FACT: Asian American Christians are becoming the most influential racial-ethnic presence in American evangelicalism today!
HOWEVER: Asian American Christianity may not survive another generation because of unhealthy leadership, cultural practices, and racialized expectations.
THEREFORE: We urgently need healthy leaders to serve Asian American Christian communities!
Over the past thirty years as a theological educator, denominational leader, scholar, activist, and pastor, I’ve dedicated myself to equipping leaders and scholars for the Church. I’ve come to the conclusion that healthy leaders are essential for vibrant faith communities – especially among my fellow Asian Americans.
That is why I started the Healthy Church Leaders Initiative. We are a network of pastors and church leaders who are Asian Americans and/or do ministry in Asian American settings. Together we strive to encourage one another, empower emerging leaders, and envision the future of Asian American Christianity. We want to help lay and ministry leaders thrive in Asian American settings. My research, experiences, and conversations with seasoned colleagues have confirmed to me that healthy leaders:
- encourage and sustain one another through mutually supportive communities and practices,
- cultivate emerging leaders through mentoring and training programs,
- build vibrant congregations and faith communities with contextual competency, and
- aspire to be visionary leaders who model best practices and speak thoughtfully to Christian faith in today’s changing world.
It is an exciting and challenging undertaking to raise up a generation of leaders who embody these characteristics. But I believe that God has a vision and purpose for Asian American Christianity. And God wants healthy leaders to guide the next generation.
So please join me in this exciting endeavor! Tell me your ideas, stories, and suggestions. I look forward to hearing from you!
Timothy Tseng, PhD
The Healthy Church Leaders Initiative is a program of the Asian American Leadership Center.