Q&A with Samuel Rodriguez – Trends in Pentecostalism

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is the Current President of The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (The Hispanic Evangelical Association), America’s largest Hispanic Christian Organization with 30,621 member churches. CNN named Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, “The leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement”.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors of some of America’s leading Evangelical organizations such as: Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, National Association of Evangelicals, Empower 21 and Christianity Today.  Rodriguez is also the recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award presented by the Congress of Racial Equality.  He is an Assemblies of God Ordained Minister since the age of 23.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Rev. Rodriguez on the subject of Trends in Pentecostalism. Here is an excerpt from that interview. – R.C.

Robert Crosby: Does the growing portion of American Pentecostals that are Hispanic/Latino factor into the increased interest in social justice among Christians today?

Rodriguez: Yes, because of two dynamics. One is the Generational Shift – this has prompted Millennial Generation Pentecostals to both the vertical and horizontal planes of the Cross. They see the Gospel as comprehensive. 21st Century Pentecostals stand at the nexus of both dynamics – salvation and transformation, covenant and community, righteousness and justice, of Billy Graham and Dr. Martin Luther King. They want to see a personal Pentecost and a community Pentecost. This new generation says that Pentecostalism goes way beyond the individual.

The second reason is Demographic Realities. By the end of the 21 Century the majority of Pentecostals in North America will be non-white (some say this will occur as early as 2050). For decades American Pentecostalism has been predominantly white and rural and it will soon become primarily ethnic and urban.

White Pentecostals have traditionally held a vertical world-view of their faith, focusing on personal beliefs and values including salvation that prepares ones soul to make the Rapture. Ethnic Pentecostals hold those near and dear as well. White Pentecostals have say, ‘I receive the power of the God to live a holy life in order to go up in the Rapture.” Ethnic Pentecostals say, “I am saved by grace, but I also receive the power of God so my family can be transformed and so we can overcome social ills and gangs in our neighborhood.”

Pentecostal justice in the 21st Century is synonymous to Hispanic Pentecostals taking the lead. Because of it, you will see a greater interest in social ills. You are looking at a community that values Biblical orthodoxy; they desire to preserve the cardinal doctrines while reconciled with prophetic action. The priorities of this community are issues of life, Biblical marriage, education, sex trafficking, immigration reform, poverty alleviation, all under the canopy of the Great Commission.

RC: What changes do you see in the Pentecostal Church in North America today? What do white Pentecostals and evangelicals need to recognize about these trends?

Rodriguez: That Pentecostalism should not be defined by the white Pentecostal church primarily. The white Pentecostal church is becoming less and less Pentecostal. There is an identity moratorium issue. It is “Pentecostal” in name only. The white Pentecostal church is in a state of crisis. There is so much trepidation among its leaders. In fact, there is a ‘don’t ask/don’t tell’ policy mentality about the pneuma. The white Pentecostal church in America has become much more evangelical and non-Spirit-filled. By the end of this century, the white Pentecostal church may be a very small community unless there is a coming back to authentic Pentecostalism.

RC: What reasons do you see for the decline of white Pentecostalism in America?

Rodriguez: I see at least three primary reasons for it: One, a new definition of success. There is this idea that the successful church is all about numbers. There is a great concern about this. It is the seeker-friendly mindset on steroids. We say, ‘God forbid that we permit speaking in tongues.’ And yet, people are looking for real experiences with God. Unfortunately, many of these leaders believe they can’t grow the church with the power of God.

Reason Two is because of an increasingly sinful culture and moral relativism. Churches are trepid over the moving of the Spirit because of the holiness (and I mean authentic Biblical holiness) that accompanies it. We don’t want to preach on sin. Churches are hesitant to address sin because of the metric of success. It is the consequence of Christian media and competitiveness. American Pentecostalism in recent years has focused more on messaging, branding and marketing instead of salvation and empowerment. We are in a state of crisis.

