By Shannon Baker
SILVER SPRING, Md.—Global Mission Church in Silver Spring, Md., will host an “A2CP2″ Leadership Network Conference on August 29, from 9 – 4 p.m. for Asian American Baptist churches and their leaders.
“A2” stands for “Asian American” and “CP2” stands for “Church Planting/Cooperative Program” among Asian American churches to assist the state convention, local association, as well as Asian pastors and their lay people, especially next generation leaders, shared organizer Paul Kim.
Kim is pastor emeritus of Antioch Baptist Church in Cambridge, Mass., and current chairman of the Asian American Advisory Council, representing numerous Asian cultures and language groups in the Southern Baptist Convention. Dennis Manpoong Kim, pastor of Global Mission Church, also is a council member.
This advisory group, appointed by Frank S. Page, president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee, has assigned the group to assist him and other SBC leaders in understanding the unique perspectives Asian churches and church leaders bring to the Convention for the accomplishment of Kingdom objectives. The council is also charged to present goals and suggest strategies through which their respective people groups can be reached with the Gospel.
Presently, the Asian American Advisory Council consists of 27 members representing eight ethnic fellowships, including Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, and Vietnamese Baptists.
The “A2CP2″ conference is designed for laypeople, especially for next generation Asian American college students and young adults, to learn about SBC Life, church planting, and pastoral ministry from the Asian American Relations Consultant and other respected local church leaders who have involved as the bi-vocational ministries.
The three guest speakers on the program are local church members who are respected Asian American Christian professionals, including Joon Yim, M.D., David Tan, Ph.D., and Chaplain (LTC) Felix Sermon, U.S. Army.
Yim, a member of WorthyLife Baptist Church in Baltimore, Md., is a graduate from the University of California, Berkeley. He is employed as the Director of Pathology at the Foot and Ankle Specialists of the Mid-Atlantic.
Tan, also a member of WorthyLife Baptist Church, was born in Singapore. He earned his doctoral degree from Johns Hopkins University and is employed at United States Navy – Naval Surface Warfare Center.
Sermon, a member of Grace Filipino Church in Woodbridge, Va., was born in the Philippines. He is on active duty as a U.S. Army Chaplain in Maryland.
Global Mission Church is located at 13421 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring. The cost is $20, which includes refreshments and lunch.
According to an executive summary of the Asian American Advisory Council report provided to Baptist Press by Paul Kim in July 2015, there are 1,787 Asian congregations in the SBC, up 54.3 percent since 1998. Asian congregations baptize an average of 4.01 people per one hundred church members—nearly double the SBC average of 2.69 baptisms per one hundred church members.
The executive summary calls for increased church planting among Asian groups. Other recurring recommendations include sending Asian American Baptists as missionaries to their homelands with the International Mission Board and developing younger Asian American leaders.
Specifically, Kim seeks to guide the often frank discussion about challenges faced by local churches in dealing with the “Americanization” of their young people; the perceived irrelevancy of denominational structures to second- and third-generation church members—structures one member called “too white, too old, too traditional”; feelings of isolation at the association and state convention levels of involvement; and concerns about how seriously their unique needs are recognized and served by SBC entities.
Additional reporting provided by Baptist Press