When there are online discussions about topics related to what MultiAsian.Church has presented, that is quite noticeable. There are not yet many voices from Asian American pastors and church leaders on the web, the public web, that are discussing very important and urgent issues pertaining to the churches where Asian Americans find belonging.
Encouraging to find 2 recent blog posts from 2 Korean American pastors, Steve Bang Lee and Thomas Hwang, writing their thoughts on 2 pertinent issues regarding Asian American churches and the churches where Asian Americans attend.
Steve blogged, 5 Predictions on the Future Asian American Church, prefacing his remarks with his observations about independent Asian American English-speaking churches —
Over the course of time, I began hearing rumblings of a different church model for AAs in the early/mid 2000’s: The Independent-AA Church (IAAC) model.
IAACes were churches led by english-speaking AAs for an AA demographic, which would not operate as a ministry within an immigrant church, but as its own organizational entity.
These churches anticipated a “spiritual homelessness” emerging AAs would experience. They believed AAs would feel progressively foreign at their parents’ church while still feeling uncomfortable in multi-ethnic contexts. They believed the IAAC model would be home for AAs and their children.
These were my own personal observations as a 2nd generation Korean-American over the course of almost two and a half decades.
… while some Asians may be leaving their Asian church because of faith issues, I find that most of them are simply worshipping in another place: the white megachurch. That’s why if you visit any white megachurch, you’ll often notice a sizable Asian American demographic. And if talk to any of these Asians, chances are that they came from a small Asian church context. They’ll tell you that even though they loved their old church, they got “burnt out” from serving or grew tired of their church’s insular culture. So now they’re attending a megachurch so they can “experience something different.”
Thank you Steve and Tom for blogging. We need many more voices willing to speak up online to advance these critical issues for Asian Americans and churches to better reach this fastest growing racial ethnic group in America.
On a personal note, the author DJ Chuang, has had to more actively manage his health. Things are going well now in 2018, after a challenging year in 2017. You may read more about his 2017 struggles at djchuang.com.
DJ: One of the healthy things I am doing is to limit my discretionary time to only one side project at a time. The current project I’m actively engaging is the Erasing Shame podcast, where we have honest talk about healthy living—relationally, emotionally, mentally, and personally. The summer series had a tighter focus on Erasing Shame about Mental Health in Asian American Communities. Watch, share, and subscribe at ErasingShame.com.