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2nd-gen cross-cultural pastors focus of Dallas panel

DALLAS (BP) — Second-generation Asian American pastors and others called to cross-cultural ministry are the focus of a panel discussion from noon to 1 p.m. June 12 in Dallas.

The 2nd-Generation Pastors and Planters Fellowship is open not only to Asian Americans, but second-generation pastors of any ethnic origin called to ministry outside their personal cultural groups in the U.S., said event organizer Thomas Wong.

“We just want to encourage that second generation — who may not feel that they have resources, mentors or coaches — that they can access guys like us,” said Wong, president of the National Asian-American Second Generation Fellowship hosting the event.

First-generation pastors are also encouraged to attend, Wong said, to facilitate multigenerational dialogue.

The panel will encourage first generation pastors by alerting them that while many young people in their congregations may be called to ministry within their own immigrant groups, Wong said, “some of them may actually feel led and called to pastor beyond that.”

Convening in Room A118/A119 on level one of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, the meeting is in conjunction with the 2018 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting June 11–12 in the convention center.

Joining Wong as panelists will be Won Kwok, lead pastor of Maranatha Grace Church in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.; fellowship vice president A.J. Camota, pastor of International Christian Fellowship in Suffern, N.Y.; and James Choi, church planting catalyst for Baptist Convention Maryland/Delaware.

Wong is the lead pastor and planter of the two-year-old Point Community Church in East Brunswick, N.J., a fellowship of 50-70 worshipers including Chinese, Korean, Egyptian, Latino, African American, Indian, Jamaican and other ethnicities. He values diversity, he said, and achieved it in his own church plant by beginning with a multiethnic ministry team.

“Wherever it is that God is calling them,” Wong said of second-generation leaders, “we want [them] to feel like it’s still a win for the church. A win for the Kingdom is a win for the church, it doesn’t matter which church.”

The fellowship plans to encourage leaders to follow their calling.

“We want to tell them, one, you can do it, and secondly, if you need some mentoring, coaching, support and encouragement, there’s a large group of us guys who are second- and third-generation Asian American leaders” available to help, Wong told BP.

About 50 pastors are active in the second-generation fellowship, which the National Asian American Fellowship of the SBC launched in June 2017.