There’s a research project about Chinese Canadian Christians underway that’d be very valuable and of interest to many. This is a summary by Jonathan Tam with details about this research—
“Listen to their Voices” is a project spearheaded by Chinese Coordination Centre of World Evangelism – Canada (CCCOWE-Canada) and joint-funded by CCCOWE-Canada, The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada, the Canadian Association of China Graduate School of Theology, the Association of Chinese Evangelical Ministries, the Association of North American Chinese Evangelical Free Churches, and the Chinese Mennonite Brethren. Enoch Wong is the head researcher, I’m the associate researcher, and we have a team of pastors and specialists working on the project as well. Enoch and I are currently co-authoring the report.
The project is a mixed methods report and the target population are Canadian-born Chinese Christians. For the quantitative piece, we received a nationally representative sample of 739 respondents to the eSurvey from six cities where 87% of the Chinese Canadian population reside (i.e. Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, Greater Toronto Area, Metro Vancouver). We are working on mapping scales and trends by finding the correlations of those who decide to stay or leave based on salient factors from the opinion survey (e.g. church retention’s correlation with views on homosexuality, parental involvement’s correlation with children leaving the church).
For the qualitative piece, our sample consists of 37 interviewees—19 regular church attendees and 18 irregular or non-church attendees—based on the same cities as the survey piece. Interviewees were recruited through church contacts or e-survey respondents. The interview questions covered lived experiences in church (e.g. upbringing, critical junctures, church leadership, mentoring). The purpose is to uncover the causal mechanisms of those who choose to stay or leave.
The final piece of the project is based on the roundtable feedback of our presenting some of our preliminary data and will make practitioner recommendations in the form of a directional action plan. We brought together practitioners within the Chinese Canadian immigrant church community in different cities, discussed our findings, and solicited their feedback. To be clear, we are not advocates of a one-size-fits-all approach and believe our findings should be nuanced and adjusted to each specific church’s needs. We hope the report will make contributions to both academic and practitioner fields.
The data collection is complete and the analysis and writing is underway.
As you can see, this is a very valuable research project that can be informative for Christian leaders among Chinese North Americans in Canada and even in the United States. Add a comment here to express your interest in this research project (within 60 days of this blog post, because my WordPress engine will automatically close the commenting section then.) And I’ll update this blog post when/if there is news & updates about this research.