Category Archives: event

The Dragon Awakes at San Diego Asian American Leadership Conference

On April 4-5, 2008, a group of San Diego pastors and ministry leaders (mostly from the area’s InterVarsity chapters) hosted the San Diego Asian American Leadership Conference. What stood out about this conference for me was the level of creativity, contextualization, and going above-and-beyond to serve the attendees (and to bring glory to God). For instance, Saturday’s buffet dinner had not only a wide range of pan-Asian cuisines but the dining room was decked out in beautiful candle-lit decor and ambiance! This really raises the bar for Asian American conferences!

L2 Foundation’s contributing writer, Cindy Hong, wrote up this excellent report about what happened there. This is an excerpt from “The Dragon Awakes”:

“Hoping to Awaken the Sleeping Dragon.” Such was the desire of the planning team in the conference brochure welcome message. For a generation that thinks, lives, and is inspired by metaphors, the image of a sleeping dragon waking up aptly describes the 2008 Asian American Leadership Conference. With 200-plus in attendance, the energy and excitement matched the fire of a roaring dragon: Asian Americans living kingdom-minded lives, making a difference for Jesus Christ, knowing that God has called and positioned them to change the world.

Read the full article online (in PDF format).

The audios from the plenary sessions are online for free listening and download, including talks from Dave Gibbons, Peter Cha, and Ken Fong. Also see the photo gallery.

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

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.

Q notes

There’s a handful of other great notes from the Q in Atlanta, for those who need a reminder (I sure do, tons of top-notch ideas) and those who couldn’t quite get there. Registration for the next Q opens Tuesday, August 14th, 2007. Stay tuned over at or at the new Fermi Blog. [update] Plus, keep experiencing Q all year round by subscribing to Fermi Words.

DJ Chuang @ L2 Foundation Blog (here)::

Duncan McFadzean @

SBC Outpost has 9 extended notes, generating over 70+ comments on his post on homosexuality and the church panel discussion

Q day 3 last session

James Emery White (President, Gordon-Conwell Seminary) @ 10:06am

we live in serious times.. one of most intruging observations about history.. by Christoper Dawson.. there are 6 identifiable ages of the Christian church, each lasting 3 to 4 centuries, resulting with a similar demise.. each ended in crisis..

we live in a transition, a 7th one.. unique openness to spirituality.. the medieval was wide open to arts and spirituality.. then shifted into enlightenment, rationalism, scientism.. and now it’s a strong swing back to arts and spiritual..

e.g. metrosexual.. redefining masculinity.. think of the possibility of being metrospiritual.. how do you speak into this world? highly recommended Richard Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture, classic book

1. Christ against culture.. if it’s of the world, it’s bad..

2. Christ of culture.. an agreement between culture and church..

3. Christ the transformer of culture.. conversionist solution.. yes, man and culture are fallen.. Christ becomes the converter of humanity.. the goal is to work thru and with culture.. use its own mediums and tools to confront and change it.. the transformation of culture by being transformers ourselves..

we’re used to a Acts 2 model that proclaims the Gospel, used to talk to the Jews of Jerusalem.. but we’re more in an Acts 17 context.. the most cultural engagement is evangelism, but we have to go further.. there’s also a cultural commission.. to engage government, entertainment, arts, etc.. the real Christians are always revolutionaries.. they’re always dangerous, in the best sense of the world.. (refers to his book Revolutionary Times..)

we’ve got to deepen our minds.. form a Biblical worldview, and to know how to think Christialy..

we’ve got to form our souls.. to have something to offer the world..

answering our vocational calls.. following God on the redemptive call..

e.g. Michael Haynes, who was mentoring Martin Luther King Jr.. any real change had to go through leadership.. a generation of leaders.. 12th Street Baptist Church.. one of the leading urban training centers..

Gabe Lyons and Q team explored how to best move this conversation forward and helping it spread.. helping with next steps.. providing subscription to Fermi Short, monthly 15-page essays to have meaningful conversations around..

