reflection of the image of God, with a heart committed to His global mission.

Help your church encourage diversity in missions. Contact Barbara D. Jones at [email protected] to get started.

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DAY 30: Pray for new missionaries preparing to serve in restricted-access countries around the world that the Lord would use them mightily.

DAY 29: Pray for the identification, training, and appointing of leaders for new ministry opportunities across Europe.

DAY 28: Pray for national leaders being developed and cared for in Muslim-majority nations across Asia and the Middle East.

DAY 27: Ukraine: Pray for an end to the war, ministry to those who are displaced, and for spread of the gospel.

DAY 26: Pray for connection, encouragement, and support for wives of church planters in East Asia, facing both internal conflicts (family/church) and external (government) pressures.

DAY 25: Pray for Japanese church members not returning to church because of fear of the coronavirus. Pray for their faith to thrive in the midst of the continuing pandemic.

DAY 24: Pray for continued development of ministry candidates in the Timothy House program, a two-year residential training program to develop West African church planters.

DAY 23: Ethiopia: Pray for Ethiopia ACT’s family advocates, who care for the physical and spiritual needs of families affected by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other communicable diseases.

DAY 22: Europe and North America: Pray for new team leaders, refugee/immigrant ministry workers, ESL teachers, and more to reach out to Muslim people in Europe and North America.

DAY 21: Cherokee, North Carolina: Pray for the ministry of Grace Community Church and that God would raise up additional team members for the church planting work there.

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