here are 2 recent post by andrew hong
Q. how interested are Asian bible college students in serving in a chinese church? A. http://bit.ly/9MMn4H
Q. so what makes asian theological students worried about serving in a chinese church? A: http://bit.ly/bObnNA
and here's a summary from andrew hong's post:
part 1: theological graduates will consider (in order of decreasing desrability)
1) overseas mission
3) working in non chinese church
4) working in chinese church
The (chinese) church's leadership (deacons, elders, wardens) is the most concering factor for theological graduates.
here's my response (it appeared first on andrew hong's wall on FB):
it proves the saying/mentality: the grass is greener on the other side (this is the reflection of reading both your posts). People do like the adventure of o'seas mission and the perceived freedom from structures that one may envisage. but having experienced both sides of the coin, one should realise that accountability is benficial, and in fact, at times overseas mission is a much more difficult situation, with the missionary at times answerable to 4 sets of rules/authorities:
1) the agency's dominant authority (usually N american),
2) local leadership
3) sending leadership
4) ch leadership.
i am writing this not to downplay the importance of mission. (The fame of God amongst the nations, ala Piper cf Ps 67, is a personal driving force). However, i am writing this to show the importance of the right motive in going to mission (or indeed any ministry). Overseas mission will not avoid leadership structures. it exists in all parts of the world. in fact, interpersonal issues are the #1 factor in missionary attrition. as mentioned by the following (excellent) book:
* Too Valuable to Lose: Exploring the Causes and Cures of Missionary Attrition
By William David Taylor
i believe the key, as explained in my second entry on AH's wall:
"also, while many ppl are willing to be cross cultural students in a mission environment, usually most ppl fail to do so working in a chinese church."
If interpersonal conflict is a main issue, surely one would do well to do that and treat working in any ministry as a cross cultural environmnet.
one of the best courses i have done @ SMBC (amongst many) is cross cultural communication by Richard Hibbert.
The course teaches one to analyse culture from various aspects (e.g. power distance, etc, etc) and what i have learnt is to ask questions of the culture before passing judgement.
I guess if we use the same set of (tinted/untinted) glasses (as well as, obviously, Christian, grace, love and forbearance) to look at local and overseas ministry, it would solve many of the interpsonal isue problems.