Why is this important?

 

Perhaps we have 2 tendencies:

 

1) We think that Asian American Christians are much further along than we are.

We’ve done well in this country, we’re represented at our countries best schools, best companies, and even in government.  We are talented and have resources at our disposal.  We are committed to Christ.  We have plenty of ministers and seminary professors.

Asian Americans, however, are still only 5.6% of the total US population.  Though are 18+ million of us and counting and though the earliest Asian immigrants came in the 1500s, we as a sizable group are relatively recent.  In 1960, there were less than a million of us, in 1990, just less than 7 million of us.  Though we are the fastest growing group in America, we have not been here that long.  “Asian Americans” and thus, “Asian American Christians” have not been here in enough significant numbers to produce a large body of theology and church resources.

 

2)  Many Asian American Christians do not see the importance of “Asian American Christianity.”

We, as a group, will obviously not have much to say or contribute if we see no need to gather or think about how being “Asian,” “American,” and “Christian affects our lives.  We will not support church resources or academic scholarship to help this.  We will not support ministries that think about ethnicity and culture.

ASIANAMERICANCHRISTIAN.ORG thinks we do ourselves a great disservice in failing to see our importance.

 

How we think of “Asian,” “American,” and “Christian” affects every aspect of our life.

  • Why are Asian Americans not perceived as top leaders?
  • Why do many second generation adults not return to their home church?
  • Why do some of us get uncomfortable when we’re asked our ethnicity?
  • Why do some of us get queasy when it’s pointed out that often our closest friends are primarily Asian, though we go to a multiethnic church?

 

We already intuit and think through these things—but not necessarily as a church.

We think through what it means to be Asian every time someone says, “Hey, that’s so Asian.”
We think through what it means to be American come election day when we’re thinking about whether or not to vote.
We think through what it means to be Christian when we’re shocked by the appalling behavior of another Christian.

 

Sure, it’s not our whole identity, as we are also mothers and sons and firemen and lawyers.  And perhaps it’s not even necessary to think of this  every day, or every year even.  But there likely will be seasons in life where it will be very helpful, like when you’re wondering:

  • why you can’t get ahead in school or work,
  • why mainstream or Christian dating norms don’t seem to work for you,
  • how to raise your kids,
  • how to interact with non-Asian coworkers,
  • how to have deeper fellowship at your multi-ethnic church.

 

We want the church to be equipped, to have this as a category. Without it, we severely limit our potential to grow and witness.
Failing to heed the most physically obvious thing about us keeps us from knowing ourselves, knowing God more, and knowing more of God personally to share with others. Not seeing the validity of the Asian American Christian conversation hurts our discipleship and evangelism.