Iglesia Bautista Vida Nueva in Richmond, VA feels called to mobilize its congregation and encourage other congregations to be part of international missions. God has called the Church to proclaim the Gospel. “It’s a matter of obedience,” said Pastor Diego Fernández. “The word nations in Greek is ethnos, which has to do with ethnic groups. The complete Gospel concerns the message that must be announced to all ethnic groups.”
Over the past 2,000 years, the goal of reaching all ethnic groups has not fully been achieved. There are about 3,500 ethnic groups that are not only unreached but forgotten. They don’t have a Bible nearby or a missionary to reach them. It is the Church’s responsibility to take the Gospel to these places.
In addition to being the pastor of Vida Nueva, Fernández is the executive director of Mobilización Hispana, an organization that seeks to mobilize Southern Baptist Hispanic churches to reach the unreached. “We want to be a strategic church. By doing the mission, we are modeling for others how missions should be done. [We want to be] a coordinating church that mobilizes other churches strategically to places of need,” he said. “There are forgotten ethnic groups, and we want to mobilize our churches and influence others close to reaching those places. That’s why we do missions events and conferences and join with strategic partners like the SBC of Virginia—so that we can share the opportunities with others. The goal is to be able to influence others for the task.”
Pastor Fernández is convinced that there is a blessing for the local church when it decides to get involved in God’s global plan. “Our church has 15 years of ministry, and from the beginning, we have seen God leading us to evangelize the world and not just our city. By obeying God in this, we have seen how the Lord has blessed us in different areas. Just to mention a few examples, He has blessed our church’s attendance; the finances of the church; the leadership of our church has gone deeper; and we have been able to buy our own building and not owe anything on that investment. As a pastor, I am convinced that God has blessed the obedience of the church locally and by being part of God’s global plan.”
When asked what advice he’d give to church planters who are just starting, Pastor Fernández replied, “When I see the planters, I want to tell them with all my strength to embrace this principle: God blesses us to bless. God is looking for churches that want to bless His work so He can bless them.”
SBCV shares this heartbeat to see its churches passionate about reaching those who have never heard the Gospel of Jesus. We have been placed in this time to make Him known to the ends of the earth. ■