Invitation to Explore Central Spain Missions Opportunities

An informational meeting for the CMBA Central Spain mission partnership was held Dec. 5 at Shandon Baptist in Columbia. There were 18 individuals from nine CMBA member and network connection churches present to hear details about the partnership, mission needs, and potential assignments for sending teams that will begin in 2024. Attendees also heard from the Central Spain IMB team leader through a live video call.

Interest was high among attendees, who asked questions of Associational Missions Strategist Jamie Rogers and the IMB team leader. The conversation included the background to the creation of the five-year partnership, the progress and needs of IMB personnel, and even the estimated duration and cost of CMBA team mission trips to Central Spain.

Rogers reminded the group that there are more than 400,000 lost individuals living within the CMBA footprint in the Midlands of South Carolina and of CMBA’s commitment to offer opportunities for members of the CMBA Family of Churches to experience international missions in a way that inspires them to return to their communities with a renewed missional mindset. “Our job is to get you all in the room together to discuss missions,” Rogers said of CMBA’s role, “and then bless the going.”

Tell me more about Central Spain and the partnership?

In early 2023, a CMBA vision team visited several European countries to identify potential partner locations. The team unanimously recommended Central Spain as offering easy travel accessibility, regions that are home to multiple people groups, and service opportunities for teams of all ages. Acts 1:8 Mission Team Leader Robbie McAlister describes Spain as “strategic” and home to 5 million refugees.

“We can reach the ‘last peoples’ of the IMB affinity groups living in Central Spain, which are the Asian Pacific, Latin American, North African/Middle Eastern, and Euro peoples. We see a real benefit to the future as we go on mission together,” McAlister said.

CMBA defines “Central Spain” as areas south of Toledo and up to the northern coast. Rogers said there are seven cities in this region each with more than 50,000 residents and not one Christian church present. The IMB team leader said his team’s work to reach a country that is 0.05% evangelized is “like plowing or cultivating concrete” and, despite seeing greater openness to the gospel post-COVID, they need mission partners to continue identifying people groups and build relationships.

“Prior to the pandemic, people would admit to being atheist or agnostic,” the team leader said. “When we asked, ‘What do you think about God,’ the response would be, ‘I’ve never really thought about that.’ Now people are interested in knowing more.”

CMBA’s goals for the Central Spain partnership are to support the work of IMB personnel living in the region and to:

  1. See lost people saved.
  2. See churches planted.
  3. Send missionaries.

How about the actual mission trips? What details are available now?

CMBA’s formal agreement includes sending at least four short-term teams per year. There are three team trips planned for 2024. Rogers says the first two trips to Madrid will include folks identified as future team leaders. All volunteers serving on CMBA teams will be required to complete an IMB vetting process, which will be linked through the CMBA website.

CMBA will coordinate aspects of the early trips, along with the Central Spain IMB team, and anticipates that church or collaborative teams will emerge for ongoing trips based on specific callings or passions. Some ideas discussed included engaging university students, offering sports clinics, holding professional skills training, or crafting teams that lead lessons in scrapbooking or crochet. The Central Spain IMB team uses events like these to build rapport, have meaningful conversations, and gather information for follow-up.

CMBA mission teams can expect to receive all informational materials from the Central Spain IMB team before traveling, and a thorough orientation once they arrive to “make good use of the team’s time” in the country. Alternate service opportunities exist in the event of weather, for example. Rogers said trips will likely be seven to 10 days and suggested groups be limited to six to eight people for transportation purposes.

The mission trips will vary in cost, but are estimated to be around $2,000 per person. The greatest cost variable is the flight. According to the IMB leader, teams can roughly plan for individuals to spend about $50-60 per day on lodging (based on room sharing), $35 per day on food, and $12 per day on transportation.

Are there other missional opportunities in Central Spain?

The Central Spain IMB team is currently engaging native seminary students with future church planting opportunities. These include a potential university student church and another planted to reach Moroccans living in a specific area of town.

“What we leave behind is a church. That’s the way we’re tackling it right now, and believe it’s the most effective way,” the team leader said.

The IMB is looking for Latin American volunteers willing to serve long-term in order to reach Latin Americans living in Spain. Undergraduate college students are encouraged to consider serving during holidays and summers, and Journeymen positions are also available.

For current information about the Central Spain partnership, related missions opportunities, and a link to the IMB short-term missions vetting process, visit

About the author 

Julia Bell