This was originally sent to my friends via email and post.
proposal that went with it
January 1, 2014
Happy New Year to you! I hope you had a marvelous Christmas! Thanks to so many of you, 2013 was an awesome year!
SO WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR?
I did a scary thing: I started ASIANAMERICANCHRISTIAN.ORG
Personally, it’s a nervy thing to do. My ministry has never been exclusively to Asian Americans, I’m an unknown (and I prefer it that way), I’ve never been that kind of leader, I’m the wrong gender and Asian American topics hit “home” in uncomfortable and awkward ways. But God called me and kept confirming my call.
Workwise, it’s the hardest thing I’ve done. There’s a reason why there’s no umbrella group of Asian Americans. Not only was there no pattern to follow, but our issues are notoriously complex. Asian American Christians come with different assumptions, viewpoints and goals. Thinking of all this often left my mind spinning.
Personally and workwise, it’s not the coolest thing to do. I know that many Asian American Christians think this is irrelevant, and I’m not unaware that my standing in some circles has dropped because I’ve taken up this cause.
Asian American ministries, however, does not deserve its uncool rep. Its topics affect every area of our lives: how we think, how we relate to one another, how we behave. Ethnic ministries widen the door to grow us and the rest of the church. When we really engage with culture (ethnic, American and Christian) in our various contexts—it can keep us and the rest of the church from being hypocrites. Nothing is more relevant to evangelism and discipleship. Nothing helps us live out the Gospel in every area of our lives.
But what a privilege of a year!
I feel like I’ve waited many years for fruit, and I am starting to see glimmers of it . I’ve personally dealt with the difficult questions that engage culture, race and ethnicity raise, and the Gospel has become more alive to me. It’s also been an amazing privilege to see and meet so many faithful, faithful Asian American Christians.
Though we may not be in touch as often as I’d like—I remember you and your families.
I remember your insights, your hearts and your stories. They inspired me, they broke my heart, they challenged me, and were very much part of my thinking this past year. I folded your lives into my work. My prayer is that in due course this will serve you, Asian and otherwise.
I hope this finds you well. Thanks for reading, for being in my life. Do stay in touch.
Much, much love in Christ,
WHAT IS ASIANAMERICANCHRISTIAN.ORG?
It’s a proposal for a new ministry that brings together all Asian Americans Christians. It was conceived to respond to seven challenges we see among us. We hope to be an umbrella group that addresses these challenges.
WHERE IS THIS COMING FROM?
You know the Gandhi quote: “Be the change you wish to see…” This is my way of doing just that.
I think God has a lot more for us. We barely tap into the riches of the Gospel, the new life God has for us.
We murmur instead:
Are my parents really Christian?
It’s so weird, there are so many Asian Americans at our church, but hardly any Asian American pastors.
I know he’s full of it, but he’s an elder. We can’t tell him what we really think.
My home church is so messed up! I’m never going back there.
Murmurings like these stem from the seven challenges ASIANAMERICANCHRISTIAN.ORG desires to address.
Our churches don’t know how to talk about the very things that affect every behavior, thought and relationship: culture, ethnicity and race.
These are collective problems that go beyond an individual, a church, a single generation. We need to come together to address them.
I think God is doing something wonderful among Asian American Christians, and I want to help that emerge even more.