Pastors Equipped and Inspired in Mexico City

Skip Heitzig addresses conference in Mexico City

Pastors Equipped and Inspired in Mexico City

Skip Heitzig addresses conference in Mexico City

Just before the Esperanza CDMX Festival, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association brought to Mexico City the conference Predica la Palabra (Preach the Word), to encourage and inspire local leaders to focus on true Biblical teaching at their churches.

Led by Calvary Church Albuquerque Pastor Skip Heitzig, the conference came to Mexico City as churches were preparing to receive new believers after the Esperanza CDMX Festival, and at a time when they are still trying to regain their footing after the long-lived effects of the pandemic in a city with more than 22 million people.

In five sessions, Heitzig addressed some of the most common challenges pastors face when trying to feed their congregations with Biblical teaching, including sermon preparation, expository preaching and effective preaching.

“It is easy for pastors to be tempted to focus on strategies to grow numbers in the church instead of focusing on discipling people deeply in the Scriptures,” Heitzig said.

Ricardo Rayón, who pastors a small congregation in one of the most trendy and progressive areas of Mexico City, agreed.

Mexico City pastors at the Preach the Word Conference just before the Esperanza CDMX Festival. Photo: Thomas J. Petrino / ©2024 BGEA

“This was an on-point message,” he said. “Many of us pastors have forgotten that the Gospel is much more than preaching emotions, or putting on a show, or just saying what we as individuals want to say. Pastors are very easily tempted to become motivators or entertainers in order to attract more people.

“It is very needed to address the importance of going back to what truly matters, which is the Bible,” Rayón said.

In his teaching, Heitzig indicated how one of the most common errors for pastors is to preach a sermon that revolves around a Biblical passage, but that ends up pointing to something that is not the Word of God.

He reminded pastors that God, in His Word, has already given us everything we need for accurate Biblical preaching, and he pointed out the importance of not only preaching the Word, but of presenting it in such a way that people will get the most out of it.

“The primary calling of the pastor is to spiritually feed his congregation with Scripture,” he said. “It’s not just about giving them Scripture, but presenting it in a way that really connects with them.”

Dagoberto Ibarra, pastor of Una Respuesta de Vida (A Life-Giving Answer) Church, attended the conference from the neighboring town of Pachuca. “This kind of training is indispensable,” he said. “And I think all of us pastors who are here know that we have that need for training. I believe this is going to change the perspective of preaching in many pulpits.”

Heitzig challenged pastors to make a supreme commitment to Scripture and to know that it is indeed the Word of God. “Ultimately, the basis of every good sermon is to believe that every word in the Bible is inspired by God,” he said.

“It’s thrilling to see the thirst for truth in all these pastors,” said Chris Swanson, BGEA’s senior director of Crusades and Development in Latin America. “I’ve seen pastors in tears who are being reminded to preach the Word, that the Word is enough … I know this is going to bring an impact that is going to reverberate throughout Mexico City and beyond.”

Rayón added: “A major fruit of this conference is unity among the churches. Here you can see pastors of different denominations, different social groups and from distant areas of the city, and we all are spending time together over a cup of coffee and under the same flag, which is Jesus Christ.”

He said this is quite uncommon in Mexico, and he believes it is the answer to Jesus’ prayer for unity in His church.

“Nothing is more deeply needed in this chaotic city than the Light of Christ,” he said. “I love how God is bringing to Mexico City this revival of unity, and bringing us back to the basics.”  ©2024 BGEA

Giselle Seidel is bilingual editor-writer for BGEA’s communications department.

Photo: Thomas J. Petrino / ©2024 BGEA

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