May 24, 2007 was the day my dad became a pastor. Over the years, I’ve witnessed generational differences within our Latino church as a pastor’s daughter. There are those who came to Charlotte from Central America, displaced from their poverty-and violence-ridden home countries. They came here in pursuit of safety, building homes and families here. There are those of us who were born here, embracing American culture and the culture of our parent’s homeland. 

Generational differences play out in our churches as parents and their children disagree on issues in our communities, our personal lives and the expression of our faith. Disagreements are often rooted in the challenges of balancing a commitment to the customs from our homeland and the lived experiences of children of immigrants in a complex context. 

Today’s Latino church needs to hold on to Peter’s words in 1 Peter 3:8 as we grapple with differences: “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.” The parents and children of our churches are called to serve and learn from one another in love, compassion and humility as we pursue flourishing and growth as a community.