Daniel Rodriguez (’78, MA ’81), associate professor of religion and Hispanic studies at Pepperdine University, has noticed a worrying trend in Latino churches across America. While the Latino churches as a whole are growing, the younger, bilingual generations seem to be giving up on worship. Somewhere between a church’s fellowship hall, where the Spanish-speaking congregation will typically meet, and the auditorium, housing the English-speaking congregation, the children and grandchildren of Latino immigrants are getting lost.
In his latest book, A Future for the Latino Church: Models for Multilingual, Multigenerational Hispanic Congregations, Rodriguez makes the argument that Latino congregations need to be “sensitive to idiosyncratic differences between generations that are sometimes subtle, sometimes not so subtle.”
Ultimately, Rodriguez doesn’t prescribe spiritual medicine to Latino churches to cure fractured congregations, but instead hopes to inspire through the achievements of congregations that are successfully bridging the generational divide.
“My hope is that the leaders who read my book can keep their churches intact so that the grandma who doesn’t speak any English, her grandson who doesn’t speak any Spanish, and the father and mother who are bilingual can all fit under the same roof,” he says.
Read the entire article at Pepperdine Magazine
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