The vision for Baja Christian Ministries (BCM) is twofold. First, to physically and spiritually minister to the poor of Mexico, and second--through that process, help stimulate the faith of U.S. Christians into action (James 2:17). Simply put, BCM's goal is to stir U.S. Christians "out of their seats and into the streets" by encouraging them to use their God-given gifts for serving those in need as stated in Hebrews 10:24-25: "Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works ... encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." (RSV). BCM believes in equipping the saints for the work of service (Eph. 4:11-12) by enlisting their God-given gifts. "For as each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." (1Pet. 4:10) BCM also believes in the "priesthood of believers" in which we are all priests of God (1 Pet. 2:4-9; Rev.1:6) As a body of believers working together (1 Cor. 12), this ministry is not centered around a "one-man personality," but rather a mobilized army of believers to fulfill the Great Commission. The focus and outworking of this ministry is transferred from the "one" to the "many", believing that a working net in the hands of many is more effective to sweep a nation than fishermen using single lines.
Baja Christian Ministries follows several guiding principles:
Jesus Christ is the Model for Ministry: The anointing of the Spirit moved Jesus to bring good news to the poor (Luke 4:18). Likewise, BCM and its participants follow that same anointing. Just as Jesus ministered to physical and spiritual needs, BCM seeks to extend physical help where it is most urgently needed, and spiritual help to as many people as possible. Those who will share the gospel and good Spanish tracts and books, along with bibles, are strongly encouraged. Housing, food, and other material goods are given in Christ's name and without conditions. Families do not have to be a Christian, but are often drawn to Christ through the beacon light of these outreaches. As stated in Matt. 5: 16, "Let your light shine before men so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."
Ministry is Personal: Jesus cared about people as individuals. To the extent possible, BCM seeks to build personal relationships with ministry partners and with those whom we serve in Mexico. Project groups are encouraged to build relationships while in Mexico: laugh, cry, eat, celebrate, sing, listen, and share Christ with the poor and each other. That is how Jesus lived and interacted.
Partnership with Local Mexican Pastors: House building, church construction, outreach projects, and evangelism are normally carried out in neighborhoods where new church congregations are needed. A network of local Mexican pastors and BCM team members, who live and minister among the people and know their genuine needs, select recipient families for housing based on a screening process. In most communities where we build houses and perform outreach, a local presence also provides a spiritual community ready to receive and nurture new believers.
Facilitator for Ministry: As a non-denominational ministry, the role of BCM is to facilitate ministry. Each Christian church, group, or individual who comes to Mexico for ministry plans their own schedule and outreach activities according to their own scriptural convictions and style. BCM interviews and selects the recipient families, helps with transportation and overnight accommodation planning, secures all government permits, prepares the building site, provides all construction materials, and offers many ministry resources (fund-raising ideas, devotional guides, Spanish evangelism materials, etc.). We are here to assist you.
Revitalization of U.S./Canadian Churches: Churches in the United States and Canada need Mexico, just as much as Mexico needs them. Even though many people in Mexico are poor, many still experience joy that is not dependent upon possessions or status. God has many lessons to teach those who come to serve in Mexico. Has your heart lately seemed dry and in need of spiritual refreshment? Let God revitalize your heart through this ministry experience amongst the poor of Mexico. Even a weekend will make a difference. Come serve the poor with us and be refreshed.
"If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden."
— Isaiah 58:10-11
Building a Working Net: Just as a net is more efficient for fishing than a single line, BCM seeks to extend ministry by building a network of partners, volunteers, project teams, and donation resources. In this way, BCM staffing can remain small and efficient to reduce overhead costs and ensure that most resources reach the field. In this approach, the unique gifting and resources of each strand contributes to strength, flexibility, and coverage of the entire net. A net is particularly effective in cross-cultural ministry where it is important to connect and concentrate dissimilar resources.
Multiplication of Resources: By assembling and coordinating project groups, churches, and volunteers, BCM is able to multiply donated materials and labor. Through BCM networks, we recently calculated that $1.79 of materials/rendered services reach the field for every $1 contributed. By directing ministry through BCM, and supporting the "hub", outreach efforts can be strategically focused with greater efficiency.
Project Groups as Mentor Groups: Experienced project groups are encouraged to serve as mentor groups to others. By continuing to build and serve through BCM, experienced groups help support a ministry hub that enables new or inexperienced groups the opportunity to serve in Mexico which may be too difficult to do on their own. When experienced groups invite new groups to build alongside them, many other benefits result:
- Pre-trip planning can be shared
- Construction knowledge and resources can be shared or pooled
- More people are available for simultaneous outreaches
- Friendships, sister-church relationships, and ministry ties can be initiated or strengthened which can continue when groups return home
- Experienced groups reproduce and multiply their impact with little extra time, cost, or planning