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Advice For An Upcoming Retreat

I’ve been asked to be the speaker for a youth retreat for Atlanta Chinese Church. And as I’m drawing up material and prepping, I’d like to solicit the blogosphere for advice in how to approach young Chinese American Christians. The age range seems to be middle to high school and they tend to be generally affluent and well educated. As a Korean American, I guess I want to make sure I don’t make too many assumptions and am aware of any nuances in the subculture.

Currently, my direction of talks are fairly “big picture” of the Christian life, but would like to know how to approach issues of ethnicity and hopefully challenge the “idols” of the Chinese culture, if they are different from the ones I know from the Korean culture, I’d love to know.

So, any advice will be appreciated. And I’ll let you know how it goes! The retreat dates are Dec. 31-Jan.3, and I have a total of six sessions to do, which I will be surprised if I don’t lose my voice by the end, I will be very surprised! Thanks in advance~


About David Park

Christian 2nd-generation Korean American; Atlanta Georgia; more details to come.

4 responses to “Advice For An Upcoming Retreat

  1. Josh

    well…to start (and I’m speaking as a recent college grad and not a MS/HS student), I’d say we don’t know who we are…we’re pulled between two worlds. You already know that, but I just feel like the uncertainty that we as AA kids have contributes to our uncertainty in life and faith later in life. sometimes I wonder if that’s not the reason that so many AAs leave church after college.

    As far as challenging idols, I’ve learned over the past year and a half of dating Holly (she’s white) that I’ve been lacking in grace. My upbringing has not taught me well how to care and love for somebody in a deep, penetrating way. I see, at Chinese church, adults who still impose upon the children a performance-based appraisal system, only giving them credit when they’ve performed up to their ever-rising bar, but until then pushing them to do better and better (until they quit in frustration…but they never do; they just suck it up). If I had to speak to AA kids, I would tell them that they are free in Christ, to strive for excellence but also not beat themselves up when they don’t perform perfectly.

    that’s all…if I think of more I’ll let ya know. Best of luck on the talk!

  2. josh, thank you so much for sharing!

    i’m planning on spending some time on identity and that tension of how God sees us and loves us, perhaps more than we love ourselves, and how we see God. i’ll let you know how it goes, but thanks so much, i need all the help i can get.

  3. Oliver

    As one who has been to numerous retreats (and even spoken at several), the number one principle in giving talks is this. After one year, practically nobody will remember what you talked about. Even I don’t remember what I talked about a year later.

    On a practical level, this means to discern the kids on where they are at while you’re there. And then rely on the Holy Spirit to lead you to speak to their heart and situation. This might even mean changing what you had planned to talk about.

    A year later, they might not remember what you said, but they will remember how their hearts were touched.

    Hey, we’ll need to get together for breakfast or lunch again sometime! Perhaps sometime after the retreat? Send me an email if you’re free for it.

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