FYI: NGAC Blog Has Moved

Hopefully you don’t have to change anything, but if you weren’t aware, the Next GenerAsian Church blog has now moved to its own domain, http://nextgenerasianchurch.com.

This will be transferred into something far less interesting, but the old posts of NG.AC will be here for a little while before I feel like overhauling this blog.

Thanks for following. Enjoy.

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ng.ac Tokback Thursday Jan. 14!

Alrighty, we’ve taken a break for the holidays and a couple Thursdays for good measure, so we’ll be back in the saddle with a couple of things to talk about on the docket.

First, I’m dying to hear a recap of Urbana, especially with DJ Chuang and ElderJ finally meeting face to face. Also, I really want to hear about the “Asian American” worship that led to the great discussion going on over at Joel Tang’s blog.

And although that might take up most of the time, for the upcoming Verge Conference (I’m very excited to attend btw), a question came to mind that I would love to hear your thoughts on. In Soong Chan Rah’s book, The Next Evangelicalism, he makes the point that immigrant churches offer a holistic missional approach (albeit to their own ethnic enclaves) that churches from the dominant majority can really learn from. So do you think that immigrant churches, your church can be classified as missional? Or do you feel like the have lessons to offer the missional church?

I don’t know if we’re going to get to all the questions, but I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of laughter, awkward muted silences, and eerie computer monitor light. The Tokback begins at the usual hour of 10pm EST / 7pm PST this Thursday night at DJ’s place, http://www.djchuang.com/tokbox. Put the kiddies down and get those webcams up as there’s no software or registration required. Spread the word and see you then!

The Re-Set.


We’ve been keeping it pretty quiet here at the Next Generasian Church, just doing a couple Tokboxes on Thursday nights, and we’ll keep it light for a couple more weeks when we get our stuff together for a RESET on the whole blog/site/approach.

Over the few years that NG.AC has been around, a lot of new and fresh voices have helped pushed the discussion forward: Eugene Cho, Bruce Reyes-Chow, Charles Lee and Soong-Chan Rah and many, many others have made Asian Americans visible in church leadership not only in the blogosphere, but leading in many areas of philanthropy, activism and advocacy. And for them, we are inspired and grateful.

With the recent episodes of the Deadly Vipers incident and calling out Francis Chan, it seems that this blog has taken on somewhat of a more critical, separatist reputation, which is, as many commenters have noted, not very Christian and not very helpful. So, we’re preparing this blog for a “Reset.”

Basically, what this entails is an overhaul of the blog’s format and look, contributors, and approach. Without saying too much, we hope to do a lot more sharing, showing, and storytelling to show windows into Asian American church and how we might move forward in the next generation of ethnic and multi-ethnic churches. I hope this excites you as much as it does me. This blog, which started as something of an outlet for my grief and heartbreak for the church, has grown into a resource for many others and has potential to do more good than harm, provided we pay attention and learn from our mistakes.

The Re-set is in the works. I can’t tell you when just yet, but know that it is coming. Thanks again for reading, subscribing, sharing and commenting!

Thursday Night Tokback 12/17

Don’t miss tonight’s ng.ac’s Tokback!

Tonight will feature Laurence Tom, or “LT”, the ABC Pastor (@abcpastor), discussing the recent violence in south Philadelphia against Asian American high school students. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for LT and many of us in different parts of the country have been waiting with baited breath for each twitter update from LT. Many prayers have been lifted up and there’s a lot to talk about as to how churches can help stand in the gap in this type of racially-charged crisis.

So join us tonight at 10pm (EST) / 7pm (PST) for a great discussion on race, violence, and reconciliation with LT! ***Here’s the link: http://ow.ly/ImoN

Here’s a quick news clip to give you a snapshot for background to tonight’s tokback:

Hope I Get To Meet Francis Chan

Despite what everyone may think due to our calling Francis Chan out on the Asian American carpet, I really like the guy and have admired his ability to communicate his convictions.

And now, since I’m a part of the blogging team for the Verge Conference in February, I’m hoping I get the chance to meet Chan — not sure if he’s interested in meeting me, but eh, what have I to lose, right? At least, maybe we can clear the air. 🙂 (uh…by “sell-out,” we totally meant for Jesus!)

Joking aside, it’s going to be great to people are heavily invested in matters of missional community. As a person who participates in a faith community where multi-ethnic hospitality and worship is still a work in progress, I’m excited to hear how others have engaged it beyond mere rhetoric and pontification. Sure, I wish there were more Latino and Black faces on the speaker list, but we’ll start where we start and we won’t consider the Verge the end.

So, here’s to looking forward to the Verge conference. I’ll continue to post on issues leading up to the conference and we’ll be hosting conversations while we’re there. So stay tuned…

And if you know Francis Chan, tell him I’m looking for him. 🙂

Tokback Thursday 12/10


This week’s Tokback topic is “Calling all church planters! How do we start an Asian American church plant?” So if you’re a church planter, pastor, or experienced layperson we’re seeking your advice, pointers, and cautions as we delve into the topic as to what makes a good AA church.

Put in your two cents! 10pm (EST) / 7pm (PST), at http://www.djchuang.com/tokbox

No registration or software required. Just click on the link above and join the friendly conversation!

Thursday Night Tokback 12/3/09

Sorry for the late notice!

But tonight’s tokback will be hosted by DJ Chuang! I believe it will start at the usual time of 10pm (EST) / 7pm (Pacific), but keep an eye out on @djchuang to catch any latest developments.

