Our Core Missionary Values
Let us share some of our core values with you. These are principles we find essential to any type of cross-cultural ministry, especially when working on a multi-national leadership team, as we are.
Be a listener
We find it best to first observe the Taiwanese way of doing ministry, and only then offer input where appropriate. In doing so we notice many things that are done differently than in the West, and work much better in our Eastern context than many of our Western ideas would. We believe that this attitude shows respect to our Taiwanese co-workers. Our goal in doing this is to empower our Taiwanese church leadership to reach its fullest ministry potential.
Identify with the local culture
The Apostle Paul tells us that he has “become all things to all men so that by all possible means [he] might save some.”1 In the same way, we are embracing the Taiwanese way of living in order to identify as closely as possible with Taiwanese Seekers. This means eating mainly Taiwanese food instead of American food, riding bikes or the bus instead of expensive taxis, and generally doing things Taiwanese people do for fun, such as drinking tea or singing Chinese songs with friends at a KTV place. In focusing on what we have in common we remove some of the obstacles that people have toward the Gospel.
Learn the Language
While this may seem like an obvious value to any long-term missionary, we wanted to point it out since ongoing language study is such a powerful (and sometimes neglected!) tool. Since completing our 2-year full-time language study in 09/2011, our Mandarin Chinese language ability now enables us to converse and run the cafe business in fluent Mandarin.
We believe that ongoing personal study is vital in order for us to grow into the most effective missionaries we can be. This takes the following forms in our daily lives:
- From 09/2008 through 09/2011 we focused heavily on Chinese language proficiency, through full-time classes and cultural immersion, in order to better relate to our local friends.
- As the major portion of our Chinese language studies came to a close in August of 2011, Erich took classes towards a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies at the Evangelical Chinese Seminary in Taipei.
Click here to learn more about our specific ministries in Taipei, Taiwan. Many thanks for your ongoing interest and support!
1 1 Corinthians 9:21