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 keep this updated).
Large Churches with Asian American Pastors
* indicates lead pastor or senior pastor of a multiethnic megachurch (see below for link to a list of ethnic Asian megachurches)
Saddleback Church: Sam Yoon, Steve Yu, Kyung Lee, John Shin, Julie Chung, William Kim, Chris Yi
Quest Church (Seattle): Gail Song Bantum*, Aaron Cho
McLean Bible Church: James Park
Kensington Church: Andrew Kim
Grace Church (Ann Arbor, MI): Sung Kim*
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/ Caucasian churches but also serving on staff and maybe making a bigger ethnic & cultural contribution in the future.
And, yes, there are ethnic Asian American Korean megachurches and Chinese large churches, plus several growing multiethnic churches (I know of) that have an Asian American lead pastor on that trajectory of becoming a megachurch.
(photo credit: pastors.com)
// [clarification: this list seeks to spotlight multiethnic diversity in both attendance and pastoral staff, not just one or the other] //