Category Archives: church

Talks on Asian American Religiosity and Christianity

Just got word of this lecture series from Russell Jeung, Associate Professor of Asian Studies at San Francisco State University. Via the Yahoo Group for Asian American Christians for Justice::

Hi all:

If you’re in Los Angeles, I’m speaking at CSU LA and at Bread of Life Church in Torrance this week. You’re welcome to come.

CSU LA is hosting a symposium, “Religion in Los Angeles, in the Americas, in the Era of Globalization” on Thursday 3/6. I’ll present a paper on the latest poll data on Asian American religious affiliation and changes in the last two decades.

Bread of Life is hosting me to present a series, “Asian Americans in the Lions’ Den: A Study of Daniel” in which I compare the Jews in exile to Asian American Christians. The series discusses how being Asian American relates to our faith. The titles are:

Fri 3/7 @ 7:30pm: “Exam of Death: Daniel 2 and Asian American Values of Wisdom, Community and Humility
Sat 3/8 @ 9:00am: “Saving Face and Asian American Achievement: Daniel 4 and 5”
Sun 3/9 @ 9:00am: “Confessions of a Boba-Bobo: Daniel 1, Asian Americans and Culinary Resolve”
Sun 3/9 @ 11:15am: “Resident Aliens: Asian Americans in Bobo-land Daniel 3 and 6”

I’d be happy to share the paper or the talks if you’re interested.

Peace,
Russell Jeung

[update 3/6] times for talks at Bread of Life added – hope to see you there!

[update 3/7] view and hear Russell Jeung’s presentation here >>

The Next Generation of Asian Americans Reaches Out

In the Jan/Feb 2008 issue of REV Magazine, DJ Chuang wrote a brief snapshot of 5 innovative churches being led by next generation Asian American pastors in this article titled, “The Next Generation of Asian Americans Reaches Out: Taking the best of both worlds from their Asian family heritage and their American surroundings, innovative Asian-American pastors are shaping multi-Asian and multi-ethnic churches.” The article can be viewed online or you can download PDF. The article is reprinted here by permission, Rev! Magazine, Copyright 2008, Group Publishing, Inc., Box 481, Loveland, CO 80539.

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The article featured these 5 innovative churches:

reaching 2nd generation Vietnamese Americans

Great time sharing with about 180 Vietnamese pastors, wives, and women leaders at this Vietnamese C&MA pastors conference. They pull this together every other year. Good question and answer discussions, we all have the same heart, desiring to see the 2nd generation reached with the Gospel. Here’s the Powerpoint slides I spoke from, with Vietnamese subtitles:

Download the Powerpoint slides: Second Generation Churches in America.

Download or listen to audio in English with Vietnamese translation (mp3).

Upcoming conferences:

Other helpful resources:

7 suggestions for English ministry in ethnic churches

Pastor Joshua Kang of Lakeview Church (Chicago) presented 7 suggestions for a fruitful English ministry in a workshop to Korean pastors at the Evangelical Covenant denomination‘s Midwinter conference. Here are his 7 suggestions:

  1. View English Ministry as a church-plant in the mission field, rather than considering it as just another department within the first generation church.
  2. Treat the 2nd generations with the expectation that God will use them greatly in the future, rather than looking down on them for their present immaturity.
  3. Invite a full-time pastor for the EM, and invest in his/her growth as a leader/pastor first before expecting immediate growth of the EM.
  4. Create an ideal situation for the growth of EM, while challenging them to grow in their sense of ownership and responsibilities.
  5. Put spiritual goals before cultural goals.
  6. Allow EM to establish their own ministry goals and strategies, and encourage them to grow toward independence.
  7. Launch EM as an independent church in due time, and have both churches commit to the vision of planting more churches.

You may read his entire workshop notes in Korean – view on-screen or download PDF (Korean font needed). Posted with permission.

70% of high schoolers quit church

Some leaders in ethnic Asian American churches have voiced concern over the attrition rate of 2nd generation Asian Americans; there’s this sense that a large percentage of active youth group members stop going to church during their college years. This perspective of what’s happening among their counterparts in mainstream America may be informative. Leadership Journal (Fall 2007) cited in their article, Why Many Young Adults Quit:
One in four young Protestants has walked away from the church
, the following survey results::

Lifeway Research (Southern Baptist) says they know the reasons why 70 percent of 18-year-olds who attended church regularly in high school quit by age 23: they don’t like it. And by age 30, 34 percent still have not rebounded. That means one in four young Protestants has left the church.

