Ministering to a Disillusioned Generation Workshop Live-blog Day 1

  • 5:00 PM dpark75 – intros – more of a consultation than conference. soong chan rah, paul tokunaga…
  • 5:04 PM dpark75 – what is your experience with the disillusioned generation? save definition of disilusioned for later
  • 5:05 PM dpark75 – reason for definition later is that learning together means we hear experiences first.
  • 5:07 PM dpark75 – rah: while pastoring, felt 20something angst, more pronounced among ANA’s. even though they had “everything going” for them. why are they not happy with their lives? disillusionment not only with the church…is that pronounced more in ANA community?
  • 5:11 PM dpark75 – brian kim (newsong OC): thinks disengaged more than disillusioned. disillusionment particularly of asian american men, reverting back to confucian dominant gender, etc. how do we cultivate ANA christian men?
  • 5:14 PM dpark75 – bolim: disillusionment is part of my own journey. dealing with undergrads, now works to disorient them. their world is nice and neat, largely conservative. don’t want them to walk away graduating agnostic. wants to navigate both their spiritual journey from naive faith to robust one, which is to navigate ethnic identity.
  • 5:16 PM dpark75 – sharon ko (ebcla): this is a reality for all americans, ANA or not (disillusionment). yet, there is a search for a deeper authenticity, more real spirituality and radar for integrity between walk and talk.
  • 5:19 PM dpark75 – (access, houston TX) some of disillusionment is particularly with church as it is being expressed. they’ve been looking for faith. church doesn’t appeal to them at all.
  • 5:22 PM dpark75 – *: disillusionment comes from unresolved stuff that hasn’t been dealt with. they didn’t finish something. with AA’s, folks who were idealistic — got degrees, got job, got into a routine, but their marriages are failing.
  • 5:25 PM dpark75 – * (acf): what i struggle with is my scope of influence (USC), the epitome of the american dream is not USC and how we can’t have it and it doesn’t fit with biblical values. it is a glass ceiling? did we put it in ourselves? how are we bringing the lifechanging message of Jesus Christ? where is it? we want the promised land, we don’t want to go back to egypt
  • 5:27 PM dpark75 – ken kong: with SE asians, we desire justice, a voice in our communities, churches, nation to understand where we are and where we came from. refugee experience, assimiliation, 60% don’t graduate HS. who are we as a church? what is family in our context, many of us have not seen healthy families?
  • 5:34 PM dpark75 – daniel (canada): stories of immigration which is rejected by 2nd+ gen. typical, parents would say, we came here for your education and you have to be successful. all this sacrifice is for you. the response from 2nd gen. that is bull#$@#. they interpret immigration as 1st gen coming here for themselves. but i’m noticing there is no narrative for 2nd to own and tell other ppl. the immigration stories are so hypocritical sometimes.
  • 5:36 PM dpark75 – gideon (austin, TX): our community is not angry, and the things they are angry at, i’m ok with. but angry at the 21st c. church. the challenge is trying to create new wineskins. it’s so tiring, that i’m tempted to take someone else’s wineskins, but we are here to figure out how it should look for us and my kids. in your 20s, you’re supposed to ask questions. you should be angry and/or questioning something. if not, then it says something about your faith. there is hope in the midst of the struggle.
  • 5:39 PM dpark75 – paul tok: i live with the disillusioned generation. disillusioned is a good way to describe how they feel about the church.
  • 5:40 PM dpark75 – is this a generational issue?
  • 5:42 PM dpark75 – what is the age range? 20-30 angst? coming out of idealism? or 1st-2nd generation issue – hypocrisy? questioning parents’ motivation. realistic?
  • 5:42 PM dpark75 – maybe disillusionment is not negative, it is part of spiritual growth
  • 5:43 PM dpark75 – difference between apathy and questioning: OK to question, challenge, be angry. is it OK to be apathetic?
  • 5:43 PM dpark75 – church as an institution? hypocrisy leads to disillusionment
  • 5:44 PM dpark75 – developmental component to disillusionment
  • 5:45 PM dpark75 – also situational component to disillusionment (war, displacement)
  • 5:46 PM dpark75 – work now on definition for disillusioned ANA generation
  • 5:46 PM dpark75 – paul tok and sc rah came up with this definition to start:
  • 5:48 PM dpark75 – 1) context is Asian North American
    2) de-churched. there are unchurched people and then those who were brought up in church, they = de-churched. do we also want to include unchurched in our definition? de-churched = silent exodus.
