I just came back from The Gathering! Over 150 Asian-American pastors, church leaders, parachurch leaders and seminary students met today at Evergreen LA to learn, pray, and network. The Gathering was sponsored by the planning team for the 2008 Asian American Leadership Conference, which will take place in Southern California this coming March.
DJ Chuang (above) spoke and gave a presentation entitled “Revitalizing Asian American Churches For New Generations.” DJ challenged us to think differently about how to approach ministry to Asian-Americans. In order to bring new life to our churches, we need to find new ways of ministering and avoiding the downswing of stale ministry. He urged existing Asian-American churches to:
- Encourage creativity
- Raise up young leaders
- Support church planting with prayer, people, and funds.
It was a very good time, and gave many of us a great deal to consider regarding our approach. You can see the informative slides and listen to DJ’s talk at his website.
Afterwards we split up into groups to pray for one another. Pastor Ken Fong started the prayer time with a short devotional, encouraging us to stop “keeping score” on numbers, publicity, or reputation and simply be faithful to God. As we shared and prayed for each other, I was able to get a glimpse of the community we could possibly have as Asian-American ministers in this area.
Lunch was provided, so I stayed and had fellowship. It was a good time to network with other ministers and seminary students. I’m looking forward to the conference in March, where I can participate in more of these times. In my conversations, I realized that I feel very much alive in these settings, as I continue to seek out a ministry vision for myself. I am also encouraged that people are hearing about the wonderful things God is doing through Evergreen SGV and Pastor Cory Ishida. It is comforting to know that others are recognizing Pastor Cory’s ministry and are praying for us.
I have a lot of thoughts from this morning! Perhaps more about this in a later post.