Start with awareness. Lean into the Holy Spirit’s leading and take note of your neighbors— who they are and how you might enter into their lives to share the Good News.
This is the kind of practical and on-point advice, interwoven with inspiring stories, that you’ll find in one of the territory’s newest resources, a video called “How to Start a Hispanic Ministry in Your Corps.”
A collaborative effort between the territorial intercultural ministries department, led by Captain Ketsia Diaz, and the territorial visual communications team, the video was released just in time for National Hispanic Heritage Month. Since, according to the Pew Research Center, Hispanics have accounted for more than half of the total U.S. population growth since 2010 and in 2019 reached a record 60.6 million, the topic is more important than ever.
“The future of the church in North America is not one kind of people,” explained Dr. Rolando Cuellar at the territory’s One Conference in 2019. “The future is multicultural congregations. We need to be open to people from other ethnic backgrounds.”
According to Alfredo Martinez, territorial intercultural ministries consultant who hosts the video, the question for Salvationists is whether they will see this as a challenge or as an opportunity. “Are we going to be obedient to reach out to the ever-changing community around us?” he asked.
Currently in the Central Territory there are just six Spanish-speaking corps, nine bilingual corps and 16 corps with Hispanic ministries, so opportunities to begin a Hispanic ministry abound in the Midwest.
The one-hour video provides information to further Salvationists’ understanding with statistics, a history of the territory’s Hispanic ministries and overview of Hispanic values and shares simple strategies to help Salvationists move from good intentions to action that, with the Holy Spirit’s power, can result in lives redeemed, communities changed, and God glorified. While the video incorporates insights from well-known experts, it primarily features officers and soldiers in the Central Territory who have passion, knowledge and experience in Hispanic ministries and so is relatable.
“This presentation focuses on a whole world of opportunities to become a people on mission for the Lord Jesus Christ,” proclaimed Commissioner Brad Bailey, territorial commander, in his introduction. “It is a call to reach beyond ourselves to share the Good News….to be caught up in something much bigger than ourselves and to embrace our calling to contribute to what Jesus is doing in our world today.”