Never Going Back to the (Asian) Church?

Korean Americans (cropped from the original)
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[Guest post by Wayne Park]

Since this is not my personal blog, maybe I’ll use this space to bitch a bit.

Having just finished a really tough MDiv in record time and with good marks I find that I am becoming a casualty of the pastoral unemployment dilemna. Is it because I’m unmarketable? Maybe I can’t “gather people” as I’ve been told. Maybe I’m “inexperienced” or not ordained yet. Bullshit.

And what tickles me is that these criticisms have come from churches / search committees / boards / people from my own ethnic background. Can’t you give a brother a break 😉 I have noticed as a Korean-American the strong propensity towards a certain kind of ecclesiology with almost no backing for it. For example. When I search KAMR it astounds me how many Korean churches want to hire pastors who are “Reformed”. I’ll bet many of these have no clue that Calvin was a closeted Arminian. Nope just made that up. Made you flinch. But really, Korean-Americans tend to be completely clueless as to why the vast majority of us must lean one way theologically. It drives me nucking futs.

Will I give up on the Korean church?

I’m not so sure about that yet. As exasperated as I have become after a year of job searching, I still know that there is a strategic role for the Korean immigrant church to play. And I’ve watched other ethnicities closely on this. I mean it. But us Koreans? I just don’t know yet. As for now I reverting back to my desire to find a pastoral call to a multiethnic church. Or maybe even a totally white one. But go back to the Korean church? I think I’ve had enough.

Am I wrong? Should I keep my heart and mind open to the abuse? Or should I keep my heart and mind open to love my people?

1 thought on “Never Going Back to the (Asian) Church?”

  1. Just some practical tips in the job search with the Korean church…

    From my experience with the Korean church, relationships are important. If you or a family member/ friend know somebody in the church it’ll be easier to get your foot in the door. Married candidates are preferred over unmarried ones. They’ll look to see if your spouse would be a good sa-moh-nim.

    I would skip the sites like KAMR and contact family and friends to see if they know of any openings at churches. The Christian world is not much different from the secular world in terms of hiring. Sites like, careerbuilder, etc. are useless. Personal connections will help out more.

    Korean churches want candidates, who are older, experienced, and married. So a single 25-year-old fresh out of seminary and undergrad will have almost no shot in being hired as a non-youth pastor. The ideal candidate would be a married guy 35 and up with children, with some experience, fluent in Korean, and with a connection in the church.

    I hope this helps out and things work out for you, bro.

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