Reason Three is the sort of generational eclectic framework. There is a definitive chasm between Pentecostal leaders and laypeople as it relates to what people desire to see in Pentecostal worship. The universities, seminaries and colleges are not doing a great enough job at revitalizing and affirming Pentecostalism in students. There has been a failure among our schools to prepare next generation Pentecostals.

  • http://N/A Donald G. Oldham

    Rob very well written , strongly agree. liked the comment about numbers..how true been ther and seen it. how sad we still see those that want to live by the “US FOUR AND NO MORE” syndrome. Oh how I have seen it and pray that it will not affect the next generation. Maybe it already has to some degree but it can change. All BY THE POWER OF GOD.

  • Ralph P.

    I have grown up in Pentecostal congregations and have visited congregations that spanned the spectrum from extremely reserved to allowing the free flow of gifts. I find that the latter is often lead by leadership that apply solid Biblical teaching as a foundation for their expressive freedom. Timidity and dare I say “shame” is present in the absence of that foundational teaching.
    I am of the belief that if we would have an Azusa Street type revival occurring in our pews every week the Body of Christ would begin to emerge as the catalyst for transformative change that extends beyond the personal “private” worship of the individual.

  • http://www.mdkicks.com/air-jordan/air-jordan-6-rings-cid1000 Air Jordan 6 Rings

    You made certain good points there. I did a search on the subject and found a good number of persons will go along with with your blog.

  • http://diariodeabusos.com/story.php?title=diakosmisi-spitiou diakosmisi

    Hello, I have recently been searching for information approximately this article for a while and yours is the greatest I have found out till now. However, what about the conclusion? Are you certain in regards to the source?

  • http://identi.ca/elitarny Elitarny

    Great layout I think.

  • http://reklamology.com/index.php/iletisim Google Reklam Nasil Verilir

    Hi. I read a few of your other posts and i wanted to say thank you for the informative posts.

  • http://biluthyrning-frankrike.se.parlonsfrance.com Randa Colina

    Just researching my trip so for me this is quite timely.

  • http://www.availhosting.com unmetered vps

    Thankyou for helping out, excellent information. vps hosting | best vps host |

  • http://www.goodclshoes.com/christian-louboutin-sandals/450-christian-louboutin-misfit-150mm-sandals-black.html Christian Louboutin Misfit 150mm Sandals Black

    I absolutely love your blog and find the majority of your post’s to be precisely what I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content for you personally? I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on a few of the subjects you write concerning here. Again, awesome web log!

  • http://www.mart07.com/electronic-gadgets-audio-and-video-equipment-c-194 Audio And Video Equipment

    It’s difficult to get experienced people about this question, and you could be seen as you know what you’re sharing! Thanks

  • http://casquettesnewera.com Casquettes New Era Pas Cher

    I admit, I have not been on this webpage in a long time… however it was another joy to see It is such an essential topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. I thank you to support making people more aware of possible issues.

  • http://www.articlespunch.com/the-most-effective-manual-whenever-it-comes-down-to-internet-marketing.html Marth Bastian

    Hi there! Excellent stuff, please do tell me when you lastly post something like that!

  • http://hotele-gdynia.pl.alternateurope.org Darren Fiecke

    I am glad I found this since I was looking for this info.

  • http://krigsmarine.com Beau Poitevint

    Can I just say what a relief to find someone who really is aware of what theyre talking about on the internet. You positively know the way to bring an issue to gentle and make it important. Extra folks have to learn this and understand this side of the story. I cant consider youre no more common because you definitely have the gift.

  • http://www.beats-dr-dre-headphones.net Monster Beats Headphones

    Appreciate it for all your efforts that you have put in this. very interesting information.

  • http://kluby24.polkowice.pl/index.php/413/serwis-laptopow-w-bydgoszczy/ serwis komputerów Bydgoszcz

    Great post, I think website owners should learn a lot from this web site its really user genial. So much wonderful information on here :D.

  • http://www.2366524438.net Herbert Litzinger

    Kevin. Thanks (added your reccomendation to post).


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X