Oct 212013
 

[I won't be able to make this event, but you and Asian American church leaders and pastors should. Limited space is running out!]

Please join us for a FREE lunch and a panel discussion on “Shared Power-Learning to Lead Well.” We will discuss issues such as authority, abuses of power, and how to empower staff and lay leaders. Our outstanding panel includes Dr. Joe Hellerman (Talbot); Dr. Erik Thoennes (Biola); Rev. Steve Choi (Crossway); and Rev. Daniel Low (Bread of Life).

We will be giving away free copies of Dr. Hellerman’s new book “Embracing Shared Ministry” to the first 100 people to register and attend the luncheon. Please e-mail Hyo Kim at [email protected] or Terrence Shay at [email protected] to register. An email will be sent out to confirm your registration and reserve your book.

Registration Deadline: Fri (10/25) or until spaces are filled.

This event is sponsored by Talbot’s Asian-American Doctor of Ministry Track. Co-sponsors: NexGen and Jama’s New Awakening ’13

talbot-aa-lunch-oct2013

Oct 242012
 

Are you a pastor or do you know pastors and church leaders? You know we all need to enlarge our hearts for the next generation and for the world, and the best place to do that is at Urbana 12, December 26-31, in St. Louis!

Get the best of both worlds: the inspiring energy of being at a large conference with 20,000+ college students and young adults of the next generation, plus get fed and fueled through a cozier group of pastors and church leaders at Urbana 12‘s special track exclusively designed for Pastors and Church Leaders.

During this special Pastors track, you’ll get to interact with key global church leaders (some you’ve heard of and some you haven’t) from all over the world:


Andy Crouch (author of Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling) says this about Urbana: “No event has changed more about how I see the world, and God’s mission in the world, than Urbana.

To help get you there and to get the word out, I’ve got 3 free passes for you to attend Urbana 12! To win a free pass, here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Write a blog post about what your church or ministry is currently doing for God’s global mission, and why Urbana 12 will help your efforts,
  2. Add a comment here with a link to your blog post,
  3. Get out the vote! Encourage all your friends and colleagues to vote for you on the poll below by Election Day (Tuesday, November 6th, 2012)

The poll will close on 11/6/2012 11:59pm (Eastern Time), and the top 3 vote-getters will win a free pass to attend Urbana 12! That’s democratic, right?

My people at Urbana 12 say that they want your input for forming the Pastors Track’s ad hoc discussion groups via the Facebook page for Urbana 12 Pastors & Church Leaders Track – so get over there to chime in. And vote below by clicking on the green thumb :: Thanks to all of your votes – Jeff Liou and Amanda Camacho won free passes to attend Urbana 12! Register before 11/12 for $50!

[disclosure: I'm a member of the Social Media Squad for Urbana 12]

Jul 302010
 

This week I received this email from Tom Steers about an event for Southern California ministry leaders (and those that’d travel in for it). The AALC mentioned in email below refers to an “Asian American Leadership Conference.”

You don’t have to be Asian American to attend. I’d go just to hear James Choung. When James gave a similar talk during a workshop at Urbana 09, it was standing room only and overflowing; must have had over 500 people there! I had to shoot this video sitting on the floor myself.]

THE GATHERING of Asian American church and parachurch leaders will meet again!

Save this date: Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010
We will meet at 10:00 am at Evergreen Baptist Church-L.A. (1255 San Gabriel Blvd., Rosemead, 91770)

We will hear from James Choung, the new director of Asian American Ministries of IVCF. He will speak about his new book, TRUE STORY: A Christianity Worth Believing In.

We will be treated to a free lunch @ noon!

Again, the purpose of The Gathering is to encourage you, to re-connect with Kingdom laborers, and to make new connections. Louis Lee will also be with us to share about a new AALC in April or May, 2012.

I need your confirmation that you are coming in order to have an accurate meal count. Please email me back! If you are interested in going to this event, please e-mail Tom Steers directly at [email protected]

Also, these events are always open to any key leader that you want to invite. There are 100′s of key leaders that we are not in email connection with. So, we rely heavily on you to invite others! Please do!

Just let me know attendees for our meal count!

With you for HIS eternal victories!

Tom

Mar 242010
 

Churches are searching for pastors. Pastors are looking for churches. Making the connection can be quite challenging for many on both sides of the equation. Sure there’s a spiritual dimension to all of this– being a pastor is a “calling,” (whatever that might mean in a particular faith tradition) layered with much prayer for discernment and provision. Yet in the real-world concrete and tangible reality, there is that job component, when a church pastor is a paid religious professional.

