Rodriguez to churches: Embrace the trend, enjoy the virtues

Rodriguez to churches: Embrace the trend, enjoy the virtues

Rodriguez to churches: Embrace the trend, enjoy the virtues

A leader among evangelical Hispanics says if churches in the U.S. have ever considered adding a Spanish-speaking service or initiating bilingual services, the opportunity is ripe to do it now.

The U.S. Census bureau has been crunching the numbers from the latest poll, and marking a significant shift in the U.S. population. According to the 2020 Census, the percentage of the white population in the U.S. dropped, for the first time, by almost 6% in the last decade. Meanwhile, the Hispanic population exploded by around 25%, growing by 12 million and now topping out at about 62 million.

As The Hill points out, demographers point to the difference in birth rates as the driving factor – or, when it comes to the drop in the white population, to the opioid epidemic and its disproportionate impact on low-income, rural white America. And because of how the census data was collected, it's uncertain how many millions of Hispanics might be in the country illegally.

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference argues that regardless the cause, people shouldn't stress about it: the Hispanic community, he says, is strengthening the country.

Rodriguez, Rev. Samuel (NHCLC) Rodriguez

"It's a demographical shift, indeed – but [it's also] an affirmation of some of the core values that have made America exceptional throughout the years," Rodriguez tells AFN. "The Hispanic population is a population committed to faith and family and free enterprise."

He contends it's a trend evangelical churches should embrace – particularly if they have a strong Hispanic presence in their community.

"First, [begin] translation services immediately. That you can do … via apps," he advises. "You literally just download an app on your phone, put on your headset, and you can have one person in the back translating and you call it a day."

He suggests then starting a Spanish-speaking service … which evolves to a bilingual service … which he says could begin to serve as an on-ramp to a general, collective service for all. And with a lower divorce rate and being more pro-life, according to Pew, Hispanic families are coming to help – not to ask for assistance.

"This is not a Latino church with a handout [saying] 'Please help me, white America.' Quite the opposite," says Rodriguez.

"Let me give you the new reality: It's the Hispanic church going to the white evangelical church saying, 'You all need our help. What do you need?'"