Five Cries Asian American Young AdultsPresentation Transcript
Five Cries of Asian American Christian Young Adults Timothy Tseng ISAAC (2011)
Why are we concerned? Legacy New markets Harmonious family Care for our young adults
Generation Next – Millennials – Emerging Adults Changing Sea: The changing spirituality of emerging adult project: www.changingsea.org
On-line survey “My voice/opinion does not count” “I need to be a confident person at work and standing up for myself - to not let people treat me like I'm a teenager since I look young.”
On-line survey “Low expectation by church leaders towards young adults, and having the tendency to be marginalized.” I want “the freedom to be listened to, really listened to, about my concerns about my ministry and future by caring Christian leaders.”
1. When will I grow up? “Stuck” “My generation is lost, or passed over” The risk economy Wuthnow: ‘tinkerers’ Average American between 18-35 will have held 7 or 8 jobs today. Changing workplace expectations Forever children syndrome
1. When will I grow up? Longer time to establish “adulthood.” Three pathways to adulthood: Teamwork strategy (1/3) Flying Solo (1/3) Not equipped (1/3) Impact on Asian Americans? Exodus to Promised Land of adulthood Resignation to perpetual dependency
2. Can I embrace my race? “not fitting in with white culture” “not being Chinese enough for my immigrant friends” The American race script is the problem: “If it ain’t white, it ain’t right” White man’s multiculturalism Gnostics among us
2. Can I embrace my race? Writing a new script where we belong: Representation (two senses – fair participation and making culture) Post-post-racial Asian American Christian leaders
3. Am I loved? “How can I find a Christian mate?” Asian American friendship networks become less diverse First time in history – majority of emergents (18-29) are not married with children and are not surrounded by others who have made that life transition.
3. Am I loved? Edgell & Wuthnow: family ministries are still based on 1950s model – singleness is short term. Today, we can’t assume this to be true. Expressions of Love: Traditional Asian Versus Contemporary American?
4. Am I being fed at my church? “I’m expected to teach the children and youth, but I’m not being fed spiritually.” The immigrant Asians are too performance and obligation oriented. Where’s the grace? Where’s the beef?
4. Am I being fed at my church? Do Asian American Christians desire a “moralistic therapeutic deism”? (Christian Smith)[e.g., participation in church makes you feel good about yourself]. Result: rejection of obligation, make spiritual practices & religious institutions fit within our lives.
4. Am I being fed at my church?
4. Am I being fed at my church? Spiritual, but not religious.
4. Am I being fed at my church? Who feeds me? Asian or non-Asian Christian leaders? Why? Does Asian American history and experience feed me? Why or why not? Can immigrant congregations offer a more therapeutic spirituality or more substantial theology ?
5. Am I getting the best value? What % of the following churches are Asians who left Asian immigrant churches? Bay Area churches… Redeemer Presbyterian Church (New York) City Church (San Francisco) Abundant Life Christian Fellowship (Mountain View) First Presbyterian Church (Berkeley)
5. Am I getting the best value? Lisa Sun-Hee Park, Consuming Citizenship: Children of Asian Immigrant Entrepreneurs (Stanford University Press, 2005) Why do “second generation Asian Americans feel compelled to remind others of their legitimate existence in the United States.” How they “exert social citizenship through consumption.”
5. Am I getting the best value? Why do English speaking Asian American Christians feel compelled to remind others that they are “legitimate Christians”? Do they exert “spiritual citizenship” through a consumer faith? Consumption: shop, buy, use - but don’t produce, create, participate, lead Is this the Model Minority Christian?
5. Am I getting the best value? Do parents in our churches create consumer oriented emergents? Best high school Best college Best careers Best spouses and families Best churches? [not Asian American churches, according to the American racial script]
Five Cries Summary When will I grow up? Can I embrace my race? Am I loved? Am I being fed at my church? Am I getting the best value?