2012 - Dallas Theological Seminary

Ministering to Latinos
Alex Gonzales, Ph.D.
How do you know you are Latino?
• You have at least one member of your family
whose name is Jose or Maria
• Or Jesus is your uncle.
• Time is relative.
Historical Background
Six Flags of Texas:
Republic of Texas
United States
Confederate States
How do you reach a Latino?
By another Catholic?
By another Latino?
By another Missionary?
By another Christian:
– who understands their beliefs
– who understands their culture
– who sees them as another person needing Christ
We Need More Latino Leaders in Our
Churches and Seminaries!
• You mean a Latino can be a Pastor?
• Tertullian the first Latin church father – used
the term Trinity
• Augustine was the greatest church father who
happened to be a Latino!
Los Americanos
2012 - There are 53 million Hispanic people in
the United States.
• Hispanic people comprise 17% of the total
U.S. population.
What is a Latino?
A. someone who speaks Latin?
B. Someone who speaks Spanish?
C. Someone who comes from Spain?
D. Some who comes from Latin America?
E. All of the above
F. None of the above.
Los Americanos
• Hispanic people are the largest minority in the
United States; only Mexico has a larger Hispanic
population than the United States.
• The Census describes Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
as "a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican,
South or Central American, or other Spanish
culture or origin regardless of race.“
• CNN Library, “Hispanics in the US” (September 20, 2013)
Los Americanos
Mexicans live in North America
They call themselves Americanos
The call the U.S. El Norte
The call us Norte Americanos even though
technically we are both North Americans.
• Or they call us Gringos
• A person born in the U.S. is called a pocho
which can be a derogatory name.
How do you reach into the Barrio from
Patmos? Is there a Latino
They are growing by
• Birth
• immigration
Los Americanos
• By 2060, the Census Bureau estimates that
there will be almost 130 million Hispanic
people in the United States and that they will
comprise 31% of the total population.
• Two-thirds of Hispanic people in the United
States have Mexican origins.
Los Americanos
• There are more than one million Hispanic
residents in eight U.S. states - Arizona,
California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New
Jersey, New York and Texas.
• According to the Pew Hispanic Center, there
were 24 million Hispanic people eligible to
vote in the 2012 elections, a 22% increase
since 2008.
Los Americanos
• The Hispanic population grew from 35.3
million in 2000 to 53 million in 2012.
They are all different
Races (European, white, black, Asian, Indian mestizos)
Historical backgrounds old and modern
Generations (natives, immigrants, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.
Mixed marriages
Intergenerational marriages
Mixed Latino nationality marriages
Language (Spanish only, bilingual, English only)
Los Americanos
• How do Hispanic people define their race?
(2010 Census)
- White: 26,735,713 - 53% of the total
- Some other race: 18,503,103 - 36.7% of the
- Two or more races: 3,042,592 - 6% of the
- Black: 1,243,471 - 2.5% of the total
How do you reach Latinos?
Become all things to all men (1 Cor 9:22-23)
When in Rome, act like a Roman.
Find common ground: The New Testament
Tony Romo – Dallas Cowboys’ Latino QB!
Los Americanos
• In 2011, 37.6 million U.S. residents, or 12.9%
of the population, spoke Spanish at home.
• In 2011 California had a larger Hispanic
population than any other state, 14.5 million
Hispanic residents.
• In 2012, New Mexico had the highest
percentage of Hispanic people as part of the
total population, 47%.
Do you need to speak Spanish?
• Most Latinos speak perfect English
• The second generation prefers English, but is
bilingual and bicultural
• The third generation begins to lose the language
• The fourth generation totally loses the language,
but not necessarily the food or the culture
• The males never lose the Latino name even
though they might lose the culture.
How to I share Christ with a Latino?
• Don’t attack the Catholic Church.
• Do you believe in the Virgin Mary? Of course,
Jesus was born of a virgin. Leave it at that.
• Do you believe Jesus is God?
• Do you have a different Bible? Use their
Catholic Bible if necessary.
• Share the simple Gospel (1 Cor 15:3-4). Don’t
get thrown off tangent.
Most immigrants consider themselves
already Christians. They are Latinos.
What do Catholics believe?
• They believe you are saved by faith through
• But
• Grace comes only through the Catholic church
• By means of the seven sacraments
The Seven Sacraments:
are the visible signs of the invisible
grace - Augustine
Holy Orders
Last Unction
Obstacles and Joys for a Catholic:
We are saved by grace through faith alone
Not by works
It is a gift of God (Eph 2:8-9). Not earned
Is Mary the fourth person of the Trinity?
Obstacles and Joys for a Catholic:
• We can ask God directly to forgive our sins (1 Tim
2:5). We do not need an intercessor (priest).
• We can pray to God personally, we don’t have to
recite repetitious prayers (Matt 6:9-13).
• We can know for sure we will go to heaven (1 Jn
5:11-13). There is no purgatory.
• We don’t have to pray to saints (Rev 22:8-9).
Saints are not omniscient. There is one mediator
between man and God: the Lord Jesus Christ (1
Tim 2:5).
How can I reach my neighbor?
• Make the invisible visible (Acts 10). Latinos are
invisible in our society. Lift up your eyes for
the harvest is ready (Matt 9:36-38).
• You can become bicultural not necessarily
• Start an Americano prayer group
• Teach , sub in the schools (FCA)
• Teach ESL classes
How can I reach my neighbor?
Hire Latino staff and pastors
Network with Latino churches
Attend a Latino church.
Adopt a Latino Family.
Support Cru-Destinos, CAM, LAM,
New Tribes, Wycliffe, and other
mission agencies focused on Latinos.
Los Americanos
• The mission field is here already.
• Mexicans are the largest Latino group at 64.6
Texas At a Glance
• Hispanic Population 9,794,000
• Hispanics as Percent of State Population 38%
Median Age of Hispanics 27
• Median Annual Personal Earnings, Hispanics
16+ $20,000
Texas At a Glance
• Poverty Rate, Hispanics 17 and Younger 37%
Hispanics Without Health Insurance 36%
• Hispanic Homeownership 57%
• Hispanics as Percent of All K-12 Students 48%
• Pew Research Center, “Statistical Portrait of
Hispanics in the United States,” (Feb 15, 2013)
Los Americanos
• CNN Library, “Hispanics in the US” (September 20, 2013)

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