Some assume that Asian American ministries is much more established than we’re at
We have few places to intentionally and regularly meet, gather and share our ministries
We need a place to come together regularly and intentionally
What we propose

 

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Sometimes it is assumed that there is an “Asian American Christianity,” that Asian American ministries is much more established than we actually are. We have few places to intentionally and regularly to meet, gather and share our ministries. We have few places to form partnerships. We lack what some have termed a “third space” to form culture.

Asian American ministries barely overlap (challenge 3) and resources are hard to find (challenge 4). While there have been some conferences and events (for a history, see here), there really are few places to cultivate our ministries.

Some assume that Asian American ministries is much more established than we’re at
Because most Asian Americans did not come to the US until after 1965, our ministries are still relatively new compared to, for example, African American ministries.  In 1950, there were 321,033 of us; today there are 18+ million. While there certainly are Chinese American ministries and Korean American ministries, we have not been here long enough to have significant collective national ministries.

While the African American Church, for example, is well established, and there too must be a well-defined Asian American Church! As African Americans are known for their soulful spirituals and vibrant worship, many wonder what distinctive characteristics the greater Asian American Church has to offer. While some subgroups of Asian American Christians may have their distinctive characteristics (see this one from Paul Tokunaga here and our series “Who are we”), as a whole, we have not interacted enough to form a culture.

Many Asian American Christians struggle to view their ethnicity as pertinent to their faith. (See challenge 2: perceived irrelevance of our ministries.) This perceived irrelevance of Asian American ministries makes it difficult to champion Asian American ministries. If Asian American Christians are not championing Asian American ministries then it is difficult for Asian American ministries to grow and to develop an “Asian American Christianity.”

We have few places to intentionally and regularly meet, gather and share our ministries
Intention is necessary to discuss Asian American Christian topics. While there are occasional conferences, and key leaders interact on Facebook and other social media, not everyone is hears about these conferences, nor is everyone privy to the discussions of these leaders. Without ongoing effort, without key players assigned to the task, such discussions and sharing of resources are not always prioritized. Fruits will be limited alone to the scope of particular ministries.

We need a place to come together regularly and intentionally

All Asian American Christians need to feel welcomed, all need to feel like they can have a say. Some will be interested in coming together much more than others. Nevertheless we need many places (like websites, conferences, ministries) to regularly fellowship and intentionally discuss and share resources particular to Asian American Christians across church, generation, ethnic and class lines.

As our networks are national, as our families are spread out across the United States, we also need centers that will connect us nationally. We need organizations to intentionally seek out those we don’t know, to talk about what is hard and difficult to talk about anywhere else. We also need institutions to keep track of our notes, conversations, resources and trends—so we can all benefit and build upon pre-existing conversations and not have to keep re-pioneering our ministries from scratch. We need places that will help us train and bless future generations 10, 50, 100+ years to come.

AsianAmericanChristian.org hopes to be one such place.

 

What we propose

We want to be a neutral place for all Asian American Evangelicals. We will point one another to Christ, and respect all voices and opinions. We want to be a place that will introduce ministries and people to one another, that will share resources, that will spark conversations and solutions that fit current generations. We want to come alongside all Asian American Christians like Jesus comes alongside us.

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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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