There are a bunch of search engines / directories/ listings working to make this connection, for pastors looking for a ministry opportunity, and for churches looking for a pastor to fill a staff position, along with other church staff jobs. I’ll update this list as I find ‘em — (note: listing does not connote endorsement) ::

And, there are professional services that help make the connection for churches and staff. HelpStaff.me is run by Justin Lathrop (one of my pastor friends), who can put together a professional nationwide search for church staff positions. And, the executive search firm called Vanderbloemen Search Group facilitates ministry leadership search for larger churches. Another one is MinisterSearch.com, a full-service consulting firm for church staffing.

Aside: this ehow.com article, How to Work for a MegaChurch, gives sobering advice about working in a church setting. Set your idealism aside — “If you think working for a church will be peaceful and idyllic, you’re deluding yourself. Pastors and church staff members are as inherently flawed as the rest of the world. If your desire to work for a MegaChurch stems from the belief that you’ll be in a conflict free office environment, think again.

Jan 312010
 

Question >> “do u know a place to get stats on how many churches close a day, month, year etc and the same on pastors and leaders leaving ministry?”

djchuang >> Good question. (And, in case you can’t tell, this question came in via a text message.)

The latest research on church attendance can be found in The American Church in CrisisThe American Church in Crisis by David T. Olson, with research based on data from 200,000+ churches. And, the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, has analysis based on interviews with 35,000+ American adults.

Here’s some other statistics I found (so far):

Excerpted from this Christian Century 2008 article, Church-closing rate only one percent:

A new study finds that only 1 percent of U.S. religious congregations go out of existence each year, “which is among the lowest mortality rates ever observed for any type of organization,” according to an article to be published in the June issue of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

Dave Olson’s research shows that in the 1990s about 3,200 churches closed each year–or 1.1 percent of U.S. Christian congregations. And, Olson added, “In the 2000s, it has been 3,700 a year.” [cf. graph]

American church statistics have reported [via Goodmanson]:

  • In America, 3500 – 4000 churches close their doors each year
  • Half of all churches last year did not add one new member through conversion growth
  • Churches lose an estimated 2,765,000 people each year to nominalism and secularism

The 3,500-4,000 U.S. churches annual closure count is also cited by Ed Stetzer in “Planting New Churches in a Postmodern Age.”

Excerpted from The Condition of the Church in America, complied by Andy McAdams [via #mmi, 2005]:

  • 1,400 pastors in America leave the ministry monthly.
  • Only 15% of churches in the United States are growing and just 2.2% of those are growing by conversion growth.
  • 10,000 churches in America disappeared in a five-year period.

Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches.” [Source: “Death by Ministry" (slides + audio) by Darrin Patrick @ The Journey. It was re-published on Mark Driscoll's blog -- no longer available.]

One blog post attributed these findings to Shiloh Place Ministries (shilohplace.org), which drew its information from Focus on the Family, Ministries Today, Charisma Magazine, TNT Ministries, and other respected groups:

  • 1,500 pastors leave the ministry permanently each month in America.
  • 7,000 churches close each year in America.

[update] additional statistics & commentary about the challenges of pastoring noted by Ken Sande via desperatepastor

Jun 092009
 

It all unravels eventually. Whether it’s getting tired of hiding the indiscretion, telling a lie, living a lie. Or, getting caught red-handed.

Another pastor admits an emotional and physical affair. It’s wrong and there are tons of consequences. I think in the information age, with the openness of the Internet, more bad news is known and spreads faster. shattered livesMoral failures have been around before, easier to hide in some sense, though just as devastating. This past weekend, another pastor falls, even more in the public eye because of social media. And the online chatter perculating.

Scott Williams lists 4 Reasons Leaders FAIL, i.e. fake, attitude, integrity, lacking. Geoff Surratt warns pastors of how they’re already toast if they think they aren’t vulnerable. Ron Edmondson adds his thoughts and Todd Rhoades adds his prayer for another fallen servant.

To reiterate, from Why Pastors Fall Into Affairs: “What is it with pastors and affairs? I did a brief search through Google and found all kinds of stories about pastors having affairs with secretaries, the wives of other ministers, and who knows who else. … Curiously, many pastors fall into affairs when their ministries grow. Success has a way of turning on its master. … Of course we’re not big fans of learning from our mistakes. … I know if I started pastoring a church tomorrow I’d say to myself, “Those other guys fell, but not me. I’m going to be fine.”

Pastors know what they’re supposed to do. They teach it and preach it. And the inevitable stresses of ministry will come (or never goes away, in many cases). Pastoring the most stressful job I can think of. Sometimes the church is overly successful. The stresses of marriage and family life will show up too — nobody has a perfectly easy marriage. And there’s always someone of the opposite sex who is more attractive to the average red-blooded male. I’m one, so I know what I’m talking about (tongue in cheek.) Plus there’s the spiritual realm too. Pastors have a red bulls-eye on their back, constantly in the cross-hairs of Satan’s destructive schemes.

