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LifeWay resources help build discipleship in Latin America

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Juan Carvajal, a church leader in Mexico City, gained a new perspective on ministry thanks to Spanish-language resources from LifeWay International, a department of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

After attending two conferences in which LifeWay consultants presented discipleship materials translated into Spanish, Carvajal resolved to make discipleship a priority in his ministry.

“These conferences made me realize how important discipleship is to the Lord’s work,” he said. “In this age of convenience, I have resolved to make discipleship first priority in my ministry.”

Carvajal is not alone in his assessment of Spanish-language LifeWay discipleship materials. LifeWay has made materials available through 123 distributors throughout Latin America and Spain. In response to these materials, hundreds of pastors and church leaders have thanked LifeWay for helping them focus on discipleship.

“We have testimonies about how pastors have expressed their appreciation for LifeWay resources because they have helped them start to focus on the main thing: discipleship,” said Luis Lopez, LifeWay’s manager of international consulting and training.

LifeWay introduced several new Spanish resources at a recent conference in Miami attended by 25 volunteer LifeWay consultants and distributors from Central and South America. These volunteer consultants will train church leaders in the use of discipleship tools and methods at conferences throughout the Spanish-speaking world.

Among the new discipleship materials introduced at the Miami conference were “The Search For Significance: Seeing Your True Worth Through God’s Eyes” by Robert S. McGee; “Believing God” by Beth Moore; “The Love Languages of God” by Gary Chapman; and this year’s Vacation Bible School curriculum “Ramblin’ Road Trip.”

These titles meet a great need for interactive discipleship materials in the Spanish market, Lopez said. While there are a number of Christian books translated into Spanish, LifeWay is one of the few publishers offering small group resources that provide readers an opportunity to answer questions in response to what they read, he said.

“We have received a very positive response to these materials,” Lopez said. “In Latin America, we are helping churches be intentional about developing a discipleship program because we believe disciple-making was at the heart of our Lord’s strategy. We feel it was the Master’s key strategy for ministry, global impact and eternal significance.”

LifeWay’s commitment to discipleship stems from its belief that Christian ministry is not successful unless it trains successive generations of believers to take the message of Christ to a lost and dying world, Lopez said.

“We believe in the principle of multiplication where we train people so they can train others,” he said. “It is based on 2 Timothy 2:2. And we emphasize that there is no success without a successor. We train these volunteers, knowing that whatever has been entrusted to them, they can go back to their own regions and can train others and put discipleship into practice.”

This year LifeWay has trained 299 international volunteer consultants who will introduce LifeWay discipleship materials across the globe. LifeWay’s goal “will be to grow that number in the next few years very rapidly,” Lopez said.

“We want to continue to work to expand our network of volunteer consultants throughout Latin America,” he said. “We’re always looking for people with a heart for discipleship and who are willing to teach others and make a life investment into passing the Lord’s teaching on to others.”