September 27, 2012
Greetings Canaan EM’ers and friends,
I love to listen to the crickets sing in my backyard every summer, but I don’t enjoy hearing them after I teach or preach. Anyone who has taught knows how distressing it is when students tune out. But when students pay attention and are inquisitive, it brings great joy to the teacher.
When I was a seminary professor at the American Baptist Seminary of the West (http://absw.edu), the curious and engaged students renewed my soul and gave me hope. When I was the Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of Asian American Christianity (http://www.isaacweb.org), people who talked to me after lectures and presentations that I gave encouraged me greatly.
In some churches, the pastor’s teaching ministry is uni-directional. Worshippers are conditioned to become passive recipients of biblical truth. But this is not real teaching. Real teaching, like the tango, takes two persons – a teacher and a student (or disciple). Both are engaged in back-and-forth discussions. Such conversations are the soil of real intellectual and spiritual growth.
So I hope that we’ll see deeper engagement with sermons and bible studies at Canaan. Please talk to our preachers and teachers often. When we engage them, they will feel encouraged. They will see that we are motivated to learn and to grow. But don’t do this only to make them feel better. Do it for yourself, too!
You see, engaging our teachers and preachers puts us into the proper frame of mind to hear God and to grow spiritually. Such conversations are spiritual disciplines that cultivate our desire for God.
Look at it this way. A person in a fantasy sports league will spend hours researching players. He will talk to his friends endlessly about trends in that sport. A person who wants to buy a car will spend a lot of time talking to people about the automobile market. A high school student who wants to get into a particular college will spend days finding out what she needs to do to get admitted. She will also talk to her peers, teachers, and parents to get advice. When motivated, we put lots of time into engaging people and sources.
How wonderful would it be if everyone at Canaan put as much effort into our discussions about sermons, bible studies, and Sunday school classes? How wonderful would it be if our members wouldn’t have to go to Bible Study Fellowship in order to get a deeper appreciation of Scripture?
Let’s become a community that hungers for the knowledge of God. It begins by tuning in to our church’s teaching ministry!
Stuff to encourage engagement. Let me know what you think about them
- I heard Mumford and Son perform “I Will Wait” on Saturday Night Live (on DVR). It sounded like a Christian prayer. Then I found this review of their new album, Babel. Mumford and Son is a folk-rock group from Great Britain that incorporates Christian faith into their lyrics and music. What do you think about them? http://sojo.net/blogs/2012/09/26/mumford-sons-stick-their-guns/
- Exodus is a church in Irvine that is led by mostly Korean Americans. It received perfect five-star reviews on Yelp. See http://www.yelp.com/biz/exodus3-irvine The pressure is on for us!
- Is “Gangnam Style” a Hit Because of Our Asian Stereotypes, by Deanna Pan for MotherJones. See http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2012/09/gangnam-style-asian-masculinity%20
Equipping Events Today, Tomorrow, and Saturday
- Saturday 9/26: Overseas Missionary Fellowship Heart for Asia Conference at Community Baptist Church of San Jose (9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.). The 2012 OMF International Heart for Asia Conference, in partnership with Community Baptist Church of San Jose, seeks not only to create awareness of God’s mighty and proactive works in East Asia, but also to facilitate and equip God’s people into their next steps towards their missions journey with the Lord. This conference is a one-day event set out to immerse you in transforming messages, personal dialogue with East Asian people-group advocates, powerful testimonies, guiding connections with various ministries, intimate and engaging prayer time for the nations and all out worship of our King of kings. To register go to omf.org/omf/us/get_involved__1/regions_events/northwest_region
- Tonight-Saturday: New Awakening San Jose Conference, organized by JAMA. To be held at Jubilee Christian Center and Emmanuel Presbyterian Church. For more information, pick up a brochure on the back table or go to jamanewawakening.com Workshops are held on Saturday; speakers on tonight and tomorrow evening.
- Wendy Huang is collecting shampoo and lotion to support Centerville Free Dining’s service for the poor. Please bring these items this Sunday! [EMAIL WENDY]
- Youth and Adults! Mike Ling is leading a Canaan Bike Ride, a casual 7-mile ride around Alviso and Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge. Bring your bike this Sunday! We’ll depart right after the English service and be back in time for lunch. Help is available if your bike needs to be transported to church, or needs a tune-up. Contact Mike Ling right now [EMAIL MIKE].
- In October, Ed Chen will lead a second class on “Your Life, Your Choices,” which will discuss decision making. Contact Ed Chen for more information [EMAIL ED].
Sign up to provide refreshments for pre-worship snack time
We especially would like to invite our youth and young adults to provide refreshments. Youth can ask their parents to help them buy their favorite snack items! You (or your parents) will be reimbursed or receive a donation receipt. Sign up at http://bit.ly/emworship12 Contact Deacon James Chang for more details [EMAIL JAMES].
See you Sunday!
Tim Tseng 曾 祥 雨 :: PhD
Pastor of English Ministries
Canaan Taiwanese Christian Church
Walk Like Disciples!