Posted on : Monday April 23, 2012

By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent

COLUMBIA, Md.—Joseph Choi’s book, Hiring an English Ministry Pastor & Beyond, written with W. Jae Lee, is a specialized book, but it is helpful to anyone interested in learning about some of the struggles facing today’s Asian churches.  

There is a shortage of English ministry pastors, those who are English speaking under the umbrella of a first generation immigrant head church.

The book quotes a March 2007 Los Angeles Times article, “Asian American churches are going through a ‘crisis of leadership’ because seminaries are not preparing a new generation of pastors to work in multigenerational and multicultural settings, Asian American Christian leaders say.”

Choi uses research, interviews and personal experience to emphasize the need for this kind of leadership and on the issues that cause conflict in Asian American churches.

First and second generation Asian Americans have definite cultural and philosophical differences that must be addressed before calling an English minister and attempting to work together in a Christ-centered loving ministry environment.

The book defines Asian church terminology, outlines their unique needs, the role of an English minister in an Asian church, effective leadership unity in a bicultural church, special hiring information and resources and information about the cultural differences that must be addressed.

The book includes candid discussion regarding pastors’ salaries, a subject that Choi says is “mostly misunderstood and non-spoken in Asian churches.”

“We realize the book is more than 20 years too late, but for those of us still struggling with these issues, it’s right on time,” Choi writes in the introduction.

“There is no other book written which is as comprehensive and practical on the subject of the nuts and bolts of planting and staffing an Asian American English speaking church. For anyone who wants to know more about this subject, I recommend that you read and put its principles into practice,” wrote Ron Blankenship, director of missions/church planting catalyst for Montgomery Baptist Association.

The book is also a wealth of information for lay leaders researching the needs of Asian American churches.

Order directly through and receive a 20 percent discount using the code Z6PEJH7X or order through