Spain is a country with sophisticated cities, culinary delights, musical culture—and exquisite yet empty cathedrals.
With the rapid decline in church attendance, coupled with one of the lowest birth rates in Europe (called a “demographic time bomb”), the question becomes, is it too late for Spain’s re-birth?
Dominated by Catholicism, the nation’s spiritual temperature check was reported by Alberto Arce from Religion News Service in January 2022:
Maybe it’s always been “too late” for Spain?
The Apostle Paul, one the greatest missionaries, desired to go to Spain (Rom. 15:24)—known then as “the ends of the earth.” Bible scholars debate whether he made it there before he was believed to be beheaded in Rome. Too late for Spain?
When we were invited by the State’s Hispanic Pastor for Florida’s Baptist Convention—Victor Reyes—to join him, his wife, and other leading Hispanic pastors to serve in Badalona (a suburb of Barcelona), we were honored yet prayerful.
It turns out that we were not the only ones apprehensive of our involvement. The response was unlike what we were accustomed to from other missions.
Glorious Results in the Global South
Those of you who have faithfully supported our ministry over the past 10+ years know that our primary focus has been on least–developed countries (LDCs).
Believers who live in, what is sometimes referred to as, the “Global South,”— Asia, Africa, and South America—crave discipleship. A Sub-Saharan African leader shared . . .
“A lot of people come here to preach, but no one comes to [equip us with practical ways to] grow our faith and share the gospel.” He continued, “We have too much preaching and not enough discipleship.”
That’s why All In Ministries goes into the hard places—not to preach but to train women with practical, simple, reproducible skills to be disciples who make disciples of Jesus. To eliminate what we call “discipleship poverty.”
By God’s grace, each time we serve alongside church leaders in the Global South, multiplication is exponential.
Changed women bring change to their families and communities—a triple impact!
(Pictured above, photos from our recent disciple-making workshops in Spain.)
We’ve witnessed the immediate effect of equipped women, like the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4)—on repeat.
Although their lives are incredibly hard, women in the Global South are spiritually thirsty. When they learn how to drink the Living Water (John 4:10-11), they drop everything at the feet of Jesus and reorder their priorities, like the Samaritan woman.
But can that exponential impact be experienced outside of the Global South? Would “Western women,” or in this case, Spaniards, be spiritually thirsty? Would equipped women outsmart the enemy’s attempts to distract and discourage them, so they prioritize making disciples?
We would soon find out, as God widened our ministry scope last year to embrace an Acts 1:8 approach.
At our 10-year anniversary celebration in October of 2022, we announced our shift to focus not only on “Samaria and the ends of the earth” but also our “Jerusalem and Judea” (Acts 1:9)—places and spaces far and near.
Early results were astonishing. Feedback from women leaders at our 2023 Texas and South Florida conferences took immediate action after the disciple-making training.
Before the conference ended, Bible study groups had been formed in TX and FL with newly baptized believers and churchgoers seeking a deeper relationship with Jesus. Invitations were extended to those in their lives who were far from God.
Moreover, church leaders followed up with workshop participants with “loving accountability” to the practical teachings and commitment to make disciples. Prayers were answered.
Duplicating Results in Spain? Not so Fast
With the formation of the European Union (EU) and euro currency more than 20+ years ago, Spain experienced an economic surge, which impacted migration. Before the EU, Spain was home to just under 500,000 registered migrants. Today, there are roughly 7.2 million.
Surprised? Yes, that got our attention too, especially after learning that of the 7.2 million migrants, roughly 20% are estimated to be evangelicals.²
We were hopeful for immediate results when we were invited to serve in Spain, working with Hispanic pastors across Florida and serving alongside International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries. But what happened surprised us.
The Spaniards hesitated to receive training from Americans and after learning why, we understood entirely. There is a lot of negative press about what is going on in the church in the United States. Scandals. Gender wars. Church hurt.
They thought we might push a specific agenda on womens’ roles in the home. Even a young IMB missionary admitted she was concerned. By God’s grace, they were open to learning that is NOT why we had come.
We were in Spain on a mission to launch a movement of women disciple-makers—all for God’s glory alone.
Our hope and prayer is to help women discover:
- God’s Story—the metanarrative of Scripture to shape theology and identity
- Their part in God’s Story—as image-bearers (Hebrew: ezer kenegdo = essential counterparts in the gospel advancement)
- Their purpose as women disciple –makers (Ps. 68:11), enjoying and exalting God in the process.
- How to grow in an authentic, life-giving relationship with Jesus—strengthening “spiritual muscles” such as learning to abide in Jesus, study the Bible, pray, rely on the Holy Spirit, serve the church, and so much more.
Rather than conferences in Spain, we offered a series of workshops, greatly aided by the local leaders who worked hard to create a healthy environment for change.
God transformed the women who were initially guarded and skeptical of our involvement into our greatest allies. Even the young missionary admitted that God did a work in her heart—Praise Jesus! The women wanted more— more encouragement, more equipping.
Like the Hispanic and Latino pastors bringing change to Spain, the women embraced their role in transforming their families, churches, and communities. And they fully understood that change is necessary. As the saying goes,
If we want to see different things in our families, churches, and communities, we need to do different things.
Spanish women are smart—and influential in their communities. They simply lack practical equipping/tools for disciple making—and they made that known.
One of the 7.2 Million Attended with Great Joy
At the start of our third workshop, a woman named Milagros approached us, speaking in Spanish with sheer excitement.
Our interpreter explained she had rescheduled everything in her life to attend one of the workshops. She had never heard of training specifically for women offered in Spain.
Originally from Peru, Milagros was one of the 7.2 million newly registered migrants. Yet, her move to Spain was in obedience to God’s call to serve Spaniards in the hope of bringing spiritual awakening and revival. Sadly, Milagros admittedly did not have disciple-making training or any tools to help her in her mission.
By God’s grace, our ministry team of volunteers worked hard to translate and design the workshop training curriculum into Spanish to be ready for this mission.
We were able to provide Milagros with a copy of our women’s disciple-making curriculum, as well as a copy of our Bible study, Your True Story: The 50-Day Essential Guide to Your New Life with Jesus. She was overjoyed!
Hardest Step: Follow Up
After all the workshops, we met with the Pastor’s wife (formerly from Brazil) and the IMB leader to establish a follow-up strategy. Their tireless efforts to break up the hardened soil and cultivate change were evident in the women’s willingness to participate in the workshops. We encouraged the formation of womens’ Bible study groups, which do not currently exist.
We brought copies of our Bible study, Your True Story: The 50-Day Essential Guide to Your New Life with Jesus, to give to every workshop attendee and leader. We also distributed prayer cards of unreached people groups residing in Spain (thanks to Joshuaproject.net).
So, is it too late for Spain? Absolutely, not. God is the Ancient of Days—and He knows when the time for Spain to return to Him will come. It’s never too late for God to bring light into darkness.
Although numbers from missions to other countries may be more impressive than we experienced in Spain, Jesus spoke about leaving the 99 for the one. We were humbled and honored to serve one out of the 7.2 million—and more. Only God knows what that one, full of joy and now fully equipped, can do for His glory alone.
Join us as we pray for God’s Kingdom to come to Spain now as it is in heaven. It’s never too late.