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OPINION

Hispanic pastors & leaders receive training

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PHOENIX (BP)--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.
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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 Resources.

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.

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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 testimony.

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 nunez542@sbcglobal.net.

David Raúl Lema Jr. is a Miami-based Hispanic correspondent for Baptist Press.

Copyright (c) 2011 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net

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