Hispanic Education Task Force Meets Today

The Hispanic Education Task Force is meeting to continue their work of addressing the Hispanic Baptist High School Drop-Out Issue as part of a two-day meeting of the Executive Board of the BGCT. I am pleased that they are still meeting and am confident this group will advance some top shelf solutions for this issue.

I have been amazed at the response to this issue and the number of posting on Friday’s blog post. Granted, I am answering some of those comments but I have never had so many friends respond, view, and post to my blog on a single issue since I started at Buckner almost 18 months ago. This is a hot issue. I want to encourage you to view the blog comments for Friday’s blog. Julio Guarneri has some fantastic stats that contradict what I reported on Friday. Yeah! I am more than glad to be wrong on this in the case of Getsemani. Elizabeth Tamez reports similar stats at Primera in Tyler. Tim Dahl also posted some solutions he is working on as well. It would be worth your time to look at the comments. You will be encouraged.

I do want to offer some solutions given my limited engagement with this issue, apart from keep tabs on the progress of the Hispanic Education Task Force progress. Here are a few ideas that I would offer up to my reading audience, the Hispanic Education Task Force, or anyone else passionate about this issue:

Gather Data
We really need to know if Hispanic-BGCT affiliated congregations beat the state average on high school drop out rates, college enrollment, college completion, graduate school, etc. We really don’t know how serious the problem is without good data. I would love to be proven wrong on the data I projected on Friday’s blog. We have anecdotal information that is encouraging but we need to survey our congregations and get the data.

Showcase Successes
We need to find churches that are making a huge difference like Iglesia Bautista Getsemani and Primera Tyler and learn what they are doing right to produce such amazing high school completion rates, college enrollment, BA degree achievement, and graduate school enrollment. We need to hear these stories to encourage other congregations to do the same.

Highlight Higher Education Wins
If you read the comments you will see that DBU has demonstrated some significant strides to encourage Hispanic students to enroll. You will also see the work of BUA mentioned to encourage high school completion and college enrollment. Other BGCT affiliated universities that have demonstrated a consistent record of Hispanic enrollment should be highlighted as well.

These are just a few items to consider as we look for solutions to this issue. I will mention a few more on Tuesday. In the meantime, let’s pray for the Hispanic Education Task Force. What solutions do you have? Post your idea in the comments below…

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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8 thoughts on “Hispanic Education Task Force Meets Today

