Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Report Offers Glimpse into Spiritually Vibrant though Fiscally Fragile Latino Churches 

A new report, “Latino Congregations: Trends from the Faith Communities Today (FACT) and Exploring the Pandemic Impact on Congregations (EPIC) studies” shows Latino faith communities are a growing presence, even as they face challenges around leadership, finances, and sustainability.  

The latest report from EPIC and FACT, a joint study from Hartford Institute for Religion Research, highlights the strengths of Latino churches while also identifies areas needing support. As Latino participation expands in American religion, understanding and assisting these youthful, resilient congregations is critical for their future thriving. 

Latino congregations are experiencing vibrant growth in attendance, including youth. However, they face sustainability challenges related to leadership development, financial resources and post-pandemic impacts. 

On average, 37.4% of Latino congregational leaders have paid employment beyond their ministry roles—which amount to 40 median work hours —in addition to their median 20 hours of part-time congregational work. Combined with 22% being unpaid in their leadership positions altogether, this poses challenging dynamics for their future sustainability. 

While exhibiting resilience and religious commitment, Latino faith communities require increased denominational support and advocacy to address systemic issues around part-time leadership, facility rental costs, lowered giving rates, and overall financial health – especially larger congregations. Tackling these concerns will allow their congregational dynamism to thrive moving forward. 

To request an interview about the report, contact klizardy@iliff.edu 

Sign up to receive our newsletter and like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you receive our reports as soon as they are released.