That’s a legitimate question – a question I’ve debated about – but here’s why I’ve decided to join the blogging community, and here’s why we need another blog. According to really smart people, 1,500 pastors are leaving the ministry every month due to conflict, burnout or moral failure. That’s a lot of pastors! These pastors were at one point affirmed, called, and ordained to a local church. They were entrusted to lead and shepherd God’s people – but with thousands of them leaving, there is a distressing and growing number of sheep wandering without a shepherd.
But I get it. I felt the same way in my first two years of ministry. I was young and fresh, with energy to match my Junior High students…and I wanted to quit. I wanted to quit at every Tuesday morning staff meeting. I wanted to quit when students said they wanted their former pastor back. I wanted to quit when I felt alone and lonely (and that was every other week). I didn’t know what I was doing at 23 years young, and there wasn’t anyone pouring into me to guide me during those years. I teetered along the edge of joining those 1,500 pastors monthly. But by God’s grace, God eventually brought people, resources and support during those desert years and I’ve been in the ministry for over nine years now.
Knowing personally how important it is to have mentorship and support, my heart goes out to those young pastors who are largely left alone to figure things out on their own, while being expected to be a leader figure who has it all together. I believe in the value and power of the church. I believe that the church is the best hope for an aching world. For that to happen, however, we need leaders who will encourage and guide the church to be that hope for the world. And for THAT to happen, we need people who will encourage and guide leaders to be that hope for the church. My desire and prayer for this blog is to encourage, inspire and mentor our pastors and leaders. I want to empower pastors to do what they are called to do: lead God’s church! But what street creds do I have to even attempt such a blog? Have I written a best selling book? Am I a well known household name? Am I a speaker who is constantly in demand? Am I older in age with decades of experiences in ministry?
The answer is no to all of the above. I definitely don’t have all the credentials and still have so much to learn. But I do not want to wait to live until I think I have all the answers. I want to do what I can to be a helping hand now rather than a hopeless critic.
Here are three things I hope to bring to the table.
1) Walking the Walk. While it is not decades, I’ve been in the trenches of ministry for over nine years and I have tales of victories as well as stories of tears and pain. It would be a blessing to share the scars and lessons from those battles in ministry.
2) Educational Diversity. Most pastors have some sort of masters in Bible or theology. Likewise, I have your typical pastor’s degree, a Masters in Divinity from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. Additionally, I also have a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from California State University, Long Beach. I pursued this counseling degree to help me be a better pastor, husband and father. I’ve learned to ask better questions that get to the root of issues. I’ve learned to actively listen and navigate people through painful seasons. I believe that the church is not just a place to learn theology but also how to be emotionally healthy. Jesus is the most emotionally stable and healthy person and I believe that the church needs to also value emotional health.
3) Unique Perspective. I’m Korean American and I’ve worked in a large Korean church for close to eight years in Irvine, CA. For the past year, I have been working at a predominately white mega-church in Irvine. The culture and styles of these two churches are so vastly different, it has felt like I was on two different planets at times. Having the privilege of working in both these differing environments, however, has taught me beautiful lessons about culture, faith and leadership. It would be an honor to share the lessons I have learned regarding church and leadership even as I continue to learn.
I want to thank Alex Beaverson for encouraging me to create this website. You’re an incredible friend that pushes me to be a better leader. I want to also thank Hannah Yoon for creating the logo and always being a huge supporter of all my projects. Last but not least, I want to thank my wife for being my editor and partner in church. After Jesus, you have had the biggest impact on making me a holistic man and pastor. I’m the luckiest husband! Thanks for believing in me and putting up with me. Hope you enjoy. God bless!