FAQ: La Iglesia de Odessa (LIDO)
What do we call our Hispanic Church Plant?
- La Iglesia de Odessa, LIDO, for short. Same name as TCO except in Spanish.
Why Ray Sanabria?
- Ray served faithfully on staff at Idlewild for many years where he was Minister to Missions. He earned a Master’s degree from SEBTS. God birthed a desire in him to plant a Spanish-speaking church and he has a heart for reaching people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The TCO Elders have met with Ray and fully endorse his leadership of this church plant.
What will be the structure of LIDO?
- LIDO will be a ministry of TCO operating as a church plant.
- From an administrative standpoint, inside TCO it is a ministry of TCO.
- From an operational standpoint, to those outside who we are seeking to reach with the gospel, it is a church plant. This means that when we invite people to come, we are inviting them to LIDO, our Hispanic Church Plant.
- Like other ministries at TCO, LIDO will submit a budget to the TCO elders and operate according to this budget.
Will TCO and LIDO operate as two autonomous entities with separate leadership?
- Any LIDO staff will be a part of TCO’s staff, will submit to the oversight of TCO Elders, and submit to our by-laws and guidelines generally as any other ministry.
- LIDO will be responsible for its own funding sources, unlike other ministries at TCO, which receive their funding through TCO’s offerings. All LIDO expenses will be paid from the giving of LIDO. Giving to TCO will not be used to operate LIDO.
Why are we doing this?
- In short, because we are commanded to steward our lives and resources for the glory of God and the advancement of the gospel.
- We exist to reach people and grow people in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- We also believe church planting is a part of the DNA of every church and there is a large population of Spanish-speaking individuals in our area to whom we currently provide no ministry.
What will this look like?
- On April 11th, Pastor Ray will begin meeting with what will be called the “Church Plant Group,” or CPG for short. This group will worship with TCO at 9:15am and then meet in the third modular during the 11:00am hour to plan the launch of LIDO. The hope is that the CPG will grow into what eventually becomes LIDO, an official church plant. Once LIDO grows and is officially launched, LIDO will have its Grow Groups meet at 9:15am in the open classrooms and then LIDO will corporately worship at 11:00am in the sanctuary, opposite of TCO’s current schedule.
- General Information Meetings on LIDO will be held on March 21st and 28th after the 11:00am service for those interested in being part of LIDO and its CPG.
What will this cost TCO?
- With anything we do, there is always a cost. However, this will not immediately cost TCO any new dollars. We may decide voluntarily to contribute to LIDO from current sources such as our Mission’s budget, but that is yet to be determined. What we are offering to assist LIDO is the use of our facilities, eliminating the need for facility costs that can greatly hamper a church plant.
- We fully understand that there will be costs such as wear-and-tear on the building, use of resources, and opportunity costs regarding space usage, in addition to some groups having to shift around, share space, etc. But to be clear, any funds that are required to operate LIDO will come from sources outside of TCO’s current budget. At some point in the future, we will discuss how facility costs can be shared as LIDO grows.
How will we seek to merge the two groups into one body?
- We will incorporate both LIDO and TCO into the current Nursery, Preschool, Children’s Church, and Student Ministry structure on Sunday mornings, sharing volunteer responsibilities, as well. We believe this will help facilitate our desire that this be one church body meeting in two services.
- We will also jointly participate in ministries such as First Sunday Supper, Fellowship 3, Fajita Fridays at the Basham’s, and many more. LIDO and TCO will do some things individually, yet the goal is to have LIDO be part of TCO.
What about language barriers to our fellowship?
- Based on our meetings with Ray Sanabria and his experience and knowledge of the Hispanic population in this area, most people who attend LIDO will be bi-lingual to varying degrees.
Why would we start a separate service?
- This has more to do with culture than with language. Let’s be honest—culture matters. TCO’s worship and songs and style are a reflection of culture. The same will be true for LIDO. Additionally, there is something special about hearing the Bible taught in your heart or native language and worshipping in a style reflective of your culture. We believe LIDO will create this in a way that will attract people that otherwise TCO would not and, thus, the gospel will be advanced.
- Many bi-lingual Hispanics feel more comfortable speaking their mother language. And, there is an ever-increasing population of Spanish-speaking people moving from Central and South America to Tampa every year, who do not speak English at all.
How can I help?
- Pray for LIDO’s launch and that people are reached with the gospel.
- Invite people to LIDO that you believe would be interested.
- Give financially to LIDO as you are led. If you do, please indicate “LIDO” on the giving envelope or memo line on your check.
- Display a friendly spirit and share the love we have first received in the gospel as new faces appear on our campus.
- Be humble and flexible as we learn and make adjustments. This will require work from both TCO and LIDO, yet in this endeavor we can learn to sincerely love as we have been discussing right here on our campus.
What if I have additional questions?