If you are considering quitting your ministry, hold on. Rethink what you are doing. If you are stressed or lack strength, whatever you need, ask God. Trust God and continue moving forward with your ministry.—Bill Hybels
When Carlos Arroyo heard Bill Hybels speak these challenging words at The Global Leadership Summit in 2012, he made a decision not to quit ministry. The trajectory of his life changed as he decided to follow the passion God put in his heart. As a result, in Carlos’ current role as regional director for the GLS in South America, he has served thousands of leaders who’ve had the opportunity to hear God’s whisper on their own calling through the Summit. In turn, his work is having a transformational impact on hundreds of thousands of lives.
God speaks through transition
“I moved to Panama in 2012 because of my wife’s work,” says Carlos. “It was a transitional period in my life. I’m originally from Costa Rica, and was pastoring a church there before we moved. Prior to being a pastor, I was a sales manager in the marketplace. When I moved to Panama, I was deciding whether or not I should quit ministry or go back to working in the marketplace. I thought I could serve the church from this new position. I was struggling with this decision when I attended the Summit.”
“God spoke to me at that GLS,” says Carlos. “I prayed and I renewed my commitment to ministry, even though I didn’t know yet what that would look like.”
God equips the servant leader
A year and a half passed, and there were no apparent opportunities to do ministry, however Carlos continued to be involved with the GLS in Panama and Costa Rica. He also started serving as a volunteer for the GLS in Central America and the Caribbean. “I continued being patient and I kept believing that God would speak to me,” says Carlos. “It was imprinted on my spirit and my heart to be in ministry.”
God provides opportunity
After a year and a half, Carlos received an offer from WCA to become the regional director for South America, Panama and Cuba. “This is my ministry,” says Carlos. “It is not just a job. I am serving God doing what I am doing. I believe I have even more opportunities to influence leaders than I had when I was a pastor. Now I can mix up my market place experience with my experience as a pastor, and help address the challenges that people face. I can serve them in a better way. Now I can influence leaders who influence more leaders. I thank God for this opportunity.”
God blesses South America through Carlos
Carlos’ brings fresh strategy in how to expand the GLS in South America. With his vision to expand the GLS within major cities, he believes the GLS can go beyond scratching the surface of opportunities in some of these countries where there is the biggest need for sound, godly leadership.
When Carlos became the regional director, he quickly realized the many opportunities we could go after. “I am a thinker,” says Carlos. “I like to think about the strategy and try to do things with a reason behind it. So I started to figure out new ways to serve South America. Through prayer and strategy, I approached the reality of the region, and I learned something. I come from a small country of about five million people. I traveled to South America for the very first time and came to a realization: Lima, Peru is home to 10 million people; Buenos Aires, Argentina is home to eight million people; Bogota, Colombia is home to approximately 10 million people, etc. This is huge! How can I serve this many?! It’s like dream for me!”
Carlos remembered the GLS vision for every Christian to develop leadership skills in order to expand Kingdom impact. “How can we expand Kingdom impact by having only one site in such big cities?” asks Carlos. “I realized we need a lot of sites within these large urban areas, so this is the strategy I’ve been following since 2014.”
As a result, Carlos is adding great value to the GLS expansion process. In Lima, Peru, we will have four sites. In Buenos Aires, Argentina we will have three sites. The expansion within major cities is multiplying. “My grander vision is to have GLS events and a year-round process all around South America,” says Carlos. “Like candles throughout the major cities, we can impact millions of people. That is my grander vision, and we have already started, but I have a vision to impact even more lives.”
There are many needs to make Carlos’ vision a reality. “We need more resources,” says Carlos. “What type of resources? It’s not just financial resources, but also people resources. We need people to work with me to take care of such a large region. South America is huge! We need South American leaders to work on marketing and expanding the GLS with me.”
The other need has to do with countries that are very under-resourced. “We still need more funding to help them host the GLS,” says Carlos. “We want to keep the price accessible to pastors and leaders who usually do not earn much money. One of our strategies is trying to approach market place leaders and sponsors to help us with the costs.
With financial and people resources, Carlos believes the GLS impact in South America could be exponential. “We have lots of opportunities we could be leveraging to serve communities and the Church even better.”
Thank you for praying for and supporting leaders like Carlos, and giving opportunities for leaders to realize their calling
Willow Creek Association donors, supporters and people who love the GLS, I am Carlos Arroyo from Latin America, and I have the blessing and the opportunity to serve several countries in South America, as well as Panama and Cuba. I’ve seen the needs we have met through your resources. Thank you very much. Without your heart for giving, we could not have had the GLS in countries like Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba, Chile, Peru and others in the rest of Latin America. I encourage you to continue with your great heart and gift of giving. I challenge you to invite others to be part of this movement. Under-resourced countries like ours need your support. I am certain that God will bless you, because this GLS movement is from the heart of God. Thank you very much.—Carlos Arroyo, regional leader for the GLS in South America