Becoming REAL

And Thriving in Ministry

Sandra T. Montes

May/2020, 160 Pages, PAPER, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9781640652484



Follow the REAL rubric for success in starting new ministries

If congregations were to look outside their doors, they may find that the people who need the good news don’t look like them and that the way to engage them is by having ministries that are REAL. REAL ministry is respectful relationships, excellence, authenticity, and love. This easy-to-understand perspective on relationships can be implemented in any setting with any group. To continue the mandate, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,” we have to have relationships with those whom God has put in our neighborhoods.

Written in both English and Spanish, each chapter contains a study guide with Bible verses and reflection questions. The author also offers real anecdotes and examples of what to do—and what not to do—so that when using the REAL rubric with any group of people, you can emulate Jesus and bring the good news to them. Church leaders wanting to be more inclusive or trying to grow in their changing neighborhood will find this book a welcome resource.

Si los fieles que acuden a la iglesia se asomaran a las calles, podrían descubrir que aquellos quienes necesitan las buenas nuevas de Dios no lucen como ellos y que la forma de involucrarlos es teniendo ministerios REALES. El ministerio REAL se traduce en relaciones respetuosas, excelencia, autenticidad y amor. Esta perspectiva tan fácil de entender respecto a las relaciones se puede implementar en cualquier entorno y con cualquier grupo. Escrito en inglés y español, cada capítulo contiene una guía de estudio con versículos bíblicos y preguntas para reflexionar.

SANDRA T. MONTES has a doctorate in education and has taught in public schools for more than twenty years. Involved in multicultural or multilingual churches since childhood, she knows that congregations or groups who utilize REAL relationships will be successful and grow.

“Dr. Sandra T. Montes is a prophetic and fearless evangelist who loves God’s people and God’s church. Her use of personal stories and anecdotes shines a loving and sometimes harsh light on the ways that our good intentions may fall flat—and she offers practical and insightful strategies for moving forward in a more authentic and sustainable way. If your church or ministry needs an infusion of new energy, you must read this book!”
—Heidi J. Kim, Director of Talent and Organizational Culture at Propel Nonprofits in Minneapolis, Minnesota


Unit One: The Book of Genesis

Section One    Genesis 1-11: The Creation and the Fall

Chapter 1        The Creation Story(s)           

Chapter 2        The Second Creation Story

Chapter 3        The Fall of Humanity           

Chapter 4        The Consequences of Sin

Chapter 5        Cain and Abel           

Chapter 6        The Long Ages         

Chapter 7        Noah and the Great Flood     

Chapter 8        Sloppy Drunk Noah   

Chapter 9        Tower of Babel         

Chapter 10      Is All of This Literal?

Section Two  Genesis 12-50: God Conceives a Blessing Culture

Chapter 11      The Call of Abram and Sarai

Chapter 12      Abram and Sarai’s Undulating Faith

Chapter 13      Circumcision and the Three Visitors

Chapter 14      The Testing of Abraham

Chapter 15      Isaac Marries His Cousin Rebekah

Chapter 16      Jacob, Esau, and Tribal Leadership

Chapter 17      Rachel, Leah, Bilhah, and Zilpah

Chapter 18      Jacob Wrestles with a Man? an Angel? God?

Chapter 19      Joseph and Promises Fulfilled

Chapter 20      Abraham’s Family Iis the Foundation


Unit Two: Exodus, Wilderness, Conquest, and the Judges

Section One    The Exodus: Forty Years in the Wilderness and the Halacha

Chapter 21      Reviewing Genesis

Chapter 22      Escape from Egypt

Chapter 23      “Hangry” and Scared

Chapter 24      The Ten Commandments

Chapter 25      The Golden Calf and the Presence of God

Chapter 26      The Tabernacle, Ark, and Priesthood

Chapter 27      The Pathway of God: Halacha

Chapter 28      More of the Halacha and the People Complain

Chapter 29      Shema, Blessings, and Curses

Chapter 30      A Bronze Snake and Balaam’s Ass

Chapter 31      The “Voice of God”

Section Two   Joshua and the Conquest of Canaan, the Dark Period of the Judges, and the Call of Samuel

Chapter 32      Canaan as a Symbolic Abstraction

Chapter 33      Joshua and the Conquest of Canaan

Chapter 34      The Period of the Judges

Chapter 35      Canaanite Religion and Biblical Interpretation

Chapter 36      Gideon, Jephthah, and Shibboleth

Chapter 37      Samson the Antih-Hero

Chapter 38      Ruth and the Stages of Israel’s Life

Chapter 39      Job, the Man from Uz

Chapter 40      Job’s Three (Four) Friends

Chapter 41      God Answers Job

Chapter 42      The Call of Samuel

Chapter 43      The Philistines


Unit Three: United Monarchy, Divided Monarchy, the Prophets

Section One    The Rise and Fall of Saul, the Rise and Fall of David

Chapter 44      Israel Demands a King

Chapter 45      Things Fall Apart

Chapter 46      God Anoints David

Chapter 47     Saul Chases after David

Chapter 48     David Rises to the Throne

Chapter 49     David Builds Unity

Chapter 50     David and Bathsheba

Chapter 51      David’s House Falls Apart

Chapter 52      The Parents Eat Sour Grapes: Three-Fold Interpretation

Chapter 53     Biblical Inspiration

Section Two   The Reign of Solomon, the Temple, the Divided Kingdom, and the Prophets 

Chapter 54      Abishag the Shunammite

Chapter 55      Wisdom

Chapter 56      Downfall of Solomon

Chapter 57      Fertility Religions and the Prophet Elijah

Chapter 58      Elisha the Miracle Worker

Chapter 59      Assyria Attacks from the North: Isaiah, Hosea, Amos

Chapter 60      The Babylonian Conquest: Jeremiah the Weeping Prophet

Chapter 61      Ezekiel the Street Artist and Daniel the Slave

Chapter 62      The Valley of Dry Bones and Daniel, Part 2

Chapter 63      Freedom from Persia: Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther

Chapter 64      The Chronicles and the Stages of Israel, Part 2


Unit Four: Christianity Emerges Out of Judaism

Section One   Messiah, Healer, Teacher, Divinity

Chapter 65      The Chronicles

Chapter 66      Messianic Expectations

Chapter 67      John the Baptizer

Chapter 68      Jesus the Healer, Part 1

Chapter 69      Jesus the Healer, Part 2

Chapter 70      The Divinity of Jesus: God and Human

Chapter 71      Divinity Continued

Chapter 72      Jesus the Rabbi

Chapter 73      Temple Sacrifice and Synagogue Teaching

Chapter 74      The Parables of Jesus

Chapter 75      The Practice of Abstraction

Section Two    The Disciples, Passion, Atonement, and Resurrection, The Church, and Apostles

Chapter 76      The Passion and Resurrection of Christ

Chapter 77      Atonement of the Cross

Chapter 78      Blood and Non-blood Atonements

Chapter 79      Jonah and Blessed to Bless

Chapter 80      Jesus and the Canaanite Woman

Chapter 81      The Great Commission and Acts of the Apostles

Chapter 82      The Conversion of Paul for the Gentiles

Chapter 83      Disciples and Apostles

Chapter 84      The Twelve Apostles: Go Give God to Everybody

Chapter 85      Paul Continued…

Chapter 86      The Epistles and The Revelation to John

Epilogue          Jesus is the Way of Love



A.    Bible Vocabulary Concepts

B.    Books of the Bible Song

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  • Latinx ministry
  • inclusivity
  • diversity
  • congregations
  • ministry
  • bilingual

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