Consider these facts:
The Latino population, already the nation’s largest minority group, will triple in size and will account for most of the nation’s population growth from 2005 through 2050. Hispanics will make up 29% of the U.S. population in 2050, compared with 14% in 2005.
Pew Research Center
which means there will be
Hispanics living in the United States by 2050!
Okay, let's do the math:
If we say that we desire to form healthy, self-sustaining, sending congregations of at least 300 people, we would need around
churches and pastors, just for the Hispanics!
So, how is the PCA doing?
There are 1,777 churches and missions within the PCA.
Only 41, or 2%, minister with Hispanics, or have Hispanic men on their staff.
There are 4,321 Teaching Elders in the PCA.
Only 36, or less than 1%, are Hispanic.
But we are we doing something about that, right?
There are currently over 1,000 students enrolled in PCA seminaries.
Only 25 of those students, or 2.5%, are Hispanic.
Clearly, the answer is,
In fact, the PCA is falling further and further behind in its ability to effectively reach this growing Hispanic population with the Gospel and to enfold them into our churches. HLI believes that the answer to this problem is to identify, prepare, and launch Hispanic men and women into leadership positions within local PCA churches.
But these future Hispanic leaders don't normally fit "the PCA mold," so to speak. Most likely they have grown up in the Roman Catholic Church, with all of its ecclesiastical and social traditions. This creates a cultural tension which must be overcome. The burden for overcoming this tension lies with the Hispanic man or woman AND with local PCA churches and presbyteries.
We must prepare future Hispanic leaders differently from Anglo leaders. Future Hispanic leaders need to develop relationships with local PCA church leaders, as well as presbyters of PCA presbyteries. Normally, they need financial assistance because: 1) they lack long-term relationships with others within a local PCA church who might financially support them; 2) their friends and family are most likely not financially able to help them because they live on lower salaries; and 3) even if their family could help them, they may not because the future leader is abandoning the normal religious tradition of the family. Their educational level may not be as high as their Anglo counterpart's. They may not have a college degree. And finally, because they have not been long-term members of a PCA church, their knowledge of Scripture might be far less than those that have been.
A new kind of box.
HLI would like the PCA to not just think "outside the box," but to consider using a whole new kind of box! A box in which we examine everything that we do, from the makeup of our worship services, to ways in which we fellowship as a local church body, to the way in which we prepare and ordain our new leaders, so that we might become more relevant and attractive to Hispanics within our nation without sacrificing the values and doctrines that we hold so dear?
HLI's Vision: A culturally-diverse, missionally-driven Presbyterian Church in America embracing Hispanic communities with the transformational power of the gospel of Jesus Christ for the advancement of His Kingdom.
Josh Geiger, former pastor of Cristo Rey Presbyterian Church, Dallas, TX, and HLI Board member, says in his white paper, "For Such a Time as This", "We long to see the PCA seize the present missional moment and be powerfully used by God to glorify His Name through the salvation of the lost in our nation and throughout the world."LEARN MORE
Want to Reach Hispanics in Your Community?
Here are 45 Ideas to help you!