Greetings from CHM Director David Byrne!
We are rejoicing in 3 new board members who have joined the CHM team during the year: Lisa Newton, Chris Johnston and David Jaimes. Each of our board members brings unique gifts to the task of helping the church in North America reach out well to the Hispanic communities around us.
You will notice some thoughts from our newest board member in the next column as David Jaimes reflects on life as a Hispanic Millennial Christian. This is a group that both Anglo and Hispanic churches need to come to grips with.
Each of us comes from somewhere and with every day we live we are writing a unique story that can be told - even when scarce details are remembered as with the faith heroes of Hebrews 11.
Recently we celebrated the passing to glory of Susie Vásquez, who was a minister and church-planter along with her late husband Felipe. In northern Mexico and southern Texas they left a legacy of believers, leaders, and churches that will extend their fruitfulness into eternity. For five hours on Friday evening and Saturday morning people stood one after the other to share their stories of Susie’s faithfulness and how God had blessed them through her.
What story are you writing as God’s instrument in a world that needs his blessing? Let’s make our lives count!
David C. Byrne
(--See a previous newsletter--)
(For an easier to print & share "Acrobat Reader" Version of this Newsletter click HERE)
Dr. Karl Newman
Dora Gutierrez Kerr
Dr. Richard Tomm
New Leaders - New Strategies
As new leadership stepped into place for both EFC-ER and EFC-MAYM, summer sessions took on a slightly different tone as each Yearly Meeting made efforts to address their ministry needs in the Hispanic churches. In Eastern Region, Dr. Wayne Evans highlighted the multicultural dynamic by arranging for translation from Spanish to English in the Saturday morning leadership chapel and by initiating a proposal that will bring ethnic churches into a full-church status within the Yearly Meeting.
Dr. David Williams affirmed the thrust of ethnic church planting begun under Dr. Robinson and was instrumental in assuring that there was Spanish interpretation for all business and worship sessions. He shared in the closing sessions that, “We dream of the ethnic participation of our churches and larger gatherings reflecting the ethnic makeup of our communities.”
Amen! Let it be so.
In early October the 18th conference of Hispanic Friends was held in Baltimore with the theme of “New Vision.” There was a good spirit of cooperation and a powerful call to evangelism and obedience to Christ as we apply the vision of His calling as leaders, within our families and in our churches. There will be a fuller report with pictures for our December newsletter, but for now we are rejoicing in God’s work in strengthening His body.
Perspectives from new CHM Board member - David Jaimes“Finally, the growth and influence of the Hispanic church on American Christianity (and beyond) rests on Hispanic Millennial Christians.” Barna Group, Hispanic America; Faith, Values, & Priorities. (p. 133, 2012)
In 2012, one of the most respected evangelical research firms, Barna Group, released their study titled, “Hispanic America: Faith, Values and Priorities.” Further research findings show that, “Only 21% of Hispanics believe that churches in their communities are doing “very well” at influencing Hispanic youths in their communities.” And also Barna Group has found that, “87% of Hispanics own a Bible, but they are more likely than other Americans to say that they are not excited about reading it or that they find the language difficult”. The Hispanic church is still trying to find itself in a foreign land, but according to Barna Group, growth and influence of future Latino Church lies heavily on Hispanic Millennial Christians.
Who is this millennial generation? It is a generation of people that were born between 1981 and the year 2000. This generation is not the “Generation X” and recently there has been a lot of focus on this generation because of the many cultural and technological changes happening in recent decades. Hispanics add an incredible influence to this generation because after the turn of the century Hispanics became the largest minority group in the United States surpassing the African-American community. So what does this mean for the church at large? This question has yet to be answered. There are deep seated issues that first must be addressed for there to be change.
The Hispanic American Church is a new movement and its influence is slowly rising. In terms of leadership, there is still a lack of attention and resources in nurturing the next pastors, missionaries, scholars, etc. As diverse as this group is, you still find these young adults mostly in traditional church settings. In some forms this is good but for the most part this trend is holding back innovation and a renewed identity to this vital generation that the American church needs.
God for the dynamic and encouraging North American Hispanic Friends Conference
that was held from Oct. 9-12 and pray for the leadership of the Ministerial
Alliance as it works to unite churches and ministries for the increase of
the Kingdom of God. (More info next month)
pray as church organizations nationwide are considering how to minister cross-culturally
and to win the lost from every background. Each Christian and each
church must play a role. Material needs translated, messages
and conferences interpreted, and decision making bodies integrated.
May the Lord open our eyes to the possibilities.
|Pray for church-planting efforts around the country and near you. The San Antonio Iglesia Amigos is currently looking for new pastoral leadership. Ask that the Lord will bless Runy, the current pastor, and reveal new leadership|