Executive Summary – Southern California 2016
This past February, we hosted the first Asian American leadership gathering for the Thirty Network. The Thirty Network is a gathering of 30 Asian American pastors and ministry directors in their 30s (and under) for 30 hours of honest conversations about life and ministry. This invitation-only event connected 30 church leaders into a relational community with access to mentoring, coaching, and ministry opportunities in hopes of shaping the next 30 years of Asian-American Christian leaders in the church. Read more about the first gathering and who showed up.
What’s the end game of these gatherings?
In a recent CNN article, the majority of Americans will look a lot more colorful within the next 30 years. The Pew Research Center analyzed the US 2010 Census and published an article, Rise of Asian Americans, claiming Asian-Americans are outpacing every minority group at a 40% growth rate. In the same article, only 39% of Asian-Americans find religion is “very important” in their lives compared to the general US population at 58%. A rising generation that is fully assimilated into mainstream American culture is becoming a faithless people group. Our American churches prepared in developing future leaders readily equipped to engage a majority-minority demographic? Healthy conversations with diverse, catalytic leaders could begin shaping a new future for the church at large.
What did we learn from the first Thirty Gathering?
With a sensible start-up budget, the Thirty Network partnered with several sponsors to invite noted So-Cal Asian American leaders who were recommended by credible pastors. At the end of 30 interactive hours, we surveyed all participants and found positive feedback towards continuing these helpful gatherings.
- Most stated they would return, if the event were offered again.
- Areas of developmental interest were Strategic Planning, Assimilation, and Staff Care.
- All respondents would recommend this gathering to a friend.
Participants found high value in the event and noted what they appreciated:
- “Valued spending time and fellowshipping with other pastors and workers.”
- “Meeting kingdom minded brothers and sisters.”
- “Brainstorming sessions and ideas from others.”
- “Cross table conversations and meals”
- “Networking, being encouraged, stimulating conversations”
Where do we go from here?
I’m so glad you asked. We’ve already have several requests from key stakeholders who are highly interested in bringing the Thirty Gathering to strategic cities of interest: Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and Washington DC. At the same time, we’re continuing to fine-tune the gathering based on participant feedback and outside observations. We want to be confident participants will walk away knowing that they are apart of something GREAT which may help shape the next 30 years in mainstream churches.
Our recommendation is to offer the second gathering in the Los Angeles area of October 2016, where a high concentration of Asian-American leaders minister. Based on the financial model, we believe the price point of $75 will continue to attract, while maintaining a high value proposition. At the same time, we will still need additional financial sponsorship and outside grants. Once a sustainable ministry and financial model can be met, future expansions into strategic cities with high Asian-American accessibility will be more feasible and worthwhile.
How can you advance the Thirty Network?
You and your ministry can actively support the advancement of Asian-American church leaders in the following ways:
- Stay updated with what’s going on.
- Recommend potential leaders that would benefit from this network.
- Connect potential sponsors sharing the same vision of developing church leaders.
- Resource the Thirty Network with finances, facilities, and content experts.
We will continue to explore different learning modalities and be intentional with forming learning community groups for more in-depth ministry discussions. In addition, future gatherings will provide a larger sample in drawing a more accurate picture of what Asian American ministry leaders will need to navigate and thrive in mainstream American churches.
Thank you for your continued support of the Thirty Network.
The Thirty Network
DJ Chuang | Angela Yee | John Shin | Sam Yoon | Kevin Nguyen