I’m ending my first day in Madison, WI after a week in Durham NC participating in my friend’s wedding & meeting up with supporters and partners. Why am I in Madison you ask?
Because I am receiving training on how to plant a new InterVarsity chapter! This week is InterVarsity’s training camp week for staff of all kinds. My chapter planting track is just one of several going on here in Madison, WI. Specifically, I am part of a special select group called the chapter planting cohort — a unique group of staff selected after an extensive process to receive the best training, coaching, and resources as they set out to plant new chapters.
I began applying for the cohort back in January. After extensive applications, self-assessment, recommendations from several other staff/supervisors, and a phone interview, I was selected from among 30 candidates to receive 1 of 20 spots in the cohort. My supervisor, Joe — Duke IV’s staff worker before my time and the first Asian-American staff worker in our region — is going to be my coach for the entire planting project! We will work together over the next years to bring about the vision of raising up missional, culturally-adept Asian-American leaders and reach non-Christian Asian-Americans.
Tonight we had an introductory session to get acquainted with our schedule, some of the program staff, and other planters and coaches we’re working with. I look forward to 6 more days of great material and listening to the Lord!
Shawn, the new Director of Chapter Planting, leads our introductory session.
Part 2 of my article has posted on the national IV blog. Click HERE. The second part is how you can proactively share your story (of Christ, transformation, and so on) with your friends back home.
From June 12-19, I spent time with Chinese Gospel Church of Massachusetts (CGCM, my home church) in Southborough, MA. As students are on break, I spent time visiting and serving churches that partner with me — seminars, preaching, presenting my ministry plan — because I value my partnerships tremendously & see them as a significant part of my in ministry. This is Part 3 of 3 about visiting CGCM!
On Sunday, June 19, I had the privilege of being commissioned by the Chinese Gospel Church of Massachusetts (my home church) as a missionary partner. I am extremely grateful for their support and commitment to me and the work I’m doing with InterVarsity!
Click the video below (or go HERE) to watch the commissioning from 53:20 to 1:14:10. I briefly present my work with InterVarsity as a chapter planter, then the elders pray over me. You’ll notice our pastor translates for me because this is the main congregation, conducted entirely in Mandarin Chinese.
Presenting about Asian-American IV at the beginning of the commissioning.
My prayer of commissioning by our pastor and the church elders.
From June 12-19, I spent time with Chinese Gospel Church of Massachusetts (CGCM, my home church) in Southborough, MA. As students are on break, I spent time visiting and serving churches that partner with me — seminars, preaching, presenting my ministry plan — because I value my partnerships tremendously & see them as a significant part of my in ministry. This is Part 2 of 3 about visiting CGCM!
This Friday I was given the opportunity to lead a seminar for parents (though there were some kids/youth there) on the topic of Asian-American identity. Ever since I came on staff, and particularly in one decisive instance in December, the questions and plight of parents has been a driving factor for me and the needs I am responding to. Since the parents are not Asian-American — they cannot provide their kids with a good model of how to navigate the identity journey. But I told them that they could do their best to pass on a version of Chinese culture to their kids that is at least good and Godly and scripturally attuned.
I explain how ethnicity and culture were intended by God to be ways of relating to Him and seeing His true character in our lives and communities. I shared 3 positive elements of Asian-American culture — material stewardship, community and church vitality — and three negative elements that Christian parents need to revise — authority instead of intimacy, materialism instead of Kingdom-view, fatalism instead of hope. Then I fielded some questions.
Thanks to Denny W, one of my supporters, we’ve got video of the WHOLE thing as well as some photos.
We started out in this room but then the audience grew too large.
Over 60 people? 80 maybe? I didn't count.
Explaining 3 positive elements that Chinese Christian parents are already teaching.
From June 12-19, I spent time with Chinese Gospel Church of Massachusetts (CGCM, my home church) in Southborough, MA. As students are on break, I spent time visiting and serving churches that partner with me — seminars, preaching, presenting my ministry plan — because I value my partnerships tremendously & see them as a significant part of my in ministry. This is Part 1 of 3 about visiting CGCM!
It was great to be back with CGCM after being away since December. The day went really well — especially since I was tired from my 5th year Andover reunion the night before! Thank God for making things clear to my audiences.
- Preaching: I was given the opportunity to preach at the Renewal congregation which was a little daunting since almost everyone in the room was older than me. I spoke on 1 Kings 18:36-19:18 — about the faith it takes to make it through dry times. The video cuts off half-way through. If you want the rest of my notes, just contact me!
Preaching at Renewal
Talking with current CGCM Renewal folks.
- Missions Presentation: I presented my ministry plan for Asian-American InterVarsity to the missions committee and any interested church members followed by some time for questions.
Presenting my ministry plan to missions committee
Describing the fundamental Asian-American identity dilemma/question
Talking with a donor and former youth counselor about the new chapter plant vision!
I think I mentioned before that I’m going to be a regular contributor to the national InterVarsity blog. Well, my first post is up! Click HERE.
Part 1 of 2 about how to witness well to friends back home. The second half will be posted on Wednesday! Props to the national communications staff for staging the photos in-house since mine were copy-righted/Google image-d.
People wonder what IV staff workers do during summer since our students our gone. The answer: A LOT! My summer looks like this (and is pretty similar for lots of other IV staff workers):
- Raising support: Building more partnerships to support the new Asian-American chapter plant at UVa through prayer & finances since budget needs increase to match my new responsibility level.
- Training: From national-level staff on how to plant a new chapter, as well as through reading and working with other staff.
- Working with my partner churches: I’ll get to serve my partner churches by preaching and conducting seminars. I’ll also be recognized as a missionary partner by 2 of my churches.
The location-based version of the list is as follows. Particularly when I’m in MA and NC I am free to meet up and fill you in on the new ministry focus — I’ll have some updated materials by then (which I also hope to post online as soon as possible). If you’re in the/I’m in your area, contact me!
- June 9-22: MA (various CGCM events —
6/12 preaching for English congregation [9am] + missions board presentation [1pm];
6/17 seminar on “college prep starts in 1st grade” [8pm];
6/19 commissioning ceremony [10am])
- June 23-29: Durham, NC (friend’s wedding etc.)
- June 29-July 5: Madison, WI (staff training on how to plant a missional, vision-centered chapter from scratch)
- July 5-9: Durham, NC (friend’s wedding)
- July 10-14: Charlottesville, VA (working with the other UVa staff to discern and craft vision for multiethnicity and racial reconciliation)
- July 15-29: MA & NY? (various CGCW events + possible CFCNYC events —
7/15-17 keynote youth group speaker for CGCW missions weekend + Sunday congregational recognition as partner missionary)
7/22? – visit CFCNYC?
- July 29-31: St. Louis, MO (friend’s wedding)
- Aug 1 & beyond: Charlottesville, VA (move-in, area staff retreat, friend’s wedding?, school year begins!)
Sorry that this post isn’t so interesting but I wanted to fill you in / beg pardon for my lack of posting!