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When sixteen of the nation’s leading experts in their field get together to write a book, it creates more than a little buzz. It gets people’s attention. That’s the case with A Letter to the Asian American Church.

ALTTAAC, edited by Steve S. Chang, is a labor of love, and in his introduction, he makes the declaration that every contributor is a “practitioner first”—meaning that they’ve all cut their teeth through blood, sweat, and tears, amassing decades of ministry in Asian American contexts. The book reflects this experience well. Each of the sixteen chapters is written using Chang’s three-fold credal declaration as a signpost:

“We believe that Asian American congregations are not only biblically permissible but also spiritually necessary.

“We believe the unique strengths of the Asian American church should be stewarded, leveraged, and accentuated—not muted or assimilated.

“We want to give the next generation a hard-earned road map for leading flourishing Asian American ministries so they can confidently lean on those who have come before them.”

That last declaration really shines. As I was reading through each of the chapters, what I most appreciated was the humility of each of the contributors. Author Faith Chang confesses in her chapter about the feelings of deep discouragement when a shiny new church launched across the street from their own. This church was everything they were not. But after more than a decade of faithful ministry, she’s come to learn that God has commissioned them for a purpose. She’s witnessed “week after week … like a mustard seed in a field or yeast working through dough—God is expanding his kingdom through our church and others like it.”

Like a trait of genetic inheritance that travels through the bloodlines, ALTTAAC’s humility reflected in every chapter acknowledges that this book is merely a step. In fact, they openly admit that their relevance might only be for this season, but the explicit hope of this book is that they might serve as a “shoulder (for future generations) to stand on.” In a book market saturated with authors who claim unmerited expertise or naively declare best-practice authority over broad swaths of peoples, ALTTAAC’s humility is more than a breath of fresh air, it’s a necessary next-step for the future of the Asian American church and beyond. (SOLA Network)

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