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Church Planting During Pandemic

Ever wonder what God is up to during this pandemic? Please enjoy this story out of Bolivia, shared from the Global Church Planting Network (GCPN).*

A Challenge Accepted

church planting during pandemic

Néstor Ríos lives in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, with his wife and kids. Last year, his denomination challenged him to join a team of church planter trainers for Multiplication Network Ministries (MNM)( in his city. Néstor accepted the challenge and formed two teams of trainers.

church planting during pandemic

Néstor was quickly impressed with MNM’s process of planting new churches. “It has been impactful for our members. We have been able to better organize what I have been doing for 20 years,” he says. “I’m training church planters to develop practical skills from the beginning for their future ministry. It is a blessing, and it better focuses the work in the field.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Néstor is thankful that the training and materials are available online. “However, it has been very difficult to help the participants understand that even in this time we must continue planting churches. Many of them see it as something that’s not going to work.”

church planting during pandemic
Pastor Néstor

Leading by Example

But Néstor is leading by example—he is planting a new church during the pandemic. When he shows his results to the participants, they are encouraged. “A certain curiosity of how they can do the same begins to grow in them and that has reawakened their interest in continuing in the mission,” Néstor shares.

At his own church, Néstor is training Pedro, who is the deacon of missions. Pedro and his wife have now started a new group in their home.

Every week, Néstor teaches a lesson and then his leaders replicate it in their homes. “They watch me do it first, and they follow my lead.” One thing they are all doing is praying for their neighbors and for close relatives and visiting them as they can. “I am pleased with the desire of the leaders to learn and put into practice what we learn together,” Néstor says.

church planting during pandemic

Pray with the GCPN and One Challenge

  • Pray for Pastor Néstor, Pedro, and the team of trainers as they seek to grow churches in Bolivia.
  • Pray for the GCPN as it encourages and multiplies church planting efforts globally.
  • Pray for One Challenge as it partners with the GCPN and other strategic ministries around the world.

Global Church Planting Network

*The Global Church Planting Network is a voluntary association of persons and organizations working together to accelerate church planting globally. One Challenge is a proud partner of the organization. To learn more about the GCPN, please visit

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