I got an invite from Daniel Lee [facebook profile], a Th.M. student at Fuller Theological Seminary, who is coordinating a newly-formed group on campus called Asian American Theological Fellowship. Last night was quite the privilege for me to share a presentation titled “Reaching the next generation of Asian Americans”.
More than a handful of my long-distance compadres asked about my thoughts and feelings about last night’s engagement. Here they are, in 3 parts: the presentation, the group, and the potential.
The presentation. This presentation consisted of 59 PowerPoint slides. If I ran thru them Lessig style, no big deal, but I dwelled on many of them, skipped a few, and lost track of time. Meaning, I think I went long– I did go longer than I had planned to. As I debrief here, it dawned on me that since I first built this presentation in September 2007, I’ve added on more slides to cover frequently asked questions. Now after (maybe) 5 iterations, I’ve only added more and more slides — didn’t remove any. No wonder I went long! If I were to take Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule of Powerpoint, get it down to 10 slides, I maybe could summarize it as:
- The opportunity is huge and urgent to reach more Asian Americans. The population will double in less than 50 years.
- Churches naturally have a life cycle like any organization. From time to time, church must adapt to cultural changes to revitalize, or else.
- Ethnic Asian churches have adapted to several models of multi-generational multi-lingual churches to accommodate both Asian-language speakers and English speakers.
- We’ve got so much more to offer. On the whole, in comparison to other racial groupings, Asian Americans are the most educated and have highest earnings. These resources have yet to be fully activated for Kingdom purposes.
- Healthy churches grow AND reproduce.
- In the past 10 years, there’s been an exponential growth of new churches effectively reaching next generation Asian Americans.
- New churches doing church a new way are found all over the United States. It’s not just a “West coast” phenomena.
- We still need more new English-speaking Asian-led churches to reach the next generation, and the unchurched majority.
- Ask not how can we keep “them” in church. Ask how can we reach more people for Jesus.
- It takes all kinds of churches to reach all kinds of people.
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