On July 16th, more than 100 Hispanic pastors and leaders with The Wesleyan Church participated in the denomination’s pre-conference in conjunction with the larger Exponential Español event. This year, the conference was entirely online, which facilitated mass participation from Wesleyan leaders across the country. This year’s attendance was an increase from last year when approximately 70 pastors and leaders participated.
The Church Multiplication Collective organizes an event annually in conjunction with the global Exponential Conference in Orlando, Florida. Two years ago, Exponential’s team recognized that the number of Spanish-speaking churches was increasing, and these churches would need their own contextualized conference. This is only the second time the event has been held entirely in Spanish.
During the 2020 Wesleyan pre-conference, stories were shared of new churches being planted, as well as churches that are multiplying. Sometimes it is difficult to connect pastors, due to their geographic distances, but the stories were incredibly motivating, making known what God is doing in our midst.
General Superintendent Wayne Schmidt shared the Kingdom Force vision of The Wesleyan Church and the important role that Hispanics play in a society as diverse as the one we live in. Participants were also challenged to multiply with a message from Pastor Arlynn Ellis, assistant pastor at Crossroads Church of South Texas in San Antonio, followed by a powerful time of prayer.
Multiplication is somewhat new within the Hispanic Wesleyan community, with only a couple of years of discovery. That is why the massive participation in the conference is extremely important and significant, because it confirms that the heart of God and of our denomination is in favor of continuing to reach people far from God.
The potential of Hispanic pastors to pursue church planting is near and dear to me.
In 2011, my wife, Keila, and I planted La Roca, a church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, that we are currently pastoring. The vision of La Roca from the beginning has been to take the church to different cities by planting new campuses. The goal is not to wait for people to come, but to go and take the church to the people.
This is how we started our second campus two years ago, in the neighboring city of Greensboro. At present, we are planting our third campus, The Living Room, focused on reaching second-generation Hispanics. God has brought hundreds of people with different needs and has given us the resources to meet them.
In addition, La Roca Church has sent out three more congregations to plant new churches, in addition to collaborating with the multiplication in our North Carolina District, where we constantly seek God’s direction to continue bringing the Word of God to each city and town.
The future looks more promising than ever. The Hispanic community of The Wesleyan Church has welcomed with open arms the importance of multiplication and we are on the verge of an exponential movement in church planting. The number of attendees at the conference shows that Hispanic Wesleyan churches are open to learning and participating in church multiplication. There are also pastors that are considering multiplication as the focal point of vision at their churches, and it helps us identify those churches to assist them in the process.
I believe what gives us the most hope is that we are not only focusing on the first generation of Hispanic immigrants, but on the following generations, planting more diverse churches reflecting the reality of our country and the heart of The Wesleyan Church.
The theme of Exponential 2020 was Together, and I think that is exactly what we are looking for—working together to reach our nation. It is not about different cultures and languages working separately, but all united to grow and multiply the kingdom of God.
We are multiplying. Let’s keep going.
Rev. Nestor Gudiño is pastor of La Roca Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He also serves as a Hispanic catalyst within the Church Multiplication Collective to start conversations with pastors and districts about raising awareness of the importance of multiplication.