May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. We are highlighting books in our collection written by Asian American authors to honor their significant contribution to the work of the church. This list includes books for:
- Ministry Leaders
- Small Groups
- Anti-Racism Work
For a full list of our resources related to AAPI Month, view the Asian American Ministry Resources pathfinder.
Books for Ministry Leaders
A Worship Workbook: A Practical Guide for Extraordinary Liturgy by Gerald C. Liu & Khalia J. Williams. Extraordinary Christian worship is honest and versatile in its expressions of diverse liturgy. A Worship Workbook introduces crucial and under-examined liturgical and social concepts for students and leaders of worship. Each chapter offers a brief lesson, teaching new skills and inspiring creativity for honest, faithful, and versatile worship leadership.
Leading Wisdom: Asian and Asian North American Women Leaders edited by Su Yon Pak and Jung Ha Kim. The authors share stories of Asian and Asian North American women who found their ways, sometimes circuitously, sometimes unexpectedly, into leadership roles. The book presents narratives of leadership experiences in the fields of parish ministry, U.S. Army chaplaincy, religious history, Christian denominational work, theology, theological social ethics, clinical spiritual care education in healthcare systems, and more.
Spiritual Kaizen: How to Become a Better Church Leader by Grant Hagiya. “Kaizen” is a Japanese word that translates roughly “to change or correct for the better.” All of us can grow and develop into more effective leaders, and we can do this at any time during our careers. Spiritual Kaizen works from the best secular and ecclesial models of leadership in order to draw out the best leadership practices available for current and future leaders of the church.
Four Gifts: Seeking Self-Care for Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength by April Yamasaki. Drawing on the ancient scriptural command to love God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength, pastor and author April Yamasaki helps readers think about the spiritual dimensions of attending to your own needs, setting priorities, and finding true rest in a fast-paced world. She weaves together personal stories, biblical and theological insights, questions for reflection, and practical ideas for self-care.
The Great Coronavirus Pandemic and Messages from the Prophets by Doman Lum; foreword by Gerald C. Liu. As we witness the mounting illness and death toll of the coronavirus, the messages of the Old Testament prophets offer comfort and truth. Doman Lum crafts twenty-one sermons that preach the good news of God’s love. It is for the individual, family, community, and nation who seek spiritual counsel in the midst of the pandemic.
Understanding & Relating to Asian American Youth: A Korean-English Bilingual and Intergenerational Conversation Toolkit by Kevin Doi, Jane Hong-Guzman de Leon, and Mike Park. This comprehensive 37-page guide is the perfect handbook for any adult looking for a starting point in conversations with today’s Korean American youth. The handbook is translated into English and Korean. It includes an overview of the reality Asian American youth face, fundamental principles of conversation, plus 30+ questions and ideas for next steps.
Books for Small Groups
Holy Living Series: Study by K. Kale Yu. The Holy Living series brings a fresh perspective on the spiritual disciplines, enabling us to apply their practices to our current lives. This book challenges our preconceptions of study and offers practical steps on how to develop the habit of study. Study fills us with God’s words, and the more we study, the more of God’s words fill our hearts and minds and inform our thoughts, words, and actions.
How to Save the World: Disciplemaking Made Simple by Alice Matagora. Drawing on cutting-edge research from The Navigators and Barna Group, Alice Matagora invites you to enter Jesus’ plan to save the world wherever you are. With questions for deeper reflection at the end of each chapter, this book will help you find joy and confidence as you discover practical ways to share your faith as you join God in saving the world right where you live.
Spirituality of Gratitude: The Unexpected Blessings of Thankfulness by Joshua Choonmin Kang. God invites us to enter into the world of thankfulness at every moment in our lives, even in the hard times—perhaps especially then. Pastor Kang writes, “Gratitude heals us and holds us, tethering us to one another, offering us joy and strength.” This book has fifty-two short chapters that can be read in weekly sabbath reflection or daily devotional use.
