Senior Pastors

By Mario Valdes, Merge TF Mexico​

During the past few years of running​ Merge​ mission trips​,​ I have seen a decrease in the number of Senior Pastors participating. I wonder why? But then I think the pressure of running a church and pastoring their flocks, plus having enough personal family time, makes it almost impossible for Senior Pastors to attend mission trips nowadays.merge 2014

Thankfully this summer TWO Senior Pastors came with their mission teams. I was excited to have them. They play such a tremendous role during the trips. I do believe their personalities produce a big impact not only with their flock, but also to the local people.

Usually trips are packed full of activities all-day and all-week long. But I’ve noticed for Senior Pastors the trips are primarily about spending time with locals in order to develop RELATIONSHIPS. By the way, that is one of Merge’s Big Three Core values (hee hee hee). Talking, smiling, listening without totally understanding what someone from another culture/language is saying, smiling some more, praying, calling for interpreters to help, praying even more, preaching, encouraging (do not forget the smiling), caring, leading, praying, and on, and on, and on!!!!!!

I’d like to recognize and thank Pastor Becky Poor of Saranac Community Church in Saranac MI and Pastor John Duball of New Day Covenant Church in Rochester MN for participating in their church’s mission trips this summer. Your presence made a huge difference in people’s lives.

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  1. Thank you for your kind and affirming words Mario! I was truly blessed by this trip and would strongly encourage all Senior Pastors to make Merge mission trips a priority! I had wrestled with my trip attendance at first because we’ve had a lot happening in church lately and I felt guilty about going away again (I was away a lot this spring due to family commitments). But I’m so glad I went, because this was truly a blessed time! I truly believe God intended for us to share this experience together! And I think God wanted to humble me a bit too, church is really fine without me. I need to remember that!
    I give great thanks to God, and to you and the other Merge leaders, for the blessings our team received and for the many ways I was personally moved through this experience too! Our mission trip provided some deeply appreciated quiet time with God, strengthened relationships among our church members, and opened the door to beautiful new connections with brothers and sisters in Christ in the DR ( and Mexico

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