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
Especially as younger missionaries we find it best to first observe the Taiwanese way of doing ministry, and only then 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 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 read, write, teach, preach, share the Gospel, lead worship, lead cell groups, all 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 incarnate the message of Christ, and make disciples in a Chinese cultural context.
- A high priority for us is spending focused time with older missionaries to Taiwan, from different missionary agencies and theological backgrounds. These relationships provide us with invaluable learning as we look forward to lifelong service in the Chinese world.
- 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.
- Once a week, Erich meets with two American friends, Rick and John, to discuss books on Theology and Christian living they are reading from week to week. Here is some of the material we have studied together so far:
- The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, by Mark Noll
- Exclusion and Embrace, by Miroslav Volf
- a thought-provoking Regent Seminary evening lecture entitled Why Christians Read Their Bibles Poorly, by Regent Professor Gordon Fee
- a Regent Seminary lecture series on Matthew, by professor Rikk Watts
- a Regent Seminary lecture series on the OT book of Isaiah, by professor Rick Watts
- a Regent Seminary lecture series on a Biblical View of Homosexuality by Robert Gagnon
- a Regent Seminary lecture series titled “Humble Rulers” on 1st and 2nd Samuel by Bruce Waltke
- a lecture series on the book of Revelation by Thomas Constable, former professor at Dallas Theological Seminary (couldn’t locate lecture series web page)
- a Regent Seminary lecture series on the book of Revelation by Regent Seminary Professor Gordon Fee (formerly taught at Wheaton College)
- a Regent Seminary lecture series on the book of Revelation, by Darrell Johnson
- a Regent Seminary lecture series on the book of Genesis by Iain Provan
- a Regent Seminary lecture series on Old Testament Foundations by Iain Provan
- a Regent Seminary lecture series entitled Living in Sync: Studies on the Sermon on the Mount, by professor Darrell Johnson
- a Regent Seminary lecture series on the book of Exodus, by professor Derek Kidner
- a Regent Seminary lecture series entitled “Biblical Hermeneutics and Criticism” by Iain Provan
- a Regent Seminary lecture series entitled “Light from the Dark Ages, An Exposition of Judges and Ruth” by professor Bruce Waltke
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