HOUSTON—“I believe that every Sunday people should be coming to the Lord. But people won’t come unless they’ve been invited,” Samuel Otero, evangelist and founder of Samuel Otero Evangelistic Association, said to attendees of the Texas Baptists Hispanic Evangelism Conference in Houston.
The conference, which took place on Feb. 21-22 at Spring Woods Baptist Church, was sponsored by the Texas Baptists Great Commission Team (or Hispanic Evangelism) in partnership with the Asociacion Bautista Latino Americana (ABLA). With a focus on modeling the Great Commission, speakers discussed the importance of the Great Commission and also gave suggestions for how churches could get involved in evangelism. Hispanic church leaders from across the Houston-area were in attendance.
Otero, guest speaker for the conference, spoke about the cross and the mandate and model that Christ left behind. Jesus was obedient at the cross, Otero explained, and therefore Christians should be obedient in fulfilling the Great Commission to tell about what Jesus has done.
“When Jesus resurrected and came to Galilee, He gave a command to the disciples, ‘go to the world and preach the Word,’” Otero explained. “I learned in the army you don’t ignore a command, you obey.”
He encouraged conference participants to get out of their comfort zones and evangelize. Otero suggested attendees focus on sharing the Gospel with their friends and families and get their church involved in the community. He acknowledged that to do so can, at times, be uncomfortable, but he explained that the hope of Christ was worth the risk.
“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?”
Other speakers at the conference also spoke on the importance of evangelism, while others focused on practical aspects of leading a church. Frank Palos, a financial consultant and former Texas Baptists director of Hispanic Evangelism, taught attendees about the financial aspects of running a church. He explained that churches are unable to evangelize effectively if their finances are not in order.
Worship was led by the praise team from Life Church in San Antonio. There was also a special performance by the ABLA choir.
Bulmaro Luna, director of Missions at ABLA, explained that 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 Hispanic evangelism conferences across Texas to equip Hispanic church leaders in evangelism and discipleship strategies.
“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.”