chat with Ken Fong

5/13/99 CAC Chat with Ken Fong

You    = DJ Chuang (Vienna VA)
kenfong= Ken Fong (Los Angeles)
NelsonW= Nelson Wong (Baltimore MD)
Kanasia= Jeff Wong (Vancouver BC)
victoryap= Victor Yap (Riverside CA)

You say, “welcome Nelson, we’re just getting started.”
kenfong says, “Greetings, Nelson.  where are you from?”
NelsonW says, “Thanks”
NelsonW says, “I am from the Chinese Christian Church of Baltimore here in MD”
You say, “Nelson: this will be an open format for now; are you familiar with Ken Fong’s ministry?”
NelsonW says, “Not at all”
NelsonW says, “Maybe there are some others who also are not.  A brief intro after they get in would be good.”
You say, “Ken’s bio was posted on CAC a few weeks ago; he is a “veteran” English pastor in an Asian church setting.”
You say, “how many years of ministry now, Ken?”
kenfong says, “Suffice it to say that I’m supposed to be one of the “pioneers” of AA ministry.  Means I’m old.”
kenfong says, “20 years here in LA.  22 altogether, counting years in Sacto, CA”
NelsonW says, “A little bit about myself while I am waiting.  I am the Deacon for English Worship at our church right now.  I have been there almost 26 years.  I guess I am also a rarity in a Mandarin-speaking church as an ABC.”
kenfong says, “Nelson, from your perch, where do you see your church in 10 years, demographically speaking?”
NelsonW says, “I expect our church to be dominated by the English speaking in 10 years.  Already it is happening with 3 of the 8 new Deacons all being Englsih speaking.”
You say, “Ken: have you worked in a ‘traditional’ Chinese church, with Chinese & English services?”
kenfong says, “how are the OBCs handling this shift of power?  I think that’s one of the most significant factors in moving an OBC church towards being ABC.”
kenfong says, “Yes, I have.  That’s where I grew up and where I first began as youth director 22 years ago.  Bilingual BORING service each week.”
Kanasia enters.
You say, “welcome Kanasia”
Kanasia says, “Hi everyone”
kenfong says, “Personally, I have serious reservations whether an orig. OBC church can truly transform into an ABC one.”
Kanasia says, “Hi DJ.  I got your email a few weeks ago. This is Jeff Wong from Waves Church”
Kanasia says, “Hi Ken”
kenfong says, “Hi, Jeff.  Welcome.”
Kanasia says, “Thank you”
NelsonW says, “Actually, no problem with handling power over to the ABC in our church..  My wife and I are considered one of the five original families in our church.  Because of me, our Deacon Board has always used English.”
You say, “Ken: wow, it’s been that long; then you do have 1st hand experience (i wasn’t sure)”
You say, “Jeff!! welcome! great to see you here!”
Kanasia enters.
kenfong says, “Oh yes.  In fact, I believe the most signif. factor in my being where I am today was my decision (painful) to leave the biling. CAChurch in search of AA one.”
You say, “Nelson: wow, I commend your diligence.. being a founder helps”
You say, “make that transition.1”
You say, “Jeff: I’m very interested in what’s happening with Waves church (welcome!)”
kenfong says, “Yes, now that I’m touting multi-Asian/multi-ethnic, some of my old chums assume I’ve abandoned AA.  Not.”
NelsonW says, “I am not quite a founder.  I came 2 years after it was founded.  Everyone else spoke Mandarin except for me.”
Kanasia says, “DJ, sorry…had a phone call. Off now”
kenfong says, “Nelson, that still shows quite a bit of chutspah back then, as the only English speaker.”
Kanasia says, “DJ, what church you from?”
You say, “Nelson: you don’t have to be an actual founder, just perceived as one. Perception is everything :)”
