Hispanic leaders from 13 metropolitan areas across North America gathered at the North American Mission Board headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, on January 31st and February 1st for a two-day training aimed at equipping new church planting residency directors for Send Network Español.
The leaders who attended this year’s training represent key cities: Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Denver, Tallahassee, Tampa, Chicago, Raleigh, Boston, Lubbock, Oklahoma, Atlanta, San Diego and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Together, these cities are home to over 11 million Spanish speakers. In addition to these new 13 residencies launching in the summer of 2023, future Hispanic church planters are already being trained to plant healthy churches in Toronto, Salt Lake City, Miami, South Carolina, Houston, New York City and Washington DC. Historically, over half of all residents choose to further their theological education at the completion of this one-year program.
“I want to start a church planting residency to equip the saints to reach over 15,000 Latinos in Tallahassee and around north Florida,” said Pastor John Lizarazo from Celebration Baptist Church Español in Tallahassee, Florida.
“This program provides much-needed educational, biblical and practical foundation for church planters,” added pastor David Quiroa from Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfield, California.
The church planting residencies consist of four key parts. First, residents go through 17 weeks of academic work. After satisfactory completion of all classes, a certificate of church planting from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is granted to each participant.
Afterward, planters receive 20 weeks of training in expository preaching. A weekly sermon manuscript is required, and individual coaching is provided during this period. Following that, participants meet regularly with their residency director where they are accountable for their personal walk with Christ, their family and their ministry. The goal is to invest in character formation, a vital necessity for ministry longevity. Finally, each resident, their spouse and children are expected to be actively involved in a local church.
In addition to classroom instruction and personal meetings with the residency director, residents learn by serving in a real ministry setting under the supervision of the local church leadership.
While residents acquire practical ministry tools, Send Network Español also invests in their spouses’ development by providing contextualized church planting curriculum designed specifically for their wives.
Before they become residents, planters go through a rigorous assessment process. Once approved, they’re endorsed as Send Network church planters. This endorsement provides relevant training, individual coaching, an orientation about Southern Baptist life, partial funding and care from Send Network for up to five years.
Send Network Español has deployed a team of regional leaders who are working with state conventions, associations and local churches to launch more Hispanic church planting residencies to reach Puerto Rico, the United States, and Canada. To learn more about Send Network Español visit SendNetworkEspanol.com.
Published March 16, 2023