My Thoughts

A few quick thoughts on success

  • Christians often think of “secular” in terms of art & culture but one of the ways we are most secular is in our understanding of success.
  • A Kingdom-oriented life means that success can be measured by what and who comes behind us. Success is laying the foundation for those coming behind us to do even greater things that us.
  • Success can be faithfully & anonymously toiling for the harvest, even if you are not the one who ultimately gets the credit for bringing it in.
  • Cultural factors have to be taken into consideration when gauging success. What may be overlooked or dismissed in some contexts should be rightly celebrated in others as highly successful.
  • In a narcissistic society, sacrifice for the benefit of those coming behind you is a means of God’s sanctification. It’s a merciful reminder that it’s not all about us. The fruit of those coming behind us will require a sacrificial death to ourselves and point us to our Savior.

On Being a Late Bloomer


A few years back I was honored with an alumni pastor award from my seminary.

I recall feeling really humbled. When you witness moments like that in someone else’s journey, you tend to see the “completed” picture in front of you. And for some who were in the audience that day, perhaps they saw someone who had accomplished something.

Yet as the one experiencing it, I couldn’t help but reflect on all the twists and turns of the road that got me there. Continue reading “On Being a Late Bloomer”

Ethnos 2019: Justice as Mission

Ethnos 2019 2.png

Our church was inspired to launch the first Ethnos Conference in 2015. Ethnos was designed as a missions conference but was unique in trying to address topics typically not addressed much or well in the normal church culture. Since then, we have been able to dive into matters such as the poor, diversity, immigration, race, and the marginalized as we sought to equip the larger Church on mission.

We are excited for the 4th Ethnos ConferenceJustice as Mission on Saturday, March 23. Eugene Cho, Nikki Lerner, and many other dynamic leaders will guide us through the hopeful pursuit of God’s justice in the ministry of reconciliation. Ethnos is a powerful gathering for worship, unity, and mission in our city and will be held at Central Presbyterian Church. Save and pre-register by the first early registration deadline of January 31. For more info including registration, go to Hope you can join us.

My Journey and Depression

I wrote recently at Lifeway Pastors about my experience with depression. My goal is to shine a light on an area that remains all too hidden for many in the Church, especially for pastors.

“God has shown me that though He can heal, this darkness may always be a part of my journey, maybe until the end of this physical life. But even if that’s true, I don’t have to do it alone.”


Why I Love Pastoring in Baltimore


A version of this article originally appeared at and is used with permission.

When people hear that I pastor in Baltimore, the response I receive is typically: a) excitement or b) sympathy. The latter usually comes from those who view cities like Baltimore in less than positive terms and imagine that doing ministry in such a context is akin to Jonah begrudgingly obeying God to go to Nineveh. And I want to make clear that pastoring in a city like Baltimore does entail certain unique challenges. I often joke, “I must have missed the class on this in seminary.”

So, while it’s definitely never easy, here are some reasons I love pastoring in a city like Baltimore: Continue reading “Why I Love Pastoring in Baltimore”

How the Korean Church Formed Me

Korean prayer

As I serve in a multicultural church context, I often think about the factors which have molded me as a leader. With some regret, there have been more immature seasons in my past when I attributed my ability to minister cross-culturally in spite of my background, especially with the Korean church.

Upon more reflection, though, I increasingly recognize that much of who I am and how God has worked through me to pastor across cultures has actually been because of the Korean church and other churches (2nd Generation Korean and Pan-Asian) influenced by Korean roots. God has helped to show me how my experiences were not hindrances to overcome but rather some of the very reasons I have been able to do what I do.

As with any culture, there are some aspects which are broken and need to be redeemed in the Korean church – even associated with some things I mention below – but here are a few areas in which I have benefited from my heritage and training: Continue reading “How the Korean Church Formed Me”