Equipping New Ministries: Presbytery Announces Missional Pioneer Leader Training Series for 2022.

by | Oct 28, 2021 | Reflections Blog

At the Presbytery Gathering on November 18, Los Ranchos will celebrate the first class to complete the Missional and Pioneer Leader Training series organized by the presbytery. Throughout the year, leaders gathered monthly to learn approaches to sharing faith — and maybe even how to launch a new ministry.  This comprehensive training was designed to motivate, equip and mobilize missional and pioneer leaders to thrive in places where God has called them to change hearts and transform society.

Participants represented many church roles, and included leaders from three new worshipping communities that the Presbytery of Los Ranchos has acknowledged (or will before the end of the year!). All who participated in this class hold a common call to start new ministries or plant new churches.

Participants in the Missional and Pioneer Leader Training Program

Sessions were led by pastors, church planters and leaders from the PC(USA) 1001 New Worshiping Communities initiative.  Each month focused on a different topic, including fundraising, evangelism and the basics of entrepreneurship.

Roy Ketring III

The sessions were held on Saturdays, and Roy Ketring, a member at Placentia Presbyterian Church, admitted that at first he didn’t want to commit to the classes. However, once he got started, he said he was grateful that he joined, adding: “Each presenter brought something different and unique to the table which I had never considered before, thought about, or knew of. At this old age I learned something from every presenter for which I am grateful.”

Christian Ponciano

Christian Ponciano

Christian Ponciano, a leader with Sin Fronteras (a new worshipping community), said that he felt empowered after listening to Tom Cramer’s session “Caring for the Emotional and Spiritual Needs of Church Planters.” Reflecting on that particular session, Ponciano said: “I have been exposed to certain teachings, but in my mind, I had a big puzzle that I needed to put together and he was able to articulate everything in a simple way that I understood.”

Anette Rihovsky

The sessions would also be helpful to congregations, suggested participant Anette Rihovsky, designated associate pastor at Laguna Niguel Presbyterian Church. “I am a firm believer that we can make changes once we understand the ultimate consequences of what will happen if we do not change. It’s just that people don’t know what they don’t know,” she said.

This series was the first of its kind for the presbytery.  And, it’s getting noticed. Leaders from other presbyteries have requested recordings of some of the sessions to share with their churches, according to Cramer. (If you are interested in watching the 2021 training videos, please contact Alfredo Delgado.)

Another Missional & Pioneer Leaders Training will be held in 2022. Starting on January 15, a hybrid training will be held with some participants on Zoom and others at Morningside Presbyterian Church in Fullerton.

As a whole, the initiative helps the Presbytery of Los Ranchos live into its calling to cultivate vital congregations and partnerships that embody the love and justice of Jesus Christ.