Francisco Gomez, pastor of El Centro Baptist Church, a mission of Geyer Springs First Baptist Church, and a church planting strategist for the ABSC, had the opportunity to speak about discipleship to communities across Europe. Gomez recently traveled to Spain and Rome. While there, he met with two church bodies in order to develop a discipleship program and present a new way of proclaiming the gospel.
Even though many European countries are the actual settings of some gospel stories we know today, there has been a drastic decline in the number of Christians in these countries. Often this is due to an unresolved tension many people have towards the institutionalized church which comes with a rejection of the Gospel.
But this is a battle worth fighting for, and it begins with a conversation.
“Discipleship begins on the sidewalk,” Gomez explains. In America, people get to know people by having a small conversation and then inviting them into their home. In Spain and Rome, the culture and the relationship building is found on the busy streets. Gomez encouraged his listeners to work on a relationship with the person before entering a gospel conversation. “The locals are not very open to the gospel; you have to open the way.”
For Francisco, this was an incredible opportunity to not only build relationships, but also teach a different perspective of how to share the gospel with the people around them.
Arkansas Baptists are passionate about sharing the gospel, while also about understanding and loving the people that it is being presented to. Without the help and partnership of Geyer Springs First Baptist Church, Gomez would not have been able to go on this mission trip. Often, discipleship doesn’t happen behind the four walls of the church. We meet people where they need us – even if it’s a thousand miles away.