Protestant Latino Worship Practices Resource Guide
This resource guide features interviews with a variety of Protestant North American Latino worship leaders, musicians, and pastors, presented in both Spanish with English translation.
The goal of these interviews is to strengthen the ties that bind us together as part of Christ’s body, within and across various ethnic, denominational, and geographical lines. A crucial step in strengthening ties is that of increasing understanding—and that begins by listening.
This listening is especially important with respect to the Latino community in North America for several reasons:
- Despite the growth of bilingualism in many communities, there remains a large language barrier between Spanish and English speaking members of Christ’s body.
- Despite the huge numerical growth of Latino and Hispanic persons in the United States, Latino Christian voices remain under-represented in print, media, and internet sources.
- The Latino community in the United States is marked by significant, often unacknowledged diversity—including 6th generation families and new immigrants (and everything in between), people from one of twenty or more countries, representatives of 30 or 40 or more denominational groups, movements, and pieties, and the unique contributions and sensibilities of each generation of worshipers.
All of this serves as an urgent invitation to listening and learning. Ultimately, this learning is best served by several kinds of sources: documentary films and newspaper articles, sociological studies and histories, and (best of all) many face-to-face conversations and experiences of worshiping together, in both Latino congregations and multi-cultural assemblies.
As the number of videos, internet resources, and academic studies of Latino Christianity continues to grow, these interviews make one modest, but still significant contribution: “in their own words testimonies” of a variety of leaders, whose unique insights help us feel the pulse of Latino communities.
|We give thanks to Jaime Lázaro, a pastor and journalist form Colorado Springs, Colorado, who conducted these interviews, and to Juan Francisco Martinez, a historian, practical theologian, and seminary professor from Pasadena, California, who serves as a consultant to this learning project.
As you read these interviews, remember that they are designed to be stepping stones to further learning and conversation. As you read them, consider how you might answer these questions, consider who you might meet with to ask questions like these, write down the vignettes that you find thought-provoking, and consult the “additional resources” section of this page for ways of continuing your learning.
—John D. Witvliet, director
Calvin Institute of Christian Worship
Books by Juan Martínez:
- Los Protestantes An Introduction to Latino Protestantism in the United States. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2011.
- Churches, Cultures and Leadership A Practical Theology of Congregations and Ethnicities (with Mark Lau Branson). Downers Grove, Il.: InterVarsity Press, 2011.
- Walk with the People Latino Ministry in the United States. Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press, 2008.
- Sea La Luz: The Making of Mexican Protestantism in the American Southwest, 1829-1900. Denton, Texas: University of North Texas Press, 2006.
- “The Rise of Evangélicos” by Elizabeth Dias, TIME cover story, April 15, 2013.
- 2013 National Survey of Latinos and Religion, Pew Research Center
- “Changing Faiths: Latinos and the Transformation of American Religion.” Pew Hispanic Center, 2007.
- “U.S. Latino Religious Identification 1990-2008: Growth, Diversity & Transformation.” Trinity College, 2008.
- Juan Martínez, “Discovering God´s Initiatives in the Midst of Adaptive Change” in Journal of Missional Practice No. 1, Fall 2012.