Category Archives: chinese

intentionally raising up the next generation

[I haven’t yet figured out how to blog by cell phone, so this is being posted in retrospect]

[Was] Here at a camp site call Trinity Pines near Houston. I was honored and privileged to be invited to present a workshop on being a witness to culture at this tri-ennial RENDER conference.

This event is specifically designed to help young adults explore and discern their calling to vocational ministry. There are 32 in attendance, with 12 mentors. This is a very healthy and helpful ratio, and fits with the feedback we’ve heard time and time again from next generation Asians, that they would like to have role models and mentors. I know of no other event like this anywhere for next gen Asian Americans. Most if not all are from Texas (mostly Dallas, Houston, Austin).

Very grateful to be here on behalf of L2 Foundation. I’ll post my presentation along with the recorded audio here later this week.

[update] Listen to the Render keynotes and panel discussions online. The 2 forums and Q&A session are particularly insightful.

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Survey of English Pastors in Chinese Churches

This April 2007 survey, CCCOWE English Task Force Survey 2007: The Needs of English-Speaking Chinese Churches & Their Leaders, gives a broad sampling of insights based on 62 respondents from all over the world — 32 of those responses were from North America (13 from the USA – Southern California and New York, 19 from Canada – Vancouver and Toronto). CCCOWE (Chinese Coordination Centre of World Evangelism) is a mission-centered para-church organization that aims to promote world mission among Chinese churches that is developing partnership with the upcoming English-speaking new generation.

Here’s a few highlights from the survey results, summarized by an Australian blogger:

In April 2007 the CCCOWE English task force conducted a survey of English pastors of Chinese churches from a number of different countries . That survey asked questions about a range of things such as the level of stress they experienced due to challenges in ministry; the attrition rate of English pastors; and the perceived needs in Chinese churches.

One shocking statistic is the attrition rate of English senior pastors and assistant pastors in the Chinese church. In the 2001-2006 period, 163 pastors had left Chinese churches to do ministry elsewhere – that’s about 27 pastors a year!

Take a look at the survey results and graphs at www.cccowe.org/eng/content.php?id=69 [ht: Andrew Hong]

a Chinese church perspective

Pastor Paul Hong Cheng heads the only local Chinese church, formed four months ago in Vacaville. Vacaville is approximately 35 miles from Sacramento and 55 miles from San Francisco. Pastor Cheng shared this perspective about reaching the next generation and the future impact of China in this article, Breaking language barriers: Chinese church reaches out to Solano County and beyond (The Reporter)::

“Then I thought, well, maybe this is the beginning,” Cheng said. “You attract the overseas-born-Chinese, they bring their American-born children, and then there are American-born Chinese who we can draw in.”

Now Cheng leads the Chinese version of “Vision of Love,” which holds a service in Mandarin every Sunday for a congregation of about 30 people. The group meets in a room at the First Baptist Church of Vacaville, the same church where Pastor Cheng felt called by God years ago.

Cheng says the Chinese community is growing in Vacaville, and sees the Church’s programs as a way to help American-born Chinese to connect with their cultural roots. He felt the programs would benefit his own three sons.

“I have American-born Chinese children, and I do see that identity is an issue,” Cheng says. “They are pretty much Americanized. But on the other hand, they have roots in their original culture.”

The Church offers Chinese language classes to the community. He points out that employers are often looking for candidates who understand Chinese language and culture.

“China, whether we like it or not, in the next half century or before then, will be a major power,” Cheng said. “Nobody can stop it. The economic power is pushing China to open the door, and because the market size is big, its like 1.3 billion, its’ like 25 percent of the world population. It’s a big market.”

Read the full article for entire context. Also see the Vision of Love church’s website is at volchristian.blogspot.com.

forming Chinese Churches for immigrants

Found this article, The Chinese-Church Phenomenon: Cultural Reasons for the Adoption of Christianity by Chinese Immigrants, but not sure who wrote it or what proper attribution to ascribe:

Abstract: This article is meant to examine the cultural and sociological reasons behind the recent wave of conversions to Christianity among Chinese immigrants and the subsequent growth in the number of Chinese Christian Churches. This article argues that history and modernity are the main “push” factors in bringing Chinese immigrants towards Christianity.

Take a drive down Jackson Road in Penfield, New York. The posted speed limit is 35 mile per hour, yet smoothly winding road encourages drivers to drive much faster. But don’t drive too fast. Otherwise you will miss a glimpse of a unique phenomenon in the United States. As you head left around a gentle bend, you will notice brick red Chinese characters on a grey stone backing.

Now, if you are passing by on a typical Sunday morning, you will be sure to see a full parking lot, mostly filled with Japanese-manufactured cars. An usher, dressed in conservative grey colors, politely nods and holds the door open for you. You walk through the doors.

You have now entered Rochester Chinese Christian Church, a medium-sized, non-denominational church located in the heart of the Penfield suburbs. The church started out as a small Bible study group, composed of a dozen or so Chinese Christians. Over time, it has grown and has added new structures, like a Family Life Center and fully-integrated sound system. The attendance of the church has also grown over time, now leveling in at a stable attendance of approximately 300 people every Sunday.

The church holds two services on Sunday morning – one in English and one in Mandarin Chinese. It also conducts Sunday School for all ages and has a Youth Group that meets on Fridays. The church engages in the Holy Communion once a month. It also encourages members of the congregation to be baptized. One can notice a difference between the English and Chinese services. The English services are generally more contemporary and upbeat, as the median age of the attendees is much younger. For example, on any given day, the English worship team may have a guitar, bass, or even a drum-set on stage. On the other hand, the Chinese service, in all practicality, only uses a piano, and often sings its songs from the hymnbook. The Chinese service also generally devotes a longer time to preaching. But that is besides the point.