Clint Kemp | Expressions of the Gospel & Sunsets @ 10:24am

video about bringing beauty to an old park with cleaning up and art installations.. trash turned into treasure.. beauty point to truth, truth point to God..

this project has turned into collaboration with local government.. our culture is young, our country is small.. this is our investment in the culture, and bringing out the beauty of who we are.. as part of the Gospel..

Gabe: you didn’t set out to influence culture strategically.. so how did you get to doing this?

Clint: had a transformative experience.. realized my faith was mostly intellectual.. “we usually don’t wake people up this late at night”.. became more aware of the experience of God all around.. it was crazy.. beauty and justice just started to rise up.. a mysterious journey for our church..

Gabe: this art installation at your church, with 5 big boulders.. what is it?

Clint: it’s a living memorial to values we hold dear.. 30 ton boulders that can’t be moved.. first was grace stone.. red was commitment to aid.. green stone was covered with sea trash.. one covered with copper for economic justice.. one for social justice.. the idea is it’s a prayer walk..

just down the street was a beach totally degraded by hurricanes.. this is where you begin to lose people with the church.. this is where good people around me were better translators than me.. others from community joined in.. struggle with people to get buy-in..

church has a role to shape environmental perspectives.. social policies.. we’re starting to be a voice there.. faith-based stewardship program to get children involved.. partnering with those folks is perceived as weird.. Bahamas is years behind in terms of environmental issues than the US..

being on sabbatical, I’ve had more time to think about being salt & light… I’m starting to feel that [more and more]…

Gabe: he’s on an island, so it’s a lot easier to measure success.. so it’s easier to see how the culture is getting better there.. how would you encourage others trying to do something for/in culture?

Clint: this has to go back to your own heart.. the mystery of faith.. all that God is creating.. think -> “What does it mean to wake up?” [in contrast to] waking up to integration, and get a strategy, and implement it..

4 pieces: awareness.. reflection.. conversation.. integration.. that spiritual flow is happening to us all the time.. this reflection piece is the toughest challenge.. ‘be still and know I am God”…

Rick McKinley | divine imagination @ 10:44am

what could this experience look like in your context.. we get fired up when we hear those stories.. when we look back, we wonder, why don’t we have those kinds of stories going on in our congregation.. we have the opportunity to cultivate those.. discipleship that totally transforms people.. so much that they’re willing to give it up for a big dream.. whether prison or kids who need shoes..

4 ingredients of divine imagination

(1) strong leadership.. you don’t have to be a creative leader.. you have to be a defending leader.. defending the space so people can create.. space for God to say “what if”.. he died on the cross, you lost a job — [big difference].. we live

we live in this age of celebrity pastors.. how about being the pastor of the guy who invented Toms Shoes.. take the back seat, and celebrate what God does through others.. create space

(2) deeply transformed disciples.. quit talking about church.. start talking movement.. who in my congregation that has been so transformed by the Gospel, and talk to them about giving it all up and going on this crazy journey.. we can grow big churches of undiscipled people, but you won’t transform culture..

Jesus didn’t say I needed 30,000 people before I get this thing going.. needing critical mass.. before I go to the cross… think of China, how did the church explode?

how to do make deeply transformed disciples.. read the Gospels… listen to the sounds, smell the smells.. start to imagine again.. listen to this Rabbi who can transform us… pastors who are concerned with making those types of people..

(3) imagining what God could do.. most of the time we find those people, we think about what they can do for us.. there’s only so many ways to reimagine Sunday morning.. how do we collaborate and dream together of what that could look like..

if you start looking at the needs, you can get overwhelmed.. Jesus, you have to be the CEO of the world transformation game.. so, how can we dream together.. what would the Kingdom of God look like, if lived through them.. where would God use them in the city? dream and conspire.. there’s no manual, no book..