You say, “Jeff: I’m very happy you’re able to join us here! I’m at Ambassador Bible Ch, in DC (”
Kanasia says, “DJ, great.  I’ll check it out.”
kenfong says, “Jeff, what is the demographics of Wave?”
victoryap enters.
You say, “welcome Victor! glad you could join us”
Kanasia says, “Ken, Waves is a brand new church plant…”
victoryap says, “hi there, lakers leading by 5”
Kanasia says, “eeek…keep typing and it doesn’t accept”
You say, “Jeff: Waves web site ( looks quite innovative & progressive”
kenfong says, “Are you hoping to reach Chinese Am’s?  What’s the meaning of the name?”
Kanasia says, “Why can’t I type in the percentages”
victoryap says, “sorry i was late, chinese chinese dinner time”
Kanasia says, “odd”
You say, “(percentage might be a key code for chat room)”
Kanasia says, “it’s forty percent Flip”
Kanasia says, “forty percent Chinese”
Kanasia says, “twenty percent Japanese”
Kanasia says, “We’re based in Vancouver, BC, Canada”
You say, “Jeff: it was neat to find your web site & church, to see multi-Asian/multi-ethnic north of the border”
kenfong says, “Evergreen Baptist – LA is about 60 perc. Chinese”
victoryap says, “who is kanasia and neson w what?”
kenfong says, “20 perc JA”
Kanasia says, “Postmodern church design by Gen X to minister to all generations”
kenfong says, “5 perc KA”
Kanasia says, “KA?”
Kanasia says, “Korean?”
kenfong says, “3 perc SEA and other APA  Yes, Korean.”
You say, “NOW that we have a handful here, let’s formally welcome Ken Fong: a veteran Chinese American pastor, now in LA”
Kanasia says, “Korean-American”
NelsonW says, “I am Nelson Wong from the Chinese Christian Church of Baltimore.”
kenfong says, “and the rest white, black, hispanic, and mixed race.”
Kanasia says, “Ken, that’s cool”
You say, “Victor: go ahead and introduce yourself”
victoryap says, “you mean chinese is majority at evergreen now?”
Kanasia says, “<applause to welcome Ken>   =)”
kenfong says, “yes, even though we began in 1925 as a Jap.speaking mission.”
Kanasia says, “Ken, we’re made up of 1st-3rd generation and just English speaking”
You say, “Ken: as Evergreen grows in ethnic diversity, is that being mirrored in the staffing (or vice versa)?”
victoryap says, “oops, i’m victor yap of riverside chinese alliance, but san gabriel based last 7 years minimum”
Kanasia says, “Mostly second generation”
Kanasia says, “DJ, good question”
kenfong says, “yes.  we have one caucasian on staff (married to KA), 2 mixed Chinese/Jap., rest ABC or JA.  Board is becoming more diverse beyond Asian.”
Kanasia says, “DJ, we’ve thought put some thought into that very question for our leadership planning”
You say, “Ken: what are your thoughts about the difficulty of finding English workers for Chinese church?”
kenfong says, “jeff, I think it’s crucial.  when the church called me in 1981, I was the first nonJA.  Sent clear message to abcs.”
You say, “i’m 2nd pastor on staff of multiethnic-visioned church; sr.pastor is Korean-Am; 3rd pastor is Caucasian (married to CA)”
victoryap says, “ken, how do older members feel about chiese invasion?”
kenfong says, “Catch 22.  Churches want americanized ABC workers, but most have either been burned by OBC church or feel too constricted.”
You say, “my sr.pastor’s thinking is staffing has to lead & model diversity first”
Kanasia says, “Ken, I hear you.  I remember a couple of years ago when I and my associate came down to interview view and you were working with Pastor Usheda”
You say, “my church is 75p Korean, 12p Chinese, 12p Caucasian.”
kenfong says, “At first, I don’t think they minded too much.  Mnay of their children married out.”
kenfong says, “Plus, JAs culturally have this attitude of “Well, it can’t be helped.””

