viability of meta-Asian churches

The following exploration is posted verbatim (and with permission) from Walton Yuen, a church planting pastor being sent out with blessings from Austin Chinese Church. Walton is off-the-charts in possessing a gift to cross cultures, and is applying his missionary impulses to reach his surrounding community. These thoughts were provoked by our exploration of how well have ethnic Asian churches launched new churches that intentionally seek to minister to their neighboring community beyond just Asian Americans. Your thoughts about “meta-Asian” churches is welcomed.

It would have been interesting to hear some stories of those churches that faced tough situations or perhaps even tossed in the towel at some point. What lessons were learned in the midst of not reaching their goals?

I’m thinking: In the end, what elements make the difference between growth versus non-growth? If it’s all purely a God-thing, I can accept that. But I wonder if there are any patterns that consistently help OR hinder growth in these meta-Asian churches that hope to more deeply impact their communities. Possible elements that come to mind:

  • Personality and gifting of the pastor
  • Critical mass of core team at onset of church development
  • High percentage of Asians in existing community that heighten Asian acceptance (eg > 15%)
  • Education level of the target community (high or lower)
  • Theological perspectives that are crucial to multi-ethnic acceptance
  • Practical church or ministry perspective that are
  • The involvement with the mother church
  • Financial backing for the young church
  • The type of worship experience

I’m sure there’s even more elements I haven’t thought of. BTW, I just made up the term “meta-Asian” because I couldn’t think of any official term that captured the notion of a church that inherently has Asian roots and culture in its DNA while trying to reach out and encompass others beyond this culture.

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