(4) find other pastors who you can conspire with.. “I hate Christmas as a pastor”.. what we do at Christmas is we consume everything.. how could we help people to live out prophetically against this.. how do we give a relational gift, the way God did in Jesus.. we didn’t have an hour Jesus and then go back to shopping.. we unleashed people to make Christmas really about Jesus..

what if churches came together to solve the water problem in the world.. Advent conspiracy.. it’s just a small picture of how Jesus came into the world and gives himself away.. when church does that, and act like new life is flowing through us.. then people will be ready to hear about Jesus..

Q day 2 afternoon session

Michael Lindsay | a new kind of leader

author of Faith in the Halls of Power: How Evangelicals Joined the American Elite [sorry, missed this session b/c I was having a great lunch discussion with Bethany Hoang from IJM along with her husband Anthony]

Susan Grant (CNN) | media @ 1:22pm

re: interactive features about the Virginia Tech tragedy — we posted online what people saw.. iReport.. our version of citizen journalism..

re: tension between church and media, feeling unfair portrayal or over-negativity — yes, we’re a business, but what does that mean? we’re not a retail business.. we’re not selling a point of view.. [we do our best to stay on] the focus on the fact, tell the story, the human element, is it relevant.. being online, the viewer/ reader gets to pick, and select.. on the air, CNN decides..

re: future — you might consume news in front of a big screen TV.. or you might get news via mobile device.. you have a choice, we’re taking the position of neutrality, to get you the news any way you want.. CNN is one of the first to go 24 hours, go online with website, added multilingual.. not only one thought process.. conversations at work are highly debated.. creative tension.. we don’t always agree.. we do a lot of second-guessing..

re: we have bloggers in the audience, how do you frame your relationship with them — in the business world, competitors can be competitors.. can be who we work with.. competitors can be our friends.. more points of view.. more ways to get to the fact.. that is a better world.. part of our responsibility..

re: how Ted Turner created the CNN culture — culture started as very entrepreneural.. he’s a fascinating complex person.. least likely person to create a whole revolution in news.. now we’re 27 years old.. we’ve had to become more formal, disciplined, structured..

re: a sensational news item like Anna Nicole Smith — instant data is online.. we do have more reach with CNN than any other competitor.. but another competitor might have more stickness.. it’s about choices.. we do want to be fast [with news delivery].. if people want certain kind of news, we want to deliver it.. in the linear world of television, it plays out linear over time.. but online, people can select only what they want to see.. so I don’t have to ever click on a Britney article, for example..

re: how to have a great role in media — we look at 24 hours as 24 hours.. every day we have 24 hours of news to tell the world about.. what is important.. who should we put on air as contributors.. every show has a producer who is responsible for their hour.. we want a diversity of thought, diversity of point of view.. we’re not married to a few contributors.. we do want people who the audience wants to tune in to see..

we’re not a soapbox.. we do have an editorial standard.. our point of view is to cover the things that are happening in the world, that we think are reaching a broad range of people.. as journalists, our role is to ask questions, not to question you, but to take the point of the view of the audience, and what they’d want to ask.. to clarify.. to understand..

Jon Passavant | model home project – interview with Gabe Lyons

Model Home Project brought a group of models, mostly non-Christians, to build homes for Katrina victims.. learned so much serving with these models.. modeling can be a very insular inward-looking industry.. a number of them (those who worked on the project) began to find hope.. one model said, “this has been the most meaningful thing I’ve ever done”..

Q: what was the role of the local church, when you went through this process? A: it’s been a dark 5 year process.. I can say that this is a success story of how the church got behind someone.. I wrestled with being a pastor, and when that didn’t happen, I felt lost.. the church came along side to validate, to affirm.. it freed me to be there for the people [in the modeling industry].. to build relationships and trust.. start with what they know.. start with what they have.. and when the task is accomplished, they will say we have done it ourselves.. that indicates ownership..

Q: if you could say something to churches, what could church do to better support

A: God implants calling.. I’d cried out in the church for affirmation.. as church leaders, if you want to affect culture, you have lots of people in your church who will do it.. they’re going to do it with or without your support, because they’re called.. support the people already in front of us (you)..