HOUSTON—Evangelist Samuel Otero challenged Hispanic Texas Baptists to leave their comfort zones and share the gospel with people who need to hear it.
“I believe that every Sunday, people should be coming to the Lord. But people won’t come unless they’ve been invited,” Otero told attendees of Texas Baptists’ Hispanic Evangelism Conference in Houston.
The conference, held Feb. 21-22 at Spring Woods Baptist Church, was sponsored by the Texas Baptists’ Great Commission Team in partnership with the Asociacion Bautista Latino Americana.
With a focus on modeling the Great Commission, speakers discussed the importance of Christ’s command to make disciples and also offered suggestions about how churches can get involved in evangelism.
Obey Christ’s command
Otero spoke about the cross and the mandate and model Christ gave his disciples. Jesus was obedient at the cross, Otero explained. Therefore, Christians should be obedient in fulfilling the Great Commission to tell about what Jesus has done.
After Jesus was raised from the dead, he gave the command to his followers to go into all the world and preach the gospel, he stressed.
“I learned in the army you don’t ignore a command. You obey,” Otero said.
Otero suggested attendees focus on sharing the gospel with their friends and families and get their churches involved in their local communities. To do so can be uncomfortable at times, but the hope of Christ is worth the risk, he emphasized.
“Get excited. Talk to someone about Christ. Tell them there is a hope. We live in tough times. It’s time for the church to get excited,” he said. “We have so many people in this city that need Christ. And my question is: What is the church doing?”
Reach and equip young leaders
Other speakers at the conference also spoke both on the importance of evangelism and practical aspects of leading a church. Frank Palos, a financial consultant and former director of Hispanic evangelism for Texas Baptists, taught attendees about the financial aspects of running a church. Churches are unable to evangelize effectively if their finances are not in order, he said.
Bulmaro Luna, director of missions with the Asociacion Bautista Latino Americana, explained the conference was aimed at equipping young Hispanic pastors to lead their churches well.
“It’s a new season for the church today. We need changes in vision and to equip our church leaders. This is an opportunity to reach these young leaders, and specifically to focus on Hispanic churches,” he said.
Victor Rodriguez, evangelism associate and discipleship specialist with Texas Baptists’ Hispanic evangelism team, planned the conference as one in a series of conferences across Texas to equip Hispanic church leaders in evangelism and discipleship.
“Our strategy is to go to different cities and to invite local leaders to come with us and get trained,” Rodriguez said. “What excites me about this conference is how excited these pastors are. It’s important for them to have this hands-on training.”