2002 Q&A session with Pastor Ken Fong

June 14, 2007

Pastor Ken Fong (Evergreen LA) spent almost an hour with a group gathered at L2 Foundation‘s 2002 Leadership Forum in Monterey, California. (This was an improvised leaders gathering for about 20 Asian American ministry leaders from the San Francisco Bay area.)

We had this interactive Q&A session recorded on video, and you can glean some wisdom from his ministry experience. I think his remark that we don’t have to be Bill Hybels or Rick Warren in order to be effective in ministry is particularly helpful. Other topics discussed include: using external resources (curriculums, consultants), dealing with changes (how something no longer fits), the role of seminaries for ministry training, celebrating MLK day in a mostly Asian church, learnings from a sabbatical, transmission of theology, history of American churches, pastoral internships, organizational aspects of church operations. Many of these remarks are still timely.

Watch the video online and add your comment here. What would you ask Ken Fong if you had an opportunity? Well you do right here! You may ask Ken Fong a question here, and I’ll invite him to answer in the comment thread.

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June 16th, 2007

What are some new developments you’ve seen in Asian-American ministry since you gave this talk in 2002?

Ken fong
June 25th, 2007

Interesting and good question. Man, 02 seems like 20 years ago, not just 5. In no particular order, here’s several of my observations about the AsiAm Min scene:

–Contingent of disenchanted and dispirited young pastors is slowly increasing. Drawn to the call to be more missional churches, I’ve talked to growing numbers of young adult pastors who can’t imagine a future in the Modern, institutionalized Asian-specific churches. But they also realize that that doesn’t mean that they’ve been equipped to be church planters, either. Some are dropping out of the pastorate while others are trying to talk themselves into making it work.

–Those that are equipped to church plant are making huge leaps beyond the Asian-specific, multilingual church paradigm. Embracing things like spiritual formation, the arts, social justice, etc., they are intentional about being diverse and relevant.

–Stark contrast to these new churches are the majority Asian-specific ones that are still fretting about how to be relevant to the more Americanized younger generations. While the adult First Gens are trying to come up with solutions, the young adults who go off to college are reporting that legions of their old high school church chums have bailed on Christianity, not just started attending other kinds of churches. Those who haven’t bailed are too worried about what kind of future they might have if they went home after school.

–In Western culture overall, people at younger and younger ages have access to knowledge and aren’t going to wait the requisite time before the grown ups let them contribute to where the church is going and what it’s doing. Too many old school AA leaders are failing to recognize this and are unknowingly locking out some of the most passionate and energized church people (who still need maturing!).

–Lastly (hey, I’m on vacation in Michigan!), I sense a growing consciousness in more and more AA churches to create more authentic, faith villages, where sinners in all shapes and states know they can come to receive mercy, love, and restoration.

This isn’t meant to be exhaustive… just more food for thought.


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