Imported Entries to Join Our Voices

We’ve imported a dozen or so blog entries from another blog called “yellowfaith” – Ministry and faith from an Asian American perspective. Posted & imported with permission. Browse those blog entries here, they’re tagged “imported“. Below is the introduction from that blog (which ended in 2011.)

yellowfaith: welcome

(Posted June 19 2009 by Dave Ingland)

yellowfaith was created in response to the ongoing conversation of Asian American Christians and how they connect within the church. Should Asian Americans succumb to a Caucasian American worship experience on Sundays? If Asian Americans gather in a community of faith with other Asian Americans, should this be viewed as a form of racism? Is there an identity crisis amongst Asian American Christians, confused as to who they are in Christ–too Asian to fit in with Caucasians, yet not Asian enough to worship with other Asian Americans? When Asian Americans connect in a white church that seeks to be multi-cultural, is their culture truly recognized or are they asked to confirm to a white rather than yellow gospel? Should there even be a yellow gospel?

Here at yellowfaith we hope to engage in some hard questions in the interest of gaining some understanding to the state of faith in Asian American culture today.

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Is Francis Chan…

… on his way to becoming the next Rob Bell? (Sorry, couldn’t resist tipping my hat to the last NG.AC post about Francis Chan. You know which one.)

Flannel, the folks behind the Nooma series (featuring Rob Bell) are launching another DVD series called We Are Church featuring Francis Chan. From their site (you can read the full post here, and watch a short clip of Francis talking about it):

…you might already know that Nooma was the beginning of a much bigger vision – a vision that encompassed working with many highly creative speakers to communicate the way of Jesus to the world.

Early last year, we committed to pursuing the larger vision and began a search for additional speakers to champion new projects.  The search process included wonderful conversations with ministry and seminary leaders, publishers, Christians bookstore executives, authors, pastors, and more that helped us identify well over 100 candidates… in the end, we felt God leading us to Francis Chan.

I have enjoyed the Nooma series with Rob Bell – the content, aesthetic, communication style and length (seriously, let’s keep our Bible study DVDs under 30 minutes!) have been a good fit for our church community.  I am looking forward to seeing what they do with Francis Chan, if they can capture the energy and passion of his live delivery.  Francis’ short film Stop & Think has a similar vibe (and clocks in at a very reasonable 15 minutes!) — a good sign for the future of this partnership with Flannel.  Stop and think for yourself below.

If this We Are Church series has a similar impact as the Nooma series, perhaps Francis Chan will become a household name in the way Rob Bell has. While I’m sure that’s not Francis’ goal — by all accounts, he is a genuinely humble follower of Jesus — I would love to see an Asian American find a platform like that to speak to both the church and our culture.

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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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