National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference Launches ‘Equip2Impact’ Initiative for Pastors with Support of Lilly Foundation Grant

SACRAMENTO —The NHCLC has received a grant of $1 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. to launch “Equip2Impact,” an NHCLC initiative training active and aspiring pastors in fundamental preaching skills that will engage their churches, so they make a cultural impact in their community with conviction and compassion.

The NHCLC has received a grant of $1 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. to launch “Equip2Impact,” training active and aspiring pastors.
Photo by NHCLC, Press Releases

The initiative is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s Compelling Preaching Initiative.

Through Equip2Impact, pastors will embrace a fresh vision for their communities and disciple their people into a lifestyle of flourishing that leads to gospel engagement. The goal of this equipping initiative to empower both pastors and congregations in a Christ-like discipleship journey that is lived out across seven spheres of culture: religion, family, entertainment, media, education, business and government. The pastors and church cohorts involved will be divided into 27 local chapters that are organized into seven regions across the U.S.

“First and second-generation immigrants have led the recent growth of social and community impact among Hispanic churches. They bring with them the passion and compassion of their countries of origin, namely Central and South America, where vibrant, thriving churches are impacting entire nations,” said NHCLC President Rev. Samuel Rodriguez. “The irony is that as the vibrant Hispanic Church in America intersects with our culture, materialism, cost of living and a more institutional rather than missional church, a struggle for relevance has occurred. This struggle gives rise to a great opportunity within the Hispanic church in the U.S. We believe the time is right to engage active and aspiring pastors of our country in an intentional mentoring process, so they are equipped to lead their churches to live out good works and the gospel everywhere. Engaging pastors and churches at this time will be a vital component of maintaining relevance in ever-changing times.”

Drawing upon continuing feedback, refinement and multiplication, Equip2Impact envisions growing NHCLC state/chapter leadership and involvement from the current 27 to 50 chapters, thereby growing the NHCLC support and engagement to an additional 5,000 to the estimated 45,000 Hispanic churches in the U.S.

“Drawing upon a relational theology framework of walking in the light of Jesus, His Word, and God’s people, Equip2Impact will provide a mentoring/multiplication strategy for preaching that becomes the prevailing next-generation paradigm.” said Rev. Rodriguez.

The NHCLC is one of 32 organizations receiving funding in an invitational round of grants through Lilly Endowment’s Compelling Preaching Initiative, which is designed to help Christian pastors strengthen their abilities to proclaim the gospel in more engaging and effective ways.

“We are excited about the work that these organizations will do to foster and support preaching that better inspires, encourages and guides people to come to know and love God and to live out their Christian faith more fully,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “Their programs will serve a significant number of aspiring and current preachers who are working to reach and engage increasingly diverse audiences both within and beyond congregations.”

The Compelling Preaching Initiative is part of Lilly Endowment’s longstanding interest in supporting projects that help to nurture the religious lives of individuals and families and foster the growth and vitality of Christian congregations in the United States.

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Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, executive producer of “Breakthrough” with 20th Century Fox and a bestselling author. CNN and FOX News have called him “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and TIME magazine nominated him among the 100 most influential leaders in America. His newest book Your Mess, God’s Miracle (Chosen Books) releases April 2023.

Website | Twitter | @nhclc Instagram | @pastorsamuelrodriguez.
Facebook | /pastorsamuelrodriguezjr

The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference is The Association of Latino Evangelicals, recognized and identified by Time Magazine, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, Charisma Magazine, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, Fox News and CNN as America’s largest and most influential Hispanic/Latino Christian organization with more than 40,000 certified member churches in the United States and chapters in Latin America.

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Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. The principal aim of the Endowment’s religion grantmaking is to deepen and enrich the lives of Christians in the United States, primarily by seeking out and supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations and strengthen the pastoral and lay leadership of Christian communities. In addition, the Endowment also seeks to improve public understanding of diverse religious traditions by supporting fair and accurate portrayals of the role religion plays in the United States and across the globe.

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