Church planters and leaders must depend steadfastly on the Bible as God’s Word, on Jesus Christ and the Gospel if they want to give glory to God as they lead.
That was the essence of eight sermons delivered to more than 300 Hispanic church leaders who attended a Hispanic Congress held July 19-20 at Fruitland Baptist Bible College in Hendersonville, N.C., with the theme, “Leadership for His Glory.”
The gathering was coordinated by William Ortega, Hispanic church planting consultant with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSC) Church Planting Team; Marco Hernandez, pastor of Agua Viva Baptist Church in Hendersonville; and Alberto Berrio, a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Hendersonville.
Ortega coaches and encourages Hispanic church planters across North Carolina, including many in western North Carolina. Hernandez and Berrio have been active in Baptist state convention life for years.
Music and most messages were presented in Spanish, and English speakers were translated into Spanish. Speakers delivered strong messages with thoughtful lessons from Scripture and from life — messages were repeatedly punctuated by applause and “amens.”
Pastor Joselo Mercado told how many people in Indonesia escaped drowning in typhoon-driven floods by holding onto solid things that saved them.
“Like that, believers must hold onto the Word of God,” Mercado said, “from childhood to the end (of life).”
He said Scriptures can lead to wisdom by giving you the realization of lostness and can lead you to Jesus Christ. The Bible without Christ is not the Word of God, Mercado said.
“At the end of a sermon, if you say, ‘Where is Christ?’ then the Gospel was not preached,” he said.
In a message on Christian marriage, Mercado said God designed marriage for His glory.
“It’s not for my happiness, and it’s not for my satisfaction,” he said.
Following the Bible should result in a marriage that is a sign of the miracle of salvation, Mercado said. When he travels, sometimes pastors want to talk about how many books they have read: “I say, ‘How do you relate to your wife?'”
Mercado, who presented three messages, is a native of Puerto Rico who is now serving as senior pastor of Grace Sovereign Church in Gaithersburg, Md. He is a graduate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. Chuck Register, the BSC’s executive leader for church planting and missions partnerships, commended the gathering for their partnership in reaching North Carolina’s estimated 1 million Hispanics with the Gospel.
In a brief message, Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer, built on the concept of partnership.
“I am very delighted and thankful that you are living here in North Carolina,” Hollifield said.
Citing Acts 17, he said God has made from one blood every nation of man to live on the earth and pre-appointed the times and the boundaries of their habitation.
“So I believe, because of what the Word of God says, it is not by accident that you are living here in North Carolina,” Hollifield said. “I believe God led you to be here.”
Referring to the state’s 1 million Hispanics, Hollifield said, “I am thrilled that many of them are coming to faith in Christ the Savior. Some of you represent that today.”
Referring to the great unrest in the nation over immigrants coming to this country, Hollifield said his heart is saddened because of this.
“But today I give you the good news — that God is still on His throne, and He is in charge of your lives,” Hollifield said. “I want you to pray to Him and trust in Him for your future. Continue to pray for your children, for God’s safety and protection for them.”
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Source: Baptist Press