Monday, June 17, 2024
Monday, June 17, 2024
HomeAll The NewsChange in North American Missions Landscape

Change in North American Missions Landscape

Elvis Garcia – According to Pew Research, the U.S. Hispanic population reached 62.1 million in 2020, up from 50.5 million in 2010. The 23% increase in the Hispanic population was faster than the nation’s growth rate, but a slower increase than in the Asian population. In 2020, Hispanics made up nearly one in five people in the U.S.

“We want to be strategic in reaching North America with the hope of the gospel,” said NAMB (North American Mission Board) President Kevin Ezell. “That means we should emphasize Hispanic church planting. The demographic shift taking place is incredible, and we must take the gospel to places it is needed most.” Ezell announced a big Hispanic outreach nationally at a meeting with the NAMB’s Board of Trustees.

“The Latino population has been dispersing across the United States for years — a reflection of where the nation’s population is moving and where the opportunities are,” said Mark Hugo Lopez, director of race and ethnicity research at Pew Research.

First-generation immigrants are leading Latino evangelical expansion in the U.S. — drawing in more unchurched believers and new converts than the average church plant, despite smaller congregations, less funding and tensions surrounding U.S. immigration policy.

A Progressive New Turn

This community’s future growth capacity is dramatic — 75% of Hispanics are under 40 years and 34% are 18 or younger. This trend alone should mean a redefinition of priorities and strategies of church evangelism.

Pew Research says that in the next few years, one in every six Americans will be of Hispanic descent, and by 2030, the Latino population will total roughly 24% of the population. These changes in the ethnic landscape require churches to reach out to this community because they will be showing up on your church steps in the near future and, in some states, it’s already happening!

The United States has been the number one sending nation in the world according to statistics. It has mostly been a Christian nation where conservative thinking is normal. But that’s not true anymore because we live in a more and more secular society than a Christian one.

Hispanic Burden for America

In conversations with Hispanic pastors who have been in this country for many years, I hear over and over again that we have to do something. We have to evangelize more, disciple more and “Win North America for Christ,” which is the name of our national project. That’s why our national project is called that. Our culture is reactive by nature, and we do not stop much to think about how we are going to do all of it. Instead, our first reaction is to do something.

We are also very organic and inexperienced in committee processes, fundraising and complicated training. It may worry some people, but it is a unique opportunity since we are not going to wait for us to have sufficient funds or correct conditions. As we are taught correctly and biblically and understand that Jesus commands us to go, so we will go!

For us, this country is a battlefield where we fight daily to win souls for Christ. We are focused on church planting and developing a relational and logistical support network.

Demographic statistics show that the population is moving to the cities and getting bigger, while rural life is decreasing. We believe this is where we should put the greatest emphasis and ask, “Where are the people?”

Paul shows us how strategic his mission was — the cities of Berea, Athens and Corinth, as well as Caesarea, Ephesus and Jerusalem, among others, were the center of his operations. Thus the phrase in Acts 19:20, “After I have been there, I must also visit Rome.” They show us Paul’s intentionality. He knew Rome was the center of the known world at that time, so he should go there.

Jesus also tells us: “Don’t you say: ‘There are still four months to go, and then the harvest comes?’ Behold, I say to you: lift up your eyes and see the fields that are already white for harvest” (John 4:36). The time is now. The cities are ready today. People are, more than ever, in an avalanche of uncertainty, and the gospel needs to be preached more than ever!

Where We Want to Go

Our national planting project is primarily focused on the largest American cities. Our missionaries carry a double purpose — develop a church and start a leadership development program or Bible institute as soon as possible to send workers, multiply ministry and develop networks of mutual support.

Our task begins with training and recruiting missionaries with a catalyst mindset, continuing with mentoring, proper training and the development of growth and sending strategies to continue church multiplication.

This will result in the organization of local associations of Hispanic churches that support missions together with the BMAA and can have fellowship and support each other. I have been a witness to this association, and I’m on the board of directors organized by the Hispanic Baptist Association of Mississippi and recently the Hispanic Baptist Association of Arkansas.

The Support We Need

Christian and non-Christian organizations see Latinos as the future of church growth in North America, and we want the BMAA to have a more active part in this area as well. Would you join us for the future today? We are promoting three areas for planting churches — prayer, connection and financial support. We encourage you to be involved at all levels.

If you want more information on how to be involved, please contact me at (662) 587-2148 or elvis@bmaam.com.

RELATED ARTICLES