- Reference Points
- Asian American Christians
- Asian Americans
- Christianity in the World
- Christianity in America
- Spectrum of Views
Resources are hard to find: few are made public and many require special access
- Few are made public
Asian American Christian resources such as books, study guides, curriculum, textbooks, audio recordings etc of Asian American Christian titles are hard to find, because only a handful are known publicly. A recent Amazon search of “asian american christian” returned only a handful of books—[and the fifth and sixth have “African American Christian” in their titles]. Most well-known popular Asian American Christian titles were published in the late 1990s to mid-2000s. Since then, technological changes have disrupted how publishers print and publicize titles. Asian American Christian topics also are perceived as irrelevant by many groups—this obviously limits the demand and perceived need of these resources. (see challenge 2).
- Self-published and public resources by ministries are hard to discover
Many ministers self-publish their works and ministries publicly offer resources like recordings, handouts, documents to benefit all. However, it can be difficult to know about these resources!
- Academic works are public, but inconvient to access
Among those titles publicly available are academic works. Most academic works require special access to databases and journals that come with university affiliation. While it is not impossible for a non-university related person to gain access to these titles, the work can often be very difficult to read, requiring a knowledge of theories and contexts. Special access and specialized knowledge is needed. In addition, while there are theses and dissertations etc on Asian American Christians in the Christian academy, most academic titles on Asian American Christians tend to be geared for the secular academy. The two academies do not necessarily dialogue, nor are they always aware or respectful of one another’s resources.
- Private materials
Many ministries have created manuals, handbooks, recordings and trainings for Asian American Christians for use in their own institutions.
Available ones seem dated
Available resources—or resources that have been made public—were generally written in the late 1990s to mid 2000s. They were written primarily for an East Asian American second generation audience, and presumed a lived experience of marginality. Since then, not only has the world faced tremendous technological changes, but between 2000 and 2010, Asian Americans have grown 43.3%! Asian American Christians have changed just as dramatically, as our churches have grown, as our immigration patterns have changed, as we have aged, even as we have changed communities in the United States.
We need to gather pre-existing resources—including those that are self-published, and as permitted by ministries, share helpful institutional manuals.
We need to contextualize these resources. Many resources may not seem to pertain to many Asian American Christians, but they do speak to a particular time and group. When we understand the context, we can then appreciate its contributions, think about its contents as the writer intended, and apply it to our lives accordingly.
We need to create more resources tailored to Asian American Christians today. We need to continue to first understand what God is doing in us, our triumphs and our struggles so we can continue to go deeper and beyond Asian American Christian topics of identity, racism, generational clashes, and theology to meet current and future generations of Asian American Christians.
AsianAmericanChristian.org proposes to gather all these pre-existing works and make them accessible for current and future generations.
We want to mine these works for their wisdom and appreciate their contributions. We want to put them into context, and help us understand their reference points.
In asking what God is doing in us, we hope also to survey Asian American Christians and collect our collective wisdom: helpful resources and sermons, our best ministry and life practices.
In time, we’d like to partner with other ministries to produce relevant resources.
God has been doing a tremendous work among Asian American Christians, and AsianAmericanChristian.org would like to make the most of our blessings, for the sake of his Kingdom.
We’re sharing our thinking behind the 7 challenges that inform our mission. Our mission is to ask what God is doing in us to hear and gather all Asian American Christian voices and build inroads necessary for understanding, reconciliation and fellowship.
AsianAmericanChristian.org is a proposal for a new ministry that offers a framework and a way forward. If you’re wondering where these ideas are coming from, read this. If you’re interested and would perhaps like to join our feedback sessions this Fall, join our mailing list.
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SUMMER AND FALL 2015
Asian American Ministries
Frames of Reference
7 challenges to
Asian American Ministries
Asian American Ministers,
this mainly is for you.
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2015, 2014, 2013