Nearly 100 Asian NextGen pastors discuss family, leadership in Indy

INDIANAPOLIS (BP) – Family discipleship was the topic of discussion for the Asian NextGen Pastors Network luncheon at the Indiana Convention Center.

The luncheon for English-speaking Asian American church leaders took place as part of the activities related to the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) 2024 annual meeting.

“After God, our most important resource is each other,” national coordinator Hyung Lee told Baptist Press. He is pastor of the multiethnic Living Rock Church in Pasadena, Calif.

Lee organized the June 10 event with his fellow national coordinator Terrence Shay, family pastor of First Chinese Baptist Church in Walnut, Calif., along with a team of fellow Asian American pastors.

At least 90 pastors and church leaders attended the boxed luncheon, provided by Guidestone Financial Resources, International Mission Board (IMB), North American Mission Board (NAMB), Chinese Baptist Fellowship of the United States and Canada, and the Thai Baptist Fellowship.

The gathering featured Jeremy Pierre, professor of biblical counseling at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS), who talked about love and segued into a panel discussion providing different perspectives on family discipleship.

“Your love is displayed by what gives you joy,” Pierre said. The evidence of love is seen in delight for the loved one, compassion for him/her or it, and the amount of time spent with the loved one, Pierre explained. “Live life in a way that incorporates these principles.”

Once a week family worship might change over time as marriage and children grow and develop but should unceasingly affirm the truth that Jesus is Lord, Pierre said. 

“Some things change over time but what should not change is church involvement,” Pierre continued. “Make it normal to talk about Jesus. He’s not just a Sunday thing.”

Pierre spoke of utilizing practical tools for family discipleship, such as missions-centered vacations.

Shay moderated the four-person panel that included Pierre, Hyung Lee and Debbie Yee of Northwest Chinese Baptist Church in Phoenix, Ariz., who brought a much-needed voice as a pastor’s wife. John Lee of First Baptist Church in Artesia, Calif., was the fourth panelist. He shared insights as a single individual.

“Pastors, parents and leaders are called to prioritize family discipleship in the home to those dearest to us,” Shay said.

The purpose of the panel was to highlight rhythms, hardships and encouragement from each panelist’s perspective so the practice of family discipleship “can be imagined in living color,” Shay said.

Paul Jung, who immigrated with his parents to the United States as a 1-year-old, today is a member of Hanmaum Korean Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky. He drove to Indianapolis to attend the meeting across town of the Council of Korean Southern Baptist Churches in America, but when he heard about the Asian NextGen Pastors Network luncheon he decided to attend it too, he said.

“My heart is for the next generation,” Jung said. “I think it’s great the Southern Baptist Convention is supporting the Asian next generation, raising up and reaching the next gen.” 

Shay expanded on Jung’s thought.

“Our country is multicultural,” Shay said, referring to the United States. “It’s important to reach the next generation together. This is why we are a fellowship of the Asian Collective, so we may encourage and equip the English-speaking pastors in the Asian ethnic churches.”

Bridging the generations goes back to the discussed luncheon topic: Family Discipleship.

“Your first ministry is to your family,” Pierre said. “Do you delight in your kids?”

Pierre also challenged the attendees to consider that what they love and delight in is what they will pursue.

The 2.5-hour Asian NextGen gathering left much time for meaningful table conversations, which was as much the purpose of the event as was discussion on family discipleship, national coordinator Hyung Lee noted.

“For me, the value is people,” Lee said. “When guys can meet or catch up with each other, that’s the value. See those three guys talking together? That’s the success.”

The SBC Asian NextGen Pastors Network exists as a hub for English-speaking pastors and church leaders to encourage and equip one another through friendship, collaboration and connection, as well as mentoring and resourcing, according to the network’s website: SBCAsianNextGen.com.

(EDITOR’S NOTE – Karen L. Willoughby is a national correspondent for Baptist Press.)

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