Posted on : Friday May 1, 2009

Language Conference Photos

By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent

LAUREL, Md.—Pastors and lay leaders, speaking in a variety of languages joined together for food, worship, networking and a time of learning at the Mosaic Language Regional Conference on April 3-4 at First Church, Laurel. On Sunday, April 5, they celebrated with a multicultural musical worship program at Global Mission Church in Silver Spring, Md.

The conference theme was “Growing the church, growing the kingdom.” Rolando Castro, BCM/D missionary for language churches, organized the event. Daniel Sanchez, professor of missions, and director of the Scarborough Institute for Church Growth, and chairperson of the Missions Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, was the keynote speaker and led the Hispanic breakout sessions. There were also LifeWay presentations showing the newest resources from multi-ethnic church support.

Segundo Mir, pastor of Iglesia Bautista de Laurel, said the conference was inspiring.

“Dr. Sanchez gave revolutionary new ideas,” Mir said.

David Jackson, BCM/D missionary for church multiplication, led an English-speaking session for those who did not have a language facilitator. Jackson told listeners making disciples was not putting new Christians in a classroom, but partnering with them and mentoring them.

“John Maxwell always said never do anything alone,” Jackson said. Sharing ministry with a new Christian is a great way to teach them and let them safely learn and make mistakes he said.

Jackson said the key markers in disciple-making are baptism, obedience and leadership.

In the Filipino session, led by Ralph Garay, senior consultant, Church Planting Team, Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, participants were eagerly engaged. Garay discussed understanding crisis as opportunities to grow the kingdom, the process of multiplication and recession proofing the church.

Garay discussed barriers to starting churches and making disciples. Perhaps, he suggested, our culture is too individualistic and struggles to do things on its own. Pulling together the small becomes big, he said, referring to the Cooperative Program as an example.

“It’s time for the church to rise and shine,” Garay said, referring to Isaiah 60:1, 2, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you…”