China’s Ambassadors of Christ to the Nations by Tabor Laughlin was published in 2020 by Pickwick Publications, an imprint of Wipf and Stock, as part of their Evangelical Missiological Society Monograph series. The book is based on Laughlin’s PhD dissertation analyzing the experiences of cross-cultural workers sent out from mainland China and delves into the cross-cultural challenges they face and other issues affecting their ability to remain on the mission field.
The description of the book reads:
Maybe you are familiar with the growth in recent decades of “majority world” missionaries being sent all over the world from non-Western countries (i.e., countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Middle East). This book focuses on missionaries sent from one non-Western country, analyzing the experiences of Chinese missionaries on the mission field. The missionaries interviewed were sent from house churches in mainland China, have served overseas for at least two years, and are ministering cross-culturally to non-Chinese on the mission field. The first research question relates to Chinese missionaries’ successes and difficulties in cross-culturally building relationships with locals, learning the local language, and adjusting to the local culture. The second research question analyzes factors that have contributed to the Chinese missionaries remaining on the mission field. This included how pre-field preparation and on-field support contributed to their retention. Also analyzed were other challenges and needs the missionaries had on the field. The interviewees were serving in countries in Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.
A Chinese translation of the original dissertation is now available and can be downloaded below.
The summary of the Chinese version reads:
本研究调查了中华人民共和国家庭教会在境外跨文化工作者的关系和 经历。第一个研究问题涉及中国跨文化工作者如何在跨文化关系中取得成 功或挣扎。第二个研究问题分析了哪些出行前经历和工场经历有助于中国 跨文化工作者在工场的留任。
本研究进行了 25 次深入的半结构化访谈。受访者与中国大陆的家庭教 会有联系，并在中国境外跨文化服侍至少两年。大约一半受访者是通过国 际宣教机构差派，另一半则是通过中国宣教机构差派的。宣教士在中亚、 东南亚和中东地区服侍。一些受访者只在工场工作了几年，而有些人已经 在工场工作了十年或更长时间。访谈数据为本研究提供了分析材料。
本研究的结果分析了中国宣教士如何在宣教工场和跨文化关系的跨文 化上取得成功或挣扎，以及他们为调整和建立关系所做的工作。许多接受 采访的宣教士似乎在工场上跨文化方面茁壮成长，很好地学习了当地语言， 并有效地建立了跨文化关系。该研究还揭示了中国宣教士面临的挑战，即 资金不足以及在宣教工场寻找工作和赚钱困难。这项研究的其他发现包括 孝道对中国宣教士的影响、以及教育成就与跨文化有效性之间没有相关性。
Tabor Laughlin (pseudonym) is a PhD student in Intercultural Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He received his MDiv from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Missions and his bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Oklahoma State University. He has been serving in China for ten years, and is president of a …View Full Bio