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Innocuous, But Not Meaningless


Anyone serving in China knows that one of the more vexing issues to deal with is "security." How public can / should I be about my faith? How public can/should I be about the faith and values that undergird my ministry?

Opinions and policies on this matter range from performing elaborate linguistic gymnastic routines in order to avoid all religious or Christian terminology to featuring ministry vision statements on websites and all publications.

Obviously there is no right answer; each individual and ministry must make decisions based upon their needs and situations.

Yesterday afternoon I had the opportunity of meeting with two representatives of a ministry that is looking to increase its involvement in China. We talked about strategies, building relationships with potential partner institutions, visas – all the things that need to be considered by those wishing to serve in China.

Eventually, of course, we got around to this issue of security, and how to be honest about their identity without causing problems for their local partners, specifically as it relates to their website.

In the end, my advice to them was to figure out how to make their website "innocuous but not meaningless."

Finding that balance isn't always easy.

Photo Credit: Microphone by Evan Forester, on Flickr with modification
Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman is senior vice president of ChinaSource and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University... View Full Bio