Interview with Jerry Berenguer
Jerry Berenguer

In September 1992, Jerry went into full-time ministry and began what is now called Champion Life Centre. 26 years later, God is continuing to use him to advance His kingdom through church multiplication. Check out what Jerry has to say about leadership pipelines and development in this interview.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your ministry background.

I have been married for 30 years to Elvie, who pastors with me. We have three children and four grandchildren. I came from a business background and didn't have formal ministry training prior to planting a church. Since then, I have taken courses on the MTS program at Tyndale Seminary. In the last 26 years, I have established 13 churches and currently oversee 8 sites as the founding Lead Pastor of Champion Life Centre.

Why church multiplication?

It is the most effective way to reproduce believers. In order to make disciples of all nations and bring community transformation, we need to establish churches with Kingdom culture where new believers can grow and be nurtured. Our churches cannot be effective in meeting the needs of our community if the believers have to travel so far to attend a church. Therefore, the key is to multiply churches and plant them where the people are, rather than draw them away from their community.   

How important is developing a leadership pipeline for your multiplication vision?

Our church can only grow as much as our leaders can handle; and since we are releasing leaders to plant new churches, there is always a need for more leaders. Therefore, it's important for us to continuously produce new leaders to fill the leadership gap. Having enough leaders ensures that the church can carry the weight of the growth and enables us to expand into new locations without compromising our foundation. 

How did you start building your leadership pipeline?

First, we decided that we are called to make disciples according to Matthew 28:19-20. Then we determined that we are primarily an equipping centre - not just a preaching centre, according to Ephesians 4:11-15. We were intentional in communicating that vision and shifted our emphasis from preaching and teaching to a culture of equipping and releasing leaders. Then we started encouraging our leaders to make room for the next generation and challenging the next generation to rise up.

What is your process for developing leaders?

Our process is focused on ethos building rather than program development, in order to create a culture of fathering and sonship in the kingdom. We "father" potential leaders to mature as "sons" in the house before they can be leaders, to ensure that they accurately reflect and represent Christ. When leaders are identified, we take them through an intensive leadership school designed to develop their character and increase their capacity to lead while under pressure. 

How have your processes had to adapt for millennial leaders?

We model the character of a leader and then give them the opportunity to demonstrate it while we observe them. We intentionally position them in strategic leadership positions to allow them to lead while we mentor them. We have had to be flexible in our processes and adjust our expectations to allow millennial leaders to make mistakes as they learn to lead.

How do we engage more leaders in planting new churches?

Develop a culture of multiplication in existing churches. Give potential leaders the training and tools on how to effectively plant a church to boost their confidence. Encourage collaboration and strategic partnerships with existing churches. Share testimonies and resources that can inspire and ignite the passion to plant new churches.