Posts Tagged ‘Chinese Church

15
Oct
08

Research on Bay Area Chinese Churches

Just a quickie during my oil change at a Honda dealership. I came across this informative news thanks to DJChuang on L2Foundation on some findings on Chinese churches from the Bay Area Chinese Churches Research Project. They will report their findings at a 3 day conference in the Bay Area with pastors and church leaders. Register online before November 3rd for complimentary free access.

Here’s some highlights.

  • There are over half a million Chinese in the six Bay Area counties. Between 1990 and 2000, the Chinese population increased by 45%, compared with a 12% increase in the total population.
  • In 1950, there were 15 Chinese churches in the Bay Area. Our 1996 Study listed 158 churches, a ten fold increase. In 2008, the number churches had risen to 194.
  • In 1996, total attendance at worship on a typical Sunday was 21,435. In 2008, that number had risen to 29,960.

We need a collaborative effort like this on the East Coast. I’ll get back to that thought after I pick up my car.

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19
Aug
08

Is Your Church More Chinese Than Christian?

More Chinese Than Christian?
photo credit by phil of posterchildforgrace.blogspot.com

I just recently discovered Andrew Lim and this nice piece he wrote from down under.
Is your church more Chinese than Christian?
From the article, 7 key identifiers for when Ethnicity supersedes Christianity
1. When the church becomes an excuse for a social club for a particular ethnic group

2. When ethnic/cultural unity is more important than gospel unity.

3. When ethnic-cultural values override Biblical virtues and Biblical truth.

Formally put: “In the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, Jesus has given us a culture-transcending and a culture-transforming dynamic which confronts ethical categories of all societies and ethnic groups. The Gospel calls into question all social mores and moral codes.” Informally put: God’s virtues trump our values.

4. When church is restrictive and exclusive.

5. When church becomes insular and inward focused.

6. When church becomes homogeneous, rather than heterogeneous.

“People like to become Christians without having to cross racial, linguistic, or class barriers…It takes no great acumen to see that when marked differences of colour, stature, income, cleanliness, and education are present, men understand the gospel better when expounded by their own kind of people. They prefer to join churches whose members look, talk, and act like themselves.” (Understanding (1980), p. 227)


This states in brief what has become known as the Homogeneous Unit Principle (HUP). Although it sounds obvious to anyone involved in evangelism, it has had significant consequences for the church. It has influenced the development of many churches with a heart for mission. As churches move more towards making mission a priority, the more they will have to deal with cultural issues that interfere with or distort the gospel, and so the more the HUP appeals. The problem with this approach is that homogeneous evangelism tends to create a homogeneous church.

7. One Final Story St Andrew’s Cathedral and Asian Bible Church. You have to ask Andrew about what this means.

this isn’t anything new or profound. we need to be reminded that we’re all in danger of doing these things whether we’re ethnic based or not.

12
Jan
08

ABCs and Church

The L2 Foundation blog posted today about the alarming percentage of ABCs that attend church, less than 2% according to the recent Render Conference near Houston. [link:”Alarming Statistics About American Born Chinese“]

Less than 2% doesn’t surprise me as if any number would be comforting or satisfactory. If I have my numbers correct, there are roughly 3.5million Chinese in America and out of that number we have somewhere around 1.1million ABCs. So you do the math. 2% of 1.1million. You’d probably find many of these church going ABCs on the coasts.

The Chinese have been in America a long time (since the 1840s). So you have Chinese churches in practically every state. A Chinese church over 50 years old would typically have lots of ABCs in it and probably close to half of those churches would be found in California. However the fact of the matter is that these churches have been losing generation after generation of ABCs. Since the U.S. Immigration Act of 1965 those statistics would dwindle further since there would be a growing number of first generation immigrant churches/congregations under 20 years old. These congregations will have ABC children and eventually English speaking ministries. The ABC population will only continue to grow (approx. 30-40k a year). The need to reach them will also grow.

It’s easy to be complacent with who comes to our services. We need to ask how many “new” Christians or seekers actually come? Why don’t they? I believe most of the growth in our English Speaking Ministries is not new growth by conversion but from transplanted Christians. We have young mostly single ABC Christians coming and going. It’s a cultural phenomenon. The hard truth is that there are many Chinese or ABCs outside of our walls (over 95%). There’s so much work to be done.

Statistics on Chinese in America from US Census Data 2006




abcpastor
[american born chinese pastor]
seeks to be that third place for those who are american born chinese [abc] in ministry.
[i]
here we may explore issues unique to the chinese church and doing ministry in that context
[ii]
expand the intersection of asian american culture and christian faith
[iii]
or simply expose what goes on in the mind of this abcpastor

this may be a bit ambitious or even naiive but i do hope that through the posts we can bring together different faith communities, passions for the advancement of the Gospel and the equipping of the body of Christ.

if you are an abc pastor or have any suggestions or would like to contribute to make this space evolve, just comment.

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