By Sharon Mager
OCEAN CITY, Md. — The Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) invites Asian-American church leaders, both first- and second-generation, to “Pastoring the Next Generation Asian-Americans” from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Nov. 11. The panel discussion is a breakout session in conjunction with the BCM/D’s Annual Meeting at the Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel in Ocean City, Maryland.
BCM/D Church Planting Catalyst James Choi said the purpose of the panel is to encourage next-generation, English-speaking Asian-American pastors and leaders to consider multiethnic church planting.
Choi is passionate about and burdened by the task. “In the northeast, there is a lack of next-generation Asian-American church planters, particularly those leading multiethnic congregations, especially in our denomination. I think the reason is that there aren’t too many healthy Asian-American immigrant churches that are raising up the next generation and supporting next-generation pastors towards church planting. At the same time, there are so many immigrant Asian-American churches looking for English-speaking pastors to serve their churches.
“What is the connection? Where are the long-tenured English-ministry Asian-American pastors and independent next-generation church planters modeling faithful and fruitful ministries and training up future pastors and leaders? Who are they in our denomination? Pew Research says Asians represent the fastest growth rate of any major racial or ethnic group. Why then are there so few Asian-American leaders represented in American evangelicalism?”
Choi says part of the problem is that some Asian-American churches generally lack biblical vision for church planting and in raising up the next generation, according to 2 Timothy 2:2. Perhaps, he said, they don’t always know how to raise up and minister to the next generation due to a lack of healthy understanding of biblical ecclesiology (or doctrine of the church). Moreover, there are many theological and cultural dynamics to work through since minorities leading multiethnic churches are a rarity in our denomination, Choi said. “Our prayer is to see God raise up more next-generation Asian-Americans to lead healthy multiethnic congregations and to see more next-generation Asian Americans raised up as pastors, leaders, and church planters from our immigrant churches in our denomination.”
Toward this end, Choi says, “We want to bring together brothers and sisters in our convention and the Send Network (of the North American Mission Board) in the northeast region, who are doing faithful and fruitful work in leading their healthy multiethnic churches.”
In addition to Choi, panelists are:
- Dan Hyun, pastor of The Village Church in Baltimore, Maryland
- Won Kwak, church planting catalyst of Metro New York City and pastor of Maranatha Grace Church in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
- Kenji Adachi, the pastor of All People’s Community Church in Fairfax, Virginia
- Eric So, the lead pastor of Peace City Church in Riverdale, Maryland.
Visit the BCM/D online for details and registration information about our Annual Meeting, including the breakout sessions, the Unity Lunch, and much more.
Below, Dan Hyun shares candidly about his role as an Asian American, and at times how he felt that he had to diminish himself, feeling that “… who I was as an Asian American was somehow a detriment to reaching across cultures.” God changed Hyun’s perspective.