Last updateFri, 19 Oct 2018 7am

Young pastor steers Presbyterians toward the ‘practical’

Thomas Kunkel, who in 2011 arrived at the bilingual Christ the Redeemer Church on Guadalajara’s south edge and took over as full-time pastor in 2016, credits his background in counseling for his focus on how core Christian beliefs can be applied in everyday life.

“What difference does the Trinity make to someone when they’re at the grocery store on Tuesday morning?” he quips – and it’s not a rhetorical question. Kunkel, who is from Texas, hosts a weekly bible study “cell” group in the home he shares with his Mexican wife, Sandra, and their 4-year-old son, but he says what he loves most about the meeting is the dynamic part, when the participants talk about how they can apply what they are learning, in order to live in a helpful way.

“I’d say preaching is a relatively small part of what I do here,” he explained. “Counseling and questions are more enjoyable. I love the interaction.”

Kunkel received a master’s in theology with emphasis in counseling at a Westminster Theological Seminary branch in Texas. “I work on relationship issues, depression, anxiety and so on,” he said.

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