<capture interrupted by crash>

Attempting to connect to Crosswalk Chat…

Connecting to host …

Chinese American Christians: chat with Ken Fong at 10pm Eastern / 7pm Pacific
You see here: Kanasia, kenfong, NelsonW and victoryap
You say, “(computer crashed)”
victoryap says, “yes and no, i really don’t feel that repression, you guys are talking about the most negative models”
kenfong says, “anywho, I co-led a course @ FTS several years ago on this very topic.  At its worst, Chinese Church can seem almost cultish in this regard.”
NelsonW says, “I think it is neat that we do have many resources to draw upon.  I think because I am one of the older members I have been able to do a lot of things that bridge the gap between the younger ABCs and the OBCs.  I was able to change our Combined Englsih/Chinese Service in order to accommodate the ABCs.  It was not possible to do when we ah a younger ABC heading up the English worhsip.”
You say, “victor: the reality is most Chinese churches in America carry these ‘negative’ symptoms (from my research)”
Kanasia says, “DJ, wb”
victoryap says, “what are the symptoms?”
kenfong says, “Victor, it’s nothing “evil” per se.  But once people have learned to trust their own thoughts, they begin to chafe in the system of repressed feelings and thoughts.”
NelsonW says, “It really makes a difference as to who was first into a Chinese church .  For most Chinese churches, it would be a mother-daughter relationship always.  The Korean chruches are even worse.”
You say, “i’ve found hierarchialism, anti-intellectualism, and hyper-authoritarian, and unforgiveness common..”
kenfong says, “That’s been my observation, too.  A “cult” is a closed system of thinking where one’s feelings are not taken seriously.  Sound familiar?”
You say, “but to be fair, Anglo churches deal with sin problems too; just Chinese churches have Asian flavored to their sin symptoms”
Scrambled-Eggs enters.
You say, “Nelson: good point re: Korean church dynamics; lots of similarities to Chinese churches, in generational gap/ tension”
kenfong says, “You’re right, of course, DJ.  Let me ask this:  what happens when  your people get divorced, pregnant out of wedlock, drugs, etc.  Stay or disapear?”
victoryap says, “but wouldn’t it be true in nelso’s case that a younger obc leadig worship may encounter the same treatment by adults?”
Kanasia says, “Ken and DJ are bring back memories of life within an immigran congregation”
You say, “welcome Scrambled-Eggs”
Kanasia says, “Hi Wayne”
Kanasia says, “Scrambled-Eggs = Wayne Wong”
Kanasia says, “Wayne meet everyone   =)”
kenfong says, “Real problems exist in the CA community and CA Xn community, but how often are they dealt with graciously?  Hi, Wayne!”
Scrambled-Eggs says, “hi everyone sorry i m late tryign to get logged on…”
You say, “Kanasia: i don’t know of any immigrant church that’s successfully made transition to contemporary/ABC mode”
Scrambled-Eggs says, “nice to meet u ken ….”
victoryap says, “why bother to make one?”
You say, “victor: younger obc received less flack in leadership, b/c he spoke chinese (worth many points; i’ve seen it first hand)”
Kanasia says, “DJ, there’s some in Canada which are mediocre with an English congregation of 300, 400, etc”
kenfong says, “Hate to plug my book, but I discuss WHY this effort is doomed from the start.  Need to start fresh ones with ABC leaders.”
Scrambled-Eggs says, “your book growing asian american ministries has been a great help!!”
kenfong says, “Wayne, wait till you read the update that I listed earlier.  Coming to a bookstore near you this NOv.”
You say, “one thing I think would be healthy for Chinese church is to catch the vision for church planting”
victoryap says, “wow, 300-400 is mediocre?”
Scrambled-Eggs says, “so wut is the chat topic guys?”
Kanasia says, “Wayne, he’s got a new book coming out.  i’ll give you the details later”
kenfong says, “Yes, DJ, and planting ABC churches that may be very diff than OBC.  Like PoMo.”
You tell Scrambled-Eggs, “Wayne: feel free to ask Ken any questions re: Chinese American ministry :)”
Scrambled-Eggs says, “ok kanasia”
Scrambled-Eggs says, “ok…well has Kanasia told u that we are planting waves in richmond bc?”
victoryap says, “i agree, dj. at least we are proposing options”
You say, “as the globe is shrinking, I think we will deal with more dimensions of a ‘ministry of reconciliation’..”
Kanasia says, “Victor, that’s for churches of 1200 and 1300.  And they suffer the same problems as Ken mentioned earlier.  Premarital sex, common law marriages, etc are taboo”
You say, “not just between generations, but ethnicities, socio-econ classes, styles, and all kinds of diversity”
kenfong says, “Yes, but OBC churches tend to perpetuate the Myth of Model Minority for Chinese Christians.  Sad.  This is changing @ EvergreenLA”
Scrambled-Eggs says, “ken…one issue we are facing now is whether we should join a traditional denomination or form a church planting network ?”
kenfong says, “What is a church planting network?”
Kanasia says, “DJ, I have a vision for that here in Vancouver.  I lead an Asian-Canadian band that is planning to leading interchurch multi-Asian praise ralleys”
Scrambled-Eggs says, “it is a network of current postmodern church plants”
You say, “Ken: do you think one challenge for Chinese to plant church is the perceived dis-unity? Chinese like everyone together in one place”
Kanasia says, “Our band is called Kanasia and uses principles of ethnomusicology in the Asian-Canadian context”
kenfong says, “Hey, I’d love to hear more about that/those.  Jeff, have you considered the need to “invent” AA worship genre?  OOps, I wrote too soon!  I’d like news on that.”
You say, “Kanasia: I’m very excited to hear that! please let me know when you cut a CD (we’ll swap- we have one coming out soon)”
Kanasia says, “It’s been well received”
Scrambled-Eggs says, “waves doesnt fit into the current traditional baptist general conference denomination”
kenfong says, “But being Baptists, don’t you have local church autonomy?”
Kanasia says, “Ken, we need to chat about that.  We are inventing that genre and have come up with some really innovative stuff”
victoryap says, “i love to hear abt yr music group”
You say, “neither does Saddleback, or Mosaic, but both are Southern Baptist Convention”

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