Samuel-Rodriguez-MTWhy the ethnic church needs to change its focus from prosperity to biblical priorities.

For many in the ethnic church, the kingdom of God is the means and spiritual impetus to abandon poverty while embracing prosperity and unprecedented favor. But the church does not exist to primarily articulate a message of financial and societal empowerment. Although these elements may be an extension and a fringe benefit to faithfulness and godly living, the kingdom of God is not about the square footage of our homes or the size of our church buildings.

The primary purpose of the ethnic church in America is not to lift up our people but to lift up our Lord. We must lead a call for the entire body to embrace the true definition of the kingdom of God, which, according to St. Paul, is "Righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Rom.14:17, NKJV).


Simply stated, the ethnic church needs to come to terms with its prophetic purpose. First and foremost, we must preach, teach, practice and live lives of virtue.

Our departure from legalism does not require embracing a concept of "cheap grace." More than ever, our pulpits need to hear the call for righteous living and a warning not to embrace the values of this postmodern world. Statistics indicate that the divorce and infidelity rates in our ethnic communities are at an all-time high. Before we preach financial prosperity and confess a plethora of positive affirmations, we must become oracles of righteousness.

Righteousness in action is justice. The ethnic church must address the wrong and present the right. The church has a biblical obligation to speak and act when injustices prevail in our world. The church must take the lead in addressing poverty, racism, genocide, sex trafficking, torture and religious persecution. The ethnic church, particularly the Latino church, must speak to both the barrio of Los Angeles and the leaders in D. C. with the same prophetic zeal.


The ethnic church must similarly embrace its call to peace. As Sunday morning continues to exhibit the divide between black and white, Latino churches are strategically and prophetically situated to facilitate a church community that is not only multicultural but multiethnic.

Being blessed with the gift of both the Spanish and English languages along with the African, Indian and European heritages, the Latino is the embodiment of God's rich tapestry. Such heritage obligates the Latino church to reconcile all races and catapult peace in our communities and the kingdom.


If Christian leaders throughout America were asked what word comes to mind when we mention the Hispanic church, nine out of 10 would say "joy." The ethos of our community overflows with joy.

The call to contextualize the prophetic purpose of the Latino church can only be successful if covered with a bountiful amount of joy. Not the joy that can be acquired, but the joy that can be shared and invested. The Latino church has an obligation to bring to the Lord's church the sound of joy, wonder, charm and delight in His presence. When our nation is divided and the kingdom of God suffers violence, we remember that the joy of the Lord is our strength.

Sam Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, which is the National Hispanic Association of Evangelicals serving approximately 15 million Hispanic believers.

Ministry Today Subscription Special - Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine today and get 12 issues (2 full years) plus Amplified Leadership, a free leadership book for only $24.

Order Life in the Spirit to actively grow your ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit. Your congregation will stay saturated in God's Word, learn to hear His voice, understand their purpose and calling and move into an active role in your ministry.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
  • Jentezen Franklin encourages church leaders to encourage their flocks to vote their values.

    Why We Must Count the Cost—and Vote

    There is a propaganda war that is raging in this country, and it is full of manipulation, lies, ...

  • Pastors, do you see anything familiar on this list?

    10 Habits You Should Think About Dropping

    If you recognize these patterns in yourself, take an inventory.

  • Life.Church is at it again with its ever-expanding free technology.

    Life.Church Open Network Launches to Further Equip Church Leaders

    Life.Church adds to a decade of generosity by expanding its free resources.

  • Have you ever had a cringe moment during your church announcements?

    The 7 Deadly Sins of Church Announcements

    Sometimes they just miss the mark, albeit unintentionally.

  • Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Watch how God can take one spark and turn it into a wildfire that impacts your ministry, your community and even future generations.

  • Peace is indeed attainable in this selfish world. Just look for it in the right place.

    Finding Peace in a Fallen and Selfish World

    You can have peace in this world. Just stop looking in the wrong places.

  • Praying for leaders

    Failing to Do This Can Spell Disaster for the Church

    And it has the potential to destroy many lives.

  • Church members argue

    12 Reasons Church Staff Conflict May Arise

    This is not unique, but among these there are some that seem more pervasive than others.

  • Some of these reasons for leaving the church are simply not plausible.

    7 Reasons People Leave Their Church During Crisis Times

    Some of the excuses are pretty extreme and, quite frankly, lazy.

Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders