‘EtniCiudad’ Spanish/English conference to explore reaching lost in urban centers
National event at state office in Hialeah brings NAMB & IMB together
Dec 21, 2012
By FLBaptist STAFF

HIALEAH (FBC)—A national conference designed to explore the urbanization of the world and how to engage the unreached in urban centers will be held in Spanish and translated into English at the Florida Baptist Convention’s Urban Impact Center in Hialeah Feb. 28-March 1, 2013.

“EtniCiudad” or “Ethnicity” is one of several national conferences being held across the United States sponsored by the Florida Baptist Convention, the International Mission Board, and the North American Mission Board. 

The meeting will equip mission leaders and church planting strategists to reach unreached people groups in their indigenous homeland in urban centers and provide an environment for mission leaders and international and U.S. church planting strategists to network and develop opportunities to work together.

The conference began as a joint venture between the Southern Baptist mission boards with the belief that IMB personnel’s expertise in reaching international people groups could benefit North American missionaries and pastors in their efforts to discover unreached people groups within the nation’s urban centers.

The original “Ethnicity” conference was held this year in New York City in English. However, because of South Florida’s unique cultural composition, the Hialeah conference, EtniCiudad, will be led in Spanish and translated into English.

Al Fernandez, lead strategist for the Florida Baptist Church Planting Group, said this unique language approach will attract Hispanic churches who “feel disconnected from SBC life. Having a national conference in their language will be a good way to communicate inclusion.” 

“Many of our Hispanic churches do not think missionally,” Fernandez said. “They tend to focus only on the Hispanic and are satisfied they are reaching different nationalities that speak Spanish.”

“If we are going to reach North America for Christ, this fast growing segment of SBC life must catch the vision and the responsibility to reach all people in their communities.” 

Emanuel Roque, strategist for the Leadership Development Ministries Team, added, “In SBC circles, this is the first strong effort at challenging Hispanics out of their culture to make serious attempts at reaching other cultures already present within our cities.”

Roque explained that while the call to reach the cities and urbanization is not new, “there is a new grasp and understanding of what it will take to reach urban centers where 90 percent of the world population will live by 2050.

“This is an opportunity to try to understand how the needs, missions perspective and resulting partnerships can be achieved from Hispanic SBC churches to reach other ethnic groups in their cities.”

During the two-day event, networking and thematic breakout session will be offered in both languages. Special emphases and awareness of ethnics in cities that Hispanics could reach will be available. 

“Missiology from a city, ethnic and urban perspective will be taught. ‘Movement makers’ will show how in other places millions of people have been reached through Gospel penetration and missional living of the church in cities,” Roque explained. 

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