By Joy Wong
Not long ago, a friend from seminary told me that it was the opinion of congregants in his Asian American church that those opposed to having women in ministry leadership were not those of older generations, but rather the younger generations. It was disheartening to hear. I have long been enjoying environments that fully support empowering and training women as pastors or other ministry leaders (ie. Fuller Theological Seminary) that I had momentarily forgotten that there were still a vast majority of Christians who staunchly believe that women should not be pastors, ministers, or in other forms of church leadership. I felt a sinking feeling inside as I thought to myself, Here we are, trying to help Asian American women ministry leaders overcome their many internal and external obstacles, and yet there are still those who believe we shouldn’t even be leading! Are we ever going to get anywhere? The question hovered in my mind like a dark cloud.
However, I’ve been encouraged as of late. As I have only recently taken up charge of the AAWOL blog, I’ve just begun familiarizing myself with the blogosphere, and I’ve discovered that there are other Asian American Christians out there that adamantly support women in ministry. In particular, I want to thank DJ Chuang, Kathy Khang, Eugene Cho, the L2 Foundation, and the bloggers at Next Gener.Asian Church who have all expressed in various ways their desire to support and empower women in ministry leadership. Because so many of us acutely feel the lack of support in our leadership journeys, AAWOL’s motto is “Never alone again.” Through all this blog reading, I’m reminded that although there are times when I feel alone, the truth is that I’m not alone at all. Not only am I not alone because of those who are able to be physically present in my leadership journey, but also I am not alone because of those who are struggling alongside me though we have never met. For both communities, I am truly grateful.
(By the way, if anyone has any other blogs they’d like to recommend, please let me know!)
Joy Wong completed a Masters of Divinity degree at Fuller Theological Seminary. She and her husband currently attend New City Church of Los Angeles. To contact Joy, please send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.