Archive for the 'trends' Category


Research on Bay Area Chinese Churches

Just a quickie during my oil change at a Honda dealership. I came across this informative news thanks to DJChuang on L2Foundation on some findings on Chinese churches from the Bay Area Chinese Churches Research Project. They will report their findings at a 3 day conference in the Bay Area with pastors and church leaders. Register online before November 3rd for complimentary free access.

Here’s some highlights.

  • There are over half a million Chinese in the six Bay Area counties. Between 1990 and 2000, the Chinese population increased by 45%, compared with a 12% increase in the total population.
  • In 1950, there were 15 Chinese churches in the Bay Area. Our 1996 Study listed 158 churches, a ten fold increase. In 2008, the number churches had risen to 194.
  • In 1996, total attendance at worship on a typical Sunday was 21,435. In 2008, that number had risen to 29,960.

We need a collaborative effort like this on the East Coast. I’ll get back to that thought after I pick up my car.


Imprint: Culture Lab

So many conferences around this time. Wish I could be at all of them.
Here’s one the one that I would have picked above all others: Imprint Culture Lab, at the Japanese American National Museum, CA, Oct 1.

ICL was founded to investigate and curate global creative culture, and foster cross-pollination between business and creative entities. It’s in its third year and the speaker lineup this year is impressive. These guys are the hitmakers. They’re influencers. They create cool. I love the intersection of Asian-American culture and creative power.

Among the cool:
Mark Arcenal
Founder/Creative Director for Fatlace and a member of the Nike Global Digital Design Group
Jeff Staple
Founder/Designer, Staple Design
Julia Huang
CEO of interTrend Communications, Inc.

Conference Hop
Catalyst Conference 2008, georgia, oct 8-10
Lead for the City, st. louis, mo, oct 20-22, 2008

Wish there were more NorthEast happenings so I can attend. Know of any upcoming 2008 or 2009? or of any around the world that I should consider blowing my budget on?


Gen Y and Heroes

Monday nights have been revived for me. You’ll find me glazed over watching Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Heroes. I’m still eagerly waiting for new episodes of Battlestar Galactica (ETA: Jan 2009). NYTimes reviewed the new season of Heroes and gives us some great insight into Gen Y. If you don’t have a clue about Gen Y then here’s a good way to start. It’s important to know the things that shape a generation and their attitudes towards the world. Unfortunately, the church tends to be years behind the times and still trying to minister to generations before. I deeply appreciate James Chuong‘s approach to tell the Gospel in this context. Check out, From Four Laws to Four Circles. As you read and understand Gen Y you’ll see how well the Four Circles works to convey the story of God today.

Insights From Times Review
The current economic crisis confirms Gen Y’s worst fears that their baby boomer parents are leaving them a world convulsed by war, drowning in debt and melting down under global warming.

And Generation Y has more special abilities than any previous one: these are people who came of age taking the Internet, BlackBerries, cash machines, Facebook and iPods for granted. They also take the taking for granted. They are the most coddled, indulged and overprotected generation ever. Swaddled in safety and self-esteem, they have all been assured that they are special. They don’t rebel against their parents or even seek independence; they welcome an electronic umbilical cord that stretches through high school and college and even the post-graduate return to the empty nest.

“Your mother, my father, God knows what else they’ve done. How much longer are we going to have to clean up their mess?” – Matt Parkman, Telepath on Heroes

Every Generation Has Heroes
Each generation thinks less of the next generation. The Boomers were the hippies. Gen X were the slackers. I can’t help but have some of my own criticisms as I have worked with Gen Y over the years. I do get frustrated with many of them but I know it is unfair to make sweeping statements of an entire generation. Generally they are certainly driven individuals. Especially among Asian-Americans, talented, privileged. Demanding? Who doesn’t want work-life balance? They want to be CEOs by their mid twenties but only prepared to work 35 hours a week to get there. Wouldn’t that be nice? Big rewards with little or no effort? The old paradigm used to be work hard and eventually you’ll make it. Now it’s be famous for doing nothing. They want the life of heirs and heiresses. I want to just say, grow up! — Er… or more spiritually say, we need to leave room for God to disrupt our lives. We’re all ordinary people called to be heroes who have all of God’s resources to fulfill that calling. But if we really want to be real heroes, we have to decide if this seemingly impossible mission of God is worth giving everything up for. At some point, we need to confront our hypocrisies – what do we desire more?

The Post Gen Y Generation (11-13 in 2008, born in 1995-1997) is in formation right now. We’ve yet to know what they’re attitudes will be as they are being shaped by a world that offers no easy answers. I think they will be a conservative generation. They know their world has limits.

How will we shape theology and minister to them?
Have we even started that discussion in the church yet? Oh, I’m 10yrs too early.

