Entry #2: Discovering the Asian-American Missional Topography of DFW
Journal Summary of notes from my first trip in 2012 to the DFW area in searching for People of Peace and describing the Missional Topography of the DFW metroplex. I will continue to add the relevant entries throughout the blog… follow the series… (also play this in background for the 3D experience God of this City)
Here is my personal definition (more like description) of a “Missional Topography“. It is a conceptual mapping of a clearly defined geography and spiritual sensitivity of a given cultural context for the intentionality of reaching both unbelievers and unchurched. It must be a useful composite tool that can navigate missionary pioneers to tilling and reaping the harvest.
For example, I find population size of a given social-economical group almost unuseful. What will I do with knowing that 70% of the population of a zipcode makes more than $100K? This census report is too vague. I want to know where do they eat? Last time I checked, affluent people still shop at Wal-Mart and eat off the McDonald’s $1 menu.
More specifically, the 2010 US census gives us numbers from a broad perspective. For example the 5 fastest growing Asian groups in America are 1) Chinese (~ 3.3 million, 2) Asian Indian (2.8 mil), 3) Filipinos (~2.5 mil), 4) Vietnamese (1.5 mil) , and then 4) Koreans (1.4 mil). However when it comes the Pacific Rim Asian groups, the Filipino and Vietnamese are outpacing (38% growth) the Chinese (37%) and Koreans (32%) since the 2000 US census.
For my Missional Topography of the AA context in the DFW area, I went to Dallas, (DFW map) discover these things:
- Who are my People of Peace? cf Luke 10:6, Matthew 9:25-10:20. Who will partner up, who will be my Rahab for the 12 spies of Jericho. Who will be my Lydia of Philipi? Who will join forces with the Vision? Praise God we met some really neat new friends. (The DFW map comments on a few)
- Who will be the sending church or group? Without recreating the wheel and repeating mishaps, who is already doing the work here? Are there any good models to look at? More importantly, will any of them want to be the “Antioch” of sending off new workers for the harvest? Will they incubate a new team, will they train a new team, or resource the new team with players and finances?
- Christian Education Institutions – Dallas Baptist U & Southwestern Seminary were the dominant evangelical schools in this region. They provide already motivated and equipped players (workers) for the harvest. We should be wise to build relationships with these CE institutions for recruitment.
- Where do we eat? Where do people gather to EAT! Isn’t this the universal language? Where does this AA subgroup hang out, drink boba, or eat Pho? YELP is a great resource, and more informative than a US census when you want to hit the streets and find out where they gather. Many 2nd generations live in affluent neighborhoods, but still travel the distance to be at the best Dumpling house in the area. This is where they gather.
- Who is starting work ahead of us? I find these contacts are valuable because they have traveled the road before. They have lots of experience and wisdom to share. What worked, didnt work? Are they anymore people like you who want to continue the journey? Will you come along side and be part of the Vision?
Again, the DFW map is a visual representation of answering most of these questions. I plan to continue plugging away. If you see more “PIN POINTS” need to be added, will you help me? Will you join in mapping out an Asian American Missional Topography of the DFW area?
Read more….Go to Entry #3: Discovering the Asian-American Missional Topography of DFW