Churches with Multiple Languages and Peoples 14


As the church adapts to serving a multicultural global village, some are developing ministries in multiple languages too. (cf. polyglot – someone who can speak multiple languages) Ethnic Asian churches and other immigrant churches have done that for decades. For some ethnic Korean churches, it’s ministering in Korean and English, for Chinese ones, it’s ministering in Mandarin, English, Cantonese and/or Taiwanese.

For more diversified multiethnic church, that could be at least 3 languages across multiple racial groupings. (Please add a comment – and I’ll do my best to keep this list updated.) Here’s a list of multi-lingual multi-racial churches:

Articles & resources about multilingual churches and worship

[nb: of course, it can be argued that there is only one race, the human race; yet in the context of the United States with a racialized history, there are significantly different social dynamics in a multi-generational Asian American context vs. a multi-ethnic context with Anglos, Asians, African Americans, and Hispanics]


14 thoughts on “Churches with Multiple Languages and Peoples

  • Annie

    MBCLA (Alhambra, CA) – English, Cantonese, Mandarin
    FCBCLA (Chinatown, CA) – English, Cantonese, Mandarin
    EFCLA (El Monte, CA) – English, Mandarin, Taiwanese
    FECSGV (Rosemead, CA) – English, Cantonese, Mandarin
    CEFC (Monterey Park, CA) – English, Cantonese, Mandarin

  • Cindy Harvey

    My internship church, Christ Presbyterian, Japantown, San Francisco, CA. English and Japanese.

  • Fred Mok

    DJ, I like this topic but I’m not sure exactly where you’re going with it. It seems like you’re asking for not just multi-lingual but intentionally multi-racial (as in non-immigrant) churches? Or churches that started out as English-speaking and then added other languages? Or churches that have a predominantly Western ethos? Otherwise we would have a massive list of immigrant churches with English ministries. Also, of the resources you list, which one do you recommend starting with?

  • DJ Chuang

    Fred, thanks for adding a comment here!

    The list is intended for multi-lingual multi-racial churches, as stated. This is a trend-spotting effort for me, to see how churches will navigate reaching out to multiple immigrant groups, using multiple languages and multiple racial groups, with potential impact for global partnerships and missions as well. So I’m refraining from creating a large listing of ethnic Asian churches that typically have bilingual or trilingual ministries (though someone could/should do that maybe).

    As for the resources I’ve listed, I’ve only found them and have not studied them, so just as good to start at the top of the list and work your way down. 🙂

  • Fred Mok

    DJ, thanks for the reply. I still don’t get it. When you say multi-lingual, multi-racial, I think literally “more than one race” and “more than one language”. But your criteria of multi-lingual is at least three language services. Tim’s church, CTCC, could likely be considered multi-racial even though it’s immigrant but I’m sure you’ll find white, mixed race people, etc, there, as you will at my church CCIC-SV and our mother church CCIC-SJ . So is there a quota you’re looking for? What about churches that host other churches or have other language services but are mostly separate congregations meeting under the same roof? What about international churches?

    • djchuang Post author

      Fred, thanks for continuing this conversations. As you’ve noted, there are many other what-ifs when trying to define what counts as a multiracial multiethnic church. Without being too verbose about all the qualifiers, maybe we can simplify it as this — From sociologists, they measure multiethnic as 20% or more minority, so if we use the same metric, a multiracial church would be 20% or more diversity. And, there’s a difference between being intentionally vs. accidentally diverse.

      While multi-generational Chinese (or Korean) churches (for which the are too many to list) can be described as multiethnic because there are multiple languages and multiple ethnicities under one church governance, there is a whole different dimension of ministry challenge & opportunity when leading and ministering among Asians and non-Asians together. It is this latter category that I’m building this list to take a closer look.

      • Fred Mok

        Thanks DJ. Now I get it. That’s a helpful definition but seems like a high bar. It’s like telling me about a platypus. I’ve never seen one but I’ve heard they exist.

  • Framed Prayers and Blessings

    It’s excellent to see multicultural churches becoming more popular. I had the pleasure of attending a Christmas service that was entirely in Spanish, and the simple mistake turned out to be quite a blessing. It’s very powerful to see others worship, without understanding the words. Their facial expressions, body language, and love for one another are much more perceptible.

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