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:
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:
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%).
… 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.