World Gospel Church of Bolivia
Since WGM missionaries began working in Bolivia in 1944, the focus of ministry has been on building up the national church, recognizing that the local church is the main catalyst for spiritual change in a community. With a membership of more than 6,000 believers, World Gospel Church of Bolivia ministers in eight of the nine Bolivian states. It is headquartered in the downtown business district of Santa Cruz, one of the fastest-growing cities in South America.
The goal of the national church is to build up the body of Christ through evangelism, discipleship, outreach, missions, teaching, and preaching. These goals are being accomplished through local congregations who are encouraged to be involved in missions. The churches send out missions teams to serve and evangelize their communities and beyond. These teams focus on meeting medical needs, evangelizing unreached ethnic groups, visiting prisons, helping with disaster relief, reaching out to Bolivian immigrants in other countries, and praying for everyone.
The church also supports six national missionaries—three assigned to Brazil, one working in Argentina, and two ministering in the Bolivian state of Pando. Previously, national missionaries have served in India, Iraq, Paraguay, and Honduras. Some congregations also partner with Compassion International to help children from families with limited resources attend school and receive adequate nutrition. Local congregations are also developing small groups to meet the needs of young married couples, new believers, and singles.
As one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, Bolivia has great material and spiritual need. It is reported that 45 percent of Bolivians live on less than the international standard of $2 per day. As much as poverty affects Bolivians’ lives, it also affects the outreach of the church. Poorer congregations are unable to fully support pastors, so pastors must work additional jobs, leaving less time for ministry. Some churches also lack funding to update buildings, provide teacher curriculum, and support more missions work.
In order to address these needs, the national church leadership committed to three phases of development:
- Invest in pastors and their families to renew them spiritually and emotionally and in family dynamics
- Target and train the next generation of leaders in the congregations
- Engage local congregations in church-planting efforts
In other words, healthy pastors minister in healthy ways to promote healthy growth in their churches. Each pastor’s goal is to identify potential leaders in the congregation and actively mentor/disciple one or two of them to work alongside him. As these new leaders become engaged and experienced in ministry, the church’s objective is to mobilize the trained workers into one or two church plants.
“I firmly believe that a church with no vision dies,” shared Rick Lampen, WGM Bolivia field director. “The insight and vision cast by the World Gospel Church of Bolivia leadership team provides a simple, three-step approach that is resulting in the creation of a stronger, better-equipped church capable of reaching out in creative ways to meet the needs in their communities.”
PRAY: Please pray for strength and guidance for pastors serving throughout Bolivia. Pray for wisdom as new leadership is elected and for the health of veteran pastors. Pray also that God will strengthen His churches in Bolivia to be lights of His love in their communities and beyond.
GIVE: Poverty affects both the people of Bolivia and the church’s ability to serve. The World Gospel Church of Bolivia needs funds to support pastors, improve church buildings, and fund missions. Partner with the World Gospel Church of Bolivia. Make checks payable to World Gospel Mission and write account #46195 on the memo line. Send check donations to:
World Gospel Mission
P.O. Box 948
Marion, IN 46952-0948