- March 15, 2013
- By John Hall,Texas Baptist Communications
DECATUR—Luis Guevara feels called by God to minister to youth in Decatur. He views life as a Christian as an exciting adventure, and he wants young people to know it.
As youth gather twice a week for Bible study and fellowship at Primera Iglesia Bautista, Guevara uses Scripture, videos and games to provide an injection of energy and Bible teaching into students’ lives.
He remembers what it was like when he was younger—wanting to follow Christ but constantly bombarded by non-Christian influences. He prays his passion for his faith carries over to the students he teaches.
In the highly interactive Decatur youth group, students hang onto his every word. They’re eager to participate in the ministry and evangelism. They remember past teaching and excitedly share what they have learned during the current class. A group of them will participate in Congreso, a Baptist General Convention of Texas-sponsored event for Hispanic youth and singles.
“When I see the youth, I see that they’re hungry for the word of God,” Guevara said. “They want to know the word of God. They’re trying. They want to do good.”
Guevara completed the Entrena-T program, a training effort for Hispanic leaders through a partnership between Texas Baptists’ office of Hispanic ministries and Baptist University of the Américas. Nearly 300 Hispanic leaders have begun the Entrena-T certification program statewide since 2009.
“We know that leadership development in our Hispanic churches is very important,” said Rolando Rodriguez, director of Texas Baptists’ office of Hispanic ministries. “It’s something we really need to provide. Pastors are crying out, saying, ‘Help us in the area of leadership development.’”
Entrena-T classes offer nearby training opportunities and convenient leadership development possibilities.
The classes provided practical pointers—as well as encouragement—that have helped him take the church’s youth ministry to “the next level,” Guevara said. He was so impressed by the quality of teachers and teaching that he came to cherish the value of education and has enrolled in college.
“It’s been a blessing for me,” Guevara said. “The class helped me in many aspects. … It helped me grow more …(and) to be able to do what I’m doing now.”
The youth minister looks forward to how God continues to work in the lives of young people at Primera Iglesia Bautista. He’s honored to be able to serve there and reverently prays students under his watch will grow in their faith.
“God has changed my life,” Guevara said. “Like Scripture says, ‘For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’ My life is now for God. My life is no longer for me. It is now for God. This is something that gives me joy. This is something that gives me pleasure. This is something that I can serve God in.”
Entrena-T classes are available in 13 locations. For more information, contact Texas Baptists’ office of Hispanic ministries at (888) 244-9400.