Sharing God’s truth with anyone in any language

Ben Greene

Pastor & writer

  • Church planting & multiplication

Last year, Eduardo Rivas moved to Princeton, Texas, where he and his family wanted a welcoming church so they could grow in Christ and serve others.

They took six months to diligently and prayerfully seek a church. But, in the end, they didn’t need much time at a new Converge church to discover this was their desired congregation.

“My family was like, ‘This is it!’” he said after their first time in worship with Conexion Church in nearby McKinney. “Nothing brought peace and confirmation until the day we arrived in Conexion Church.”

Many more people will be experiencing that gift of a new, strong church through Conexion’s ministry. The spiritual and practical needs of Hispanics from many countries who moved to Texas motivate Luis Arras, the church’s pastor and the team of servants at Conexion.

A gracious ministry aware of many needs

Conexion Church focuses on three needs within their community with confidence that nothing is too difficult for God.

First, Arras said many hardworking individuals in his neighborhood earn a living, yet they need help saving funds or practicing good stewardship. In response, the church is offering Financial Peace University.

A second significant need is supporting people so they build solid marriages. Since opening in May 2020, the Conexion has offered premarital counseling for engaged couples and a 16-week marriage training class. That class titled REENGAGE aims to help couples discover Jesus within their relationship.

“Marriage matters so much,” Arras explained. “If the devil gets to break up a marriage, he destroys the entire family.”

Thirdly, Luis’ wife, Nora, is eager for evangelism and compassion for the homeless. So, she is leading an initiative to supply nonperishable items to those who don’t have homes.

“That’s our first step,” Luis Arras said. “We want to start feeding our community. God loves them tremendously.”

For Rivas and his family, such concern for every element of their lives and neighbors confirms that Conexion is a God-honoring church that makes a difference.

“We believe its impact in the community is due to the word that’s being taught, the actions that the leadership is taking and the integration of the body of Christ as a whole,” Rivas said.

Pursuing the integration of generations

Arras recognizes first-generation and second-generation Hispanics, usually parents and their children, experience life differently. So, another goal of the ministry is helping younger, second-generation people know that he’s their pastor who loves them.

“Our kids are going to grow up,” he said. “I want these kids to know I’m their pastor. I want to officiate their weddings, dedicate their kids and have them be part of this church forever.”

Those variances among the generations create opportunities for the church. While people may speak different languages, value the past differently or embrace a different culture, the church is there for everyone.

“We need to be able to take care of everybody in the family,” Arras said. “My goal is to become a truly bilingual church.”

He said people from Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Columbia live within 30 minutes of Conexion. The church’s “perfect position” in the region north of Dallas also helps the congregation disciple American citizens with Hispanic heritage, like the Arras family, who were born and raised in El Paso, Texas.

“God allows us to minister to people,” Arras added. “This is going to help the community.”

Related: Churches in multicultural communities can thrive through Converge resources.

Building unity across languages and spiritual diversity

A powerful, strategic effort within the church comes on the last Sunday of every month when the congregation gathers in one service so speakers of both languages take communion together.

Arras said he uses his preaching and teaching gifts during any Sunday service. In particular, he said half of his preaching is teaching because people need to have a lot of things explained to them.

That gift for Christian education has potential, he explained, because many Hispanics have a mentality that steers them away from following Christ. Arras said it’s common for believers to live however they want as long as they make it to church on Sundays.

He hopes to show them the love of Christ flows in the hearts of leaders. Then, perhaps they will surrender to God and allow him to work in their lives. That love can help the ambivalent grow more devoted and offers those with church hurt an opportunity to love God because he first loved them.

“There is no other love like his,” Arras said. “I want them to see God through us.”

Related: The man on the center cross helps a Converge church love those hurt by believers.

Conexion exists to tell the truth in any language to anyone

As a young boy in El Paso, Arras began learning about Jesus from his uncles, who would later become Pentecostal pastors. Their presence and the nearby Roman Catholic cathedral sparked his interest in ministry. From the moment he first saw a priest, he knew he wanted to be “the person with the Bible” to serve others. 

Arras chose Christ as Lord later in his life through a cell group in New Mexico after a season of distress fueled by his choices out of God’s will. For the last few decades, Arras said, great men who were great teachers came into his life by God’s grace so they could mentor, disciple and train him in the local church.

Related: Making pastors stronger so churches thrive is a priority at Converge.

Now, as a pastor with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in theology, he’s got a vision for the people of God and clarity about how he contributes to it.

“At the end of the day, I just want to reach people,” he said. “We just want to be that church you can come to and understand that we’re not there to judge you. We’re just there to tell you the truth of God, whether in English or Spanish.”

Converge’s 10 districts have committed to deploying 312 church planters before 2026. Read more inspiring church planting stories and learn about the goal to send out 312 church planters in five years.

Ben Greene, Pastor & writer

Ben Greene is a freelance writer and pastor currently living in Massachusetts. Along with his ministry experience, he has served as a full-time writer for the Associated Press and in the newspaper industry.

Additional articles by Ben Greene