As church leaders around the world adjust to post-pandemic times, many are struggling with how to best continue ministry. And in Spanish-speaking communities—where families have been affected by COVID-19 at much higher rates—grief, guilt and an array of other emotions present further challenges.
“Everyone, in some way, is wrestling in this new era of ministry and its personal, emotional, relational, and professional impact,” explained Chris Swanson, vice president of Hispanic ministries at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).
To help leaders navigate current circumstances, BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse will host a free, online event called “Eternal Faithfulness, the Church in Action” this weekend, June 18-19.
The virtual conference, which will be streamed online entirely in Spanish, is meant to enliven pastors and evangelical leaders throughout the Spanish-speaking world. In addition to a time of worship, attendees will receive training meant to help mobilise the Church in this critical time.
“We recognise that the global situation with the COVID-19 pandemic is causing new paradigms for the church,” Swanson said. “Pastors have to rethink how to ‘do church.’ Some are even battling with their own theology of suffering.
“[We] have a unique opportunity to respond in a relevant manner to provide encouragement and resources to these men and women—leaders of the evangelical church in Latin America.”
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The conference starts at 6 p.m. ET on Friday and continues Saturday with teaching at 10 a.m. ET and a concert at 6 p.m. ET, featuring musical artists Evan Craft, Ingrid Rosario and Redimi2.
Guest speakers include Aixa de Lopez, Christine D’Clario, Danilo and Gloriana Montero, Edward Graham, Jose Luis Navajo, Lucas Leys, Marcos Witt and Satirio dos Santos.
The conference marks one of a series of events BGEA has held in recent years to equip Spanish-speaking pastors. Last year, virtual formats of the event were held in May, July and December—all to help leaders effectively share the Gospel and stay encouraged during the COVID-19 pandemic.