A Journey to Spiritual Growth: A Model For Discipling Hispanic Immigrant Communities

One of the great challenges facing the United States is the massive entrance of undocumented Hispanic immigrants across the southern border of the country (see: S.L Colby & J.M. Ortman). This group of people has progressively integrated into the resident Hispanic community, which has grown to become the largest ethnic minority in the country. Both English and Spanish-speaking Christian churches are impacted by the migratory phenomenon. Hundreds of thousands of the migrants who have arrived in the country are now active participants in English and Spanish speaking Christian communities. A significant difficulty for these Christian communities arises when people from different contexts in the assembly are in search of a place to worship and grow spiritually. How can a church collaborate in the spiritual formation of these immigrants in a country where everything is different and alien to what is known for them (e.g., culture, language, and worldview)?
The purpose of this paper is to briefly explore some aspects of the Hispanic immigration background (See: Carroll), the Latin culture (See: J. Mackay; P Deiros; E. Nida), and the elements involved in the process of spiritual formation (See: Bregman, L; Principe W.). The ultimate purpose will be to propose a model that helps Christian communities and individuals disciple Hispanic believers.
This paper surveys the current academic literature to address the question of the current research. The literature yields theoretical principles, models, and practices which offer a way forward in discipling the influx of Hispanic believers in both English speaking and Spanish speaking American churches.