One of the things I appreciate most about Christina Quintanilla is her go-getter attitude. When she hears from the Lord, she runs with it and doesn’t stop. I had the opportunity to watch her cast mad vision to Latino students during the years she led LaFe at UCLA. That ministry grew under her leadership and is still growing in her absence (50 students in LaFe at UCLA, 62 overall in the fellowship) When Christina thinks about LaFe she isn’t wondering how we can get more students to come to us, she’s always thinking about how we can go to them. In other words, how do we mobilize the students that we have now to be missional in the places the Lord has already called them to? I’ve asked her to share some of her thinking with us. As a reminder, here’s the winning idea.
Host a Latino mixer (with plenty of food of course) and recruit the president of each Latino org to recruit. Whichever org brings the most people wins a $100 for their club. At the event cast mad vision for LaFe & have a sign-up sheet.
“There is a village behind every person- and this is especially true of the Latino community on campus! This is the mantra behind my idea. When one operates with this mind, the question of how to do good Latino NSO switches from “How do we gather Latinos?” to “Where do Latino students gather?”
When Starting Something Nuevo among Latinos, we can trust that God is already at work and communities are already forming- the question is how do we make these communities a place for witness? A few things I’ve found to be important are networking, trust-building, and vision casting.
Networking and trust building go hand in when Starting Something Nuevo among Latinos. We want to know that you’re interested in what we’re interested in and care for the people we consider familia. If you can build trust with influential “people of peace” in the Latino community (ex. Club leaders, fraternity presidents, etc.), there is a high likelihood of establishing trust within the whole of an organization. If you find these people and cast vision for LaFe and how a joint event can bless their familia, especially if there’s a $100 prize at stake, there’s a high likelihood of buy in! Creating this same atmosphere of care, hospitality, and trust is just as important at any event. Nothing says “I love you” to Latinos like some bomb comida and letting your guard down on the dance floor.
Last but not least, when planting a Latino ministry, having a clear vision and sharing it as much as possible is key! It is important to have a vision that is authentic, compelling, and easy for any member to share at any given time (up-front, in conversation, etc). For example, at this event we’ll probably say:
“LaFe is a familia of Catholic and Protestant students that want to see God’s love reach every corner of the Latino community at Fresno State; this is why we hope to start a bible study in every Latino organization on campus. Is anyone interested in starting one in your community?”
We are in the beginning stages of planting at Fresno State, but as an HSI in a city that’s home to over 400,000 Latinos, this is an exciting place to Start Something Nuevo! Our hope is to see God start a wave of revival in the Latino community through identifying missional leaders and releasing them to start witnessing communities in every Latino organization on campus.”
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