NEEDS of the next generation

January 8, 2007

Peter Nguyen of Asian American Intercultural Ministry (AAIM) in Tampa, Florida, wrote this up as a response to his Urbana experience and meeting a handful of other like-minded Kingdom leaders. This addresses some of the strategic needs that must be met by the First Generation Asian Church in America in order for this Next Generation Asian American Church to thrive. With permission from Peter, we are inviting your comments, feedback, constructive criticism, questions, and/or concerns. Note: this is a first draft, subject to further refinement.

Saving the Lost Generation: A Fresh, Spiritual Approach on Building the Next Generation Asian American Church

Historically, ethnic-speaking, immigrant, first-generation churches in America over the past two centuries has failed to adequately provide for the second generation, which can be coined as the “Lost Generation.” Today, this apparent “Silence Exodus” of the Next Generation Asian American Church is in no way God’s Will to further His Kingdom. The Next Generation of Asian Americans (NextGen) has the potential to not only be the forefront leaders in America for God’s purposes, but be used by God to serve God’s Kingdom overseas in Asia and around the world.

This upcoming generation will be the highest-paid, most-respected professionals and leaders of any other group in America. Who is best to serve God’s Kingdom in Asia than their own people, who already understand their culture, can speak their language, and can provide the necessary means of hope spiritually, resourcefully, and financially? The North American church has been decreasing in membership over the past decades, including the First Generation Asian Church in America (FirstGen), due to lack of purpose and innovation in the church.

God has proclaimed that the church be unified by one body under one God. In order for the emerging Next Generation Asian American Church to thrive for God’s greater purpose and calling, their N.E.E.D.S. must be reciprocated by the First Generation Asian Church in America.

NECESSARY MEANS

  • Problem: Since the FirstGen Church primarily only focuses on the FirstGen, there is not enough educational resources or career or vocational positions within the Church structure for NextGen leaders to resourcefully utilize to start to build the NextGen Church.
  • Solution: FirstGen needs to preserve and document their resources to pass along to the NextGen, as well as, start to budget and create necessary NextGen ministries in order to create a pathway for NextGen leaders to build the NextGen Church.

ELIMINATE ANY INSECURITIES

  • Problem: The Asian culture, in general, has insecurity issues that discourages the future NextGen to full-time service for God’s Kingdom and forces them to pursue safe, professional careers in order to lift up the status of the insecure parent.
  • Solution: Through faithful and fervent prayer, FirstGen needs to unlearn insecurity and trust God that He will provide so that it will perpetuate to the NextGen.

ENCOURAGEMENT TO SERVE

  • Problem: FirstGen has not been receptive to actively encourage or participate in development of the NextGen Church, thus, creating tension, isolation, and dejection of NextGen leaders, therefore being called rebellious cavaliers against the FirstGen.
  • Solution: A spiritual paradigm shift needs to be made so an extended vision by the FirstGen Church will actively encourage, empower, and bless NextGen leaders to lay the building blocks for the NextGen Church.

DISCIPLE THE NEXT GENERATION

  • Problem: Due to unknowing emphasis on overwhelming cultural relevance surpassing scriptural or spiritual relevance, the FirstGen Church is not understanding, discipling, or convicting the NextGen to serve as leaders for the NextGen Church.
  • Solution: There needs to be a spiritual reformation in creating and nurturing NextGen Church Ministries, Conferences, and Camps that will minister to the NextGen, focusing on being bible-based, English-speaking, and relevant.

SHOW GENEROSITY

  • Problem: Since greed has plagued the Asian culture to not only work harder in worldly jobs, but to want bigger worldly treasures, future NextGen leaders are deceived to do the same, and thus horde their financial blessings and spiritual gifts selfishly without giving abundantly to the further God’s Kingdom.
  • Solution: The best way to defeat greed is to give generously and abundantly as financial resources to build and support NextGen leaders and to provide necessary startup funding to build the NextGen Church.

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[…] Urbana 06, Peter Nguyen wrote an open paper on the NEEDS of the next generation to the first generation leaders.  When he invited me to take a look at it, I wrote a respond […]

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