Outside the Gate: A Study of the Letter to the Hebrews by Roy I. Sano. According to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Christians are always to be on the move. Christians are to go voluntarily into a kind of exile and to become strangers and sojourners on this earth while doing God’s will “outside the gate” of mainstream society. Bishop Sano examines this theme and its meaning for the original audience and Christians today. Includes discussion questions and group activities.
Converge Bible Studies: Practical Prayer by Joseph Yoo. Using passages from both the Old and New Testaments, Joseph Yoo takes a look at how and why we pray, how to handle what we perceive to be unanswered prayer, and how to learn to hear and recognize God’s voice. Primary Scripture passages from the Common English Bible are included for ease of study, as are questions designed to encourage both personal reflection and group conversation.
Books for Anti-Racism Work
Christianity and Critical Race Theory: A Faithful and Constructive Conversation by Robert Chao Romero and Jeff M. Liou. The authors take us beyond caricatures and misinformation to consider how critical race theory can be an analytical tool to help us understand persistent inequality and injustice–and to see how Christians and churches working for racial justice can engage it in faithful and constructive ways. Their aim is to offer objective analysis and critique that go beyond the debates about social identity and the culture wars and aid those who are engaging in the issues in Christian life and ministry.
Learning Our Names: Asian American Christians on Identity, Relationships, and Vocation by Sabrina S. Chan, Linson Daniel, E. David de Leon, and La Thao. A team from East Asian, Southeast Asian, and South Asian backgrounds explores what it means to learn our names and be seen by God. They encourage us to know our history, telling diverse stories of the Asian diaspora in America who have been shaped and misshaped by migration, culture, and faith.
Becoming All Things: How Small Changes Lead to Lasting Connections Across Cultures by Michelle Ami Reyes. Michelle Reyes offers a poignant discussion on the challenges surrounding cross-cultural relationships in America today, including the reasons for cultural difference, stereotyping, appropriation, gentrification, racism, and more. Seeking to deconstruct these things in our own lives, Reyes focuses on the concept of cultural accommodation in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, and looks at the ways in which we need to adapt who we are in order to become all things to all people.
Invisible: Theology and the Experience of Asian American Women by Grace Ji-Sun Kim. Grace Ji-Sun Kim examines encounters with racism, sexism, and xenophobia as she works toward ending Asian American women’s invisibility. She deploys biblical, sociological, and theological narratives to empower the voices of Asian American women. And she shares the story of her heritage, her family history, her immigration, and her own experience as an Asian American woman.
Disciplined by Race: Theological Ethics and the Problem of Asian American Identity by Ki Joo Choi. This book reveals the critical importance of Asian American experience for contemporary theological debates on race. The book challenges readers to move beyond conventional perceptions of Asian Americans as model minorities and to confront the ways in which Asian Americans are socially restrained by whiteness.
Beyond Colorblind: Redeeming Our Ethnic Journey by Sarah Shin. Ethnicity and evangelism specialist Sarah Shin reveals how our brokenness around ethnicity can be restored and redeemed for our own wholeness and also for the good of others. Showing us how to make space for God’s healing of our ethnic stories, Shin helps us grow in our crosscultural skills, manage cross-cultural conflict, pursue reconciliation and justice, and share the gospel as ethnicity-aware Christians.
“But I Don’t See You as Asian”: Curating Conversations about Race by Bruce Reyes-Chow. Sitting in the sweet spot between lectures in academia and activism on the streets, Bruce invites readers into a salon-type of atmosphere to talk about race. He directly addresses cringe-inducing words and diversionary tactics, but rather than stopping there, he puts his own joys and struggles on the table for dissection and discovery in the hopes that people will reconsider their assumptions about race.
Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church by Soong-Chan Rah. Borrowing from the business concept of “cultural intelligence,” Soong-Chan Rah explores how God’s people can become more multiculturally adept. From discussions about cultural and racial histories to reviews of case-study churches and Christian groups that are succeeding in bridging ethnic divides, Rah provides a practical and hopeful guidebook for Christians wanting to minister more effectively in diverse settings.
Request These Resources
These resources can be borrowed for free by anyone involved with a United Methodist Church in the North Carolina Conference. We will mail them to your home! All you need to do is fill out the Resource Request Form.