Salvador has undertaken the biggest project yet in its seven-year career as a band, according to frontman Nic Gonzalez. And the end result is not albums on store shelves but millions of Latinos changed by the Word of God.
"La Biblia Es Mi Guia" (The Bible Is My Guide) campaign is currently preparing for its launch this fall in cooperation with the American Bible Society and 10 other top U.S. and Latin American Christian artists, ABS announced Friday.
"I would say this is the biggest thing that we've ever been a part of," Gonzalez told The Christian Post, "even bigger than being a musician on a record label because the truth of the matter is that the impact of this will be much greater than selling CD's off of a store shelf."
Salvador and ABS will be reaching the fastest growing immigrant population in the nation through its latest Bible outreach. The number of Spanish-speaking people in the United States exceeds that of all of Central America, according to the Rev. Emilio A. Reyes, vice president for Hispanic/Latino Ministries at American Bible Society.
"You have a country within a country," Reyes noted.
"This would have a huge impact in the Latino community," he added. "My family came here looking for 'better life' and of course my mom and my step-dad thought that the way to get that 'better life' was by having more money. The reality is that the 'better life' can only be found when you are confronted by the claims of Jesus and that's what the Bible offers the Latino community. It's the answer that they're looking for; the true life, the better life, the abundant life is in God."
Yet the campaign still caters to a diverse crowd of Latinos – the monolingual and monocultural community of immigrants as well as the bilingual and bicultural community of Latin Americans.
"One size does not fit all," Reyes commented, "so we have to be wise in reaching this community. The beauty about Salvador is that they reach both of those groups. They reach the Latinos that only speak Spanish, the ones that speak English, and also the ones that are bilingual. So we hope to reach the whole community through Salvador."
The campaign will launch in conjunction with the band's fall tour after the new album release of "Dismiss The Mystery" on Aug. 29. Additionally, U.S. and Latin American artists, including Andrae Crouch and possibly Marcos Witt, are creating a compilation album with proceeds donated to ABS for the Latino outreach.
"The Bible is the living, breathing Word of God," said Gonzalez. "When [we] pick it up, God is actually speaking to us through His Word."
To many Christians, however, the big book has become more of an "idea," as Gonzalez pointed out. "I think that what has happened to society is that people enjoy the idea of the Bible and what it has to say much like a dictionary. I think a lot of people have a dictionary but they don't necessarily read it on a [daily] basis even though it would probably be better if they did.
"Everyone says when an article is written well they can hear the person speaking whereas sometimes with newspaper articles, it's more black and white," Salvador’s frontman added. "The word of God is not just black and white. You can feel God speaking and that's one of the things that we're going to do our best to encourage."
And music will communicate the message more soundly. Small scripture booklets will be distributed at Salvador's concerts as the campaign strips the threatening aspect of the Big Book and presents it as a more relational, appealing and compact Word of God.
"We're going to be conveying [Scripture] through live music because music is becoming a much more impactful thing than even record sales would say," said Gonzalez as he referred to the cultural phenomenon of the iPod.
"Latinos tend to do two things – eat and have parties," Reyes said laughingly. "We're all about music."