What exactly is Church Ministries International?”

Church Ministries International (CMI) is an interdenominational missions support organization, based in Dallas, Texas. Its purpose is to help urban churches in Latin America with programs of evangelism, discipleship and church growth.

How old is CMI?

The ministry was initially incorporated in 1977 under the name of Church Planting International and later renamed LeTourneau Ministries International and more recently Church Ministries International. However, its roots can be traced back prior to 1977 when Roy LeTourneau and others first began church planting efforts in Lima, Peru.

Why is CMI needed in Latin America?

There are millions of people living in urban centers in Latin America who do not know Christ, and who will never be reached through conventional evangelical missions. CMI provides existing evangelical national churches with consulting on a unique strategy in urban evangelism and funds for buying property and building large evangelistic centers in major cities—especially the capital cities.

Aren’t there enough mission agencies already?

Yes, there are. That’s why CMI does not have any missionaries of its own, but is working entirely through existing evangelical missions. We are a catalyst, consulting and funding agency. We help missionaries and nationals with the strategy and facilities they need to make them many times more effective in their work of evangelizing and discipling their nation.

Why build churches in Latin America?

Changing lives with the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only hope for Latin America. All the social, political, and economic aid given to them are just band-aids on the problem. The underlying issues are spiritual ones. The Church is the God-ordained structure for conveying the Gospel in word and in deed. Where the Church grows, so too does benevolence, charity and social concern. However, a major road block to the development of churches is the inability to develop the facilities that will promote continuous growth rather than impede it. Excessive interest rates make it difficult and, at times, risky for churches to borrow money. In most situations, economic conditions make borrowing funds impractical if not impossible. However, once Encounter churches receive assistance from CMI to develop their facilities, they become completely self-supporting and set aside 20% of their income to build other churches. In time, they develop the critical mass to sustain an ongoing church planting movement without dependence on outside resources. We don’t know of a better investment.

What do you mean by the 20/20 Vision?

The 20/20 Vision represents CMI’s goal to see 20 Encounter churches in all 20 capital cities of Latin America.

What is CMI’s affiliation?

CMI is interdenominational. By that we mean that it crosses denominational lines to work with any evangelical mission to implement this proven and effective strategy. To learn more about what we believe, please see our Statement of Faith.

How important are my gifts to CMI?

Your gifts are indispensable. Without the giving of concerned, missions-minded people, churches, and other organizations, the work of evangelizing Latin America cannot be completed.

Are there opportunities to be exposed first-hand to the ministry?

Observation trips to Latin America are scheduled throughout the year. These trips provide a great opportunity to view the work firsthand.

How may I be kept up-to-date on CMI?

If your name is on our mailing list, you will receive the Encounter quarterly newsletter and regular email updates on the work.

What is the greatest obstacle CMI faces today?

Our great need is prayer and our greatest obstacle is adequate funding. As we receive funds, existing churches are strengthened and where trained teams of Christian workers are already in place new churches are begun.

May I designate my gifts?

Yes, if you are concerned and burdened for a specific project, you may direct your gift.

Are my gifts tax-deductible?

Yes, and your gifts will be receipted promptly. A yearly accounting will be sent to you.

What is the structure of CMI?

CMI is governed by a Board of Directors made up of Christian leaders dedicated to evangelism, discipleship and church growth.

In how many countries is CMI presently working?

Presently, the Encounter Strategy is in ten Latin American countries—Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Venezuela, Uruguay and Honduras—as well as in Spain. Currently, CMI’s primary emphasis is in the city of Quito, Ecuador. There we are implementing a multi-year vision known as the Quito Initiative.

What is the difference between CMI and Encounter with God?

Encounter with God is the strategy CMI helped initiate in Lima, Peru, in 1973. It consists of team-based ministry, dynamic evangelism focused initially on the urban professional segments of society, prominently located and well-constructed sanctuaries, discipleship, and leadership training.

How does a church or mission qualify for CMI help?

Agreement with CMI’s statement of faith and a proven commitment to the Encounter with God principles are basics to qualifying for help. We then look to the strategic priority of the city and the availability of funds.

Has the strategy operated long enough to know that it works?

Yes! Since 1973 one church of 180 members in Lima, Peru, has grown to more than 70 churches, ministering to multiplied thousands each week in Lima alone. Likewise, early results in other cities indicate that similar outcomes are possible in those places as well.

Has the strategy proven to be transferable to other countries?

Yes! It is working in many other cities and countries throughout Latin America.

How may I give?

There are a variety of ways for you to provide gifts to CMI. Click here to learn more.