Completing the Face of the Chinese Church in America: The ABC Handbook Promoting Effective Ministries to American-Born Chinese
Fellowship of American Chinese Evangelicals (FACE), 2009 - Chinese Americans - 188 pages
A recurring problem in Chinese churches is the conflict that commonly arises between OBC (overseas-born Chinese) and ABC (American-Born Chinese) leaders. 90% of the Chinese churches in the U.S. have been established in recent years to minister to the needs of OBCs. As long as there are new Chinese immigrants arriving, there will be a need for Chinese churches, and conflicts between OBCs and ABCs will arise. Chinese churches must minister to the whole family, adults and children. When the ABCs are neglected, they will drop out of the churches, leaving only their parents to worship there. The Chinese who value very highly the unity of the family will find their own families divided. The wave of English services for the ABCs in parallel to traditional Chinese services for the OBCs at first were seen as divisive, but now are a recognized first step to correct the situation. Besides, half of the American-Chinese population are ABCs, few of whom are reached for Jesus Christ, requiring the nurturing of strong ABC ministries and churches. Even among the ABCs themselves there is a large difference in their acculturation rate into the American culture so that what is suitable for first generation ABCs may not work for third generation ABCs. This book attempts to spell out a biblical perspective on the cultural differences between OBCs and ABCs as part of an appeal to them to learn more about each other's ways of thinking, values and styles of ministry. The primary focus of the book, however, is to help both OBC and ABC leaders find ways as equal partners to improve the effectiveness of their ministries to ABCs within the Chinese churches. The need for a viable ministry to ABCs is urgent for two reasons: 1) even if the immigrant flow were to be curtailed, Chinese churches would still be needed for many decades after several generations have been born in America in order to serve immigrants with strong Chinese cultural family values. 2) ABC ministries are best poised to help ABCs resist going the way of the world once assimilated in American culture and to reach out to the unchurched Chinese in America.