ABC Pastor Discouragement and Dropout: A Study Based on the Responses of 64 Pastors

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I began this study in the summer of 1998 after my sophomore year at Stanford University. I chose the topic in response to a concern I heard expressed by several pastors regarding why so many American-born Chinese (ABC) pastors were dropping out of ministry. Many pastors and laypeople were gracious in supporting my efforts by generously contributing their time and thoughts in a lengthy survey and interviews as well as personal advice.

It was challenging to assess and synthesize the abundance of information I had received. The desire to pass on a maximum amount of insight, aspirations to present a work of high quality, and the absence of an enforced deadline have stretched this project for far too long.

At last I am presenting the findings of my research as promised. I have chosen to retain as many quotes from pastors as was practical, as I feel that these quotes are probably the strongest contribution of this study. These quotes are listed in the appendices, which present the responses of 64 pastors to these questions:

  • How have you personally experienced discouragement or seen ABC pastors discouraged?
  • What can be done to alleviate this discouragement-
    – on the part of OBC ministers?
    – on the part of the church?
    – on the part of ABC ministers and
    prospective ABC ministers?
  • What would you like to say to current ABC pastors and/or prospective pastors?

It is my hope and prayer that this humble study might be a source of some help for those involved in ministry to ABCs..

Justin Der, 2001


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