AALC2008 Blogging Part 3, Hype and Substance

OK… finally getting back into the swing of things here in Philly.
It’s good to be home and back into the thralls of life. Still processing some of the things that occurred at AALC [Asian-American Leadership Conference]. I thought I’d blog more there but the conference was surprisingly short! Before I knew it I was on a plane. One thing is certain, ministry never stops and waits for no one. I was able to catch me some March Madness over the weekend. The coaches were interviewed about what they had done over the season and what they need to do to get to San Antonio. One of them said, “we have to deal with what’s in front of us” and it struck me. Ain’t that the truth! The road to glory is long and difficult. We have to keep on keeping on with the next thing.

I could not help but connect that to some of the things shared by the David Gibbons and Ken Fong. They were both raw and spot on. They spoke about misguided ambitions and discouragement from a pastoral perspective. I think very often pastors/leaders get stuck with “vision” and where they’d like to be that they don’t know how to deal with what’s right in front of them. I think it’s the hardest thing for young leaders to face in the immigrant church. We know where we’d like the church to be but it takes an immense amount of effort to get ‘there’. Also, just where is there anyway?

“Do any of us get to Narnia or do we get stuck in the closet?”
“Is bigger better?”
– David Gibbons

“One of the most frustrating things for people doing full time ministry is the absolute persistence that people have to not changing things or changing the nature of our organization. We’re naive to think that because we’re Christian we’re going to embrace change.”
– Ken Fong

AALC 2008 David Gibbons AALC 2008 Ken Fong

I know things take a long time to move in the immigrant church. It’s excruciatingly slow for a second generation used to a non-stop, always connected, glocal culture. Sure there are many factors at work but I think it’s worthwhile to consider dealing with what God has put right in front of us with fervor. Let’s not get caught up with ecclesiastical porn – wanting what we can’t have, right now. Sure looking at certain churches/ministries out there can quicken our hearts like a centerfold pin-up but the truth is it’s not all roses. Eugene Cho and Gideon Tsang did a wonderful job demystifying the hype and their churches. Sure Quest Church/Q Cafe is one of the hot churches in Seattle. They are doing cool, great things. Eugene painted a beautifully dark road getting there [my pastor is a janitor]. Gideon spoke truthfully about life at Vox Veniae and how messy it really is.

Let’s not jump on everything that looks sexy. There are blessings that are right in front of us that we’re missing.
Prepare for glory~

AALC 2008 Eugene Cho AALC 2008 Gideon Tsang

Eavesdrop on Eugene Cho and Gideon Tsang
[via DJChuang]
AALC2008 Blogging Part 1 and Part 2
AALC2008 Coverage by Daniel Eng: Session 1, Session 2, Session 3


2 Responses to “AALC2008 Blogging Part 3, Hype and Substance”

  1. 1 Pete
    April 13, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Well spoken.

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[american born chinese pastor]
seeks to be that third place for those who are american born chinese [abc] in ministry.
here we may explore issues unique to the chinese church and doing ministry in that context
expand the intersection of asian american culture and christian faith
or simply expose what goes on in the mind of this abcpastor

this may be a bit ambitious or even naiive but i do hope that through the posts we can bring together different faith communities, passions for the advancement of the Gospel and the equipping of the body of Christ.

if you are an abc pastor or have any suggestions or would like to contribute to make this space evolve, just comment.

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