As new members join Hispanic Protestant churches, they become part of congregations that are actively trying to grow together, according to their pastors. Almost 9 in 10 (88%) say their church has a plan to foster community in their church, including 53% who strongly agree.
Pastors point to numerous activities as vital to building a strong sense of community within their congregations. At least 9 in 10 say praying together (96%), studying the Bible together (95%), choosing to get along and promoting unity (93%), welcoming those from different cultures and backgrounds (93%), choosing to be transparent and accountable with one another (89%) and checking-in or noticing when others are absent (90%) are very or extremely important aspects of unity in their churches. Additionally, most say the same about members working together to serve people in the community (79%), socializing outside of church (81%) and sharing resources with each other (74%).
Most pastors say they’ve heard about their church members engaging in each of those actions at least a few times in the past month.
“Fellowship among believers in a local congregation is something the Bible communicates should be taking place,” said McConnell. “Hispanic churches take this seriously and invest in these relationships.”
Among pastors of U.S. Hispanic Protestant congregations, 93% are Hispanic themselves. Almost all (95%) are the senior or only pastor of a congregation, while 5% are Hispanic campus pastors with a multi-site church. More than half (56%) serve as a full-time pastor, 27% are bi-vocational, 10% are part-time, 6% are volunteer and 1% are in interim positions.
Almost half of pastors in Hispanic Protestant churches (48%) are between the ages of 50 and 64. Pastors are more than twice as likely to be under 50 (37%), including 4% under 30, than 65 or older (16%).
Almost 8 in 9 pastors (85%) are male. Two in 3 (66%) are first generation Americans, while 15% are second generation and 19% are third. Close to 3 in 4 are college graduates, including 44% who have a graduate degree, while 17% have some college and 10% have a high school education or less.
Theologically, 4 in 5 (79%) pastors at U.S. Hispanic Protestant churches self-identified as evangelical. Around 1 in 6 (16%) say they’re mainline.