  1. Father, please work in and through our Hispanic Education Task Force in the next few days. That as these meetings take place in your Name, your wisdom and heart will be reflected in all decisions made.
    Dr. Reyes, indeed I have been encouraged and amazed at the overwhelming response this subject has sparked! I know there are others reading and observing – please share what the Lord is doing in your sphere of influence.
    During my time of ministry in Tyler, I also got to see the other side of the situation among the rest of the Hispanic Churches. Only 2 other Churches in the East Texas area where focused on this subject.
    There are so many concerns in our Hispanic community, that it is sometimes hard for our Pastors and Churches to focus on all of these issues on their own.
    Many teens even within the Churches fell under the stats presented to us. Not very many teens proceeded to graduate high school, much less higher degrees.
    This is not even counting the many other teens that we have yet to reach for Christ in the schools!
    In these experiences, those of us who have worked hard to make a change, we have seen a pattern or trend that shifts the stats.
    There is yet much more work to be done to reach the masses! We can be truly effective in making a huge dint and turning the situation around by working together! BGCT, Buckner, Churches, Pastors, leaders, Educational Institutions, and other ministries, all joined together working in one single focus for the next 10 years – being world changers in this devastating trend!
    I know our Lord is bringing an awakening and is preparing us to gain ground that the enemy has been controlling for so long. NO MORE!
    The work is so large, because not all Churches count with the man power to get the job done, some Churches also do not have the blessing of members who can set an example and mentor their teens in the subject of education.
    These are examples of strategies we have used and seen work thus far:
    – The Church becoming a body that encourages and talks about education. Primarily the Pastor from the pulpit preaching about this subject, raising awareness of the damage the lack of education brings to the Kingdom purposes in our lives. Using every opportunity to talk and educate the congregation about this.
    – Once the congregation is “on the same page”, the efforts begin to spread throughout the Sunday School classes and the other out-reach efforts the Church makes in the community. The leaders emphasize the subject and make efforts even with the elementary school kids – simple questions to get them thinking in a different direction, make a big impact.
    – Then there are various strategies at micro and macro scales. From working with the schools in after-school programs, to partnering with the local Higher education Institutions, to making a big deal about students in our Congregation who are taking the challenge of education, doing graduation banquets, the whole church attending graduation ceremonies. Celebrating all graduations and honors publicly at Church (like honor role, grad from Elementary, etc.).
    -The work extends primarily to the parents as well. Conducting educational training that informs them of what do to at each stage of their child’s education to ensure they are working the path for their child to attend College.
    -The teens also learn and understand the responsibility of not wasting the sacrifices their parents have made for them – to follow God’s command in honoring their parents. They also learn about education being the training ground God uses to shape them as His soldiers. We sit with each teen when they reach Middle School to create a path for them to follow and we keep them accountable.
    – We take advantage of every opportunity, like the Hispanic Youth Day that Baylor organizes -it’s a key day for us.
    We travel together – teens and parents to take part of this day. Although not offered, we always request and make time for a private tour of the campus. They hear what the school can offer, we eat in their cafeteria, and we tell the teens how they are going to be enrolled there one day. We replicate this pattern not only at Baylor, but at other Universities and Seminaries where we have access. The parents and teens loose the intimidation of the unknown and begin to see how this is truly a possibility in their lives.
    – Those students who have proceeded with this higher education are involved in one manner or another with the teens that are coming behind encouraging and helping them go through the same journey.
    -With the other Churches and youth groups in the area, we encourage working with one another by generating activities, conferences and supporting each other even with the “little things” like sharing a van to make the trips to visit the campuses.
    We help other Pastors, Sunday School leaders and youth ministers to catch the same vision and to provide training in this subject to those who need the extra help.
    – The list of strategies and subjects we emphasize goes on, and on, because it is such a complex issue. We are constantly having to make the creative solutions kick- in! 🙂
    -On a personal level, this year I’ve taken 3 students who are excelling in school and in service at church.
    We meet 1 hour per week and focus on the Biblical basis for their roles as leaders and being an example to others. They are my guinea pigs for researching a structure and pattern to replicate at all our Churches so we can appropiately nurture these leaders that are rising.
    Bringing change on the education trends and developing a system that can be applied in our Hispanic Churches is the focus I want to develop with the research for my doctorate dissertation. I want to know what the panorama looks like in the other Hispanic Churches in our State and what could work to bring progress. Mmm… this perhaps could be something that I could work together with our Hispanic Education Task Force…
    Because the work is so large, the challenges we continue to fase in order to reach more teens is the limitation of time and enough people (the funds always come up).
    All this work is done without a paid staff at our Church, it’s all volunteer effort…Yet, we refuse to sit back and see our teens become part of the stats and loose sight of the vision and assignment that God has for their lives.
    We urge them (thus the name of our youth ministry) to be a NEW GENERATION. To value what their parents and families have done, but to take the next step to break the bondage of lack of education.
    The results and benefits for our Church are many, and we are on the stage of seeing the first few
    fruits, but this we have seen: a Church united reaching the community for Christ and leaders who are better prepared.
    Sorry I was so long this time, you asked for examples, ideas and strategies, and I felt like you had just hit the piñata! I had to let it all out to encourage and share ideas with our Churches and to glorify His name for what He has done!

  2. One thing continues to come to my mind. I don’t remember hearing about it until I met Albert. I very well may have, but it didn’t impact me until hearing/reading the testimony of Dr. Albert Reyes.
    The subject of my captivation is: Redemptive Lift.
    As I understand it, when people get saved and discipled; they will want to be better. They will want to be better men and women, better mothers and fathers, better workers and citizens. It not only benefits the church, but the whole community.
    I combine that with the affect that parents have on their children. How churches, schools, other programs have so little affect as compared to the families the children grow up in… We have to reach the families!
    So, any ideas on how a Gulf Coastal white (preacher) guy can reach the first and second generation of blue collar Hispanic men and women? Heck, its just as about impossible to reach everyone else as well. Our churches are dying, Christ isn’t being lifted up, something has to be done, imo.

  3. Tim, do you know Jeremy Everett? He is a truett grad that has started a ministry in West San Antonio. He is making a phenomenal impact on the lives of Hispanic Youth on the West Side of San Antonio. Jeremy is the kind of person that will not draw attention to himself. He is just a faithful, incarnational kind of person that gets things done. He has helped several youth get through high school and win major scholarships for college. He is probably more qualified than I am to answer your question.

  4. Albert,
    Jeremy’s name sounds very-very-very familiar. However, I’m notorious about forgetting people. 🙁
    Thanks for letting me know about him. I’ll google him and see what I find. Maybe I can get his current contact info from the Truett office.

  5. Jeremy Everett is currently working with Baptist Child and Family Services. Here is his info:
    Office (210) 212-6508
    Cell (210) 863-0506