From September to November 2015, Pastor Ross Arnold preached a series of nine sermons about What’s Next that outlined what he called “marching orders” for Lakeside Presbyterian Church. The series was primarily based on Matthew 25:31-46.
I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.
Lakeside Presbyterian has a robust Feeding Ministry. Our well-equipped, industrial kitchen serves thousands of meals each month. We also support feeding ministries in other nearby communities—particularly breakfasts for school children. We regularly deliver “despensas” of pantry staples to dozens of families in the community.
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.
While we originally focused on spiritual thirst, when the congregation of Lakeside Presbyterian heard about the water problems in local communities, they quickly stepped up to build a water treatment facility in La Zapotera.
I was a stranger and you invited me in.
Our Ministry Outreach service group regularly goes to Guadalajara to welcome migrants and refugees from Central America, providing food, blankets, shoes, and clothing in the name of Jesus.
I needed clothes and you clothed me.
One of our community groups stepped up to provide school uniforms for children in the area who couldn’t afford them. We also have a clothing bank housed in our church that’s available to anyone in need.
I was sick and you looked after me.
Our Faith Community Nurse regularly offers free blood pressure checks and blood glucose testing. She has brought in a local optometrist to give free eye exams. We deliver adult diapers to many who can’t afford them. Our Congregational Care Pastor, as well as an entire service group regularly visit the sick and shut-in.
I was in prison and you came to visit me.
Members of both our English-language and Spanish-language congregation visit the men’s and women’s prisons in Guadalajara. They also minister to people in two drug rehab centers, in Chapala and Mezcala.
Welcome the little children.
Our very active Children and Family Ministry serves a multitude of children and parents—including Sunday School programs, reading groups, music programs, English as a Second Language classes, computer classes, sewing classes, tutoring in reading and writing for older children who have never attended school, and even tennis lessons!
Go and make disciples.
While this was the last sermon in the What’s Next series, making disciples has always been the top focus of Lakeside Presbyterian Church. One of the main ways of training disciples, of course, has been the Sunday morning sermon—but we also have had a regular Bible Study on Friday mornings and a Sunday School class for adults for our English-language congregation. Our seminary-level school, Lakeside Institute of Theology, is officially licensed and registered with the government of Mexico and can offer degrees. Classes are offered in both English and Spanish.
On December 9, 2018, in one of his final sermons, Pastor Ross shared his vision for the future of our church now that we have established ministries in all these areas. He called it the 5 Campaigns:
1. Go deeper. We can expand our outreach areas: food, clothing, visitation, medical care, building of feeding community centers; water purification. Then we must address deeper issues underlying these problems, like developing community gardens.
2. Foundations. What should we do to meet needs that are foundational to people beginning to meet their own needs. For example: more job skill training; expanding ESL and computer classses; classes on home and finances; family nutrition; sewing classes; small business loans and small business development.
3. Be a Welcoming Place. How can we make Lakeside Presbyterian a focus of community activities, not just Church activities?
4. Lakeside Association of Churches. As the body of Christ, we can gather small churches in our area together for support; and we should plant churches where none exist.
5. Have you heard? Lakeside Presbyterian Church must plan and implement a strategic marketing campaign; involve more people to work on ministry projects; and develop a greater online video presence.