“Go, make disciples of all nations…” With these words our Lord Jesus Christ called His church in every age and every place to put forth its prayers, its people and its resources to meet the challanges of reaching the lost in its generation. The Hispanic Leadership Initiative is being formed in response to that call, in an attempt to meet our particular challenge facing the church today: the challenges of reaching the Hispanic people of the world.
Today, 48.5 million people or 15.8% of the total US population identify themselves as Hispanic, making Hispanics the second largest people group in the US and making the United States the second largest Hispanic nation in the world. By 2050 this rapidly growing population is expected to reach 132.8 million. At that time, almost 1 in 3 Americans (30%) will be Hispanic! Mexico, the largest Hispanic nation in the world, has a population of over 110 million people and is expected to reach 153 million by 2050. North America is in many ways becoming the center of the Hispanic world.
But the church today is not prepared to meet this challenge. There are currently less than five Hispanic majority, self-sustaining churches in the Presbyterian Church in America. Each year, the number of Hispanic men graduating from reformed theological seminaries who want to enter pastoral ministry to Hispanics can be counted on one hand (with several fingers to spare!) Together, these two facts create a cycle of failure: we do not have Hispanic men preparing for ministry because we do not have churches in the Hispanic community, and we do not have churches in the Hispanic community because we do not have trained Hispanic men to plant and pastor these churches. HLI has been formed to break this cycle of failure.
HLI is a network of PCA churches, institutions and individuals who are committed to raising up Hispanic leadership for Christ’s church. In order to accomplish this goal, the partners in the HLI network will work together to:
- Identify Hispanic men and women who show potential as ministry leaders among Hispanics.
- Encourage those individuals to consider a call to ministry and to begin actively preparing for ministry.
- Support those individuals with the training, encouragement, and financial resources necessary to develop their gifts for service in Christ’s church.
- Launch those trained and qualified individuals into Hispanic ministry using the connections and resources within the presbyteries and church planting networks of the PCA.
As part of our efforts to increase the number of Hispanic candidates preparing for ministry, HLI also works to cast a vision and equip existing non-Hispanic PCA churches to reach out to Hispanic men and women in their communities.
For more information about HLI, please contact Crystal Bagby in the Missions and Church Planting Department.