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Why should we focus on the Hispanic diaspora in the US?

The U.S. Hispanic population reached a record 59.9 million in 2018, meaning the Latino share of the total U.S. population is approximately 18% and were the second-largest racial or ethnic group behind whites.

This significant demographic reality is important for the church to pay attention to, because

  • God wants the church to proactively reach all people with his love and…
  • The Hispanic-American population is an ever-increasing people group that must be paid attention to for the present and future vibrancy of the church in America as a whole. 

Here are a few facts that you need to know about the Hispanic diaspora in the US:

  • Hispanics of Mexican origin account for 63.3% (36 million) of the nation’s Hispanic population in 2015, by far the largest share of any origin group. Hispanics of Puerto Rican origin, the second-largest origin group, stands at 5.4 million in 2015
  • Los Angeles County had more Hispanics than any other U.S. county, with 4.9 million in 2018. The next largest were Harris County, Texas (2.0  million), and Miami-Dade County, Florida (1.9 million). Overall, 11 counties had more than a million Hispanics in 2018. In 102 U.S. counties, Hispanics made up at least 50% of the population in 2018. 
  • The South saw the fastest Latino population growth of any U.S. region. The Latino population in the South has reached 22.7 million in 2018. States in the Northeast (25% increase), Midwest (24%) and West (19%) also experienced growth in the number of Latinos from 2008 to 2018. *

“We fully appreciate the privilege of being able to be part of something so wonderful and great, it has impacted us greatly and we have been able to reach our community in a different way. Today we thank you and it is an honor to share part of our history with powerful leaders that God has raised up in this time.”

– Expresiones Divinas Participant Roberto Moreno

Is Expresiones Divinas Training For Me and My Congregation?

You may be thinking, “I have hispanic people all around me, but I don’t speak Spanish. Do I need to speak Spanish or be Hispanic to start expresiones divinas within the hispanic community?”

No, you don’t have to speak Spanish in order to have a heart for the hispanic community around you. Remember, you are a missionary, and missionaries are not equipped and then called. They are called and subsequently, God equips you to do his work. 

Ask God if you and/or your church are sensing a call to reach the hispanic populations that surround you. Through continued listening and relational connections, God can work in an innumerable amount of ways to empower you to establish an expresiones divinas movement in your town or city. 

One way God often works is by providing a ‘person of peace’, or a community gatekeeper so to speak, that may open the doors for you and/or your congregations into the community. He/she may even be bilingual, and can be raised up as a spiritual leader among the hispanics in your context. 

The possibilities are endless. So long as you and/or your congregation are sensing God’s call, He is with you and will empower you to do His work.

Consider hosting an Expresiones Divinas Vision Day in your area!

Do you struggle to connect with Hispanic people outside your church community?

Is Sunday worship your only method for introducing your neighbors to Jesus?

Do people in your church have Hispanic non-Christian friends?

Are you struggling to connect with outsiders?

If so, this event is for you.

An Expresiones Divinas Vision Day is a one-day training event that teaches churches how to reach all kinds of people in all kinds of places.

For over 20 years, the Fresh Expressions movement has helped established congregations form new church communities precisely for people who may never come on a Sunday. The movement began and continues to thrive in the “post-Christian” UK and has taken root across the world.

Vision Day is not just a seminar! It is a participative, creative gathering of practitioners and pioneers. During this one-day seminar, you will explore:

How fresh expressions of church are renewing the Church around the world

What it means for your church to be Mission-Shaped

How to intentionally engage with the Hispanic community beyond your church walls.

Tools for starting expresiones divinas in your area.

In the first part of the day, we will talk about a strong vision for your church to start fresh expressions. In the second part of the day we’ll explore the specific model of Dinner Church.

Leaders all across the country are rediscovering Jesus’ dinner table theology that dominated the Apostolic Era. The present-day Dinner Church movement is giving leaders and churches a renewed ability to reach people who would never attend their Sunday morning gatherings. Join us for this special event to find out how the Expresiones Divinas vision could impact your congregation’s ministry and leave with practical insights that can enable you to begin hosting a Dinner Church/Expresiones Divinas in your own community.

Click here to request an Expresiones Divinas event in your area!

About Dr. Eliseo A. Mejia

Dr. Mejia is a pastor, missiologist, and a church-planting leader. For 29 years, he has been planting churches in different cultures, contexts, and countries. Over the last 19 years, with God’s help and an exceptional team of pastors, he led church planting efforts in the heart of Kentucky where he served as the Associate Director of Hispanic, multiethnic, and international church planting ministries with the New Church Development team.

Eliseo’s passion for reaching the lost continues to move his heart to equip young and seasoned leaders in the USA and internationally. He is an ordained elder in the Kentucky Annual Conference where he serves as the senior pastor of Paris First UMC. Dr. Mejia also led Mosaic UMC, a multicultural and multiethnic merged congregation in Louisville, KY.

 

Get Involved!

Email Eliseo Mejia to learn about how you can be involved with Expresiones Divinas today!

or Request an Expresiones Divinas event in your area!

 

*Sources:

Flores, Antonio. How the U.S. Hispanic Population is Changing. Pew Research Center. September 2017. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/09/18/how-the-u-s-hispanic-population-is-changing/

Flores, Antonio. U.S. Hispanic Population Reached New High in 2018, but Growth Has Slowed. Pew Research center. July 2019. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/07/08/u-s-hispanic-population-reached-new-high-in-2018-but-growth-has-slowed/