When it comes to reaching Hispanics with the Gospel, the approaches we utilize must be as diverse as the Hispanic population. In the United States, there are over 20 Spanish speaking countries represented.
I know that for the sake of simplicity we are tempted at times to have a one-size-fits-all approach to evangelizing Hispanics. I know firsthand there is not a “magic bullet” to solve the challenge of reaching Hispanic people for Christ. However, the most effective approach I have encountered is Ministry-based Evangelism, the meeting of a physical and or emotional need for the purpose of sharing the Good news of Jesus Christ.
Like Anglos, many of the Hispanics coming to the United State have multiple felt needs. If we are intentional in trying to meet those needs, it will help to build bridges, develop relationships and provide opportunities to share the Gospel. This holistic approach can take many forms. For example:
- Offer English as a second language (ESL) classes
- Job Training
- Food distribution
- Church or church/community sponsored sport programs
- Citizenship classes
- Transportation, helping people have better access to basic social services (health care, legal services, child care, Social Security, etc)
Again, it is important to experiment with a variety of methods to make the necessary adaptation and choose the method that yields the greatest results. The fact that Hispanics are showing the most receptivity to the Gospel than ever before in the history of this country should motivate us to be deliberate in reaching out to them.