Rev. Samuel Chiang is executive director of the International Orality Network (ION) >>. Born in Taiwan, he grew up and worked in Canada and graduated from Dallas Seminary. Formerly the Chief Operating Officer of TWR, Samuel has also written extensively on China and Asia, and has been published in Chinese, English, French, and Dutch. He has authored book chapters in diverse genres including innovation, orality, and persecution. He and his bride, Robbi, have three Gen Y children. ION has over 1,200 member organizations ranging from the larger to the smaller dispersed across all time zones.
What is your main focus in ministry and why you are passionate about it?
ION exists to influence the Body of Christ to make disciples of the 4.7 billion oral preference learners. The great majority of our strategies use print methodologies, but the great majority of the world's population uses oral means. If we can recalibrate and embrace oral learners, we might be able to present the good news more meaningfully.
What does evangelism mean to you?
The active personal declaration of the good news of Jesus Christ.
Tell a story of how you shared your faith in Christ and saw God woo an individual/s one step closer to himself.
Just two weeks ago, while I was visiting the USA, I was sitting in the back of a taxi, and saw the driver having two “prayer” beads, one hanging on the mirror, and one on the dashboard. I asked about him and he shared that he was an Albanian by background. When I asked him how he ended up in the USA, he looked at me through the rearview mirror and said that I was the first person to ask him that since he came to the USA 12 years ago.
He told me of how he came to the USA via Austria, and arrived in Los Angeles illegally on a false passport. He then sought asylum, and eventually received citizenship. I told him I was an immigrant growing up in Canada, and there is a story I would like to talk to him about. He told me to go on. So I told him a story from Creation to Church in about eight minutes. All the while, he kept looking at me through the rearview mirror. He told me that he had never heard a story like this. He asked more questions, and I took him deeper into the story.
We arrived at my destination and I got out of the car. He came out to shake my hand and told me that it was a great story and it meant a lot that I told him something he had never heard before.
What is your favorite quote/scripture?
There are many, but probably my favorite is Psalm 90:12: “Teach us to number our days, so that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
How can people learn more about you and your ministry?
The place to go is to the International Orality Network website >>
ABOUT THE WORLD
What is the biggest issue the Church in your part of the world faces today and why?
In Asia, specifically Northeast Asia, materialism is weakening the hearts of the Church in our love for God.
What is the biggest issue the Global Church is facing today and why?
Relevance in the public square. Quite frankly, we have lost our ways and voices to speak into society on issues with relevance from a biblical perspective.
What is your hope for the Global Church in the next ten years?
My hope for the Global Church can be found on the Lausanne World Pulse website >>
I believe they are still on track; furthermore, I have even greater hope for the Church in the Philippines.