It was an honor to be part of InterVarsity Asian American ministry’s national pilot project on a witness sermon series on vocational discernment, particularly for Asian American college students. Our series has lots to say to everyone, but addresses the specific experiences that our people go through in this area.
Our series, called #WorkSoHard: Finding a Life That Matters
was designed to give students (of all Asian backgrounds) a taste of God’s vision for why we work so hard, and also reveal our broken ways of doing this. You can find all four videos of #WorkSoHard YouTube playlist
FYI: This is version 1.0 and only my/UVA AIV’s version of the vision of the project, contextualized for our campus. So it’s a work in progress as we figure out how to help others do this on campus or at a conference.
Special thanks to Joe Ho for being an awesome supervisor/coach/mentor and giving me the chance to be part of this project; thanks to David C, Samantha M, & Andrea C for helping with the video/recording, and for Tim M for coordinating LG awesomely to pull this thing off.
I have had a lot of speaking engagements this year, but I had my first opportunity to preach at a non-InterVarsity fellowship this past Friday. On April 12th, I was invited to Grace Christian Fellowship’s (GCF) large group.
GCF was the first predominantly-Asian fellowship at U.Va, started by I.J. Kim nearly two decades ago. I first met brother I.J. when he spoke at Rockbridge in 2008 at our C-Team track. How fitting that even after graduation, he and I would reconnect in ministry! As I considered how best to serve the audience, I took note of the fact that many GCF members were 1.5 or 2nd generation Korean Americans who grew up to some degree in immigrant churches. That quickly led to Luke 15, traditionally known as the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
As I’ve done before, I asked the audience to imagine that the characters were Asian, firstly to offset the internalized bias that Bible characters are white, and secondly to make us more open to what God might have to say for us. I think it should be called “The Parable of the Good Enough Sons” instead. See for yourself what it’s like to see this famous text with Asian eyes and Asian skin.
Demonstrating the older son’s anger.
On March 1, 2013, I was invited to speak again at OneWay IV’s large group — this time, it was for an invitational large group, specifically set-up to be friendly for newcomers. They’d spent the week doing Proxe Stations with a theme about “Faking It.” At U.Va especially, there are certain personas and images that students feel pressured to adopt. OneWay’s desire was to help refute those with the image that God has for us.
As I’ve said before, OneWay is another chapter of IV at U.Va specifically focused on black and African American students. I spoke on Luke 5:12-16 to help students see how bandaging up the wounds we have prevents us from receiving healing. I really enjoyed the chance to speak into an ethnic-specific ministry context that wasn’t my own, yet still see how my own unique Asian American identity and minority experience could really bless and resonate with students. You can find the audio of my talk here. Special thanks to Ting-Ting for recording it!
It was a joy to speak to OneWay twice this year!
Last Friday, I was thrilled to get the chance to preach at OneWay Christian Fellowship’s large group. OneWay is another chapter of InterVarsity here at U.Va ministering to and through black and African American students – they went before us in terms of doing ethnic-specific ministry here on Grounds! As sibling IV chapters, we staff love to serve each other, invite each other to lead or get to know our students, and share our ministry space as a family. Even in the midst of AIV’s intense fall outreach schedule, I was glad to serve my fellow IV staff worker Charlene as well as get to spend some time with OneWay students.
The inclusion of my story as a son of immigrants/being Asian, as well as a reference of many scholarship-recipients was purposeful. As ethnic specific ministries, we have to get into our context for the Gospel to take root. In fact, our whole sibling chapter/staff model of InterVarsity here at U.Va is very purposeful to engage with the ethnic heritage and context we come from and enter into through ministry. And when I said that OneWay set the tone for some of what AIV does, that’s not just a politician’s compliment, I really mean that. Much of what I learned as an intern, before I received the specific calling to minister to Asian students, was gained from observing OneWay! I can’t say enough how important cross-cultural learning and ministry is for us.
OneWay is in the middle of a 4-week sermon series called “Follow Me” discussing the real, nitty gritty nature of what it means to follow Jesus. No platitudes, no fluffiness, just direct messages and reflection upon what this call means. I was given Luke 14:25-35 as my passage, which is often subtitled “The Cost of Being a Disciple.” You can find the YouTube video of the sermon, embedded here!
Emphasizing a point
Last night I preached the 2nd of a 2-week sermon series in InterVarsity’s large group on Witnessing Community. We again looked at Acts 2:42-47 as a snapshot of an effective witnessing community, this week focusing on having a witness and effect with those around us. I explained that God’s vision is for us to be neighbors worth raving about. It was an honor, especially since some friends I invited decided to attend who aren’t in IV or AIV!
Unfortunately again, I spoke too fast, and went way over. Let the record reflect that I commit to sticking to the predetermined time in the future. From a tradecraft point of view, I am pretty unhappy about the length. The speed needs work too but one thing at a time…
You can watch the sermon video below uploaded to Vimeo:
Last night I preached the 1st of a 2-week sermon series in InterVarsity’s large group on Witnessing Community. Both weeks I look at Acts 2:42-47 as a snapshot of an effective witnessing community. This week I looked at Christian community, why and how do we do it, and explained that God’s vision is for it to be a home worth calling home.
I really treasured the chance to be back with this chapter after all our time together last year. It was an honor! A couple misfortunes: I spoke too fast as always, and I went longer than I did in practice… Oh well, hopefully they’ll not be deterred from coming next week to week 2, about Witness.
You can watch the sermon video below uploaded to Vimeo:
A big thanks to everyone who prayed for me as I preached this past Wednesday at Greek InterVarsity’s weekly Gathering! It was great to be with them and to have some Asian student friends come out to support me. I also got to lead worship for/with Garrett & another student, and played and sing a song at the end of the talk as an opportunity for response and reflection.
I wish I’d been briefer that’s for sure… But you can watch the video of my talk called “Mirror, Mirror,” about self-idolatry and forsaking the image of God for other images we see. But hopefully the students were able to hear something from God even with my going on too long.
Thank you Ben W for the photos & tripod, & for all VSA and Asian IV friends for coming out to support me!
Telling my own story of chasing an image in high school.
Playing and singing during worship.