Monday, August 12, 2013

Red Town 2013... A Movimiento of change in Zapopan, Jalisco...

Mix a group of dedicated leaders, kickin’ music and a desire to do something real for God along with about 60 people under 30, shake it all together in Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico and you’ve got the real life organic church plant Red Town Movement.

The dream of brothers Albert, Marlon and their sister Rebeca Corona, Red Town is almost everything the established evangelical church in Mexico is not.  And that is why it just might succeed where other attempts to build a movement have fizzled.

I had the opportunity to spend time with Albert and Marlon this week while I was in the Guadalajara area.  I have known and served with them and their family for many years, but this was my first chance to see their vision fully developed.

If you want your church experience on Sunday morning to be controlled, sedate, include an offering and sing either hymns or the popular praise songs offered up on most Christian radio stations, this place is not for you.  

Starting at 6:00 on Saturday evening, the last work day of the week for Mexico, the group begins arriving about 5:30.  As they catch up with each other, a buzz of anticipation starts to fill the room.  Once the clock hits 6:10, there’s an opening prayer and then the band takes off.

That’s the cue for the party to begin.  Soon everyone is on their feet dancing, singing and moving about in what can only be described as a wild church rave scene.  On it goes as they church gives their all in worship to the savior.

And then, as quickly as it all began, it stops for the evening message.  I got a little break this week as they gave a quick wrap up of a recently completed camp before I took the stage, wondering what I could to say to a group of people united in Christ and a desire to be a different expression of Jesus love in a hurting world.

After my message we finished up with a couple more songs and then it was time for dinner.  Piling into cars, about 25 of us headed to a local restaurant to continue the party.

It was there that I heard how they reach out to new people.  Prayer!  Everyday at 5:30 in the morning a group of the members of this church get together with their leaders to pray for Red Town and their work.

The restaurant table is also where I heard some of the people sharing about jesus with someone who had come that night for the first time.  Contrary to what a lot of people think here in Mexico, these young people pulled no punches in their sharing. 

What are my takeaways?  I’ve got a few.

  • This is as organic as it gets here in Mexico.  Red Town was dreamed of by a group of people tired of seeing their friends and others of their generation leave the church.  They got tired of being told they could not do church as they wanted and decided to give it a try on their own, so they rented a big house and got busy.

  • It’s loud, active and not for everyone, and that’s okay.  I am not sure every church family is for everyone.  The diversity of the body of Christ is what one of the greatest things about the church.

  • Discipleship is a strong core value of Red Town.  They’ve developed materials that are culturally and contextually suited for the group they are targeting.  But more important, they are theologically sound.  No cheap grace here.

  • If the established church in Mexico, and elsewhere I suspect, really wants to connect with the next generation, they need to consider what Red Town is doing.  

In closing, I wonder if Red Town will survive for the long haul.  Many efforts like this are strong for a few years and then struggle to re-envision the ministry as the founders, or leaders age and grow into different people.  This is the question many church plants face... will they continue to evolve to attract new generations, or will they grow old and die with the founding generation.

I hope Red Town chooses the former, scary as it can be.  But until they reach that point, I’ll be content to visit and be part of this exciting ministry as much as I can when I am in Guadalajara.

Please be praying for the leaders, Albert, Marlon and Rebeca, their ministry and their outreach in Zapopan, part of the greater Guadalajara area. 

Here's a short video with Albert and Marlon sharing their vision...

1 comment:

ChocoflanChild said...

Sweet. Thanks for sharing about their church, Dave!