Q & A With Jon Rocha

In order for you to get to know your Pastoral Intern (Jon Rocha) a little bit better, and in anticipation of his May 3rd vote (we will be voting on whether or not he should be extended the call to be our full-time Associate Pastor), we  have decided to publish some of the answers that he gave to us (i.e. the Leadership Team) on his Pastoral Questionnaire:

1) What are your goals in service to the Lord, and how will a change in location or change in ministry enhance these goals?

  • My goal for ministry is to be faithful to His calling. Success in God’s eyes is faithfulness despite the circumstances. In Hebrews 11, we see great men of faith and their success by both man’s and God’s standard. At the same time, many prophets and other Bible characters were just as faithful, but in the eyes of man, they were seen as unsuccessful. In God’s eyes those men were given a divine task, and they were successful. I see faithfulness as a call to do the most with the opportunities God places in front of me. This is reflected in my answers below about discipleship, counseling, and evangelism.

2) What new ideas, if any, would you like to implement in a new pastorate?

  • A youth program that is seen as more of a partnership between the parents and the youth pastor in order to better facilitate discipleship in the lives of teens.
  • Making our own teaching curriculum…
  • Tying all the different learning levels together so our families are learning the same things…

3) What are you doing in personal evangelism other than your public preaching and teaching ministries?

  • Using the opportunities God has given me in everyday life. I try to build very intentional relationships with the people God has put in my life through the army, work, and even just brief interactions.
  • More specifically, I have been seeking opportunities to share the gospel with three guys I work with and my medic from overseas.

4) What are you doing in personally discipling individuals or small groups apart from your public preaching and teaching ministries?

  • I use the same method as evangelizing.
  • More specifically, I have led a Bible Study at Drake University for the past two years and I am the Captain of the Faith Baptist Bible College Men’s Basketball Team. There are a number of different relationships (at Drake and on my basketball team) that I have built for the purposes of discipleship.

 5) What are some qualities you are looking for in a new church?

  • A church open to changing preferences and not doctrine.
  • A church enthusiastic about their walk with the Lord.
  • A church with a younger demographic.

 6) Are you willing to lead a church through a building program?

  • Most people view building projects as a recipe for church splits and so they shy away from them, but I think they are sign of growth and enthusiasm to spread God’s Word. I have been privileged to be a part of a building project in West Des Moines. I have learned from the pastoral staff that the right focus and motivation is key to a successful church building program.

7) List any special talents and abilities you have.

  • Leading
  • Building Relationships
  • Good Manager
  • Outgoing

8) What are your hobbies and interests?

  • Fishing
  • Sports
  • Manual Labor
  • Hunting
  • Reading
  • Working on Cars
  • Camping
  • Learning
  • Anything Outdoors

 9) Frankly rate yourself in the following areas. (0-10; 10 being outstanding)

___7/8__ Preaching / Teaching Ability

___7____ Personal Prayer Time

___6____ Personal Bible Study

___8____ Leadership and Administration

___9____ Pastoral Care

___9____ People Skills

___5____ Evangelism

___7____ Discipleship

___8____ Counseling

___6____ Family Time

10) Which version of the Bible do you prefer using in your teaching ministry?

  • For preparing, I like to use a combination of translations. Sometimes I use up to six or seven at time in order to better understand a passage. I prefer a very literal translation for study. Also, I use paraphrases, but very loosely and carefully. I want to be able to know what the original meaning of the text means.
  • When I am actually teaching, I like to use an ESV or HCSB because they are easy to follow along with, easy to listen to, and easy to understand for a modern day listener; while still conveying the original intent/thought of the author.

11) Please describe, in some detail, your approach to youth programming.

  • I would like to see an emphasis on TRUE discipleship. All too often we teach our youth to spit out the answers, instead of actually teaching them to live out the answers.
  • I also enjoy facilitating games and activities. I would like to do some type of activity outside of the normal meeting times at least once a month. Every quarter or so I would also try to do a very large activity. (i.e. missions trip, lock in, college trip).
  • I would like to meet on Sunday nights, instead of Wednesdays, and have the youth go to prayer meeting instead. This provides teens the opportunity to be stretched by interacting and building relationships with the older church body. On Sunday nights, we would simply go over the morning message in more detail.
  • For Sunday school, I would like to focus on more technical teaching. I would want to start small and eventually build this program into almost a college level course.

12) What is your position on counseling single women or counseling a woman alone?

  • I would never counsel a woman by myself. I would first direct them toward my wife. If the issue is too complex for my wife to handle, then I would suggest that we counsel the woman together or put her in contact with a female biblical counselor.

13) Please describe the importance of counseling to a local church ministry and your approach to building an effective counseling ministry.

  • It allows the church body to be discipled and fed on a more personal level, and it allows the pastor to better understand his congregation.
  • My approach to counseling is very similar to evangelism and discipleship. It is best to build very intentional relationships with people and be involved in their lives. Counseling can be done very informally…if done right. Formal counseling should be done on request or in the most extreme circumstances.

14) Please give your position toward the following:

A. Church Discipline – Church discipline needs to be done biblically. The end goal of church discipline is the restoration of a believer.

B. The Ordinances – Two ordinances are commanded: baptism and communion. They are symbols and not means of grace.

C. Missions – I do not disagree with having missions’ agencies, but I believe it has become a crutch. It is the churches responsibility to send missionaries.

D. Christian Stewardship – God has called us to be stewards of the gifts, talents, abilities, and possessions we have been given, and they need to be used for His glory.

E. Pastor’s Relationship with Deacons – The role of a deacon is not very detailed in the Bible. In Acts, we see a few deacons and it seems the role of a deacon is very much a service role, hence the title “deacon.” I think the deacons of a church should be the men who are serving the most in the church, and they should have a supportive relationship to the pastoral staff. They still speak on behalf of the congregation, but I do not believe the deacons should run the church. The church has collectively voted on the pastors for this purpose. Acts is a great book to really view how the church functions.

F. Marriage of Believers and Unbelievers – I believe it is strictly forbidden. 2 Corinthians 6:14 is very clear we are not to be unequally yoked. The exception to the rule would be if two unsaved people are married then one gets saved. Then 1 Corinthians 7:12-13 says they should stay together.

G. Divorce and Remarriage – In Matthew 19, Jesus said that divorce was not in God’s original plan, but He allowed it because of the hardness of man’s heart. I think in cases of sexual deviancy divorce is ALLOWED but not necessarily the RIGHT choice. The remarriage portion is still something I am unsure about.

H. Women in the Ministry – I think women can be in the ministry. I think she crosses boundaries if she is a pastor because she does not meet the qualifications of a pastor given in 1 Timothy 3. Also, I believe women are stepping out of their bounds if they are put over  men, in a teaching capacity, as seen in 1 Timothy 2.

Next week, we will continue our in-depth look at Jon Rocha by means of interviewing him with some fun questions!

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