What I have hoped to do was to paint a picture of my Chinese Christian Church and then to point out that it is not alone. There are many Chinese Christian Churches (CCCs) across America and more churches are sprouting up everyday. In general, the beliefs of these Chinese Churches are very much grounded in traditional Christianity.

Read the full article >>

Chinese and Korean Americans can Learn from Each Other

David Ro shared this at a conference in 2000 that is very informative as a compare and contrast of cultural values between Korean and Chinese people groups. David himself can be considered as a consummate Asian American prototype since he is 1/2 Korean and 1/2 Chinese.

This chart gives an outline of overall data (some outdated by now) along with strengths and weaknesses based on his personal experiences in working with both groups. You may download the chart in PDF format or view it online via scribd.com. (published with permission from author)

Korean Chinese comparison chart

reaching young Asian Canadians

This article by Connie Cavanaugh, “Whatever It Takes Churches: A church in Canada helps second-generation Chinese put down some ROOTS,” reiterates the compelling need to reach the next generation with the Gospel::

How does a church “be a church” if few of the people they reach are free to assemble? This is a key question at ROOTS, a church reaching the teens of Chinese immigrants in Calgary, Alberta. ROOTS was born in an attempt to bridge the generation and culture gap between Asian-born parents and their Canadian-raised children.

The children of immigrants are “third culture kids.” Young Asian Canadians are caught in the middle of a culture clash where they’re not quite Canadian and not fully Chinese. In their interactions with family, fellow students, co-workers and each other they’re always conscious of the divide between their Chinese roots and the mainstream of Canadian society.

During the past 10 years, 281,300 people have emigrated from mainland China to Canada. Since 1998, more people have emigrated from China to Canada than from any other country. Chinese is the third most commonly spoken language in Canada, next to English and French.

Canadian and Chinese believers are continually looking for effective ways to reach people whose Communist upbringing practically guarantees they’ve never heard the name of Jesus.

Norman Wang, a 40-something engineer in Calgary, returned to China for a high school reunion and while there spoke enthusiastically to an old classmate about Jesus Christ. After listening for some time, his Chinese friend interrupted Norman and asked, “What’s a Jesus Christ?” Canadian Southern Baptists are trying to reach these Chinese men, women and children who so desperately need to know Jesus Christ.

ROOTS is a daughter church of Truth–a church planted to reach out to first-generation Chinese. ROOTS meets on Sunday morning in a classroom at Alberta Bible College in Calgary while Truth–literally the “parent” church–meets for worship in the chapel. Between 30 and 40 high school students gather to sing, pray and hear a Bible message. After the service the teens hang around for a few hours to play sports and eat together in the gym.

“The teens who call ROOTS home have something in common with first century slaves,” says Paul Johnson, ROOT’s volunteer pastor who is also on staff at the Canadian Convention of Southern Baptists. “Because of the time restrictions of rigorous academic pressure, they’re seldom free to assemble.” Recalling that slaves in Jesus’ day met early before anyone else was up, Johnson asked himself, “How do I help students who are under such tight restrictions?” Welcome to instant messenger or IM. Before getting involved with ROOTS Johnson had never used IM. Now he and the other leaders spend hours each week connecting with teens electronically and virtually assembling online. “Their world is online. I have over 80 on my IM list,” he reports. “The other leaders and I counsel by IM. I email them on their birthdays,” 55-year-old Johnson comments. “We even pray by chat.”

Read the rest of the article at OnMission.com and see photos >>

improving Chinese family communications

The Gospel Herald had recently posted 2 recent articles about Rev. Peter Lam of Asian Family Today: Researcher Comments on Cultural-Clash in Chinese Families and Communication Must Improve in Chinese Families, Researcher Says. Here are 2 excerpts from the articles:

Communication between parents and children is difficult , especially for Asian American families, which are under the influences of two cultures, said the head of Asian Family Today.

Rev. Peter Lam, executive director of Asian Family Today gave a lecture on parental communication with second generational children, at the The Salvation Army’s San Francisco Chinatown center.

From years of experience, Rev. Lam said, the most important principle is the Bible, which is the truth of all truths.

Quoting the bible verses from 2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction”, Rev. Lam suggested that there are three principles “correct, rebuke, encourage” that parents must look at when communicating with children.

“Chinese parents tend to scold their children without telling them what they did wrong,” Rev. Lam said. “Nevertheless, more than correcting the mistakes with words, parents must live as a good example so that children can follow well.”

Rev. Lam emphasized that parents must learn to look into the children’s problem instead of only focusing on their behavior. Parents must teach children about ethics and values according to the scripture.

And, from Researcher Comments on Cultural-Clash in Chinese Families:

Rev. Peter Lam from Asian Families Today gave guidance to Chinese parents on how to talk to their second-generation children while dealing with the culture-clash that is prevalent in Chinese homes. …

First, he said, parents should always seek opportunities to teach.

When children misbehave, Chinese parents seldom have time away from their jobs to talk to their children about it immediately, Rev. Lam pointed out, while suggesting that parents to find a way to remind themselves what they need to teach to their children to not lose the opportunity.

Second, Rev. Lam reminded parents to have patience and to be careful in their attitude.

“Since most Chinese parents are too busy to discipline their children, they often lose [ their]tempers easily whenever children make mistakes,” Rev. Lam said.