new review of L2 youth ministry book

March 19, 2007

Mark Oestreicher, President of Youth Specialties, just wrote a book review of L2 Foundation’s self-published Asian American Youth Ministry book (at his personal blog). We appreciate this particular review from a non-Asian and also professional publisher’s perspective, and touched that he’s read the book in its entirety. He rightly notes 2 specific audiences for the book:

clearly, any youth workers in an asian american church needs to read this book. but i think there are two other categories of youth workers who would benefit from reading it:

1. youth workers in even the most nominally multi-cultural of churches who have asian american kids in their youth groups. i can’t think of any of the churches i worked at where we didn’t at least have some asian american kids in our group. and i wish i had read this book then to have more of an understanding of some of the cultural realities that exist for them. (btw: i started reading frank wu’s yellow: race in america beyond black and white yesterday on the plane ride to orlando. wow, i sure wish i had read that book years ago!)

2. any youth worker (or, any person, really) who would like to grow in understanding about the uniquenesses of doing youth ministry in a particular cultural sub-set, or this particular cultural subset. in other words: i think i had assumed i knew the basics (not the complexities, but the basics) of what would make asian american youth ministry unique; but i think i also assumed the diffferences (specifically between asian american youth ministry and white, suburban youth ministry) were more similar than i now think they are. more on that below.

Read the full book review at

One editor’s thought I’ll mention in response: yes, there are weaknesses to self-publishing as Mark pointed out. We had a hunch that the book catered to a very limited niche audience, so it’d be an uphill pitch to a traditional publisher. We didn’t quite have the breadth and depth to select from a pool of highly experienced Asian American youth workers who’d be compelling writers. Yet, there are also many advantages to self-publishing: we used a print-on-demand publisher that had no setup costs; we carry no inventory; we have an online store that takes care of order processing; we’re able to offer the book at a lower cost to buyers; we retain the copyright on the compilation while the contributing authors retain rights to their own chapters.

So, to just get the ball rolling, we went the self-publish route. At the time of this writing, we have 518 copies of the book in print & in circulation! It’s better to have something than to have nothing. Our hope is that the book will not only help parents and youthworkers, but also inspire others to create richer and more in-depth follow-up volumes.

[update] You can now search the content of the Asian American Youth Ministry book via Google Book Search.

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Comments:3 Responses

Find more like this: Asian American, books, L2 Blog, ministry, youth.

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Daniel K. Eng
March 19th, 2007

Good to hear that your book is getting more recognition! By the way, you’d be pleased to know that it was featured at the Asian-American lounge at Urbana 2006. Also, I’m sure you know that PaLM has been giving it out at their ENGAGE speaker series events.

I’ve been thinking about picking up Frank Wu’s book. Wonder if he’ll post a review of that book too.

March 21st, 2007

Daniel, thanks for your kind words. Yes, we did have great help from InterVarsity to get the book at the Urbana 2006 lounge and also their bookstore; I think all copies in the bookstore sold out.

It is indeed affirming to have non-Asians read the book and comment on it; what I’d love to find is more conversations about the Asian American Youth Ministry book by Asian Americans — we believe the book can be a great conversation starter!

Peter Schmidt
February 12th, 2009

every day I look around and just wish others could have the compassion that Christ had for us. I keep looking for a community that really cherishes those innermost feelings I hold dear. I’ve looked long and hard and with close scrutiny I found that is the true path to the kingdom of heaven.

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