Igniting a fire in Hispanic Evangelism


SAN ANTONIO—With no seating room to spare, congregants of the Hispanic Evangelism Conference packed tightly inside a corner room in the Life Church of San Antonio Feb. 21-22, lifting prayers for revival in their churches and cities.

"Sheep without a shepherd are defenseless and directionless," Joshua Del Risco, Texas Baptists' director of Hispanic Evangelism, told the Spanish-speaking crowd in the large group celebration service following the prayer time.

Even more congregants nearly packed the sanctuary as Life Church's band led the group in worship and Del Risco shared a message of evangelism from Mark 6:34, where Jesus perceived the needs of the multitudes and had compassion on them, then fed the 5,000 with physical and spiritual food.

"We need to see the people around us just as Jesus saw them on a daily basis because, without a shepherd, sheep die and without Christ, people die and go to hell," Del Risco said, encouraging the crowd to demonstrate love on a daily basis and to openly share their faith with everyone.

There is nothing greater than leading someone to Christ, he said, so the whole idea of talking about evangelism is to motivate the church to be on mission.

"It is my belief that if we're going to reach the culture, if we're going to reach Texas, we must equip and mobilize this army of people that we have in our pews and when everyone of us begins to live out our faith and share our faith openly, wherever we go, then we are going to have a great impact."

Conference attendees, who were primarily from the San Antonio area, also participated in workshops, which were geared toward helping churches be more intentional in sharing faith.

"A lot of times we get stagnant in our walk with Christ, in our evangelism, in the sharing of our faith," he explained, "and so these were directed towards igniting a spark in them, being a witness for the Lord wherever they go."

The prayer time, which took place before the celebration service was a necessity for any spiritual awakening to happen, Del Risco said.

"We do a lot of things in church work and we leave God out," he said. "We speak about revival and we speak about spiritual awakening. That's the work of the Holy Spirit. We can't manufacture revival. That's something God does, but it starts with prayer."

Victor L. Rodriguez, pastor of Life Church, said the conference brought a great reminder of who the Church should be.

"Sometimes, we're so busy doing church, we forget to do ministry, so it's important for us to be reminded of what our calling is, what our purpose it, and why we exist as a church," he said.

The Hispanic Evangelism team is passionate about connecting, encouraging and teaching them to be intentional and relevant witnesses for Christ through through the Hispanic Evangelism Conference and also through Congreso, a discipleship and evangelism event for Hispanic youth, which will be held on April 24-25 in Waco.

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