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Five Cries Asian American Young Adults

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Five Cries Asian American Young Adults

  1. 1. Five Cries of Asian American Christian Young Adults<br />Timothy Tseng<br />ISAAC (2011)<br />
  2. 2. Why are we concerned?<br />Legacy<br />New markets<br />Harmonious family<br />Care for our young adults<br />
  3. 3. Generation Next – Millennials – Emerging Adults<br />Changing Sea: The changing spirituality of emerging adult project: www.changingsea.org<br />
  4. 4. On-line survey<br />“My voice/opinion does not count”<br />“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.”<br />
  5. 5. On-line survey<br />“Low expectation by church leaders towards young adults, and having the tendency to be marginalized.”<br />I want “the freedom to be listened to, really listened to, about my concerns about my ministry and future by caring Christian leaders.”<br />
  6. 6. 1. When will I grow up?<br />“Stuck” “My generation is lost, or passed over”<br />The risk economy<br />Wuthnow: ‘tinkerers’ Average American between 18-35 will have held 7 or 8 jobs today.<br />Changing workplace expectations<br />Forever children syndrome<br />
  7. 7. 1. When will I grow up?<br />Longer time to establish “adulthood.”<br />Three pathways to adulthood:<br />Teamwork strategy (1/3)<br />Flying Solo (1/3)<br />Not equipped (1/3)<br />Impact on Asian Americans?<br />Exodus to Promised Land of adulthood<br />Resignation to perpetual dependency<br />
  8. 8. 2. Can I embrace my race?<br />“not fitting in with white culture” “not being Chinese enough for my immigrant friends”<br />The American race script is the problem:<br />“If it ain’t white, it ain’t right”<br />White man’s multiculturalism<br />Gnostics among us<br />
  9. 9. 2. Can I embrace my race?<br />Writing a new script where we belong:<br />Representation (two senses – fair participation and making culture)<br />Post-post-racial Asian American Christian leaders<br />
  10. 10. 3. Am I loved?<br />“How can I find a Christian mate?”<br />Asian American friendship networks become less diverse<br />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.<br />
  11. 11. 3. Am I loved?<br />Edgell & Wuthnow: family ministries are still based on 1950s model – singleness is short term. Today, we can’t assume this to be true.<br />Expressions of Love: Traditional Asian Versus Contemporary American? <br />
  12. 12. 4. Am I being fed at my church?<br />“I’m expected to teach the children and youth, but I’m not being fed spiritually.”<br />The immigrant Asians are too performance and obligation oriented. Where’s the grace? Where’s the beef?<br />
  13. 13. 4. Am I being fed at my church?<br />Do Asian American Christians desire a “moralistic therapeutic deism”? (Christian Smith)[e.g., participation in church makes you feel good about yourself].<br />Result: rejection of obligation, make spiritual practices & religious institutions fit within our lives.<br />
  14. 14. 4. Am I being fed at my church?<br />
  15. 15. 4. Am I being fed at my church?<br />Spiritual, but not religious.<br />
  16. 16. 4. Am I being fed at my church?<br />Who feeds me? Asian or non-Asian Christian leaders? Why?<br />Does Asian American history and experience feed me? Why or why not?<br />Can immigrant congregations offer a more therapeutic spirituality or more substantial theology ?<br />
  17. 17. 5. Am I getting the best value?<br />What % of the following churches are Asians who left Asian immigrant churches? Bay Area churches…<br />Redeemer Presbyterian Church (New York)<br />City Church (San Francisco)<br />Abundant Life Christian Fellowship (Mountain View)<br />First Presbyterian Church (Berkeley)<br />
  18. 18. 5. Am I getting the best value?<br />Lisa Sun-Hee Park, Consuming Citizenship: Children of Asian Immigrant Entrepreneurs (Stanford University Press, 2005)<br />Why do “second generation Asian Americans feel compelled to remind others of their legitimate existence in the United States.”<br />How they “exert social citizenship through consumption.”<br />
  19. 19. 5. Am I getting the best value?<br />Why do English speaking Asian American Christians feel compelled to remind others that they are “legitimate Christians”?<br />Do they exert “spiritual citizenship” through a consumer faith?<br />Consumption: shop, buy, use - but don’t produce, create, participate, lead<br />Is this the Model Minority Christian?<br />
  20. 20. 5. Am I getting the best value?<br />Do parents in our churches create consumer oriented emergents?<br />Best high school<br />Best college<br />Best careers<br />Best spouses and families<br />Best churches? [not Asian American churches, according to the American racial script]<br />
  21. 21. Five Cries Summary<br />When will I grow up?<br />Can I embrace my race?<br />Am I loved?<br />Am I being fed at my church?<br />Am I getting the best value?<br />

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