Mar 082012

Being missional is the topic du jour in the mainstream American church, and there’s no sign of the momentum slowing down. Last week in Austin, Texas, I participated at the Verge Conference 2012 with ~ 2,500+ others in attendance to get invigorated about missional communities + missional churches + being missional, and even getting our “faces melted off” (quoting the emcee’s words verbatim.) What’s stuck with me (on this go around) is how being missional intersects with other circles of Christian efforts: cross-cultural missions, urban ministry, social justice, discipleship, organic church, and more. Missional has moved from being a hot buzz word to being more about an activistic kind of lifestyle.

The annual Verge Conference is just one of many efforts from Verge Network to constantly resource the church at large, in America and all over the world, to be more about living as followers of Christ and serving people at their obvious point of need as a genuine and sincere act of love and service (not so much about the business aspects of running & leading church as an organization, where many other resources in America are readily available.) Stay connected to the Verge Network year round, because they’re always at work in gathering and sharing resources, at times even every day.

Get all the recorded talks (plus bonus content) from Verge 2012 for just $49 before Saturday 3/10. Rich and insightful messages you’ll want to digest and discuss with your group of like-minded zealous Christ-followers.

Oct 122011

A handful of events and networks have crossed my radar recently that cultivate dialogue around the contextualizing of Christian faith for/with/by Asian Americans.

October 15th / 22nd @ Dallas / Houston
Legacy Dialogue 2011: Trust Factor – how to build trust between two generations in ministry – the future of next generation English ministry in the Asian-American church (Partnership of Asian American Churches in Texas)

October 19th @ 11:30am PT in Irvine
NexGen Pastors Gathering with Pastor Jim-Bob Park via NexGen Pastors Fellowship [Facebook group]

October 26th @ 2pm ET – online webinar
“Asian American Ministry and the Deconstruction of Asian American Christianity” Webinar with Dr. Timothy Tseng, sponsored by Judson Press

Like many churches in North America today, Asian American churches are experiencing the loss of their young adults. The new “Silent Exodus” is also about the erasure of Asian American identity and history within American Christianity. Will being Asian American matter in a “post-racial” generation? What does the deconstruction of Asian American Christianity mean for ministry to Asian Americans? What can Christians do to respond to this crisis? Join presenter Dr. Timothy Tseng as he explores and addresses these critical issues.

October 27th @ 9:30pm ET – online livestream
Q&A with Ken Kong, director of Southeast Asian Catalyst

Recordings (audio and video) [iTunes podcast feed] for the Asian American Ministry Program’s Inaugural Conference at SPU June 2011 with Timothy Tseng, Peter Cha, Soong-Chan Rah, Eugene Cho, Gideon Tsang, Ken Fong, Wayne Ogimachi, Nancy Sugikawa, Paul Kim, Bo Lim, Billy Vo, and more

December 27-30 in San Diego
CMC West Coast with Francis Chan and Greg Ogden [Chinese Mission Convention]

19 videos of the Asian American Equipping Symposium at Fuller Seminary, February 2011, with Richard Mouw, Eugene Cho, Bo Lim, Timothy Tseng, Young Lee Hertig, Amos Yong, Chloe Sun, and more

APA Faith Matters – a blog category at curated by Mihee Kim-Kort, with a periodic interview of Asian Pacific American (APA) leaders in various religious contexts

Inheritance Magazine – bi-monthly publication that tackles contemporary topics and issues that each Asian American Christian deals with in his/her life

Other networks that meetup in-person:

Know of other public connection places, on-line or on-site, for Asian American church and ministry leaders? Add a comment, please.

Apr 172010

Every year since 2007, most if not all of the church planting organizations / networks and denominations and 1000s of church planters meetup for the Exponential Conference in Orlando. This year’s is next week, April 19-22. 2 of the special things happening I know of are 5 Idea Camp workshops and Mosaix Global Network reboot/ relaunch.

Aside: using a iPad-friendly stylus, like the Pogo, I used Adobe Ideas like a telestrator on the conference website. As you can see, most of the space is to draw your attention to the featured speakers and get you to register. Extra info placed on inside pages are set aside in the left-side column.

I’ll be there on Monday to Wednesday. I arrive into MCO on Monday 4:15pm and depart on Wed 4/21 2′ish. I’ll have a rental car, so if you want to sync up for a ride share, ping me at 949-243-7260. Official twitter hashtag = #exponential. There’s a Monday night tweetup party according to @jim_gray. Info is TBD at time of this writing.

Jan 282010

For followers of Jesus wanting a more transformational life, more people seem to be engaging in some kind of spiritual formation process. I’m finding a number of different programs and processes that are percolating in the evangelical world at large (though the concept has been around for Catholics for centuries.) Here’s a short list of ones that I’ve heard of, (mostly) in a chronological order of when I first heard of them:
candles (photo credit: ldcross)

It seems to me that a slightly increasing number of church & ministry leaders are going after these spiritual & heart matters to help people be more like Jesus. Well, some of them say it that way. Others might use different language and terms. Each probably have their own “spiritual growth” model.

In my own thinking (at the time of this writing) I think there is overlap between any of these categories: spiritual formation, spiritual direction, personal coaching, mentoring, discipleship, sanctification…

And somewhat like brands of clothing, people may be fiercely loyal to the genre of spiritual formation that’s been most transformative for them. It’s not the kind of thing that people go comparison shopping for, and let’s hope it doesn’t become commoditized that way.

And, to let my own bias show, it’s not really about the content or exercises of a spiritual formation program. It’s about one’s response to the Holy Spirit, and more telling, the person’s willingness to give permission for (a few trusted) others to speak into their lives.

Why I think this to be the case — it’s an idea from Fierce Conversations, “All conversations are with myself, and sometimes they involve other people.” So when a person goes through exercises, even if guided, it’s all too easy to reinforce one’s own perceptions. Until someone else can call out and speak to the matters of the heart, and the blind spots, transformation rarely happens to the degree that it could.