Steve Bremner

Author, Podcaster & Writing Coach

What Do We Do In Peru?

Last updated: Sept 2017

So Steve, you blog a lot, record podcast episodes quite often and publish Kindle books. Other than being on the internet a lot, what do you actually DO down there in Peru?

Good question! Mainly teaching in our ministry school along with Mark Burgess, which I want to tell you about in a moment.

Lili and I are a part of a ministry called “Oikos (Centrale)”. The name comes from the New Testament Greek word which basically means ‘extended family’ or ‘household’ of the people of God (see Romans 16:3-5 and 1 Corinthians 16:19 for examples of its use).

No, we did not name ourselves after our appreciation for Greek yogurt.

In early-mid 2014 as part of Oikos’s leadership we launched our own missional community called Oikos Cedros. This is in response to how the ministry of Oikos was expanding. We are still part of the larger Oikos central “hub” and under our mentoring from Mark and Anna Burgess, while actively involved in the church (more on that below).

As we prayed about it, we all sensed God inviting us to oversee a new missional community (MC) right here in our neighbourhood in the district of Los Cedros, and that’s what we did for the next two years.

Home Fellowship

We first started meeting Monday nights with two of our ministry school students who we invited to be a part of it, to pray and seek God’s face for the specific strategy for how to reach our neighborhood, Los Cedros, and establish a growing missional community that would multiply itself down the road.

We saw over 15 of our neighbors and close acquaintances we prayed for by name in those meetings accept Jesus Christ as their Savior! As a result, we started having inductive Bible studies in our living room on Wednesday nights with a portion of them who asked us to help them read and understand the Bible. On these Monday night prayer times, one faithful sister kept bringing people to the prayer meeting who then accepted Christ into their life, and others who have received healing in their physical bodies. In fact, more of our disciples have gotten saved from coming to a prayer meeting than not!

Our personal desire and interest is in pouring ourselves into disciples who will do the same (please visit my post Information, Imitation, and Innovation in Discipleship for way more detail), our strategy is currently to focus on informal gatherings in our homes (meals, games nights, etc…) on another night of the week. We’re attempting to create a disciple-making culture where our disciples can also make disciples, and multiply the Kingdom of God because it’s naturally a part of their own DNA from disciple-making from the culture we’re creating.

For more about our growth framework, either read this post or listen to this podcast episode “Disciple multiplication & Slow Burn Revival” (Link or download for later). After some time, we discontinued hosting such Bible studies, while still having other informal meetings and meals with many of those who were letting us pour into their lives.

We strongly sense the Lord is bringing the people He has appointed for this, and as mentioned we’ve already seen a few people, including new converts, start coming to our prayer times as soon as they heard about them.

Now Lili has been discipling and mentoring a small group of ladies we’ve met through me taking Jemina to a park every day and meeting other parents, as well as the other moms in Jemina’s nursery. At the time of writing (updating) this post, Lili has led two of these women to Christ and is continuing to disciple them while they do an Alpha course through our Iglesia Oikos.

Reproducing reproducers

 

Our vision is to train disciples with a passion for Jesus and a desire in our disciples to follow Jesus as we follow Him, and who will go make disciples themselves.

This is not something only pastors do, but people can be a huge impact on their friends, family and neighbors. This is the approach we’re taking: inviting our neighbors into our lives, whether they already know Jesus or not.

Since the word “missional” can mean all sorts of things to different people who hear that word, please check out this podcast discussion with Mark, Shaun and myself from late 2012 called “What is Missional Community?” [Link, or download for later]

Discipleship School

Separate but interconnected to this, my main focus in Oikos has also been as one of the teachers in the Oikos Escuela de Ministracion. In our first year (2013) we started with 6 students, three of whom came from the jungle of Pucallpa, where Oikos also has a network of fellowships who share our DNA.

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Going fishing with our students and friends.

We are now in our fifth year of this program, with a new intake of first-year students. Two of our original class is currently teaching material while getting trained to take this model of discipleship school with them back to the Jungle to teach, mentor and disciple there while planting a church in 2019. With our two years of ministry school, we average about ten students each year.

Working closely alongside Mark and another Peruvian leader, I am heavily involved in teaching many of the classes in both first and second year throughout 2017, the latter of which meets two nights per week, and the former which meet three mornings per week both from March to December.

What makes our school distinct?

Not merely that we eat several meals together each week. Nor is it that many of the students live in the same apartment complex and most of us are all walking distance from each other in the same neighborhood. But community and ‘family’ is the foundation of the school.

The students who wish to participate in this spend one year in our curriculum of covenant identity courses in the mornings and books of the Bible, and they have ministry opportunities during the week, along with a day off.

The optional second year focuses on kingdom realities, and doing the Gospel: how to heal the sick, how to minister in various practical ways, and plugging in to practical ministries other members of our team lead, for a few examples. The second year students are each given a ministry that suits their calling or else are integrated into various responsibilities that suit them.

For more where I shared about what exactly we’re doing in Peru (albeit from a couple of years, but much of what we discussed is still the same), you’re encouraged to listen to a podcast I once recorded with Dr. Stephen Crosby called “Is It Necessary For Christians To Attend Church Meetings”
(Link, or download for later).

Other Stuff

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Lili has a gift and a passion for teaching children and ministering to them. She oversees the Oikos Centrale‘s Sunday school and children’s ministry, and has come up with a lot of the lessons and plans that others have used in Sunday school and other children’s meetings during the week, as well as translating from English to Spanish many of the lessons other team members have used.VLUU L100, M100 / Samsung L100, M100

And like mentioned, as a stay-at-home mom with a new daughter and a three year-old, Lili is also mentoring several of the ladies in our neighborhood, which keeps us all busy.

Hopefully this gives you at least an idea of what we are doing in down here!

If you’d like to know more about how you can partner with us in this, please visit this link or view the appropriate tabs at the top of this site.