3.19.2007

True Worship

Many young Asian American churches have a reputation for kickin'
worship. In fact, probably the most worshipful jam I've participated
in over the last five years was at an Asian American Christian
leadership conference - the worship team was just embarrassment of
musical riches.

What I'm learning is a struggle for those who work with and in such
churches is that that devotion does not always translate equally to
various parts of Christian discipleship. Too often, the young Asian
American congregation is known for spirited worship, singular devotion
to God, upright moral living . . . and no discernible change in the
career track congregants choose to pursue.

As I blogged a few months ago, worship isn't singing songs, no matter
how raucously. It's giving the biggest and best parts of ourselves to
God. And all too often, we young and educated Asian Americans are
unwilling to consider vocational trajectories that fall outside of
what constitutes success in our sphere: doctor, engineer,
businessperson, lawyer. Those who do consider other jobs like teacher
or nurse or social worker or journalist are consider to not be as
smart and so had to "settle."

Don't get me wrong: you can be a faithful Christian regardless of
where you spend your 9-to-5. I just believe that with higher
education comes a responsibility and an opportunity for the follower
of Jesus to more fully redeem those 40 hours every week. And while
you can be a Christian regardless of where you hang your shingle,
certain professional roles would seem to lend themselves more easily
and fully to pursuing God's Kingdom.

As a young and educated Asian American, I know the implicit or
explicit message that is communicated to us about what are the
appropriate directions to go with our careers. But I also know what
incredible impact, for the here and now as well as for eternity, this
generation could make if so mobilized and equipped and motivated.

And so I pray that more young Asian American Christians would consider
jobs that represent a nexus between their skills and interests and
Kingdom principles, instead of pursuing, however vigorously, Christian
discipleship in every facet of their lives except where they spend the
majority of their waking hours. Because true worship isn't jamming to
electric guitar and harmonized voices; it's giving the biggest and
best parts of ourselves to God's purposes and plans.

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