One very frequently asked question is how does the author define this newly-coined term, “MultiAsian.Church?” What do I really mean by MultiAsian.Church, exactly? Even someone who’s read the entire book still asked this question, though my definition is clearly printed in Chapter 5 of the MultiAsian.Church book, as follows:
Next generation multi-Asian churches are loosely defined as: autonomous English-speaking churches that are intentionally or incidentally reaching next generation Asian Americans and other non-Asians too and led by an Asian American pastor.
As it was written, “MultiAsian.Church” is a fluid and dynamic definition because this term is descriptive, not prescriptive, of a new kind and different category of churches that I as the author believes is worth noticing, and even calling out, for its unique contribution to contextualizing church ministries in the 21st century. And as a soft definition, there may be churches that don’t want to be identified with anything else but being a “biblical church” or a “New Testament church,” whatever they mean by that. There may also be a few churches that want to be identified as a “MultiAsian.Church” but don’t yet have the basic ingredients to be obviously MultiAsian just yet, though we can give them room to grow into it and applaud them for their vision and aspiration to be “MultiAsian” instead of a narrower categorization.
As I reconsider the question, let me try it from another perspective, and this time I’m going to drop the “next generation” portion of the term, and just focus on defining “MultiAsian.Church”—again, this is a fluid, dynamic, and evolving work, so as God and His people do the work of churching in the 21st century, I’ll do what I can to call attention to what we can be paying attention to. Here we go:
What is the definition of a MultiAsian.Church?
a. an ethnic Asian American church that’s reaching multiple generations of Asian Americans, with worship services in both Asian and English languages (e.g. could be a Korean-American church, Chinese-American church, or a Chinese-American church with Vietnamese-language ministries)
b. multi-ethnic church with Asian American pastoral leadership (at least 20%) and Asian Americans in the congregation (at least 20%)
c. multi-ethnic church with Asian Americans in the congregation but no Asian pastoral staff
d. multi-lingual & multi-cultural church with over 20% Asian Americans
e. all of the above
Want to take a guess before I make the big reveal? Go ahead and add a comment with your thoughts for the definition that holds the most meaning to you. This is a collaborative effort and your voice counts when you use it.
I would say the working definition I’m using for MultiAsian.Church is: “e. all of the above.” Not only does this cover all the bases, it shows the overall trajectory of a church’s ministry scope intent on reaching and ministering Asian Americans, who are the fastest-growing racial ethnic group in America that’s projected to double by 2050; that’s in the next 33 years.
This is the question that every church leader should be asking: is the American church ready to serve this huge demographic change among Asian Americans?