KAC Media To Reverse The Silent Exodus

h/t to DJ on this, it looks very promising. If you’re in LA and are supportive of Korean-American ministries, this seems to be a great approach. KAC (Korean American Christian) Media wants to be the #1 site for all things Korean American and Christian on the web. They’ve got a host of bloggers (our own DJ Chuang included), support from a local Korean TV station, and are kicking off with a fundraising dinner 11/8/08. $100 a ticket (tax-deductible) and a great new effort from the Korean community on behalf of the next generation. I’m very interested in the possibilities here. Check out the media promo here (better quality) or below:

I’ve just given the website a once over and they really have a lot planned. To be honest, this is not how I anticipated change to come, that is through a media company, because much like private media groups, there seems to be an incentive to sensationalize things and/or be directed by the market or sponsors, which seems to conflict with the heart of the Christian faith, but I’ll reserve judgment as I applaud the effort and hope to see good things come from it. What do you think? Do you think that this media group can truly reach the silent exodus?

***EDIT***

Jean, producer and head of PR at KAC Media responded to a comment at DJ’s blog post, that clarified some of the positions and approaches of KAC Media. And I’m not trying to critique this group before they get out of the gate, I’m very interested to see a group like this take shape. My concerns are mostly derived from Shane Hipps’ book “The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture: How Media Shapes Faith, the Gospel, and Church.” But here’s the comment from someone at KAC, the source, so not through my lens only.

Just to clarify for anyone, KAC Media is not taking any credit or making any claims to ‘reverse’ the silent exodus. Our hope is to engage the silent exodus to look at their personal relationships with the Lord. We are using the new media (integrated with the arts, film, television, news, relationships with churches, non-profit partners, community partners, etc) to just ‘start this particular conversation’ with those who don’t find relevancy in their parent’s church anymore. While Koreans can come off as being exclusive – I don’t think it’s necessarily purposeful. Like with all immigrants in America, it was out of necessity. Culturally – we tend to be somewhat ethnocentric, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. This is coming from a Korean-American who was born and raised for half my life in Oklahoma, and the other half in Seattle, WA – and now living in Los Angeles. Even though I grew up half of my life disliking the outer exterior of being Korean – inside, I was still very much Korean. I am very proud of my heritage and that is something unexplainably innate in me (and what I gather from others I know – even adopted Koreans). However, while being very proud of my heritage – I can still be very non-exclusive. I embrace and lean towards diversity. I have a wide circle outside of my Asian circle and they overlap often. I purposely sought out a diverse ‘non korean exclusive’ church about 10 years ago and my 1st generation parents also sought out the same around 7 years ago. Maybe it’s because we are only in the second – going on 3rd – generations of Koreans in America that we can’t see the dilution of our heritage as much as we can see through the 5th/6th generations of Chinese and Japanese in America. So while we cannot stop what may be the inevitable from happening – we can address it. DJ is addressing it as an Asian American/Chinese-American. We are addressing it as Korean-Americans, who see the strong need and the gap between the 1st and 2nd generations. Believe me – I didn’t necessarily think I’d be at a ‘Korean’ institution for media as I have a heart for all of Hollywood and the industry not specific to Koreans. Going back to the topic of exclusivity, KAC Media is specifically leaning towards Korean Americans because it is a spin-off of from a 1st generation Korean Minisitry Broadcast organization called JSTV. The pastor/founder has a heart for the 2nd generation and had a vision to essentially sow into the 2nd generation by having 50% english content. His dream is being realized 20 years later. We are carrying the baton – but are also the only ones who can carry out such a specific task to bridge the gap between 1st and 2nd generation Koreans. No one else has a cultural reference point to do that except for Korean Americans who have 1st generation parents. Does that make sense? So we aren’t exclusive -as we do have a diverse staff of volunteer interns and our content is actually interesting to non-koreans as well. We do book reviews, music/film reviews, cover news topics, etc).

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Comments

  1. elderj says:

    pretty darn intrestin’

  2. human3rror says:

    it’s almost too obvious a move… but, i’m down for whatever gives God the Glory.

    what gets me is that their website could be better. I’m speaking from a pure-technological perspective, but if they are going to kick massive butt online and in digital media, then their website needs to be world class, or at least more representative of who they are. digging into their code and registering for their site revealed some pretty interest stuff.

    but again, that’s just me and my lame surface-level opinion.

  3. David Park says:

    well you would definitely know on the technological perspective. i’m thinking that from a communications standpoint, it’s strange to see the distribution arm push the creative, not the other way around. but again, my fear is that this would still reflect a market-driven ethos rather than a self-sacrificing, missional ethos.

  4. Wayne Park says:

    Impressive. I kept expecting like a cyworld-ish website or something but no, you’re right, this is not how we expected change to come, but a change nonethelss.

    and there’s Seattle’s own Pastor Michael Lee on the front page…

  5. Dion Park says:

    Thank You Next Gener.Asian Church for the write up.
    We really appreciate the support…

    FYI,
    Being a non-profit organization, we accomplished what we did in 6 months with a $0.00 budget. I hope within a couple of years and funding we can make our website world class. With that said, our website ranking went from #20,000,000 when we first started to #151,101 where we are now. That puts us into the top 1% of all website in the US. Again, we are not done, and this is just the beginning..

    As we enter into new media, we want to be bottom up and not top down. We want to partner with different ministries, groups or individuals to produce content that will be relavant to today’s Korean-Amerian Christian.

    If you would like to contribute your talent and skills, or provide some guidance or advise, please send it to dion@kacmedia.org.

    Please keep us in your prayers..

    Best,
    Dion Park
    Executive Director
    http://www.KACmedia.org

  6. David Park says:

    Dion, thanks for chiming in!

    Keep doing what you’re doing if that is what God has called you to do. We are like-minded in our hope for the Korean American community and anything I have to offer here on this blog is yours. I hope you don’t interpret the comments and questions brought up here as “hating” on KAC Media, I do this out of concern and love, not because I think you’re on the wrong track. Honestly, I can’t wait to see what you guys do and intend to bring it up here often. As far as I’m concerned, the more voices that can call Asian American believers out to live their calling with courage, action, truth, fear and trembling, the happier I am. So rock on, and let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

  7. Dion Park says:

    Hi David,

    Thank you once again…. I honestly didn’t take the comments on this blog as “hating” on KAC. I just wanted to be clear where we are, so we may collaborate in the future and possibly trade notes. I think we all have the same goals, but may take different roads.. We are brand new and we don’t have all the answers, so I think this is where comments adds to discussions so we can always improve and grow.. Our ways may be a bit different and unique, but that’s because most of the top leaders in KAC Media is a part of the Silent Exodus, so I think we bring that personal perspective…

    If you want to help us, I would ask that you keep us in your prayers… Otherwise, any advise or suggestions would be greatly appreciated..

    Best,
    Dion Park
    Executive Director
    http://www.KACmedia.org

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