Serving in: Harrisonburg, VA, United States
Program name: Long-term service
- Serving since:
Marvin Lorenzana mentors Hispanic leaders by nurturing leadership development, theological education and church planting within Virginia Mennonite Conference as Mennonite Hispanic Initiative (MHI) Director.
He was a part-time staff member of VMMissions from 2014 to 2016. Marvin was instrumental in launching MHI in 2008 as a VMMissions approved ministry with the help of the VMMissions USA Ministries Director. MHI is a ministry that focuses on church planting, leadership development and theological education among Mennonite Latinos.
Marvin also launched the local Anabaptist Biblical Institute chapter in Harrisonburg, Va., which has taught theology to local Hispanic leaders since 2006.
Marvin was part of the leadership team of Iglesia Discipular Anabaptista (IDA) for several initial years. He began a new church plant called El Camino Discipular, and regularly met with pastors Brigido and Fernanda Carbajal. He has since transitioned from leadership there.
Marvin is a credentialed minister within Virginia Mennonite Conference and has more than 23 years of pastoral experience as a youth pastor, church planter and senior pastor in different assignments. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and Organizational Development from Eastern Mennonite University, as well as a Masters of Divinity from Eastern Mennonite Seminary. He is presently working towards a Doctor of Ministry degree with Asbury Seminary.
From his Worker Profile in the Summer 2017 issue of Transforming:
I lead the Mennonite Hispanic Initiative (MHI) within Virginia Mennonite Conference (VMC) and work to develop ministry among Hispanics with a focus on leadership development, foundational theological training and church planting. We identify potential leaders within our congregations in order to provide them with coaching, mentoring and training in character development and ministry capacity. We hope to identify church planters who will help us plant a network of sister congregations in VMC.
Our biggest challenge is the fact that we are working with a community of mostly immigrants who tend to be transient in the region. The ones who are rooted in the area tend to be extremely busy with more than just one job, and they find it difficult to engage in church life and training events. Most of our people have very little or no formal education, which can cause them to feel intimidated by our training events.
MHI has been able to provide seminary training for at least five of our leaders. We continue to work with two established congregations and are launching a new church plant in VMC’s Northern District, Iglesia Menonita Monte Moriah. Lizzette Hernandez is doing great work leading the local chapter of Anabaptist Biblical Institute (IBA), where a number of students are about to graduate with a diploma in theological studies. Some of our leaders have been invited to resource training events related to Iglesia Menonita Hispana and Mennonite Education Agency.
A typical day:
Every day can be different since the bulk of my work is being a coach to Hispanic leaders in how to develop discipleship cultures within their local context. I encourage them to explore and develop new leadership skills. I also spend significant time caring for the personal and family lives of our Hispanic leaders.