More Than Serving Tea

If You’re Looking For a Great Speaker Consider Inviting…

Me 😉

OK. That was awkward.

Why? Because that’s bragging, and the only bragging I grew up with was hearing my parents brag about other kids and hearing other parents brag about someone else’s kids. There is no “us” or “we” or “honoring the family” in self-promotion. Even when I’ve thought I toned it down by talking about God’s call on my life and my ministry when years and years ago I was asked to share about my job with InterVarsity I was told by a church leader that he was surprised and disappointed in me for only caring about myself.

The message has been to wait for someone else to promote me if that person, who is more credible, respectable, connected, etc. chooses to do so. Is it fair? That used to be the rhetorical question.

For me it’s not about fairness anymore because I get too emotionally hooked right there. I want to move the conversation to understanding leadership. Leaders, and I count myself in that broad category, need to have a level of self-awareness – our strengths, our weaknesses, our blind spots, our junk, our humanity, our passions. You get the picture. That also means understanding our influence. I am still learning, but in the meantime I have been blessed by advocates who understood and did not shy away from relational, influential leadership as a way to bring diverse, new voices into the fold, mine included, even when those voices aren’t proven on the big stage.

So I was recently asked by web strategist DJ Chuang if I’d be willing to start a list of Christian Asian American female leaders who would be great resources for other leaders, churches, conferences and organizations who are sincerely and actively looking for what I would call “new to them” voices and leaders for conferences, strategy meetings, etc. Because I can’t be the only one who is tired of hearing “we didn’t know who else to invite/ask/promote”.

Just for starters…

  • Jeanette Yep
  • Donna Dong
  • Young Lee Hertig
  • Melanie Mar Chow
  • Nancy Sugikawa
  • Nikki Toyama-Szeto
  • Kathy Khang
  • Hyepin Im
  • Laura Cheifetz
  • Helen Lee
  • Christine Lee
  • Asifa Dean
  • Christie Heller De Leon
  • Tracey Gee
  • Ella DeCastro Baron

This is not an exhaustive list. I need your help. It’s pretty clear to me where some of my blind spots and limited networks are. Who would you add? If you’re not sure, who do you know who might know? Step up. Speak up. Advocate and lead, my friends. This certainly needs to be a longer list…and I’ll add links in between “Mommmy?” requests from my homefront.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Encouragement from the Blogosphere for Asian American Women in Ministry « pingbacked on 11 years, 11 months ago
  2. women Asian American Christian ministry leaders « pingbacked on 12 years ago


  1. * elizabeth says:

    hi there!
    I recently started a research project on the topic of Asian American female preacher. There are not a lot resources out there, and I think your blog is one of the rare jewels I can find. I just checked out your book from the library. I am very thankful for your voice!
    I am currently 3rd year MDiv student at FTS, and I look forward to learn from you!


    | Reply Posted 10 years ago
    • * Kathy Khang says:

      Glad you found the blog! Hopefully you will be able to find more and more voices out there to help you in your research!


      | Reply Posted 10 years ago
  2. * elizabeth says:

    hi there!
    I just started a research project on Asian American female speakers, and I checked out your book from the library! Currently I am a 2nd year seminary student studying Master of Divinity. I am thrilled to see other Asian American female leaders! I look forward to learn from you!


    | Reply Posted 10 years ago
  3. * tiff wong says:

    Rev. Grace May (if it’s the same person) is the pastor at my old church, OCM (Overseas Chinese Mission).

    Hope you’re doing well Kathy! I’m still learning/walking through this journey and hopefully one day can be considered a part of this list of great leaders 🙂


    | Reply Posted 11 years, 12 months ago
  4. * Melanie Mar Chow says:

    Don’t forget: Margaret Yu (CCC/The EPIC Movement), Sharon Koh, Shirley Lew (both of EBCLA), Debra Law Scharwz (Navs), Carolyn Shimabukuro (JEMS)! There are more but I’ll comment later.


    | Reply Posted 12 years ago
  5. * momhelen says:

    Forgot Rev. Grace May in NYC…can’t remember the name of her church…she contributed to the Growing Healthy Asian American Churches book as well, wonderful woman of God!


    | Reply Posted 12 years ago
  6. * nick liao says:

    Jenny Hwang, coauthor of Welcoming the Stranger!


    | Reply Posted 12 years ago
  7. * Jen says:

    Susan Cho Van Riesen!


    | Reply Posted 12 years ago
  8. Stephanie Ahn Mathis – does great work combating human trafficking through the Oregon Center for Christian Values


    | Reply Posted 12 years ago
  9. * isaacblog says:

    Irene Pak
    Chris Otani
    Viji Nakka Cammauf
    Grace Hsiao


    | Reply Posted 12 years ago
  10. * momhelen says:

    Just thought of Euna Lee, the journalist who was detained in North Korea with Laura Ling. She is apparently a Christian whose faith and desire to shed light on the injustices experienced by North Korean women led to her getting detained by North Korean authorities. I certainly would love to hear her speak someday!


    | Reply Posted 12 years ago
  11. * steph says:

    What about Lisa Espineli Chinn? She has preached at Blackhawk in Madison several times, and she spoke for Urbana. 🙂 That should count for something!


    | Reply Posted 12 years ago
  12. * momhelen says:

    Very honored to be included in this list! I would also suggest Kathy Tuan-MacLean, Jane Hyun and Mae Hong…will keep thinking on this as I’m sure I’ve missed someone obvious! But this is a great idea. I think we need to be helping one another and promoting each other…in many ways that’s easier than just promoting ourselves, right? =)



    | Reply Posted 12 years ago
  13. * Larissa says:

    I’m a fan of Sandy Schaupp!


    | Reply Posted 12 years ago

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: