PHOENIX – More
than 120 Hispanic Southern Baptists pastors and leaders participated in a joint
training in Spanish June 13 at the Phoenix
Convention Center prior to the
Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting.
The “SBC Avanze Hispano” (SBC
Hispanic Advance) was coordinated by Hispanic liaison staff of the
International Mission Board, North American Mission Board and LifeWay Christian
Hispanic leaders presented two conferences for men and two for women on the
topic of church transformation.
In the men’s sessions, Hispanic ministries pastor Ramon Medina of Champion
Forest Baptist Church
in Houston, summarized the book “Transformational
Church: Creating a new scorecard
for congregations” by Thom Rainer and Ed Stetzer. Medina
spoke from his experience in applying the book’s principles in the context and
daily life of his church.
Jason Carlisle of the International Mission Board’s Hispanic mobilization team,
addressed the topic “El Problema de la Iglesia en Jerusalen” (The Problem of
the Jerusalem Church).
Carlisle urged participants to act on the Great
Commission and lead their churches to make a difference.
“The church where I am has only 80 members but it is sending missionaries to Senegal
every three months,” Carlisle said before listing
strategic steps that churches can take to become missional.
The women’s conferences were “Conectadas Para Transformar” (Connected for
Transformation) led by Mirsa Amaro of Phoenix
and “La Mujer: Un Recurso de Dios Para las Naciones”
(Women: A Resource from God for the Nations) led by Gloria Londoño of Union
Baptist Association in Houston.
Amaro challenged the women to “connect” and thereby transform their personal
relationship with God, “grow” into a higher level of discipleship, “serve” the
church more effectively and “tell” the people in their field of influence the
story of Jesus.
Londoño’s conference provided an overview of the role women have played in the
life of Jesus, in Hebrew culture, in the history of the church and in modern
missions. Londoño underscored the need for trans-cultural missionaries who are
in high demand particularly for people in Muslim regions of the world.
Arturo Nuñez, a NAMB church planter from Joplin,
Mo., closed the training with a personal
The love of God has been made manifest in that community struck by disaster,
Nuñez said. “The church plant is still going on.”
Nuñez challenged fellow pastors to “come to Missouri
to help us in whatever way you can in the effort of rebuilding.” Those wishing
to help with volunteers or support can contact Nuñez by email at
(EDITOR’S NOTE – David Raúl Lema Jr. is a Miami-based Hispanic correspondent
for Baptist Press.)