Here is an index of this quarter’s postings (March ’13 to May ’13). Clicking on the titles will take you to that post.
This quarter featured a post about the historic angle on School Scripture (06 Mar). The historic ‘deal’ between the government and the churches generated a lot of interest – but several people who have studied Education at uni have confirmed that they learn this as part of their course. A useful angle to know about when people challenge the validity of School Scripture in NSW.
This quarter also featured a continuation of a series on the doctrine of providence begun in August last year (10, 25, 30 Aug - and now 29 May). This is an area of doctrine that I believe is important to get right – yet it is often sadly neglected in our teaching!
And if you’re looking for something to share with your Bible study group, the post on evangelism in the workplace might help people to think about others they can learn from (12 Mar)…
One of the things I’ve grown more and more conscious of, however, is the need for true conversion among Chinese Christians. There is something wrong if all you find are churchgoers who do Christian-y things on the surface, while the inner affections of their heart, their values, their worldview, their desires – these all remain essentially unchanged. One post this quarter touched on this (21 Feb), and I hope it will be a challenge to us all in our ministries…
The 2011 ABS census data was released a few months ago to great excitement by people like me. This quarter featured some reflections on the census data relating to Chinese ministry in Australia. They go a little beyond the basic demographic data to tease out future implications for schools ministry (14 and 15 Nov), university ministry (16 Nov) and church ministries (19 Nov) among other things.
This quarter also featured a post on how to get beyond the basic, predictable conversations that we often find at church (21 Nov). That one is highly recommended for sharing with your ministry teams and Bible study groups!
If you follow me on Twitter you’ll also know that there were a number of other posts at a new collaborative blog specifically on understanding and ministering to people from Mainland China (here). Keep an eye on it!
13 Age profile of Chinese born in China, Hong Kong and Australia (2011)
14 Younger ABCs – will they stay or will they go?
15 The future generation of ABCs – and schools ministry
16 How many Mainland Chinese uni students stay on?
19 Mandarin now overtakes Cantonese in Australia (2011)
21 Six ways to get beyond basic conversations at church
30 List of postings: Sept ’12 to Nov ’12
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how hermeneutics is done in Chinese churches for another project. There’s a lot of observations that we can make about that in the future – but one post this quarter lays out some of the background that will lead to how the Bible is handled today in Chinese churches (July 17). Many thanks to Daniel, a fellow PhD candidate for his insights!
This quarter also featured a series of posts on providence (August 10, 25 and 30). This is a doctrine that doesn’t get a lot of attention – but over the years I’ve become more and more convinced that there is a lot of sloppy thinking about providence, particularly in Chinese churches. There is more that needs to be said about providence – so stay tuned in coming weeks!
Quite a busy quarter for me in terms of ministry – so not too many posts I’m afraid. But still some significant ones how the Confucian concept of the Mandate of heaven impacts how leadership is exercised in Chinese contexts.
And a more general one on how thankfulness can actually end up dishonouring God (17 May) – however even this one is quite significant for Chinese church ministry. One can easily see how what at first might seem to be God-glorifying gratitude (for marks, jobs, health) may actually reveal the true idols of our hearts.
It’s also been a joy to be in contact with quite a few readers over the past quarter – thanks for your encouragement! There is now a What people say page with quotes from people in Chinese church ministry about andrewhong.net.
Very significant in this quarter is The five point manifesto (10 Feb). Many leaders of first generation ministries think they are doing a great job of helping second generation ministries – but this is not necessarily the case!
Culture blindness on the part of first generation leaders often leads to the concerns of second generation leaders being unintentionally minimised, and ministry undermined.
This important post describes what second generation ministries really want from those who lead first generation ministries!
And yes, not many posts this quarter, with some pretty big things to sort out at church. However there is a post based on some things about the attitude of the Confucian gentleman towards money that I noticed on my most recent read through the Analects - something for both pastors and church leaders to consider.
And another post that might ruffle a few feathers – but which will hopefully reshape how we disciple high schoolers.
Together with others, I have also been working on another exciting blog, which we hope to announce soon. While a lot of my posts have to do with diaspora Chinese that are influenced by Confucianism, there is also a large section of Chinese migrants who are not – particularly those who have migrated from mainland China in the last ten years.
And so a group of us are working on a new blog that will bring together those working in Mandarin migrant ministry. It will be about exploring the worldview of the mainland Chinese, thinking through different approaches for outreach we have tried, and resources we have found helpful.
This promises to be an awesome, strategic resource for those wrestling with such a ministry – so stay tuned for more information about it!