The discussion tonight is going to be around DJ’s recent presentation on “The Future of English Ministries“, and it’s definitely worth hearing DJ out on the subject. He’s definitely done his homework! As we like to say here in the South, “this ain’t his first rodeo,” if you get my drift. So stay tuned and hope to see you join the conversation tonight. Again sorry for the short notice, I’ll make sure to get the news out earlier next time, but we are definitely on for Thursday nights! 🙂

The link is www.djchuang.com/tokbox – see you there!

A Nightmare Can Become A Dream

thanks @johnlambjr for passing this link our way.

JuHong “was brought to this country from South Korea in 2001; he was twelve years old at the time. Since arriving in the U.S., he has excelled in his studies and is currently the student body president at a community college in the San Francisco Bay area.”

Check out his website: Joinju.com and help his voice be heard. He represents almost a quarter million undocumented Korean Americans living in the US. I have no idea why Korean churches are so silent on this issue, but it’s time their sons and daughters began to hear these stories and stand up for them. Juhong should not stand alone when people like me who have less to lose can speak for him.

 

“Can’t I Even Speak?”

1 Samuel 17 – After David speaks out against the giant Goliath who threatens the people of Israel:
28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”

29 “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” 30 He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. 31 What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.

Thank God for second chances, eh?

I know a lot of my brothers and sisters from “evangeli-world” (quite an amusement park) are peeved about Deadly Vipers, but I maintain that Asian Americans are doing Mike and Jud a huge favor. I say this somewhat cynically, so in the interests of full disclosure, I want to state that I don’t believe any of this is necessarily malicious opportunism on part of the authors or the publisher, but shouldn’t be ignored in a market-driven Christian industry like the one we have here. And all of this, I must add, serves to help us all avoid the real issue, that even when minorities speak out for more sensitivity and understanding, there is a nasty backlash against us as though we were the opposition. And the giant and his threats go unanswered…

First off, Asian Americans were not the target demographic. Obviously, this was nothing like Paul Tokunaga’s Invitation to Lead or Helen Lee’s Growing Healthy Asian American Churches, this was for “any” (read: white, male) Christian leader. What this means is that Asian Americans causing a stink about the book was completely not on their radar, after all, it wasn’t directed at us to begin with, it was directed at “anyone”. But what is interesting is that people who didn’t pose an economic threat in boycotting the book or the publisher were addressed with a decisive act. Why? To save face? Or because any smart business (Christian or non) knows that any stink about a book is good for the bottom line. Zondervan won’t lose when the book reappears. If anything, they might have gained more support from Asians for their gracious act.

And clearly, Mike and Jud now have a running start downhill on their next project (by the way, anyone notice how quickly that new project took away the sting of all their recent “ups and downs”? (That, my friends, is white privilege — “oh, did i hurt your feelings? i’m sorry, but i did take down my website and my book has to be re-done. you really should apologize for that — all these people were being ministered to. well anyway, i have this other thing i gotta go run and do. bye!”) And somehow, by “giving in” to the Asian American cultural sensitivity police, they maintain some sort of moral high ground (?!); how did that happen? How did they become the victims in this?

How did correcting our Christian brothers on cultural insensitivity and silent racism lead to people in their corner getting angry at us and getting extra credit for simply doing the right thing? Can’t I even speak? I’m sorry, I don’t mean to diminish their apology or the consequent actions, but that’s not radical integrity, that’s just basic. That’s not the high moral ground. If anything, the profile and scale of this overblown discussion (and I realize the irony in this very post, but it speaks to every instance where minorities get anger thrown back in their face when they point out the problem of racism), only helps the visibility of every future project Mike and Jud will ever engage in. And instead of facing the issue of racism within evangelical circles with the same aplomb they tackled the issue of pornography, they opt out, earning rave character reviews and supportive tweets and comments, which all serve to demonize Asian American Christians for bringing up the issue of race.

Now what have we done? Can’t we even speak?

When the Goliath of silent racism still lurks in our churches, our publishing houses, our conferences, our blogs and our neighborhoods, should we not say something? I am not your enemy; for crying out loud, I’m not even your target audience. I’m a confessed racist; and it takes one to know one. All I’m saying is that I’m not your antagonist, and my greatest accomplishment is not the apology elicited from Mike and Jud or the re-call of their brood of vipers; I don’t revel in this at all. I don’t think we won.

The giant lives and mocks us all still.

NG.AC Tokback 11/19 “How Asian are Asian American Christians?”

This week’s tokback topic (can’t say that too many times fast) is “How Asian are Asian American Christians? How Asian should they be?”

Please join us back here tomorrow evening, Thursday 11/19 at 10pm (EST) / 7pm (PST) for a good, lively conversation online using tokbox. I’ll update this post tomorrow afternoon and provide a URL where you can click and join in on the video chat, but don’t worry if you don’t have a webcam, as long as you have a microphone and speakers, you can at least listen and carry on the conversation.

Last week, we had a great showing to discuss Asian American women and the church with the likes of Kathy Khang, Helen Lee, Glennis Shih, Pauline Chiu, Joshua Settles, DJ Chuang, Danny Yang, Daniel So, Dan Ra, Laurence Tom, Edwin Kang, Dan Iwao, Tiffany…(um I can’t remember your last name, sorry!), and a few others popped in and out.

Here’s DJ Chuang’s tweet for that evening where he captured some of the conversation: “sneak a peek at a 3-minute clip from the ng.ac tokback video chat earlier tonite http://ow.ly/BOvd”

So join us again tomorrow evening. It’s been a lot of fun~ so much fun that they’ve been no less than 2.5 hours each!

***UPDATE: Here’s the tokback link: http://www.tokbox.com/conf/vg14ncvn4gpdqpav