One of the most common and accepted roles for Westerners in Thailand is that of English teacher. Since there is such high demand for English teaching, it is common for missionaries to teach English as a way to get to know people and to share the Gospel, either inside or outside of the classroom. But is this a good idea? Is it a good use of a missionary's time? Is using English teaching as outreach honest or is the missionary being deceptive in teaching English when his real goal is to share the Gospel?
My friend Rich, a fellow missionary, recently did a post titled "Is Using English Teaching as Outreach a Deception?". Rich does a good job of laying out the various perspectives on this question and there is some interesting discussion in the comment section. I also included some comments there regarding my experience and convictions regarding this subject. For those who have used (or thought about using) English teaching as evangelism or have wondered about it, Rich's post and the subsequent comments give some good food for thought in framing the discussion.