By Russ Dilday
Buckner News Service
DALLAS -- Leaders of the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas and Buckner International met Jan. 12 at the Buckner ministry offices to sign agreement that both groups say will help facilitate missions enrichment programs and services for the Hispanic Christian community. Jesse Rincones, president of the 1,100-congregation HBCT, co-signed the “Missions Covenant” document with Buckner President Albert L. Reyes.
In general, the covenant gives each group a higher profile in the other’s missions messaging, offers added opportunities for convention members to participate in volunteer missions service, and seeks to enhance the work of Buckner’s Shoes for Orphan Souls humanitarian aid drive.
Reyes said the covenant will give Buckner “a more intentional and deliberate focus on the importance of the local church and on our mission,” adding, “This will connect us not just to churches, but churches with a common Hispanic background, language and culture. There are many things we’ll do to tap that background in countries and areas with similar cultures.”
Rincones, who also serves as pastor of Alliance Church in Lubbock, Texas, said the agreement is significant to the convention because of “the rich experience and resources Buckner brings to our congregations.”
“For many years, Hispanic congregations have been the recipients of Baptist missions efforts,” he said. “Now we’re seeing a change in mindset and we’re looking at ourselves as collaborators and initiators of mission efforts. The training and the opportunities we’ll receive in this collaboration are going to allow our congregations to speed up the process in being missions initiators.”
Rolando Rodriguez, director of Hispanic work for the Baptist General Convention of Texas, agreed. “It’s a new day for Convención, a brand new opportunity. For many years, Hispanic churches have been considered a mission field – now they’ve become a missions force.”
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