Gus Reyes is the director of Hispanic partnerships for Dallas Baptist University. He served the Baptist General Convention of Texas for many years in various roles including director of the Christian Life Commission, director of Hispanic Education Initiative, and director of Service Center and ethnic consultant for the Center of Strategic Evangelism. He also served as chief ministry officer for Joppa Health, and marketing and sales director of church resources at LifeWay Christian Resources. Reyes earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Texas McCombs School of Business, an M.B.A. from Angelo State University, and a Ph.D. from Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary.
Hispanics make up nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population. They have played a major role in driving population growth in our country and in revitalizing our churches over the past decades. In Today’s Conversation, Dr. Gus Reyes offers thoughtful and pastoral insight into this community, including generational dynamics and subsequent implications for ministry and outreach.
NAE President Walter Kim and Dr. Reyes, director of Hispanic partnerships for Dallas Baptist University, also discuss:
- The diversity and complexities within the U.S. Hispanic community;
- How values of family and education work out in Hispanic communities;
- What Latino young people are looking for in a faith community; and
- How our broken immigration system impacts Latino families, and what can be done to fix things.
Read a Portion of the Transcript
Walter: You have worked with this biblically informed approach to cultural engagement and social change, particularly when it comes to youth. What are some the important features that we need to know about in this particular work of integration of faith, of cultural engagement, of social change of these youth dynamics that you’re describing in a very specific unfolding of first, second, third generation and even more generations after that?
Gus: We embraced God’s word and there is a particular verse that stands out and that’s Micah 6:8 where God’s word says that we need to do justice and we need to love mercy or kindness and where we need to walk humbly before our God. So that’s our north star, if you will. Understanding those verses, our youth are interested in what is right, what is fair, they are keen on seeing differences of how people are treated because of their skin color or because of their last name.
They’re very much aware of how immigrants and others are treated. They are looking for people of faith to stand up and be the people who follow the Jesus agenda. They might respect the donkey; they might respect the elephant, [but] the north start for believers becomes the lamb’s agenda. They are keep on seeing how Christians — Hispanic or otherwise — how believers live out their faith. Are they being fair; are they being just? How do they treat immigrants; how do they treat strangers; how do they treat captives, the blind and vulnerable people? Youth are looking at how we model our faith and how we live it out…They’re looking for models of faith that keep coming back to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly.
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- Use the “30 Days Turning the Hearts of Parents & Teenagers Toward One Another” resource from Gus Reyes and Richard Ross with your teenager.
- Listen to these related podcasts:
- Advocate for immigration reform by sending a letter to your elected officials.
Today’s Conversation is brought to you by Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company.