Every week, Victor (not his real name) tunes in to one of his favorite television programs from his home in Chile. One day, the message felt a little too close to home. “I was tempted to change the channel,” recalled Victor. “But I decided to keep listening.”
Victor watches La Vida Ahora, a video program produced by Back to God Ministries International’s Spanish-language ministry team. His strong reaction is exactly what Rev. Guillermo Serrano expects from the program’s content.
Serrano sees media ministry as a way to challenge Christians to embrace a more holistic faith and a Reformed way of thinking.
“In general, Latin America needs a Reformation,” said Serrano. “Many Christians believe their faith has everything to do with personal experiences and nothing to do with their broader society.”
Whether it’s on La Vida Ahora on television or one of BTGMI’s audio programs delivered through the radio or online, Serrano addresses very practical issues to a part of the world that, he said, “has a lot of Christian voices influencing it, but not many Reformed ones.”
“We aren’t talking about complex topics like theological doctrines,” Serrano added. Topics on BTGMI Spanish programs range from examining common holidays or festivals from a Christian perspective to looking at a political candidate’s platform as a Christian.
“When I first started sharing about these topics almost 30 years ago, they were seen as taboo,” said Serrano. “Over the years, I think people have warmed up to these ideas, but there is a lot of work to be done still.”
After nearly 30 years of leading BTGMI’s Spanish ministry, Serrano plans to retire at the end of 2019. But through BTGMI, the Christian Reformed Church will continue in this work of sharing the gospel through media with the Spanish-speaking world.
So which of these hot-button issues did Victor take issue with? An episode on loving, Christ-like relationships. Because Victor decided to keep listening to the episode, it convicted him in ways he could be more loving to his family.
“You cannot imagine how powerful your program was,” said Victor. “Through the interviews, the comments, the music, and your biblical explanations . . . Rev. Serrano helped me to see my own situation and led me to change my interactions with my wife and daughters. . . . Thank you, pastor, for being there when I needed it.”