  • 5:48 PM dpark75 – what contributes to de-churching?
  • 5:49 PM dpark75 – – folks leave.
    – they call themselves “spiritual” but not “religious” (fastest growing 8% to 16% from 1990 to now)
    – they left ANA church for other churches; often for white megachurch
  • 5:51 PM dpark75 – 3) 2nd gen, ANA
  • 5:55 PM dpark75 – how do we develop ministry models out of that theological reflection?
  • 5:55 PM dpark75 – let’s look at the theology of the household of God and create an ecclesiology from this.
  • 5:56 PM dpark75 – is disillusioned too negative of a word?
  • 5:57 PM dpark75 – a lot of the disillusionment is not particular to asians…
  • 5:58 PM dpark75 – we might look at both: specific disillusionment to ANA or general
  • 5:59 PM dpark75 – is “questioning” or “searching” a better word than disillusioned?
  • 5:59 PM dpark75 – are they apathetic because we’ve told them accept the status quo?
  • 6:00 PM dpark75 – but how do we minister them? they’ve been through it all, but now royally hurt
  • 6:02 PM dpark75 – how do we walk alongside?
  • 6:02 PM dpark75 – based on a model for depression: disappointed to disillusioned to depressed
  • 6:03 PM dpark75 – are we saying this generation is worse?
  • 6:03 PM dpark75 – there are a lot of positive things about disillusionment
  • 6:04 PM dpark75 – the framing is “the answer is to get ppl back into church” then i object
  • 6:04 PM dpark75 – depends on how you define church
  • 6:04 PM dpark75 – 🙂
  • 6:05 PM dpark75 – can we table the titling of this for now?
  • 6:06 PM dpark75 – de-churched vs. unchurched…or do we want to tackle both
  • 6:06 PM djchuang – yup! significant number of ANAs going to majority white megachurches to attend but proportionally few get involved in life of megachurch
  • 6:08 PM dpark75 – mostly ANAs seem to be de-churched
  • 6:08 PM dpark75 – they are coming away with experiences they’ve grown up with. they’re stepping away to re-create something they can own. where is the good news?
  • 6:09 PM dpark75 – there are many cases where the disillusioned leaders are leading disillusioned followers. can be a very dysfunctional spiral
  • 6:10 PM dpark75 – there is a fine line with disillusionment
  • 6:10 PM dpark75 – it is a real part of the christian life.
  • 6:10 PM dpark75 – we ourselves are not given the space to question
  • 6:10 PM dpark75 – that’s why this is exciting…we want to give opportunities for questioning
  • 6:11 PM dpark75 – SE asians are still in the process of discovering church not getting people back to church
  • 6:12 PM dpark75 – more concerned about religious as opposed to spiritual
  • 6:13 PM dpark75 – a lot of people have been exposed to church. but they might not really be disillusioned from church because no one has taken the time to explain and live with them. unchurched is more about questions and permission to ask them in church context
  • 6:14 PM dpark75 – it’s tough to be disillusioned by a caricature of church
  • 6:16 PM dpark75 – disillusioned implies previous engagement with church. it doesn’t mean our hearts don’t grieve for the unchurched.
  • 6:17 PM dpark75 – next: 2nd or next generation?
  • 6:20 PM dpark75 – leaning more towards “next” vs. 2nd
  • 6:24 PM dpark75 – back to what are we talking about when we say “disillusioned?”
  • 6:25 PM dpark75 – are ANAs disillusioned in a particular way?
  • 6:27 PM dpark75 – disillusionment not just reactive to first gen
  • 6:30 PM dpark75 – there must be something particular in this work that we are doing in this context
  • 6:30 PM dpark75 – there is a particular demographic here, harder to identify
  • 6:31 PM dpark75 – there will be overlap, but…
  • 6:31 PM dpark75 – we’re specifically addressing the ANA context
  • 6:32 PM dpark75 – more work tomorrow.

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