Floyd's Spanish-language video urges prayer

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (BP) -- Extending to Hispanic Baptists his call to prayer for spiritual awakening, SBC President Ronnie Floyd has released a Spanish-language video urging "an unprecedented attempt and strong effort" to reach the nation's largest ethnic population for Christ.

In the two-minute video, a translator conveys Floyd's message from English. Also, at the bottom of the screen, the text of his message is displayed in English.

The Southern Baptist Convention, Floyd notes, is the largest multiethnic denomination worldwide. Among the SBC's 46,000 churches, 10,000 are ethnic -- 3,000 of which are Hispanic.

"I celebrate the contribution that you, the Hispanic leaders and churches, are making to our convention and to the cause of the Kingdom of God," Floyd says in the video.

But with 52 million Hispanics comprising the largest ethnic group in the country, Floyd points to the critical need for prayer by stating that Hispanics "are continuing to experience explosive growth which should motivate us to come together to make an unprecedented attempt and strong effort to reach them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ because we know that the task is bigger than all of us, and that nothing short of divine intervention will enable us to accomplish this task....

"What a blessing it is going to be when Hispanics in this country and around the world unite in prayer that would result in brokenness, revival, unity and a great awakening across America and the world, especially beginning within the heart of the SBC family itself, fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus Christ around the world.

"Can I ask you a question?" Floyd concludes in the Spanish-language video. "Can we count on you?"

Floyd, in a news release, noted he is partnering with the co-chairs of the Hispanic Advisory Council, Bobby Sena and Daniel Sanchez, in calling Hispanics to join in prayer for spiritual awakening. The Hispanic Advisory Council, named by SBC Executive Committee President Frank S. Page in 2011, has completed its advisory work and drafted a 79-page report to Page. Sena was named as the Executive Committee's Hispanic relations consultant earlier this year. Sanchez is professor of missions at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and director of the Scarborough Institute for Church Growth at the Texas campus.

Sena, in recounting meetings he's had with pastors, church planters, lay leaders and denominational workers, said he has asked: What is the priority need among our SBC Hispanic familia? The common response was: "We need unity, an extraordinary presence of God, prayer and revival."

Sena said Floyd's call to prayer is "exactly what we need in the Hispanic Southern Baptist family if we are going reach the Hispanic community in North America and around world with the Gospel, plant new churches and to see a renewed passion and excitement about Jesus and the expansion of the Kingdom."

Floyd, pastor of the multi-campus Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, was elected as SBC president during the convention's annual meeting in June in Baltimore.

He signaled an urgency for prayer for spiritual awakening as a nominee for SBC president as well as his first news conference shortly after his election when he stated, "I want to see revival come to the church of Jesus Christ so that America would be awakened with a powerful God consciousness where great numbers come to faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior."

Floyd has issued a "Call to Columbus" for Southern Baptists to attend the 2015 SBC annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio, next June 16-17 for "what could be one of the most significant prayer gatherings in our history," he wrote in a June 16 column in Baptist Press.

"Yes, we have to conduct business at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, and we will do it with great diligence," Floyd wrote. "But we will also bring to fruition a year-long emphasis of praying in an extraordinary manner for the next great spiritual awakening in America. For the next year, I want to humbly request from each church, each national SBC entity and each state convention that we begin to pray in an over-and-above way for God to move mightily in our lives, our churches and our nation.

"Why is this important? Our convention has bemoaned our decline in baptisms, membership, attendance and giving far too long. Now is the time for us to take aggressive action by calling out to God together in prayer," Floyd wrote.

Individuals interested in prayer updates from Floyd can sign up at www.pray4awakening.com.

Art Toalston is editor of Baptist Press.
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