People of Hispanic origin constitute the nation’s largest ethnic or race minority, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics. In fact, about one out of every two people added to the U.S. population between July 1, 2004, and July 1, 2005, were Hispanic—making Hispanics the fastest-growing minority group in the country. And if the Bureau’s projections are on target, by 2050 Hispanics will make up 24 percent of the total U.S. population.
You don’t need to be a futurist to see that Hispanics will play an increasingly crucial role in our nation’s future, in all aspects of life and society. And you don’t need to be a missiologist to see that they represent not only a vast field ripe for the acceptance of the gospel, but also a massive evangelistic force for spreading it. Hispanics may be one of the strongest assets in the church as the future unfolds.
The Foursquare Church recognizes the great opportunity for the spread of the gospel represented by the Hispanic community, which is why the denomination is in the process of developing the National Hispanic Council (NHC)—a group comprising district Hispanic leaders, several nationally known Hispanic leaders, and the original Hispanic Task Force, from which the idea for forming NHC began. The Council will work with Foursquare leadership in both reaching out to Hispanics as well as ministering through Hispanic pastors and churches.
Currently, Hispanic Foursquare churches in the U.S. number around 250. That figure is significant—it means that almost one out of every seven U.S. Foursquare congregations are Hispanic.
“One of the greatest spiritual revivals in our nation is among Hispanics,” says Ted Vail, director of Urban and Multicultural Ministries for the denomination. “The enfranchisement and gospel partnership that The Foursquare Church is working toward will undoubtedly see an even greater harvest and ministry both to Hispanics and through Hispanics. As the Hispanic population continues to grow in the U.S., we are so blessed to have such great Hispanic leaders, churches, schools and global partners in our family.”
The goals of NHC are many and include: connecting district leaders with key Hispanic leaders within their districts; providing a larger ministry base for Hispanics; developing resources, conferences and events that minister to Hispanics; addressing sharing buildings and other creative strategies to help everyone reach out to Hispanics; and advocating and developing Hispanic ministry to reach outside of the Hispanic context and culture to the wider body of Christ and the nations.
Additionally, NHC is preparing couples retreats for Hispanic pastors in each district, during which the couples will have the opportunity to dialogue with district leaders. On June 2, the Council is also hosting the first-ever Hispanic “mini-convention”—dubbed Conexión Hispana 2010—during the denomination’s international convention in Atlanta, which takes place May 31-June 3. Learning tracks and workshops for Hispanic leaders will also take place throughout the week’s activities. For registration information, log on to www.FoursquareConvention.com.
By: Bill Shepson, a Foursquare credentialed minister and freelance writer in Los Angeles