My own thinking is that keeping precautions and rules won’t guarantee moral & marital purity. Rules don’t change the heart. From my vantage point, I’m of the opinion that high-capacity leaders tend to be task-oriented, and not as relationally-oriented. Task-orientation is what makes them that much more effective, but it’s also is the achilles’ heel, because there’s going to be the tendency of not spending enough time in close relationships with a few trusted others — especially in transparent vulnerable friendships where they are fully known. If friends knew the struggles and temptations in the heart & soul of a leader, especially in this area of temptation, then a leader doesn’t have to bear it all by himself. It’s true that leadership is lonely at the top, and the higher you go, the lonelier it gets. No one will understand what the leader is going thru. Partly true. Others don’t have to understand, but others can know. At least get a professional counselor to relieve the stress that mere rest and sports will not.
Continue reading »

May 302009
 

This set of question was posted in a recent email discussion, as Southern Cal ministry leaders are anticipating the upcoming lunch fellowship this Wednesday 6/3:

As an observer and advocate of ABC ministries since the 1970s and a former youth worker in a Chinese church, can anyone educate me as to WHY there are few(er) ABC’s committing themselves for full time Christian service these days? (a) Postmodern culture? (b) Options of going into Asian American/mainstream churches and ministries? (c) Others…? We have always had a shortage. Is the shortage growing?

abcpastor
Continue reading »

May 272009
 

// [update 6/3/09 4:30pm] Notes + video posted at the L2 Foundation blog //

Fellowship of American Chinese Evangelicals (FACE) has invited me as a special guest for an ABC/English Pastors’ Fellowship Meeting, next Wednesday, June 3rd, starting at 10:00am.
Continue reading »

Jan 242009
 

The following event is being hosted by the Fellowship of American Chinese Evangelicals (FACE) and you’re invited! The email below is posted with permission. This is one of those rare opportunities to glean from the life experiences of older English-speaking Chinese/Asian-American pastors.

An email from Calvin & Priscilla Hai [[email protected]] >>

Dear Colleagues in Christ,

Happy New Year! Praying that you will have a year of growth and exciting ministry in the Lord.

During the English Pastorsʼ meeting last October and from the feedback on the follow-up survey, many of you indicated that you are interested in a one day vision seminar. In response, the FACE Directors will host a one day Vision workshop on Wednesday, February 25, 2009, from 9am to 5pm. It will be held at:

Chinese Evangelical Free Church
1111 So Atlantic Blvd (north of the 60 and south of the 10)
Monterey Park CA 91754
(626) 570 6971

We have invited Peter Lin who has helped a number of ministries and for-profit corporate bodies develop compelling visions that drive their businesses. In all of USA , California is probably the most strategic state for English speaking ministries. Peter has been doing some research in this area and we will share some of the statistics with you of the compelling need to raise a new generation of pastors, to plant new churches, and to develop and strengthen existing ministries. The goal of the one day event is to develop a compelling vision so that together we can meet that need.

I realize that it can be very lonely in ministry. I pray that this one day of sharing will be the beginning of building a true kinship in Christ through fellowshipping, networking, and accountability with colleagues in ministry, which will multiply our effectiveness in our service to the king.

All this may sound grandiose, but we have a great God who has proven Himself all through history. And, unless the Lord is in this, we will be building in vain. May I count on your not just coming to this event but that you will lift it to the Lord in prayer that he will glorify Himself in our midst on that day?

If you know of others in ministry or have other staff who would benefit from this time, please feel free to invite them and let us know. Would you please respond to us by February 13 for planning purposes? If any questions, please email or call.

Blessings,

Wayland Wong

Retired pastor and FACE Director
(714) 848 6184

Please RSVP to Calvin and Priscilla Hai so that we can have adequate space and lunch for everyone. Again we will have some resources to recommend for your ministry.


About Peter Lin:

Peter Lin was born in Hong Kong and raised in the USA. After his MA in Dallas Theological Seminary, God called him back to Asia in a “business setting”. He served as VP in AIG in Singapore/Taiwan/HK and then went on to become President of Prudential (Hong Kong) and President for Asia for Liberty International (the international arm of Liberty Mutual). In 2002, he was called to be the lead pastor of Grace Baptist Church – Singapore. His god given passion is in leadership and vision development. God had given him a burden for developing a long term vision for the companies and churches that was under his responsibility. He had also developed the long term vision for the English Task Force for CCCOWE (Chinese Coordination Center of World Evangelism). He is currently at Fuller Theological Seminary focusing on studying Christian Leadership.