I’ve been really enjoying the journey of one pastor and his experience serving a Chinese church through its development. I know many Chinese churches are in this critical juncture right now of deciding what it needs to do with their church body and the English speaking ministry. It can go in so many directions. This is one of the reasons why I started abcpastor which was to explore these issues and more.
Check out Pastor Ken’s Reflections – 30 days on the Chinese Church and chime in your thoughts. We really need more dialogue on these things. I’ll be exploring some of these issues myself here too. Slowly but surely. I’m a slow blogger. Like many, I do intend to do more. Just how does DJ do it all? That man will never cease to amaze me. I think this blog and this series is interesting because we can track the journey of a church through its transitions and the blogger/pastor behind it. The POV is not coming from an ABC pastor but an AB-pastor.
I’ve been admiring (even envying) some of the progress that I’ve seen in the Korean churches lately with the advancing of many of their English speaking ministries (EM). There’s a great deal of God-stories to be heard. The Chinese church is at a different stage than the Korean church in America because the immigrant/mother church continues to receive a steady flow of immigrants from various provinces in China. Different socio-economic backgrounds and different cultures tied by the immigrant experience and the Chinese language. Under the roof of the Chinese immigrant church building houses a variety of people groups and even congregations – cantonese, mandarin/taiwanese/fuzhou/etc., the english speaking (Chinese/ARC/ABC/non-Chinese/non-Asian). Older church bodies (like mine) that have been around much longer may have received individuals from all the different immigrant waves. Many churches (particularly smaller ones) have just one CM (Chinese Ministry) and a coming of age EM (English Ministry). The mission of these churches tend to be to reach and nurture all of these groups and generations as one church body. Though there are various governing structures and models the Chinese church is excellent at reaching these new incoming immigrants but has difficulty reaching/retaining those already in America or very clearly “American.” Often the church experience is full of tension and difficulty. Many of these churches 1) don’t know what to do with the direction of their EM or 2) its just not a priority or 3) the governing leadership (typically overseas born chinese, OBC) have a different vision than the EM have for their congregation. There may be other reasons as well. This is what I commonly hear.
How then does the Chinese church effectively minister to all these different people as one church body?
I have my thoughts, let’s hear yours.
I’d like to see where this series goes too.