Jan 272011
 

Experimenting. Exploring. Ideating (brainstorming). Strategizing. These are the things I love doing and am great at doing. If you (or someone you know) would like my services in any of these areas, please do contact me so we can discuss how I could be of valuable help.

Now, the back story.

Much of my life has been trying to figure out what I was created to do and what I’m best at doing. It’s been a lot of trial and error, transitioning between many jobs and careers. Over the years I’ve become better at matching what I get paid to do and what I love to do. (Please don’t misunderstand: this isn’t about bragging nor venting my frustration.)

One thing has helped me the most. I recently discovered my “GodShape” with Angela Ferraro. Angela has a very valuable ministry at Sandals Church called the GodShape process, where she discerns and describes one’s unique God-given shape. I’d even say she has a kind of anointing and gift for synthesizing one’s personal narrative (story) through interviews and several common assessments (like Myers-Briggs and StrengthsFinder).

And, when a person operates in his/her unique GodShape (gifts & skills, desires & passions), that’s his/her best contribution to the world. Why the world isn’t better place, and why the Church is crippled from being all it could be, is people not operating in their GodShape. Implication: too many are in a bad fit.

What’s my GodShape? Here’s the first rough draft, very tentatively worded: “An idea scientist on a playground lab who provokes breakthroughs to a new ideal, flourishing state.”

Not exactly an easy find for a job opening. Thus my dilemma in crafting the words for what I should be paid to do, especially in this season of transition. Will you help me articulate it better?

The drawing at right illustrates my GodShape and my story. I’d worked within the box (shaded gray) where job descriptions were clear and specific, and I had skills to do those things. But to do just that, I’m drained and not energizing. (Not to mention the many things I don’t do well.) The action verbs (in blue + green) within the circle are things I do that better match my gifts and passions, but that’s not the ultimate fit. I do those things as a means to the end of finding the breakthrough solutions (strategies) for an individual or an organization. Then I’d be better off to hand off the solutions for others to run & implement.
Continue reading »

Jan 262011
 

Looking for active bloggers who are multiethnic church leaders? Why blogs and bloggers? Because they’re most findable via search engines, more sharable with many people on the open internet over a longer period of time, and they [potentially] can say a lot more than a tweet or status update.


mosaix-grid

In other words, conversations build relationships and understanding. Blogging in many ways is a better way to express ideas + thoughts + feelings in more details than a quick tweet via Twitter. Ultimately, the best conversations can happen face-to-face, but just because we’re not in the same geographical physical location doesn’t mean the conversation has to stop.

Here’s a list of active bloggers that are multiethnic church leaders, actively engaged in blog conversations about church diversity, in random order:

There are others I may not know (my apologies for glaring omissions), and there will be more as time goes. Anyone else I should add to the list?

Also seee: Asian American women Christian ministry leaders + Top church blogs by minority leaders

Jan 222011
 

You’ve got a voice. You can publish. Anyone can publish.

Having said that, this doesn’t mean everyone should publish. What I am saying is that more of us should publish.

Posting something online no longer has to be only for business purposes. Set the plaguing questions aside and don’t worry about what to write or what to say. Don’t have to worry about how many readers or subscribers you have. It’s not a performance; not a competition. Just speak. Just write. Being knownable is better than being unknownable.

(This doesn’t mean you say anything and everying that crosses your mind. Posting online does mean writing or saying something that could be read or heard around the world. It is public. It is permanent.)

You’ve got a unique contribution to the world. Your story. Your voice. Your opinions. Just as your vote counts, your voice counts.

Making your voice and thoughts and feelings known, expressing it online, is a part of being human. It’s you being you.

What’s holding you back?

Jan 122011
 

Q: “Do you know of any non-denominational Asian-American church planting networks? Do you see much value in such a thing verses denominational channels or mainstream American networks?”

A: [djchuang] I don’t know of 1 that’s that specific – a ch.planting network for Asian American and non-denominational.

Given that a majority of Asian American churches (and pastors) do not self-identify as Asian American, it’d probably be unlikely they’d want to identify & be a part of an AA ch.planting network.

I do think there are contextual issues in the AA pastor him/herself, and for ministering more effectively to AAs, whether in an AA context or in a multi-ethnic context. I think those contextual issues are mostly under-addressed.

Good question that came in recently about the value of networking for Asian American church planters. I think there is value to that. [cf. list of Asian American church plants] And I think there’s value to a denominational channel, and there’s value to a mainstream American network. What would you add?

The best [mother of all] conference for church planters and church planting networks is the EXPONENTIAL CONFERENCE end of April in Orlando. I plan to be there, in person. Plus, any Asian American leader must get there early for the Multi-ethnic Church Planting pre-conference too!

