By Doug Talley
One of the commitments of Indiana Ministries is to encourage, support and resource church multiplication. Simply put, people need a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ – both now and forever. We are committed to multiplying disciples and multiplying churches that make disciples. This commitment is central to the reason Indiana Ministries exists.
Indiana Ministries supports and champions several endeavors designed to develop multiplication leaders (such as www.trellischurches.com) and multiplication projects. One of those projects is En Mi Lugar (In My Place) which is a church planting network in Spain led by Alejandro and Carmen DeFrancisco. I got to know the DeFranciscos when we were part of the Florida Ministries staff back in the mid 2000s. Their assignment in Florida was to launch, lead, and develop leadership for new Spanglish (Latino churches that speak Spanish and English) churches across the state. They started lots of Spanglish congregations.
In 2018, Carmen and Alejandro moved to Madrid to launch a church planting network across the country of Spain. Alejandro had roots in Spain as the uncle who basically raised him lived in Madrid. Alejandro’s heart broke for the people in Spain because the country was post-Christian and people weren’t interested in Christianity. Carmen and Alejandro wanted to change that.
Representing Indiana Ministries, Cindy and I both serve on the governing board of this church multiplication network. We had an in-person board meeting in May so that the board could experience Madrid firsthand, learn more about the network’s vision, and meet some of the leaders of this new church multiplication network. We were greatly encouraged by what we experienced and learned.
The first church was started in 2019 and met in Carmen and Alejandro’s house. There are currently about 80 people who are part of it. They recently moved to a larger meeting area so the church could continue to reach new people. While the pandemic complicated things, the congregation has moved forward with its vision and mission. We were able to have dinner with several of the church leaders and hear their stories of coming to faith. It was so invigorating!
Diego and his wife moved to Madrid from Columbia for the express purpose of getting a divorce. They left their kids with grandparents back in Columbia. They weren’t expecting to meet Carmen and Alejandro. As the four of them connected, the Holy Spirit moved. Diego and his wife committed their lives to Jesus Christ and became involved in the new church. Their children have joined them in Madrid, and the family is experiencing the life changing power of Jesus Christ!
The vision of En Mi Lugar is to plant 14 churches by 2043. The first congregation is in SW Madrid. The process of handing off the leadership of this church to Pastor Roman has already begun. Pastor Roman and his wife have recently bought a pizza shop in Madrid to support their family while they co-vocationally serve as pastors.
When Alejandro and Carmen return from home assignment in 2023, they will relocate to NW Madrid and begin the second congregation. Then both congregations will partner to start a third congregation in Zaragoza in 2027. Alejandro and Carmen have already begun connecting with families in both of these areas (NW Madrid and Zaragoza), as well as other cities they have targeted for future plants, such as Barcelona and Valencia.
Alejandro and Carmen are proactive in sharing their vision with others so that new people to the church understand that this ministry is about starting new churches to win and disciple people to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. As a result, Alejandro and Carmen are not pastors who do everything but are equipping the people to do the ministry. They look for multiplier potential in each family that becomes part of the church.
Nathan and Stacy Tatman (who used to be on staff at County Line Church of God in Auburn, IN) are the new Regional Coordinators for Europe and the Middle East and have chosen to live in Madrid. They and four of their children have chosen to be part of En Mi Lugar and are very involved in this church planting network. I celebrate that County Line Church’s commitment to multiply disciples and churches extends beyond the border of Indiana to Spain and beyond!
I am thankful for the passion of the DeFranciscos and Tatmans to reach and disciple people for Jesus Christ and to multiply churches. It is a joy and privilege to partner with them to change the world through Jesus. If your church or you personally are looking to financially support people who are making a Kingdom difference, contact Global Strategy at Church of God Ministries and ask for information for either or both of these couples. Or you can email Alejandro and Carmen (ACDeFrancisco@Chog.org) or Nate and Stacy (NSTatman@Chog.org) directly.
That is an amazing story of how our God works if we are willing to follow his direction.