Senior Pastor Patricio Serrano and Assisting Minister Rosa Serrano had been independent pastors in Grand Junction, Colo., for seven years when their paths crossed with the Foursquare family at a youth camp.
So what happened when this dynamic couple encountered Foursquare and brought their church under our movement as Aliento de Vida (Grand Junction Hispanic Foursquare Church) in Grand Junction, Colo.? Patricio and Rosa candidly share their story.
Why did you choose to join the Foursquare family?
Patricio: In 2011, my church attended a Foursquare youth camp. One of our youth leaders had come from a Foursquare church and encouraged us to attend. When we were there, we felt very welcomed and included in everything. We kept going back to the youth camps, and in 2013 we started going the Gateway District trainings.
Eventually, I talked with my wife and told her we should either think about joining Foursquare or stop going because we were receiving so many resources and a lot of training, but we weren’t Foursquare. Prior to that, we felt very isolated, and we didn’t really have fellowship with other pastors. Now we had people looking out for us. Pastoral care is really big in Foursquare, and that’s something that’s really helped us.
What is pastoral care like in your district?
Rosa: Liliana Hanold, our divisional superintendent, calls us often and asks us how we are doing in our personal lives, and in the church. We also pray with her and the group of pastors in our region, and we talk about different important topics each time. We have received calls from Martin Ruarte, the leader of Hispanic ministry in our district, also to ask us how we are doing. We do not feel like we get lost in the group; they have a more personal relationship with us.
What are some benefits that you’ve received by attending district trainings?
Rosa: Although we had been pastors for several years, the district trainings have been like the foundation of the ministry we now have. Many of the things they teach us in regional trainings have to do with pastoral care, how to care for ourselves and how to care for the congregation, how to multiply. It is not so much about how to preach, but more about how to make the church flourish.
Who helped you in your transition to become Foursquare pastors?
Rosa: We cannot name just one person because there were several: Daniel and Monica Prieto, Martin Ruarte, Liliana Hanold, Martha Gallegos. It’s a group of people. It’s a team, and they work in unity. They work very closely with one another, and everyone does their part in what they are responsible for.
Have you been able to attend a Foursquare convention?
Patricio: We have attended two: Dallas in 2014 and Anaheim in 2015. At the Anaheim convention, several speakers talked about starting things—starting different ministries, small or big. So when we came back, my wife and I started a young adults Bible study.
We live about 10 minutes from Colorado Mesa University, and young people come to Grand Junction from different parts of Colorado to either study or work. We wanted to connect with them and be an extended family to them. For an entire school year, we invited them to our house, my wife cooked dinner for them, and I would do a short Bible study. Then we’d have a time of fellowship.
How would you encourage other Foursquare pastors who are reading your story?
Rosa: It has been a great blessing for us to be under the covering of The Foursquare Church. Knowing we have a family that is supporting us in every area, both spiritually and physically, makes our job so much easier. We have been given the necessary resources and tools so that we can have a successful ministry.