by Salvador Fernandez
January 25 was a big day for Northern California Hispanic churches. They had not had a large Sunday school training event because there were so few churches and lack of leadership. Something happened this year, when a couple of associate pastors, Francisco Trinidad of Iglesia Bautista Northgate and Carlos Chavez of El Camino Spanish Mission, said they would coordinate and promote a regional Sunday school training event if LifeWay Christian Resources would send teachers.
Brother Rodolfo Lagos, our Spanish LifeWay representative in California, went to bat for us. It didn’t look good because the last time LifeWay had put on an event in Southern California, they spent thousands of dollars to bring in 12 trainers and materials and only seven people showed up. The pastors of La Red, which is the network of Spanish-speaking churches in the Sacramento metro region and part of the Sacramento Network of Southern Baptist Churches, were convinced they needed this training for their leaders and that they could gather at least 30 people. With this commitment, Tom Belew and Brother Lagos made it happen and we got seven teachers.
Where are the blessings, you ask? Blessing number one was that instead of having 30 people attend, we had 100. They came from Manteca, Stockton, and as far north as Gridley. The need to train their teachers drew them to Sacramento. Blessing number two is that Sunday schools have been started in young church plants. The people were willing, they just didn’t know how. The third blessing is that except for Brother Rodolfo Lagos who taught adults, and Brother Richard Cano who taught the pastors, the other teachers were all from the Shadow Mountain Community Church Spanish congregation. Our people were excited, especially all the ones studying at the Equip Bible Institute housed at El Camino Baptist Church in Sacramento.
The fourth blessing is what I see happening with the pastors who were in Brother Richard Cano’s class. Three pastors have asked to speak to me and expressed commitments to go beyond their four walls and do ministry, and two of them made commitments to start new works.
If you would like to partner with a Church Planting Catalyst as we reach out to the Golden State, please contact the Church Starting Group at 559.229.9533, x. 263 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your generous contributions to the Cooperative Program and California Mission Offering which make this ministry possible.