SBC Español Workshops sharpen, inform Hispanics at SBC in Anaheim

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Pictured Above: Ricardo Vides (left), young adult pastor at Ministerios Betesda (church) in Anaheim, and Bob Sena, director of Spanish Studies and professor of ministry at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, listen during a LifeWay Hispanic workshop June 13 at the Anaheim Marriott. Photo by Luc Stringer

ANAHEIM, Calif. (BP) – Despite awakening to a dreary drizzling California morning, Hispanic pastors and wives, church planters and other church leaders started their day early to attend the SBC Español Workshops hosted at the Anaheim Convention Center on Monday, June 13.

Luis Lopez, executive director of Hispanic relations and mobilization for the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, speaks on an aspect of grace during a LifeWay Hispanic workshop June 13. Photo by Luc Stringer

The Hispanic Council of the SBC, which hosted the Hispanic Celebration on Sunday night, offered 11 different workshops for Hispanic Southern Baptists attending the annual 2022 SBC annual meeting in Anaheim.

The workshops covered discipleship, grace, parenting, preaching in a post-modern world, legal guidance, conscious use of social media, leadership in the home, hope in times of crisis and church growth post-COVID. The Hispanic Council also met for a business session.

One of the better attended workshops included Developing the Next Timothys by Felix Cabrera, which drew more than 40 attendants. Cabrera, associate director of Hispanic Programs at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, motivated the pastors to invest in men in their church and prepare them to be the next leaders.

Pastors and churches must make developing leaders a priority, Cabrera said, and they must do so because the Bible says so, the local church is the best place to do it, the church and the world need it, and the future of evangelism and church planting depend on it.

“Find these men in your local church, spend time with them, take them with you as you visit homes and hospitals, teach them and prepare them,” he said.

Another popular session was a three-part workshop on grace by Ronald Vides, Luis Lopez and Bob Sena where they reminded pastors that grace is for them also.

SBC, Hispanic Gathering
Participants at Lifeway Hispanic Workshops June 13 listen to multiple speakers talk about the different aspects of grace at the event at the Anaheim Marriott. Photo by Luc Stringer

“You matter to God; leave the past behind and accept forgiveness,” said Vides, director of Hispanic work at Asosiacion Bautista del Sur de California, during his talk titled The Benefits of Grace.

“Grace is the best weapon we have against legalism, but it also pushes us to recognize that such grace we are not worthy of and we must honor the One who gives it to us,” said Lopez, who was recently appointed as the director of Hispanic mobilization and relations to the Executive Committee of SBC.

Sena, director of the Hispanic Doctor of Ministry program at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, closed the session encouraging the group to simply ask for grace. “Ask God for help, fill your mind with his Word and lean on His promises.”

Parents had the opportunity to hear about parenting with the purpose of developing good Christians from Juan Sanchez, pastor at High Pointe Baptist Church in Austin. He shared parts of the parenting book Oye, Hijo Mio written alongside his wife Jeanine in which they discuss the importance of reading Scripture and other biblical books with children as well as singing worship songs together, letting them ask questions and asking them questions to gauge their understanding.

The Hispanic Council met to discuss business and elect new officers. Bruno Molina, language and interfaith evangelism associate for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention was elected president; Eloy Rodriguez, pastor of Idlewild Español in Lutz, Fla., will serve as vice president and Sergio Guardia, director of Hispanic Ministries of the SBC of Virginia, will serve as secretary.

The Council also appointed two new committees to develop a criteria list for those who wish to be members of the Council and to investigate the matter of becoming a legal entity.

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