Juan Antonio Marté lives in El Salvador and has been a pastor for more than six years. He knows what it means to be rescued from darkness. In his youth, he was involved in gangs and he knows about the world of violence and addiction from personal experience.
But Juan Antonio was saved through faith in Christ and experienced God’s power in his hopelessness. For this reason, he is very passionate when he talks about sharing the gospel and telling others how Jesus can transform lives.
In the city of Olocuilta, Juan Antonio is committed to preaching the Word of God. He was known as a preaching pastor but wasn’t able to teach others how to share the gospel. He recognized the lack of training materials and resources was holding him back.
Juan Antonio was invited to participate in church planter training with Multiplication Network Ministries (MNM). “Believe me, it has been an amazing experience and a new facet to my work as a pastor,” he says. “It is necessary to prepare yourself in the area of teaching and now there is this enormous blessing in the area of church planting.”
One of Juan Antonio’s greatest concerns was the gang violence that divides the community. The people can’t go from one place to another, especially to visit established churches. Since they were not able to be in regular fellowship with other believers, they became discouraged.
Being told that MNM wants to see “a healthy church in every community” was exactly what Juan Antonio needed to hear. For this reason he believes in training others so they can be prepared and plant churches in every area where the traditional church has been forced to withdraw.
“This is going to make a great impact because each neighborhood needs to have their own church. If the people cannot come [to an established church], I can go there and plant a new church. This is going to help the growth and reach of the Church. Bringing a church to the community will change future generations,” Juan Antonio says.
As a multiplier for MNM, Juan Antonio trains others in the church planting processes. He helps them learn the steps they should follow to plant a healthy church. This is important because many of them wanted to serve but didn’t know how or what to do to get involved in planting a new fellowship of believers.
Juan Antonio also sees the great importance of mentoring the emerging leaders. “The church planters have needs. They have doubts and even though they have an idea of how to do things, they feel the support when we come alongside them as mentors.”
Juan Antonio is committed to his role as a multiplier to train more church planters in his denomination. “My prayer is that in every neighborhood of our city, we will have a church planted. There are 23 sections and we are currently in four. We continue on in the name of Jesus.”