On their laundry list of reasons: they wanted a break (27%), church is too judgmental (26%), they moved away to college (25%), busy with work (23%).

On the positive side, the 30 percent who kept attending church cited solid spiritual reasons, including: “it’s vital to my relationship with God” (65%) and church “helps guide my everyday decisions” (58%).

Read the full Leadership Journal article for context and commentary. A more detailed summary of these survey results can be found at, LifeWay Research Uncovers Reasons 18 to 22 Year Olds Drop Out of Church. (In April and May 2007, LifeWay Research had conducted a survey of over 1,000 adults ages 18-30. Each indicated that they had attended a Protestant church regularly for at least a year in high school.)

North America’s Oldest Asian Church

The PANA Institute at the Pacific School of Religion hosted an exhibit about the Oldest Asian Church in North America, the Presbyterian Church in Chinatown (San Francisco) —

Founded a century and a half ago, the Presbyterian Church in Chinatown is the oldest Asian American Christian congregation in North America. Designated a “foreign mission” by the Presbyterian denomination, the church opened its doors on November 6, 1853 with four members under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. William Speer. It was not until 1925 that jurisdiction of the church was transferred from the Board of Foreign Missions to the Board of National Missions. After changing its name from the Presbyterian Chinese Mission Church, the congregation continued to be known as the Chinese Presbyterian Church until 1958, when the current name emphasizing the church’s recognition of its social context and its commitment to the San Francisco Chinatown community was adopted by its members.

From 1853 to 2003: One Hundred Fifty Years of Witness and Community is an exhibit of old and new photographs that depict life at the Presbyterian Church in Chinatown (San Francisco, CA) over the past fifteen decades. It celebrates the role played by this institution in gathering together a community, giving its life shared meaning, and enabling it to be of service to the world. One component of the larger Historical Documentation (HDoc) Project at the Presbyterian Church in Chinatown, the exhibit serves as the public education element of HDoc and comprises some seventy images chosen from among over two thousand in the archives assembled by the project.

The exhibit was on display at the church and at the Bade museum at the Pacific School of Religion in 2004.

A Heart for Canadian Koreans

This excerpt from the NAMB article, A Heart for Canadian Koreans, describes new Korean churches being planted in Canada::


… Baptists in Canada are being encouraged by visionary missions leaders. Pastor Ben Choi, a Korean pastor in Victoria, British Columbia, is one such leader.

No one can deny God’s call in his life. Upon graduating with a doctorate in Business Administration in 1994, Choi became a professor at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. Shortly thereafter, another pastor and Pastor Choi combined their efforts to start All Nations Baptist Church in Montreal. When that other pastor moved to Victoria to work among a First Nation people group, Pastor Choi enrolled at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Upon graduating, Choi answered the call to return to Canada to pastor the Victoria Korean Baptist Church.

“I first said no because my vision was to plant churches,” Choi commented. “After several weeks of prayer, I agreed with a new vision: to pastor a church which plants churches.”

Choi is leading his church to plant 100 new churches and baptize 10,000 souls. Choi led his church to partner with the North American Mission Board and the Canadian Convention of Southern Baptists.

In addition to being a visionary leader with a clear call, Choi has remained faithful to his missions calling:

  • Every Sunday, eight young adult members of VKBC help a Tsawout people group church in their children’s ministry.
  • In August, 2007, a new church plant was launched in Victoria.
  • VKBC is partnering with other Korean churches to start a new Korean church plant located east of Vancouver.
  • VKBC is also working with Korean ministers to equip other people group leaders for God’s ministry.
  • Choi was the first Korean pastor to excitedly say yes when invited to participate in the Vision Tour Toronto.

And meanwhile, the Victoria church is growing. The average attendance has grown from 50 to 100 Canadian Koreans since he arrived two years ago.

Praise the Lord for raising up called-out visionary missions leaders like Ben Choi in answer to the prayers of His saints. To God be the glory that He is encouraging and refreshing the Canadian Baptists to continue the work to which He is calling them.