FROM THE HEART OF A PASTOR
Pastor Arturo Lee
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Today we interview Arturo Lee, Principal Pastor of El Camino Church in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and husband of Paty Lee and father of Priscila, Daniel and Paola Lee.
The church El Camino has been a seed church and pioneer in the city of Guadalajara, as in other cities of the country. From here, pastors and leaders have been raised up and planted other churches. Among them: John Evans, Rubén Díaz, Jesús Olivares and even Marcos Witt (who today is known in much of the Christian world as a minister of worship) to name a few.
Pastor Arturo Lee has been serving in the church since 1982, he began serving in the nursery area taking care of babies, then he was a teacher in the Children’s Church, becoming the director of the Children’s Church along with his wife Patricia for 10 years. He was also responsible for the proper functioning of the 13 groups at home that we had in different areas of the city, having one of them in his own house for 15 years.
Later, at the request of John Evans and his team, he was invited to be an administrator of the Church, since his profession as a Public Accountant Auditor would help him a lot. Subsequently, in 1997 he was appointed as one of the Pastors of the Church, until, in 2006, before the departure of John Evans and Flor to plant a Church in another city, he was appointed Senior Pastor of El Camino Church to date.
When did you realize you had been called to ministry and why as a pastor or leader?
I think it was a day in which God showed me that I could NOT serve 2 masters, because at that time I was exercising my career as a Public Accountant and my income was very good, but I began to struggle to manage both my accountant job and working for the church.
I had to make a difficult decision to stop receiving a secure income that supported my wife and my 3 children, and to choose to work fully for the Church, waiting and trusting fully in God’s provision. I talked to my family and told them, “I don’t understand, but I feel a strong call from God to serve Him full time.”
What are your plans to expand ministry?
At 63 years of age and with the help of John Evans, in his apostolic role, we are preparing a team of young people in the area of leadership and preaching, helping them to develop their gifts and talents, expanding the pastoral ministry. We are also thinking about preparing a couple so that, in due course, they will take my place.
How have you kept intentional evangelism in your life?
For me, Christianity must be practical, what I know of the Word of God I put into practice in my life, and with the people who day by day I have contact with. Therefore, my way of evangelizing is as Jesus Christ did, first I win their hearts and then their ears.
What do you think the church needs most?
I think you need to know and believe that we are spiritual, non-religious people, that we have the Holy Spirit, and this makes us walk as children of God and this means we are very different and we’ll see more of the power of God in our lives.
How did you decide to be part of Regions Beyond’s coverage?
We had a big problem in the church and our previous coverage did not want to help us but wanted to end our ministry; I’m talking about the leader who ran this area of Mexico at the time. And that’s why we decided to part ways with this coverage and lasted 4 years without any other coverage during this time.
By that time, John Evans was already part of Regions Beyond serving with his apostolic gift and approached and talked with us, inviting us to be part of this movement.
This was not easy for my wife to accept, but God confirmed his calling by my being named as one of the Pastors, clearly understanding that to be a Pastor is to SERVE with LOVE the children of God.
What is the most important part of pastoral ministry?
I believe that one of them is to disciple people in their spiritual growth and also to teach them to bring their difficulties and daily circumstances to the feet of Christ by believing and trusting in Him.
What is your greatest joy in ministry?
Serving and working with God and his children.
And so, I have been able to reach the ears of the one who sells the newspaper, the one who washes the cars, the security guard of the bank, the man who attends the supermarket, the man who sells materials for construction, the people who attend the market etc. This is my way of keeping intentional evangelism in my life.
What experience have you gained working and running a church?
I have gained a lot of experience; it is a huge job where you work with souls of different characters, circumstances, problems and conditions and you have to work with them with the Bible in hand, and that leads you to prepare yourself more and more every day with full dependence on God, learning and growing with all that goes into working and leading a church.
I discussed it with a group of church leaders and this team got together for a meeting with John Evans. We liked their proposal, their vision, their work and the support they would give us. We were also greatly influenced by our relationship, knowledge and friendship which we had and have with John, and that’s why we decided to belong to Regions Beyond.
Tell us what it’s been like to be part of Regions Beyond?
It has been a GREAT BLESSING to be a part of Regions Beyond because we have worked together on projects that have increased the maturity, knowledge, and spirituality of the church, as well as increased relationships and looking out for each other for growth in ministry as well as personal.
Also, knowing that we have friends in different parts of the world and that we share the same vision and desire to extend the kingdom of God together is wonderful! We are excited to be a part of Regions Beyond.