Part of a Bigger Story: Developing Leaders in Málaga, Spain [Video]

18 Jul


Mission: to know our neighbors, to make new disciples of Jesus, and to develop and train them so they can live it out in the world. Our ultimate dream and hope is really to see a movement of God here in this neighborhood that would go throughout Málaga, throughout Spain, and even have a touch and influence in all of Europe...



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Amber: We moved to Málaga five years ago, particularly because we sensed the Lord leading us to this country. We came knowing there was a great need here, knowing that less than 1% of Spaniards would call themselves followers of Jesus. And so we came knowing there was a great need, and knowing there would be a need for a very relational, neighborhood-type ministry.

Deric: We just see this as a place of tremendous potential and opportunity. It’s amazing to be in a place where a lot of people would even say, “Hey, I believe in Jesus,” but they don’t really believe Jesus has the power to change and make a difference in their lives.

Amber: One of the primary focuses of our ministry here is really seeing our neighborhood first, and we want to be a place, a faith community of belonging, where we are actually inviting people in to share life with us.

Deric: First is those who don’t know Christ yet. They haven’t yet come to faith in Jesus and said, “Hey, I’m a follower of Jesus.” Every interaction our team has here, we try to ask, “How can we—in our conversation, in our life, in the ways that we connect with people—move people along that continuum to become followers of Jesus, to understanding God’s love for them, to be able to experience that so they also can live that out in their life?”

Amber: Another significant part of our work here is helping to develop young leaders.

Deric: And then we get to a place where people have made a statement of faith. They have said, “Hey, I am a follower of Jesus. I’m in.” Like my friend Alec. And guys like that are just gaining clarity in who they are. We work with them to try to understand that more fully. We also think it’s critical in our time here that we also start raising up Spanish leaders who could respond to a call, to the movement of God.

Alec: He helps me see the purpose in my life. We’re always talking a lot about that, and he makes it important. Deric helps me grow and makes me work hard at reading the Bible or doing the things he asks me to do. Mainly he helps me be a better person. I’m always thinking how to be better. I’m always thinking of the things that I want for the future.

Amber: We also have a heart to develop others who might come from outside of Spain, leaders who might want to come for a season of life.

Deric: The third thing is people like Mikaela, who are more clear on their gifts, who are much further along the continuum of their love for God and their love for others. It’s a chance for us to develop and invest in them more deeply as they gain more vision for the world, more vision for how God is going to use them.

Mikaela: When I came to Spain three years ago for the Apprenticeship, there was a lot of myself that I didn’t fully understand. I wasn’t totally confident in who I was and what I brought to the table. There were a lot of different things that I was interested in and passionate about, and I couldn’t see how any of them could possibly line up. Through the Apprenticeship, the Life Compass, and coaching, I gained a lot more confidence in my own natural abilities, the gifts that God has given me to be able to do his Kingdom work.

Deric: I get excited when I see younger leaders start taking initiative, thinking more deeply about the kind of influence that they’re having and the kind of influence that they want to have. They start discovering that “God’s given me something. That’s important, that’s part of a bigger story, and I have a part to play in that.”   

Amber: Our heart is really to see a movement of God’s Spirit in our neighborhood. There are so many things that we can do, but really this neighborhood and lives are going to be transformed because of his Spirit.

Deric: It’s exciting to think about what could happen—of a real movement of God in this place. We believe, and are praying, that it happens in our lifetime—that we get to be part of that and get to see it happen.


ABOUT: Deric and Amber Moen live in Málaga, Spain, with their three daughters. They lead the :Beta: Málaga Team with CRM’s ChurchNEXT division, seeking to be a redemptive presence in their city, developing young Christian leaders, and investing in those who don’t yet follow Jesus.

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