By: Analiz G. Schremmer, Contributing Writer
It’s always wise to approach the Gospel from a person’s social and cultural context, which is why Roland Lopez specializes in evangelizing to the Hispanic community.
Besides serving as the Texas Baptists Hispanic Evangelism Specialist, Lopez also serves on the Hispanic Evangelism Team with Victor Rodriguez, pastor of Life Church San Antonio and Sam Medina, with Iglesia Bautista Templo in Lubbock. The three leaders travel around the state, visiting Hispanic churches and equipping pastors and church leaders with evangelism tools.
They offer trainings for two methods. The first is the 4xFour Challenge, created by Greg Wallace, from Woodridge Baptist Church in Kingwood. The 4xFour Challenge is an evangelistic approach for a church congregation to embark on as a whole.
Identify four people in your circle of influence that do not know Christ. Write those names down on a notecard.
Intercede. Pray for the salvation of these four people, four times each day.
Invest. Take them out for coffee or buy them lunch. Have them over at your house for dessert. Invest in their lives and establish a relationship with them.
Invite them to an evangelistic event at your church. Since you now have a relationship, the people are more likely to agree to go with you. Once at the event, the pastor or an evangelist will present the gospel.
Lopez is often invited to preach when a congregation reaches the final step in the 4xFour Challenge. In one instance, he said he led a young man through the prayer of salvation.
“After he and the others who came forward accepted Christ and everyone else left, he stayed behind and said that he wanted his wife to hear the message because she had stayed home and they had been talking the night before about getting a divorce,” Lopez said. “He wanted to know if I’d wait while he went to his house and brought his wife back to the church. I stayed while he went to pick up his wife and I was able to lead her to the Lord as well.”
“You see, this is a method that works,” Lopez said. "It has shown good results in the Hispanic community.”
The other method that Lopez and the evangelism team are sharing with Hispanic churches is called 3 Circles: Life Conversations, a tool developed in First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach, Florida.
The 3 Circles approach guides a person through the following concepts:
God has a design for humanity.
Sin has led to brokenness that has separated us from God’s original design.
The Good News, or the Gospel, is the solution to the brokenness problem. If we come to a right relationship with God, he will lead us to what he has designed us to be.
Lopez said there are many ways to evangelize, these are just two that they have found to be effective.
“It’s not a difficult thing to do. It’s just a matter of creativity,” he said. “And there has to be that hunger.”
Lopez said that in addition to evangelism training, they emphasize the importance of the next step-discipleship.
“After someone comes to know Christ, they need someone to live alongside of them. Discipleship isn’t a class, but rather, doing life with people and helping them along the way in their Christian walk.”
Lopez emphasized that 3 Circles: Life Conversations and the 4xFour Challenge are tools to help in the evangelism and discipleship process, but they are not the only way. The greatest evangelism tool is simply the one you use.
Lopez is serves as the Hispanic Evangelism Specialist for Texas Baptists. He provides training and consultations for Hispanic church leaders on intentional and relevant evangelism approaches.