Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, president of The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, is a bold voice in the Christian community. Recognized by CNN as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement,” and identified by the Wall Street Journal as one of America’s seven most influential Hispanic leaders, Rev. Rodriguez is not one to back down from his calling and task. In his many roles and responsibilities, Rev. Rodriguez is considered spokesperson for the 16 million Hispanic American born again Christians. We corresponded with Rev. Rodriguez to gain inspiration and learn from his vision for leadership.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?
Living a life above reproach; one of holiness and humility. In a world full of moral relativism, spiritual apathy, cultural decadence and ecclesiastical lukewarmness, America needs leaders that stand on a platform of holiness and humility.
What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
How do you deal with anxiety and stress?
Prayer, meditation, biblical devotions, Starbucks, walks with my wife, accompanying my two year old nephew to the park. Always remember to focus on the things that matter most: faith and family.
Have you felt burned out and ready to quit? How did you overcome?
I ask my wife and those that have committed to praying for me to lift me up before the Lord. I believe in the power of intercessory prayer. In addition, I believe in the Sabbath and Selah. I believe weekly and periodic times of getting away make good biblical and business sense.
What habit have you implemented that you feel has drastically altered your life?
Always seek partnerships in all endeavors. Never go at it alone. Christ commissioned his disciples two by two. Collaboration is not an option; it should be our first choice. Many suffer of exhaustion due to the fact that they carry the burden of leadership and ministry alone. It was never meant to be the modus operandi. From the Garden of Eden to Paul and Silas, partnerships stand as God’s model for leadership and ministry.
If you could encourage pastors and Christian leaders around the world, what would you say to them?
Live out the cross! The cross is both vertical and horizontal. Life is a cross, both vertical and horizontal. Vertically we stand connected to God, His Kingdom, eternal truths and Glory. Horizontally we stand surrounded by family, friends, community, society and culture. As Christ encouraged us all to carry the cross daily, let us never forget that the cross is both vertical and horizontal, righteousness and justice, sanctification and service, covenant and community, faith and activism, orthodoxy and orthopraxy, fishes and bread, John 3:16 and Matthew 25, Billy Graham and Dr. Martin Luther King, the New Jerusalem and Dallas, Texas. It’s both/and, not either/or. Live life from the center, the nexus where conviction meets compassion and life is lived abundantly.