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Crispin and his wife Marites have been talking about moving from one province in the Philippines to another so they can plant a new church in a lesser-reached region. He says, “My wife and I have been talking about it for a long time and praying that God would use us one more time to plant a church.”
The couple established the Charis Alliance church where they currently attend, and Crispin was involved in two other church plants before that. God has definitely blessed their efforts.
When asked about what it takes to successfully start a church, Crispin says, “Being a church planter is to be someone who has a big heart for missions, and they need to truly understand what it means to be a missionary.” Crispin has a creative way of explaining missions by breaking down the word “missionary” into three parts: “miss,” “ion,” and “nary.”
Miss: The first part of the word “missionary” contains the word “miss.” Crispin explains that missionaries have to give up something that they will miss. Many leave behind their families, friends, homes, careers, and comfort zones to become missionaries. Living on-mission requires sacrifice.
Ion: The middle of the word “missionary” contains “ion.” Crispin points out that these same three letters are found in the word “vision.” Missionaries are motivated by a vision. They want to see churches be planted and people be reached. Everything they do is propelled by the vision they have for inviting new people into God’s family.
Nary: The last part of the word “missionary” contains “nary.” Crispin points out that there’s another word that has that same ending: “extraordinary.” He says, “As a missionary, your purpose is turning ordinary people into extraordinary disciples of Jesus.” The goal of a missionary isn’t just to turn people into believers, but into true followers.
Crispin says that understanding what it means to be a missionary is the first step everyone in ministry needs to take. He says, “Second, ministers need to have a big heart and be proven in giving.” They need to be willing to make sacrifices, and if they don’t value giving, then they will have a lot of problems.
When asked about his logistical strategy for planting the new church, he says, “If God allows us to go there, I will start creating a small group of key leaders. Then I will help them reach out to all the churches in the Philippines and ask if they want to be involved.”
God has been using Crispin and Marites to reach Filipinos for decades. Even if you’re not a missionary, his philosophy can still be applied to all of Jesus’s disciples. Ask yourself, “Is there anything that I am willing to miss for the sake of reaching people? What’s my vision that motivates me to do what I do? Are there any ordinary people in my circles who I can help transform into extraordinary disciples of Jesus?”
Crispin and Marites