By South America Region Communications Office on Jul 29, 2011
A local congregation in Argentina is proving that you don't need to be a mega church with vast financial resources to reach your community through broadcast media.
In Rosario de Lerma, Salta, Argentina, Pastor José Luis Perales leads and produces Compromiso Social with the help of co-host Evangelist Julio Pereira. The program is a ministry of El Arca de Jesucristo Church of the Nazarene, which runs 40 attenders in Sunday morning worship and 100 in Sunday School.
Compromiso Social (Social Commitment) is aired on Channel 10 – Norte Visión Satelital. Not only has it been a success, it has doubled its airtime by taking over the programming slot of a local tarot card reader.
While Compromiso Social´s layout is simple, God is using it in great ways. The program begins with an episode of Mujer Valiosa (a Christian women´s program produced by the Nazarene South America Region Communications Office) after which the hosts relate the subject discussed in the episode to local realities by means of stories and special guests from the local area. There are also news stories that focus on social work of non-governmental organizations such as churches, development societies, clubs, etc.
The program was so enthusiastically embraced by the audience that viewers began calling the station to ask that the following program of a famous local tarot card reader be removed and the time given to Compromiso Social. Norte Visión Satelital, a secular station that reaches 12 cities across the entire Lerma Vally, did what its viewers asked.
Pastor Perales said that during the show's production and airing he felt a more intense spiritual attack, but his church was faithful to pray for him. God not only brought them through victoriously, but a second season is being filmed.
Compromiso Social and Pereira use Facebook as one way to follow up with viewers. The page, which has about 700 friends, gives a space for discipleship through Bible passages, images, and words of hope.
“I give thanks to the Lord for starting the 2011 season on Channel 10 in Rosario de Lerma, Salta, and the blessing of having almost 100 messages on the first day. God bless each soul that needs His love," Pereira published in Facebook.
In addition to reaching the local community, Compromiso Social offers a space for youth of the El Arca de Jesucristo Church to engage in ministry. The production team for the show is comprised of a group of young people from the church who are training themselves with the Communications Disciples in Ministry materials.
While some might assume that the El Arca de Jesucristo Church must be a large to have this kind of a ministry, they would be mistaken. The church meets in Pastor Perales' garage. Pastor Perales is also active in organizing compassionate medical ministry groups, musical events for the community and school events, as well as a hip-hop group called Acción Solidaria (Solidarity Action), which is working to help fight addictions.
Although there are 23 departments (counties) and a population of 1,100,000 people in the Northwestern Argentine province of Salta, there are currently only three Nazarene Churches in the entire province. However, thanks can be given to the Lord because communication media can reach many places, and He continues to use people with a willing heart even if they do not have many resources.