Hispanic Ministries of the IPHC (local churches and pastors) have never been exposed to a training or resources on the subject of revitalization. There have been small trainings taking place here and there at a local level, but not for the entire body of ministers! Beyond that, using one model/plan that can be beneficial to everybody, like the one we have received recently in Austin, TX, hasn’t been taught either. Our Hispanic churches need revitalization in many areas, even through challenges we face as an immigrant community in the USA. I am specifically talking about the population size in some areas where growth can be slower and smaller.
There are key elements that were among us in Austin which will help to develop and launch a plan for revitalization, very soon. It was a great moment when we spent time meeting each other while there; this created friendship and accountability that will help in the future, to challenge mindsets that have been keeping us from more healthy, growing, multiplying churches.
Knowing that EVUSA is offering the revitalization piece, through Church Revitalization & Multiplication, gives us understanding that there is a way! There are now resources and a willingness to help build those healthy, growing, multiplying churches. I believe that some pastors and leaders will be inspired, motivated, and compelled to do something when they see what is happening and hear about the results in some of the churches.
Iglesias El Shaddai (El Shaddai Church), pastored by Marivel Reyes, was the perfect location for the training. A church that has experienced growth and has led by example in planting churches, is a church that deserves to be showcased. Pastor Marivel and her team did outstanding work with the hospitality we received from them and they showed us generosity beyond all expectations. We pray that the Lord bless her and the church for such incredible attention and love! Assembling there also provides an opportunity to increase the influence of Texas Latin Conference and start entering through open doors for them to do ministry and support what has been done in other locations beyond their geographical boundaries. The ministers present were able to taste the potential and consider the possibilities that were practical enough to take back and implement. They’re already making changes toward a greater harvest of souls. Also, we are learning that follow up is critical after these sort of training events! Taking the proper steps to keep advancing and getting into action, is key.
Bishop Bryant’s participation in sharing the vision of “ARISE 2033” set the path for whole gathering and gave a clear direction on where we are going with the training and the future of revitalization. His passion and energy helped us to focus on the real meaning of our calling and reason of what we are doing. Josh Hannah connected very well with the Hispanic leaders, too. Everything he shared, from his testimony, to the challenges and teaching he gave us, fit perfectly into the Hispanic community! Regardless of the differences in any cultures, the application of principles and systems is what allows this training to make sense and be applicable to all!
Building expectation and hope into the heart of the Hispanic ministry leaders about Church Revitalization & Multiplication, is maybe one of the most valuable goals we accomplished with the training itself! We now know, without a doubt, that we can have more healthy, growing, multiplying churches! And with God, we will! We thank Him for the opportunity and position EVUSA has in this! One day, when we look back on all that God has done in the Hispanic community of the IPHC, many of us will be able to say, “I was in Austin!”
To God be the Glory!
Written By: Dr. Luis Avila, Director of Hispanic Ministries
Photos By: EVUSA