Category Archives: leaders

lessons learned on developing leaders

Pastor Bob Roberts shared these amazing insights about what he’s learned in developing leaders:

  1. You live the life and do the stuff you talk about.
  2. You teach first from what you’ve experienced.
  3. They have to be around you in your context.
  4. You have to hold people accountable.
  5. You give them bite-size things and watch them.
  6. Watch what’s unique about them and help them discover their own uniqueness.
  7. You have to let them see you for who you really are–your good and bad.

Read the full blog post for how all of this plays out.

Dr. Bob Roberts, Jr., founding pastor of NorthWood Church, a fast-growing church near Dallas/Ft Worth, TX, is a leading practitioner and writer on glocal—local and global—transformation of individuals, churches, communities and nations. Roberts’ unique principles have transformed the people and ministry at NorthWood and its 80 (and counting) church plants and impacted “adopted” nations throughout the world. He is the founder of GlocalNet, a network of like-minded leaders who are advancing a glocal church multiplication movement that connects the body of Christ worldwide. He has also authored 2 books, Glocalization: How Followers of Jesus Engage a Flat World and Transformation: How Glocal Churches Transform Lives and the World.

intentionally raising up the next generation

[I haven’t yet figured out how to blog by cell phone, so this is being posted in retrospect]

[Was] Here at a camp site call Trinity Pines near Houston. I was honored and privileged to be invited to present a workshop on being a witness to culture at this tri-ennial RENDER conference.

This event is specifically designed to help young adults explore and discern their calling to vocational ministry. There are 32 in attendance, with 12 mentors. This is a very healthy and helpful ratio, and fits with the feedback we’ve heard time and time again from next generation Asians, that they would like to have role models and mentors. I know of no other event like this anywhere for next gen Asian Americans. Most if not all are from Texas (mostly Dallas, Houston, Austin).

Very grateful to be here on behalf of L2 Foundation. I’ll post my presentation along with the recorded audio here later this week.

[update] Listen to the Render keynotes and panel discussions online. The 2 forums and Q&A session are particularly insightful.

where can second generation leaders go

Eugene Hor is a member of the CCCOWE English Task Force, and has served as an English pastor for the last 9 years at Burwood Chinese Presbyterian Church in Sydney, Australia, an intergenerational Chinese Church.

Eugene recently stopped by here and left a detailed comment about his observations as an advocate of English ministry within the Chinese church, and describes the challenges of ministering in that context. This is an excerpt of a lengthy discourse:

Why does the Chinese church continue to lament the loss of their English pastors when they keep driving them out? We don’t need understanding, we need real change if the Chinese church is to keep it’s English pastors. The bottom line as I see it, is that if the Chinese church and its leadership think they can better run and grow English ministry than their English pastor, then let them do it. If not, they should empower and free their English pastors to do what God has called them to do in a way that will best reach and grow the second generation.

Read the entire comment to get the full context, which is also posted at his blog as The Second Generation Leadership Diaspora.

legacy of Johnathan Sim

L2 Foundation has a vision to develop leadership & legacy for Asian Americans. Legacy simply means leaving something behind. To read of this man’s legacy was particularly touching, because it came as a shocking surprise to so many. I had an opportunity to meet with Johnathan Sim several years ago in New York City, and he was doing some really good things for World Vision. Then I heard 2nd hand that he suddenly passed away with no warning signs.

This Seattle Times’ article, Legacies of love and learning, speaks of a Korean/Asian American’s legacy. This poignant excerpt from “Daddy’s Letter” video of Johnathan Sim gives us a look at his legacy [hat tip: Eugene Cho] ::

This is an excerpt from the “Daddy’s Letter” video to his young son, Nathan, now 5, that Johnathan Sim made in May of 2002. Johnathan Sim died of a stroke on July 25, 2005. He was 33 ::

Soon, work will begin on another of Sim’s legacies.

In the small, isolated village of Twachiyanda, Zambia — 9,700 miles from Seattle — the building supplies have been delivered, and work to build the town’s first school is scheduled to be finished in August. It will house 430 children in the elementary grades, many of them orphaned because their parents have died of AIDS.

The school will be named the Johnathan Sim Legacy School, honoring the staffer for World Vision, the Christian relief agency based in Federal Way that sends help to more than 100 countries. Some $110,000 was raised in donations in Sim’s memory to build the school and buy school supplies.

… At that time, Nathan was 7 months old, and Natalie not even born. Sim decided to leave a recorded message for his young son.

“… life is unpredictable, and anything can and does happen, and just in case, I wanted to leave a message for you,” Sim began the video.

He would go on to tell his son:

” … I have a lot of dreams for you … study hard … be a leader, not a follower … ”

Asian American leadership styles

This article about leadership styles and characteristics was published by Harvard Business School, Asian and American Leadership Styles: How Are They Unique? It compares and contrasts leadership reproduction and succession in various cultural contexts in the corporate business world, which also has implications for the Asian American church:

To a significant degree, large American firms are at a later stage of development than many Asian firms—they have passed from founders’ family leadership to professional management and to capital obtained from the capital markets (rather than obtained from government—directly or indirectly—or from family fortunes). … It is possible, but not certain, that Asian firms will follow this evolutionary path.