Jan 082011
 

YouVersion.com and its whole tribe of mobile apps is arguably currently the most widely-available digital Bible in existence on the planet. For this month of January, they’re rallying a campaign with a goal of 1 BILLION MINUTES of Bible reading. At the time of this writing, over 144 million minutes of Bible reading have happened, and the counter is running.

According to this ChristianToday.com article, Bible app users challenged to spend 1 billion minutes reading the Bible, the Billion Minutes challenge was announced on a November webcast.

My own Bible reading pace had it’s inconsistent hiccups. Currently, I’m using the OwnIt365 reading plan. I like the social networking dynamics weaved in with it.

Some random asides about this YouVersion Billion Minute challenge:

  • Shouldn’t the URL be youversion.com/1billion instead of youversion.com/billions ?
  • Is social media the only way to find out about this Bible reading challenge? I’ve seen a good bit of mention on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, even mainstream media. Could a banner button or link or something on the youversion.com home page add to the participation?
  • Do we have to read the Bible using a Youversion-related manner? Could our reading of a printed Bible or via email or via BibleGateway.com count towards the challenge goal?
  • If I left a web browser window open to YouVersion.com, will that count towards the goal? Or is it only counting Bible reading on mobile apps? Is it only counting verses that get displayed as the person is scrolling, or is would the clock keep ticking if I just left a screen on 1 Bible passage? Don’t want to game the system, but if it’s being gamed…
  • Would an embeddable Billion minute counter widget add to the viralness of this challenge? Is it okay for the challenge counter to be embedded on other websites?
  • Is there a way for someone to get a counter for their own Bible reading minutes? Someone might want to know how many minutes they’ve added to the overall Billion Minute challenge.
  • In our over-simplified focused fast communication world, it’s not as easy to get fuller context or details. Those would have probably answered most of my questions. If it’s already been blogged somewhere, a link to that on the challenge counter page would be good. So I thought I’d ask out loud in the open here. Maybe one of the YouVersion team people will stop by and answer. :) I don’t have to know, but I am curious.
Jan 032011
 

What it all comes down to, is choosing to remember and choosing to do it. Bible reading. Just do it. And it’s a choice and decision every time. The choices we make determine the people we become.

notes

As this new year of 2011 gets into full swing, I hear this talk from someone who’s read the Bible every day for 25 years, married to someone who’s read the Bible every day for 37 years, and mentions someone who read the Bible through in 20 days. Daunting. Not as inspiring to me as it was intended.

I have a confession. I haven’t had a streak or habit like that. And I have lots of (not so good) reasons for not reading the Bible every day. Reasons like:

I’m not a predictable creature of routines. I’m way better at being inconsistent and unpredictable.

I haven’t made a commitment like that, that 1st decision to do something every day, like Bible reading. There’s some wisdom to counting the cost before making a commitment. Failing to come through on commitment isn’t a good thing. I just don’t see myself doing a daily commitment. (There are other kinds of commitments, like being married, that was a decision and action that happened one day in the past, that continues to have consequence, but those don’t require a daily choice to do something to keep it.)

I know people who (say they) read the Bible every day or have a daily devotional life. And I’ll take them at their word on that. But their lives don’t show much patience nor kindness nor life change. Some even turn out to have scandalous lives of hypocrisy. Doesn’t seem to make much of a difference. I don’t want to be like that. Perspective: that’s their problem. It don’t have to be like that. I don’t have to be that guy.

I’m not motivated by the things that motivate and inspire other people. Goals. Plans. Challenges. Resolutions. Accountability. Competition. Those don’t work for me. What motivates me is elusive.

I don’t want Bible reading to be the kind of habit or routine where it becomes auto-pilot and disengages my heart & soul. Perspective: just because I’m doing something daily doesn’t mean it has to be disengaging.

I don’t want Bible reading to be an overspiritualized escape from the real world. It’s too easy for Bible reading to reinforce my biases and self-talk and cultural lenses. Perspective: I can believe by faith that God’s Spirit can break through my echo chamber and inspire new insights & thoughts to change me. And, reading & discussing Bible in community with others can break my self-talk too.

I blog all this to share honestly what I wrestle with. I’m way imperfect and don’t have it together. I think it can be a good thing to let one’s flaws and warts be shown rather than hidden. I think honesty is way more inspiring when it’s not an excuse for “that’s just the way I am” and it’s a confession of a desire for a turning point in life and even a humble need for help.

Sometime between Christmas and the New Year, I felt my heart changed. I give God credit for changing my heart to choose Bible reading in 2011. I got a couple days head start on a plan called the Bible in 90 Days. Didn’t make it to day 3. Not sticking that plan.

I’m hopeful that I’ll keep making progress in my Bible reading. All it takes is making that choice every day. Will update you in a month or two with how it goes.