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June 26, 2019

Reaching Hispanics With the Gospel

By New Churches Team

An Identity Problem

A big problem that church planters find in Hispanic cultures is confusion of identity within the church. One of the most important elements of solving this confusion is understanding and knowing the context – the gospel that people say they are believing in. Language is extremely important, so don’t be afraid to go back to the basics. Be sure you have a clear understanding of the language and the implications of the language used before diving into theological issues.

Hispanic Culture in the United States

If you’re ministering among Hispanics in the U.S., it’s important to recognize that being Hispanic is not a monolithic culture. Being Hispanic is representative of a region. Similarly, American culture is not all the same. American culture in Chicago varies from that of Birmingham, Alabama. It’s important to understand and appreciate someone’s cultural heritage – not to just make assumptions about them based on the broad fact that they’re Hispanic.

Whether we like it or not, we live in an era in the U.S. where being Hispanic is challenging. We often approach this topic with the mindset of expecting Hispanics to make the trip to us, to gather in our congregations and assimilate to our culture. It’s extremely important to have a physical presence in Hispanic communities. This could be as easy as going and being in the community. Eat at the restaurants. Shop at the stores. Simply spend time there.

Hispanic countries tend to be more collectivist cultures than individualist. Relationships in these cultures matter much more than projects or tasks. Because of this, it’s important that as you’re physically present  to build legitimate, genuine relationships. Spend time with the people. We need to switch our mindset from looking for ways to reach Hispanics to looking for the opportunity to develop friendships with people. Get to know some of the cultural insiders. The relational element is incredibly important. Understand who is around you, and don’t simply assume your neighbors are just like you.

Power Distance

Central America tends to have a very high power distance. Mexico a little less and South America, even less. The further south you go, the less power distance you have.

It’s difficult to determine what are sinful expressions of certain cultural elements and what are other cultural elements that we must learn to embrace and contextualize. In light of the cross, the ground is flat. No one is more important than anyone else before God.

To read the remainder of this article and to listen to the entire Behind-The-Scenes segment with Justin Burkholder, click here for the full post.

This video is part of Plus Membership. To get full access to it, and much more, I encourage you to become a Plus Member. Click here to see all the benefits of becoming a Plus Member.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

New Churches Team

NewChurches.com wants to help you build a strong foundation by connecting you with top experts in the field of church planting and multisite ministry, and by regularly providing you with the resources, information, and community you need to thrive as you multiply the mission of Matthew 28.

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