Friday, October 18, 2019

Discipling Asian-American millennials

1. Here is a transcript of the conversation.

2. I think I most appreciated what Alex Choi said in his first response. To put it another way, I don't think the rest of the comments (apart from Choi's first response) are necessarily unique to Asian-Americans. At least my impression is things like a "lack of community" and trying to "reclaim" one's conversion experience are common in other races/ethnicities cultures too.

3. The term "millennials" sure does seem to cover a lot of years generation-wise. Aren't many if not most millennials now at least age 30? If so, perhaps we should consider doing the discipling rather than being discipled! (Granted, everyone is always a "disciple" but I'm speaking in terms of leadership roles in the church.)

In fairness, if what Choi says about Asian-American culture, marriage, and adulthood is true, then the fact that Asian-American millennials and later generations are getting married at an older age might have a significant impact on discipleship as well.

4. I believe at least two of the guys are Korean-American. Perhaps all three.

In any case, there are some significant differences among different Asian-American peoples and cultures. Take Chinese-Americans. There are Chinese-Americans whose families have originally come from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, as well as various Southeast Asian nations (e.g. Chinese-Americans with roots in Vietnam). For example, one wouldn't necessarily deal with a Chinese-American with parents from communist China in the same way as one deals with a Chinese-American with parents from democratic Taiwan.

More generally, there are differences between East Asians and Southeast Asians. Simply consider how many East Asians have had to interact with socialist and communist ideologies in their modern history (e.g. the Korean war, communist Chinese today). Consider how many Southeast Asians have had to face persecution by Muslims in their own nations (e.g. Malaysia, Indonesia). Persecutions from communists and persecutions from Muslims.

Consider each nation's broader ideological perspective. The Philippines has a Catholic background. Malaysia and Indonesia are officially Muslim. Mainland China is atheist and communist. S. Korea has a strong Protestant Christian influence. Vietnam has a Catholic heritage but became communist, which many Vietnamese-Americans share. Japan is secular. And so on.

Of course there are also Asian-Americans who have only ever known the US. For example, many Asian-Americans can trace their family histories back to the Gold Rush era (c. 1849) and transcontinental railroad. They may have been in the US as long as many Irish-Americans and Italian-Americans, among others.

Asian-Americans have families which come from one or more of these backgrounds.

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