Brothers Abraham and Jonathan Quinones have attended Iglesia Christian Fellowship for eleven years. Both brothers completed DBA’s Lifechanger summer internship program and currently serve together in church leadership positions. These two dynamic young men have graciously shared insights on ministry, serving with a sibling, and the Lifechanger program. Read below to hear from Jonathan.
1.How long have you attended Iglesia Christian Fellowship?
I have attended Iglesia Christian Fellowship (ICF) since 2008.
2. Describe your current ministry roles and the community you serve.
I currently serve as the media director and as the assistant treasurer. Aside from that, I am involved in the Young Adult ministry as the discipleship coordination. The community we serve is mixture of older Hispanic families that have lived there for generations and new young families that are moving into new homes that surround the area. We feel specially placed as we are made up of a good number of young adults, who are ourselves transitioning into adulthood and have ties to our Hispanic culture that make us who we are, yet have grown through our surrounding culture which allowed many of us to be bilingual.
- What has been the biggest blessing in working alongside your brother?
Having him, a person I know loves me so deeply, along to call me out and lovingly invite me to his side as I grow has been a foundation in the trust we share. A relationship that began at home in childhood, and yet has expanded to our ministry is a blessing that we love to share and invite others into.
- What are some other benefits you’ve received in serving with your sibling?
The bond and responsibility of being family pushes me to build on the relationship. It’s a blessing to know that God has created the family unit to be something so special and an example of love in its many shapes. To seek that closeness of love with my brother has allowed me to refine my abilities to love. As we spend so much time together, I get to see how God has grown us individually and separately to love each other better. This gets to be a foundation that pushes me to love others like I would love my brother. It’s also been a blessing to have someone who knows you so well and someone whom you share a vision with so strongly that actions never seem individualistic but that of a team that trusts well. It’s always been a blessing to experience Jesus’ comforting and steady love through my brother. A love that simply says, “I love you and nothing will ever change that”. A love that invites you home and never makes you doubt if it is present. That love brings me security, confidence, and is reciprocated.
- Have there been any challenges in working in ministry with your sibling? If so, how have you overcome them?
The biggest challenges I have experienced have been those of expectations. The thought that people compare me to my brother and hold certain expectations of me has been something that the enemy has used against me. These thoughts, although present, have pushed me to face my insecurities and weaknesses and grow in my abilities. To live in the beauty of God’s creation, which made us different and unique, in order to work together to display His glory. Through my brother’s constant encouragement and consistency I was able to not only understand this but live it with him.
- Did your experience in the Lifechanger program help equip you for current ministry? If yes, how so?
It personally helped me practice things such as daily offices and becoming more intentional with my Sabbath. I’ve known of these practices, but I saw them in a new light as Chelsie stressed that the Sabbath was a mandate and not just a good practice. Living these practices helps put the rest of the week and activities into perspective and challenges my level of trust in God.
- Were there other lessons or practices that you’ve incorporated into your ministry from your time in Lifechangers? How have you incorporated these?
One of the biggest things I got to see from every lesson was the level of intentionality that flows through a missional mindset. The effort that goes into cutting out a time of day which leads to a time of week, and follows you into relationships and a family. These practices take time. I know I must start small and continue to build on top of each other. Something like my Sabbath is something I continue to fight to keep every week. I know it will continue to bring blessings into the future.
- What things have you seen or are currently seeing God do in your ministry?
After graduating from college, I came back with hope and fervor to serve with new ideas. God has been faithful in showing fruits of our labor in the area and the surrounding people. Although progress may not always look as I’ve expected it to, He teaches me patience in seeing how He slowly bring us around to His plan and His ways. As we continue, I know His way is ultimately better and I must pray to see my heart continuously conform to his will. I’ve seen Him open doors to neighbors in the smallest ways that were unplanned, I’ve seen adults hearts soften as they trust in a way that is unique to them, I’ve seen relationships grow deeper in honesty, and I’ve seen hearts soften to a conversation. These things bring me joy and encouragement in the growth we’ve had and lead me to continue to seek the vision He’s allowed us to have for our community.
- What are you most excited about in continuing to serve Him?
I’m excited to see the blooming of these seeds. The work is hard and long, but what a joy it is to see a sliver of God’s love in those moments where He is so undeniably present and you can see a seed that has grown and bloomed in its own way. I love seeing how those moments can look so different, something like a profession of faith, a moment of honesty, or a laugh born of trust that shows you the power of redemption in our surroundings. This is what brings me excitement, to be a part of it in a person’s life and that of a community. I live to see Him in those moments and acts of redemption as they point and lead us to the ultimate fulfillment that we will one day see at the end of time.
- What advice would you give others, particularly young adults, in serving their church and local communities?
Start by committing to Him in small ways. Something like Lifechangers presents many tools and ways for one to do so. Start small and be faithful in it. Seek the joy in it that God promises and it will begin to invite you into greater commitment. Do the simple and small things well before attempting to dive into the deep end. God is present in the smallest of things to the biggest of things, so search yourself and your soul to see where God has placed you and you will see how God has uniquely made you to be there. If you can capture the vision God has for your life, it will begin to spread. This will involve you in other people’s lives as you seek God in your congregation, you brothers and sisters, and your community. This will not be easy and it will require you to be intentional. Seek others that will encourage you and push you, seek that community. Don’t treat this as a step by step guide or a certificate of completion but as a relationship, that requires your toil and watering,that will invite you into love and rest.