Category Archives: church

Developing Asian American leaders for the World

The OC Register recently featured this article, “O.C. exports Asian American Churches to the World” telling the stories of a number of Asian American churches innovating in Orange County, California, to develop a new kind of church that’s reaching all kinds of people, Asians and non-Asians, in their community and around the world. The article also includes the personal story of DJ Chuang, previous Executive Director of L2 Foundation. Great examples of developing leadership and legacy for Asian Americans!

Kevin Doi talks about Epic Church

Churches, Cultures, and Leadership has put together some very valuable stories and narratives of ethnic churches in the United States. This is a project by 2 professors at Fuller Theological Seminary, Mark Lau Branson and Juan F. Martínez.

In this series of video clips with Pastor Kevin Doi, he talks about Epic Church’s pilgrimage from being planted by a Japanese American church to recent years as they settled into a location in Fullerton, California and became engaged in the diversity of that context. This raises all kinds of issues, some of which are listed below —

1. Location, Diversity, and Meals
2. Inclusion, Exclusion, Power
3. Preaching, Feelings, Connections
4. Power Distance Ratios

Ken Fong retells story of Evergreen Baptist Church

Churches, Cultures, and Leadership has put together some very valuable stories and narratives of ethnic churches in the United States. This is a project by 2 professors at Fuller Theological Seminary, Mark Lau Branson and Juan F. Martínez.

One of the series of video clips was recorded with Pastor Ken Fong of Evergreen Baptist Church, Los Angeles:

  1. Disruptive History – Japanese to Japanese-American
  2. First Steps to Being an Asian American Church
  3. Transition Beyond Asian American

Why Chinese churches grow

These excerpts from a 2008 report on Chinese churches in the San Francisco Bay area provides some reasons for why Chinese churches grow:

… Dr. James Chuck, Director of the Bay Area Chinese Churches Research Project and Senior Consultant for ISAAC … described the growth of the number of Chinese congregations in the Bay Area, from 15 congregations in 1950 to 158 in 1996 …

Reasons given for this growth included the rapid increase of the Chinese population, wider geographical dispersion of Chinese in the Bay Area, Chinese coming from more diverse points of origin, immigrant pastors and their overseas network, the contribution of overseas Chinese students who had been nurtured in Chinese Bible study groups on U. S. campuses, church splits, the planting of new churches, increased involvement by denominations who had not previously worked in Chinese in the Bay Area, and the leadership of some gifted and entrepreneurial leaders, and last but not least the leading and the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Bay Area Chinese Churches Research Project report can be purchased online. And, a April 2008 consultation in San Jose with area church leaders also identified top issues and challenges:

… various issues facing the Chinese churches in the Bay Area … The top priorities in the South Bay are: Spiritual Development and Leader Development. The second tier priorities are: Mission Outreach and Christian Education followed by Church Life.

Spiritual Development and Christian Education appeared also in the San Francisco and East Bay churches. Leader Development and Mission Outreach/Evangelism appeared in all four groups.

The concern for Church Life or Church Health only appeared in the South Bay and Alameda suggesting that in many of the newer churches, there are concerns about generational issues, communication, and church unity.

The churches perhaps older and historic in SF Chinatown and San Francisco expressed the priority of Retention of Members and Replenishment of Members.

worshiping in English at a Chinese church in Canada?

From the Project Contempo blog::

Project Contempo is doing a national online survey of the English-speaking congregations of the Canadian Chinese churches. This national survey is not primarily a survey of churches but a survey of individuals. These include all who attend the English service of a Canadian Chinese church, irrespective of their age, employment and ethnicity. All responses will be kept anonymous and the results will be tabulated and analyzed nationally.

… The deadline of the survey is May 31st 2008. It will only take 15 minutes to complete. Simply go to http://projectcontempo.ca and follow the link provided.

They need you to respond to the survey — and please spread the word to Canadian worshipers too.

Conversation about Homosexuality & the Asian American Christian Church

I just got word of this special event from Pastor Ken Fong of Evergreen LA . This conversation is especially for Southern California Asian American evangelical churches and they are making a short film about this for release in the coming year.

Saturday, May 10, 7:00 p.m. @ Sanctuary of Evergreen Baptist Church of Los Angeles www.ebcla.org

WE NEED TO TALK: A Conversation about Homosexuality & the Asian American Christian Church. Sponsored by the Christian Social Issues (CSI) group, an informal gathering of Asian American Christians who discuss wide-ranging social issues and how they relate to our Christian faith. Join three old friends – two straight and one gay – who will engage in a conversation that needs to happen more often in order to dispel ignorance, quell fear and hatred, and foster greater understanding. Debate about scriptural interpretation or scientific evidence is not within the scope of this dialogue. It is not our intent to resolve this highly complex issue. Though we may ultimately arrive at different conclusions, at the very least, we need to break the awful silence in our churches surrounding this subject. We really need to talk.

If you have a friend or loved one who is gay, or you are gay yourself, or you are a Christian who is concerned about this issue, please join us in this much needed and long-awaited dialogue.

Religiosity in Asian America: Spiritual Vitality, Secularism, and Racialization

Sat in parts of the Symposium on Religion in Los Angeles, a 2-day event jointly hosted by Cal State University Los Angeles and Claremont School of Theology. Fascinating conversations and presentations that exemplified the growing interest in the sociology of religion, and most of the presentations explored the inter-relationship of religions and ethnicities.

Russell JeungRussell Jeung, Associate Professor of Asian Studies at San Francisco State University, made an insightful presentation titled “Religiosity in Asian America: Spiritual Vitality, Secularism, and Racialization.”

With permission from Russell Jeung, we are grateful for being able to post yesterday’s talk online. Here’s the audio (mp3 – run time = 42:17) and slides from his March 6th presentation about Asian American religious affiliation >>


I thought slides #3 and #4 were most interesting, charting out the religious affiliation of Asian Americans, with respondents identifying as Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, other, none, or refused. These charts are very timely, as the major survey results by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life was just released last week, and has been highlighted in 300+ news articles. Several other conversations at the symposium responded and interacted with these Pew Forum’s extensive survey results. (also, see video overview about the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey)

Russell would very much like to get your feedback and thoughts about this presentation — please add a comment below.