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Daniel Yang: How People on the Margins Can Help Save the American Church

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Photo courtesy of Daniel Yang

Daniel Yang is the director of the Church Multiplication Institute at the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center, a think tank for evangelism and church planting. He has pastored and helped plant churches in Detroit, Dallas-Fort Worth, Toronto and Chicago. He earned an M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, a B.S. in computer science from the University of Michigan, and is currently earning a Ph.D. at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. His new book, co-authored with Eric Costanzo and Matthew Soerens is “Inalienable: How Marginalized Kingdom Voices Can Help Save the American Church.”

The New Churches podcast offers practical answers to real ministry questions. Rather than offering lofty pie-in-the-sky theories, New Churches helps people in their real ministry contexts with their real thoughts, questions, and issues.

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Key Questions for Daniel Yang

You write, “If anything other than the kingdom of God is the framework for Christianity in America, let’s be okay with God removing it and let’s pray with Jesus for his kingdom to come.” What are you seeing about American Christianity that led to that statement?

-​​Your premise is that marginalized voices are helping to save the American church. Who are those voices?

-What is the way forward that you are offering to the problems you’re diagnosing? 

-How can local church leaders get more practical about paying attention to the influence of the global church?

Key Quotes From Daniel Yang

“We were talking through not just what’s wrong with Christianity in America, but we were talking through what are the places and the people and the kinds of people that don’t get the same amount of airtime that I think typically you would see in American evangelical circles specifically. And we started asking the question, how does the global church actually have influence here in the U.S.?”

“If you study what happened to the Assemblies of God in America 20 years ago, there were 1.8 million white members in the denomination. Fast forward 20 years, the denomination has grown quite significantly. And the number of white members in the Assemblies of God church is 1.8 million people. And so the growth almost has been completely non-white growth in the Assemblies of God.”

“We have such a difficult time actually living out a true holistic gospel.”

“We’re saying that the global church, marginalized voices are helping us to better understand the Kingdom of God, image of God, Word of God and mission of God. And so that’s what we’re saying: These four things are inalienable to Christianity.”

“​​We talk about the decline of the church in the West. For my family’s story, it’s always been incline. So decline doesn’t make sense. It’s always been on the up and up…They came as refugees, immigrants from Laos.”