Wednesday, August 16, 2006

"Seven Questions with Dr. Gus Suarez"

1. What is your greatest passion?

My passion is to see people come to know the Lord Jesus and to see new healthy reproducible congregations started.

2. In your opinion what is the main thing that must happen in the SBC to build momentum for Kingdom growth over the next 5 years.

The shift in culture demands that the local church look at impacting community. Two factors that are shifting our culture are:
(a) the increase ethnic diversity.
(b) the growing generational gap.
I think that church leaders must capture a fresh vision from God. Culture is not our enemy! We, as Southern Baptist leaders, must model for our churches how to be missionaries in our own backyards.

3. What are some church trends that you see that cause you concern? What are some church trends that cause you excitement?

I love change! Let me answer the last part of the question first. I get excited to see a new generation of leaders in Southern Baptist life that are looking around their mission field and asking the right kinds of questions such as: who is here? How can I best reach this type of people? What is the very best methodology to impact this community? I get concern when one tries to duplicate someone else methodology in my area of ministry. That may or may not work in my area.

4. Why where some factors that lead you into denominational work?

You know, I never had a goal to work in a state convention. As a matter of fact, I had no understanding of anything other than the local church. I believe then and still do today that the local church is key to all that we do. I was just faithful in doing what God called me to do as a pastor and church planter. He opened the doors for me to serve among language people as well as other areas of ministry in both Maryland and New Mexico. Today, I serve Him as Executive Director for the Northwest Baptist Convention.

5. If you could give one word of encouragement to every Baptist minister what would it be?

Stay close to God. Do not ever put your eyes on the circumstances of life but keep your eyes on the Lord. Bathe everything you do in prayer.

6. In a day and time where there seems to be so little leadership in the church, what has been the secret to your success as a leader?

I have made it a practice throughout my ministry to read and study about different styles of leadership. I believe that one ministers out of who he/she is. Therefore I cannot copy the leadership style of someone else. Instead I need to understand principles and adapt those principles to who I am.

7. Over the next year what are some things you hope to accomplish and how can my readers and I be praying for you?

You can pray that Northwest Baptists will capture the vision God gave me to:
a. start healthy reproducible congregations.
b. develop evangelistic methodologies to impact the diverse cultures of the Northwest.
c. develop healthy leaders
d. mobilize the people of God
e. provide contextual leadership training

If there are some reading this blog who would feel impressed to partner with churches in the Northwest to start new congregations or to help us reach the cities (Seattle, Portland and Spokanne) please call me. Our convention sits in the midst of the “No church Belt” that runs from California to Canada

Dr. Gus Suarez is the Executive Director for the Northwest Baptist Convention.


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