Related Posts
Apple Love and Gen Y
Gen Y Myths Debunked


Asian American Population Increases

Last week census statistics unveiled that the Asian American population increased by 434,000 to surpass 15.2 million, or 5 percent of the estimated total U.S. population of 301.6 million. AsiAms are also the second fastest-growing minority group after Hispanics. The white population grew by 0.3 percent between 2006-2007.

Hot Spots: Five million Asians live in California, which had the largest Asian population, as well as the largest numerical increase, of 106,000, during the 2006 to 2007 period. New York (1.4 million) and Texas (915,000) followed in population. Texas (44,000) and New York (33,000) followed in numerical increase.


US Census Press Release
AsianWeek: Asian American Population Surpasses 15 Million

Related Past Blogs
The Asian Invasion and Other Minorities Fast Becoming the Majority
33 Million Asians by 2050


Apple Love Is In the Air

Apple Macbook Air

First of all this is not another post about what new cool product Apple released that I can’t wait to get my hands on. As if the blogosphere needs another one. But I will attempt to take another look at all the wonder in Apple technology.

The world seems to stop momentarily for Macworld. Apple just has that magic.
They’ve got mystery and they usually don’t let people down. I admit my heart didn’t flutter as usual from the revelations made today but how can you follow up from the iPhone? The truth is you can’t. As much as we’d like Apple to do it over and over again. There is a time for everything. This is a year where Apple is still innovative and leading change. They are leading a revolution. Macworld’s mantra, “there’s something in the air” is more than just about the new MacBook Air, it’s about a wireless revolution.

So Apple revealed possibly the thinnest notebook on the market, the Macbook Air.
Sexy as usual. That’s what Apple does best. They are without doubt the ultimate purveyors of cool.
I was hoping for a very small and portable alternative to my MacBook Pro. But I don’t know if this is it. It’s definitely not priced right for me as with many of Apple’s products…just starting at 1799.00
But here’s the sexiness anyway. . .
• A 13.3in widescreen display and .76in thin at 3lbs.
• The option for the much desired solid state hard drive.
• A bright and efficient LED display which means longer battery life

What else is new? Movie rentals. Apple TV2. Somewhat exciting updates particularly because the Apple TV wasn’t the typical Apple success story but they are still pushing it. Why? It tells us something about the direction of Apple and the times we now live in. Apple is in pole position and not as a computing company. It’s no mere competitor of Microsoft, formerly known as a software company. And what’s to come of Microsoft with Bill Gates is on his way out? Why is it time to retire? I’m genuinely happy about that and not in that sinister Mac kinda way. I really admire the man because he’s focusing on something more important. Last week’s CES (The Consumer Electronic Show) may give us some clues as to how the times are changing.

“This was the year of “anywhere, any time” fever, when Hollywood‘s output—along with Web information and the personal stuff we generate ourselves—gets distributed and subdivided so we can amuse or inform ourselves at any time or place.

In the new age, users won’t have to worry about where content comes from or where it’s stored. Everything will just work, and now can be supercharged by the interactive and social nature of the Net.” – Steven Levy

The challenge is to get it all working smoothly and of course wirelessly. Who better does that than Apple? There’s something in the air indeed. They were the first to implement the new wireless standard (802.11 N) in its products. Insert the iPhone, Apple TV. Apple TV2. iTunes movie rentals. Apple has a very large bullseye on it like never before because they’re investing in something central to the American soul – Entertainment. They’re putting it wherever you are. Your computer. Your phone. Your iPod. Your TV. Anywhere, any time.


ABCs and Church

The L2 Foundation blog posted today about the alarming percentage of ABCs that attend church, less than 2% according to the recent Render Conference near Houston. [link:”Alarming Statistics About American Born Chinese“]

Less than 2% doesn’t surprise me as if any number would be comforting or satisfactory. If I have my numbers correct, there are roughly 3.5million Chinese in America and out of that number we have somewhere around 1.1million ABCs. So you do the math. 2% of 1.1million. You’d probably find many of these church going ABCs on the coasts.

The Chinese have been in America a long time (since the 1840s). So you have Chinese churches in practically every state. A Chinese church over 50 years old would typically have lots of ABCs in it and probably close to half of those churches would be found in California. However the fact of the matter is that these churches have been losing generation after generation of ABCs. Since the U.S. Immigration Act of 1965 those statistics would dwindle further since there would be a growing number of first generation immigrant churches/congregations under 20 years old. These congregations will have ABC children and eventually English speaking ministries. The ABC population will only continue to grow (approx. 30-40k a year). The need to reach them will also grow.

It’s easy to be complacent with who comes to our services. We need to ask how many “new” Christians or seekers actually come? Why don’t they? I believe most of the growth in our English Speaking Ministries is not new growth by conversion but from transplanted Christians. We have young mostly single ABC Christians coming and going. It’s a cultural phenomenon. The hard truth is that there are many Chinese or ABCs outside of our walls (over 95%). There’s so much work to be done.

