By Roberto Ponce
Today, most people in the United States know that the Hispanic population growth has exploded in America. In recent years, we have seen, arguably, the largest demographical shift in our recent history!
According to the U.S. Census 2010, we now have nearly 50 million Hispanics in America, making the U.S. one of the largest Spanish speaking countries in the world. One in six Americans is of Hispanic origin. To put the U.S. Hispanic growth in perspective, there are more Hispanics in the United States that are Canadians in Canada. Interesting, isn’t it?
As Hispanics continue shaping many aspects of our main stream American culture, such as music, food and entertainment, imagine what they could do in terms of ministry. Hispanics represents a new frontier in ministry. Adding more Hispanic believers and churches to the Kingdom, represents a tremendous potential to impact America for God’s glory. So we must continue filling Hispanic pulpits across our nation.
A Cultural experience
Some of us, who grew up attending Hispanic churches, know that worship can be a cultural experience. Hispanics are highly relational individuals as a whole. We know that Hispanics are also more likely to receive advice from family members and friends than from institutions. So it makes sense, from a cultural standpoint, that Latinos may be more open to receive a gospel message from a fellow Hispanic pastor, spiritual leader or friend. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not conveying that Anglo-churches cannot reach or should not reach out to Hispanics. We are the church and we are called to reach out to everyone! That is our Great Commission (Matthew 16:20). I am only stating that we as humans tend to relate and fellowship with people who share the same interests, values and preferences. So it makes sense that Hispanics may want to attend Hispanic or bi-cultural churches.
Resources to the ministry
In terms of purchasing power, Hispanics reached a buying power comprised of $1 trillion in 2010 and it is expected to grow to $1.5 trillion in 2015, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth from the University of Georgia. The U.S. Hispanic purchasing power is larger than many Latin American economies, including Mexico’s GDP. Why do I mention this? Because I think that it’s important to know that Hispanics, as a community, have the resources for God’s Kingdom. They could be a huge blessing to the church.
As we try to reach out to Hispanics, it is essential that churches have a church-wide initiative that includes an understanding of Hispanic values and cultural nuances. Hispanic culture goes beyond language, but I’ll leave that for another post. Whether is through Hispanic outreach ministries or Hispanic church plantings, churches need to take a serious look to our U.S. Hispanic communities. If more Hispanic churches are to be planted, then more pastors are to be equipped for ministry. Education remains a gap among the Hispanic community and other populations. Whatever the case is at your local community, we cannot reach a new generation of Hispanics without the help and power of the Holy Spirit, we must depend on it. After all, we are trying to reach a new frontier in ministry.
Roberto Ponce is Director of Communications at Global University. For more information about Global University go to http://think.globaluniversity.edu