Later in the article, it lists 9 key qualities of a successful leader:

  1. Passion
  2. Decisiveness
  3. Conviction
  4. Integrity
  5. Adaptability
  6. Emotional Toughness
  7. Emotional Resonance
  8. Self-Knowledge
  9. Humility

What does this mean for next generation Asian American church leaders? How can we better grow leaders? reproduce leaders? mentor leaders? Is there a difference in developing an Asian leader who can lead Asian Americans vs. an Asian leader who can lead a multiethnic group of Anglo Americans, African Americans, Latino Americans, and Asian Americans as well?

Supporting Second Generation Church Leaders

Originally published in The Gospel Herald, February 11, 2006:
[via booyah81]

Understanding & Mentorship to Support Second Generation Church Leaders
by Eunice Or

While many Chinese churches in the United States celebrate the tremendous growth over the last few decades, uniting the first and second generation ministers has become a common concern.

In the latest issue of the magazine published by the prominent mission organization Gospel Operation International for Chinese Christian (Go Intl), Director of the U.S.A. office Rev. Jeffery Lee has discussed the issue in his article “Ministering with English-speaking Ministers.”

Many Chinese churches are experiencing an exodus of English-speaking second generation, Lee sharply pointed out the crisis. He explained that many Chinese churches have neglected the need of the second generation. While the dominantly Chinese-speaking churches built by the first generation immigrants are lack of the resources to provide pastoral care for the second generation, they appear reluctant to spend money on the ministry.

The lost of the English-speaking second generation directly results in the shortage of second generation church ministers- the young talented ones needed by Chinese churches to nurture the native generations to come.

Even among the very few second generation church ministers, they have encountered many obstacles while co-working with the first generation Oversea Born Chinese (OCB) leaders because of the differences in culture, Lee said.

One of the very obvious problems in the Chinese churches is that first generation Chinese tend to have their expectation for the second generation leaders, which could be very different from that of the church.

For instance, many Chinese parents overemphasize on academic achievements but neglect spiritual growth of their children. More than considering the second generation minister as someone who takes care of children and help spiritual formation, parents even expect the second generation ministers to teach their children to become obedience to them and excel in school. While the second generation ministers are supposed to be a role model for the children, parents do not encourage their children to learn from the ministers in terms of serving the church.

Furthermore, first generation church leaders tend to have unreasonablely high expectation for the second generation ministers. Due to language barrier, the first generation church leaders cannot communicate well with them to point out their problems and give guidance. Church members also do not respect the young leaders very well.

Lee suggested that understanding of other church members and mentorship by the senior first generation church leaders are the two important keys to resolve conflicts.

Parents should be able to appreciate the heart of serving of these young second generation ministers, teaching their children to learn to love God from the role model, Lee said. First generation church leaders must understand that the second generation ministers grow up in a very different culture. and try to adapt to their ways of doing things. They must also embrace the insufficiencies of the young ministers.

Lee explained how mentorship is important to support second generation ministers. First generation church leaders and members must take imitative to show concern to them. Building up a close mentorship network enhances communication so that they can understand each other better and to avoid conflicts. Young ministers can also receive guidance and advices.

“Chinese churches with dominantly first generation immigrants should become humble and support the second generations to serve God. By fulfilling God’s will, we glorify God and benefit many people on this world. The number of second generations that are willing to dedicate in serving is very few, so they are very precious. We must encourage them, understand them with patience, so that they can keep their heart firm to love God and serve God,” Lee concluded.

Asian American churches face leadership gap

This weekend, Los Angeles Times featured this article, Asian American churches face leadership gap: Pastors aren’t being prepared to handle congregational conflicts over cultural and generational issues, experts say. [registration required, ht: JoseonIllin, also mirrored at the ISAAC blog and asianamericanartistry and Step by Step and]

A few article excerpts to highlight notable references with hyperlinks added:

A 2005 Duke Divinity School study, “Asian American Religious Leadership Today,” said the “most acute tensions” in Asian American churches revolved around two issues:

  • Continual clashes between the generations over cultural differences in the styles and philosophies of church leadership and control.
  • Young pastors’ view that immigrant churches are “dysfunctional and hypocritical religious institutions” that demonstrate a “negative expression” of Christian spirituality for the second generation.

… only 15% of Asian American seminarians attend seminaries affiliated with mainline denominations. The overwhelming majority — 80% — choose evangelical institutions.

Serving the complex Asian American Christian communities today requires “crossing boundaries between East and West, immigrant and native-born, and between various ethnic communities,” said the Rev. Tim Tseng, president of the Institute for the Study of Asian American Christianity.