Asian American Pastors on Megachurch Staff
As growing numbers of megachurches (weekend attendance over 2,000) in America have adapted and developed into multi-site churches (being one church in multiple locations), perhaps one of the next nascent developments is an intentional multi-ethnic diversity on their pastoral staff.
In recent years, I’m starting to notice (and getting occasional phone calls) an uptick in the number of Asian American pastors on churches with larger number of staff to better serve a multiethnic and multicultural diversity in the church’s community. Thought I’d put this list out there (in no particular order) and see if you’re noticing this too (and with your help, we can collaboratively keep this updated).
Very Large Churches with Asian American Pastors
Saddleback Church: Sam Yoon, Steve Yu, Kyung Lee, John Shin, Julie Chung, William Kim, Reagan Miura, David Mandani, Randy Craft, Kevin Lee, Santosh Swamidass, Chris Yi, Rommel Manio, Sam Song
Willow Creek Community Church: Jeremy Chia, Nuree Kim, James Paek
Quest Church (Seattle): Gail Song Bantum, Aaron Cho
Life.Church: Alan George
New Life Community Church: Shaolong Jiang
A Kind of Multiethnic Churches
In the Asian American context, this kinda fits what sometimes is called a “hotel” model of church. And what’s significant of this developing story is how a significant number of English-speaking Asian Americans are not just attending largely Anglo or Caucasian churches but also serving on staff and maybe making a bigger ethnic & cultural contribution in the future.
And, yes, there are ethnic Asian North American Korean megachurches and large Chinese churches, plus several growing multiethnic churches (I know of) that have an Asian American lead pastor on that trajectory of becoming a megachurch.
// [clarification 7/24: we’re looking for multiethnic diversity in both attendance and pastoral staff, cf. @JeffreyJue] //