Statistics on Chinese in America from US Census Data 2006


33 Million Asians by 2050

The Asian American immigrant population has passed the 10 million mark, making up about a quarter of the 37.5 million immigrants in the United States in 2006, says data released by the U.S. Census Bureau in September.

Nationally, the projected number of U.S. residents of Asian descent, fueled largely by new immigrants, is expected to rise to eight percent or 33 million by 2050. The anticipated growth of 213 percent in the APA population is the fastest of any racial group, compared to a predicted 49 percent increase in the United States’ population as a whole over the same period.

More than 1.2 million new residents settle in the United States each year as a result of both legal and illegal immigration, producing steady population increases in states like California, which has more immigrants than any other state.

Link to AsianWeek article, “Asian American Immigrants Top 10 Million”


Racism on the Decline Evidenced by Rise in Interracial Marriages

Interracial Marriage Interracial Marriage Interracial Marriage

Here’s a tidbit from Paul Krugman, author of the new book, The Conscience of a Liberal, citing that we are becoming less white and less racist evidenced by our rising acceptance of interracial marriages

Beyond the blunt, crude fact that America is getting less white, there’s a more uplifting reason to believe that the political exploitation of race may be losing its force: As a nation we’ve become much less racist. The most dramatic evidence of diminishing racism is the way people respond to questions about a subject that once struck terror into white hearts: miscegenation.

In 1978, as the ascent of movement conservatism to power was just beginning, only 36 percent of Americans polled by Gallup approved of marriages between whites and blacks, while 54 percent disapproved. As late as 1991 only a plurality of 48 percent approved. By 2002, however, 65 percent of Americans approved of interracial marriages; by June 2007, that was up to 77 percent.

Is racism actually declining?
Perhaps a little.
But the system is still broke. Especially when you see life through non-White eyes.

Also See:
• How a New Generation Navigates Through Interracial Marriage from New American Media
Cornell Research Examines Interracial Marriage amongst Blacks
Recent Gallup Poll

Interracial Relationships: UK “Asians” More Likely Intolerant and Racist


random. threadless in chi-town.

a random update hailing the cool in chi-town.
one of my favorite tshirt companies is threadless. it’s a competition, it’s about design, it’s about the people, it’s about t-shirts, it’s a website, it’s now a real store in chicago opening today. since 2000 threadless has taken scores of t-shirt design submissions and have chosen 4-6 winners every week to be printed and sold online. the threadless online community gets to choose what design they like and even submit their own photos of the shirts they’ve purchased modeled in various imaginative settings for our bemusement.

threadless sept 14

threadless store chicago Threadless Store Opening Chicago


The Asian Invasion and other minorities fast becoming the majority

Minority Population Growth

According to a recent aricle from the NYTimes, minorities now form majority in one-third of most-populous counties. That’s right, a whole lotta Asians.
Asians were the only major racial or ethnic group to record population gains in every county in the New York metropolitan region since 2005, according to recent census figures. Interestingly, the Hispanic population decreased.

From 2005 to 2006, the number of Asians increased by more than 10 percent in three New Jersey counties: Gloucester, Salem and Warren.

The highest growth rates among Asian populations were in metropolitan Napa, Calif., and Ocala, Naples, Cape Coral and Port St. Lucie, Fla. The greatest numerical increases were in New York (309,773), Los Angeles (216,987), Washington (105,390), San Francisco (103,073) and Chicago (93,237).

From July 1, 2005, to July 1, 2006, metropolitan Chicago edged out Honolulu in Asian population.

Whites are now in the minority in nearly one in 10 U.S. counties. Some of them aren’t too happy with the increasing diversity in our country. What year is this? Minorities have for a long time had large populations in the cities but now they’re spreading into the suburbs and beyond where many Whites moved to get away from the ails of the city. Change happens.

“The new melting pots are not large international gateways,” Professor Frey said, adding, “Rather, many are fast-growing suburbs themselves.

As a person who’s job is to be where the most people are to make the highest impact I used to think I needed to be in the cities exclusively because of population density. Being in New Jersey shown me otherwise. While I think I still need to be in the city for other reasons it would be wise to think strategically about the suburbs.

Some churches seem to be on top of that.
Who woulda thunk that Lansdale, Pa would have a growing Asian population? Just 21 miles north of Philly. Cornerstone Presbyterian is a growing Asian-American family church engaging that growing population. Lansdale? It has a population of 15,913 among which is 8% Asian. Neighbor, Montgomeryville also sports a hearty 8%.

Continue reading ‘The Asian Invasion and other minorities fast becoming the majority’

[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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