DALLAS—Church growth depends on discipleship, Hispanic Texas Baptist church leaders learned at an Oct. 20-21 conference at Dallas Baptist University.
Discipleship ministries create new leaders who, in turn, develop new disciples and future leaders, Rolando Rodriguez, director of Hispanic ministries with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, told participants at the En Sus Mano—In Your Hands—Conference.
The call to “make disciples” is a commandment, not a suggestion, Rodriguez said. Failure to develop disciples leads to lack of church growth, and meaningful discipleship occurs only when Christian leaders have unconditional love for others, he noted.
But ministers alone cannot shoulder all the responsibility for making disciples, Rodriguez stressed. Church members help create a congregational culture in which discipleship happens.
When churches share a common goal of creating disciples, it develops a sense of congregational unity, he noted.
Conference organizers wanted to challenge Hispanic Texas Baptists to identify as people who make disciples and who recognize the mission field around them.
“The people are here,” Rodriguez said. “So, we have to do the work we were called to do.”
Maria Espinoza, a member of Westside Baptist Church in Seguin, attended the conference, and she felt challenged.
“Here we had more than fellowship,” she said. “Here we were also called to go the extra mile.”