Coconut Generation

The Next Generation of Asian Indians

How Americans view themselves? August 29, 2006

Filed under: church,Culture — Sam George @ 3:12 pm

Barna Group is a pollster like Gallup and does very interesting survey of American Christendom. Some of it are controversial, while many are useful. This one is very interesting – How Americans view themselves?

The research reveals that adults generally see themselves as good people, spiritually stable, and living a good and honorable life. Yet, despite the spiritual focus people claim, the study found that people’s lifestyles, attitudes and self-perceptions are more likely to be affected by their life-stage and ethnic culture than by their faith commitments.

How important is religion to Americans? The study most Americans “feel accepted by God” (88%), see themselves as “deeply spiritual” (62%) and believe they can be accurately described as “a fulltime servant of God” (59%).

Very interesting! How much of this is true for Asian Indians in America?

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Book Tour – Boston & Indy August 24, 2006

Filed under: Bible,Leadership,Ministries,Youth — Sam George @ 11:44 pm

Book tour is coming its end. This weekend, I am in Boston and then the labor day weekend in Indianapolis. It was an exciting and exhausting summer for me. I have written things in the past and spoken about them at events. But never was on road for three month to promote a publication of mine.

The summer long adventure of travelling through many cities and attending national events had been fun and enriching experience. These days, before I get to a city, people there have heard about the book, some have checked out the website or interested in hearing more about the book (like the story behind the book, how it came into being, what did it take to pull it together, why did you want to write it etc.)

The book has opened many new doors for me. I met many wonderful people as a result. Networking emerging leaders is tough job. They lie under the radar of most institutions and organizations. I hope to serve the emerging leaders well by bringing them together,  introducing them to each others and together seek what does take to men of Issacher, ‘who understood the times and knew what Israel must do’. (1 Chro 12:32)

I do have few more book related travels later this year. But for now, I will wrap up the initial launch phase promotional activities. Now as people get to read and digest these findings, it is going to generate more interest. I really hope younger leaders will start their ministries at a better place than us by leveraging our learnings; insteading of building from scratch, they will use of some of the building blocks; will not commit the same mistake we made and go through the iterations, but learn from our blunders and go on to build more effective ministries to the coming generations.

Blessings

 

India – Poor & Rich August 22, 2006

Filed under: India,Youth — Sam George @ 2:02 pm

I recently came across this strange paradox. India is both poor & rich!

35 per cent of Indian population lives on less than $1 a day, which is comparable to Bangladesh’s 36 per cent and much worse than Pakistan’s 17 per cent.

The World Bank reported that India is 12th wealthiest nation in 2005 with its GDP touching 785.47 billion dollars or Rs 35,34,615 crore . US was the wealthiest nation with GDP of 12.46 trillion dollars. While India was way down compared to China, positioned fourth with 2.23 trillion dollars of GDP, it was wealthier than Mexico, Russia and Australia. According to recent Forbe’s list of Wealthiest people in the world, there are 23  billionaires in India with combined net worth of $99bn, surpassing former Asian leader Japan’s 27 billionaires with their total worth of $67bn.

The outsourcing revolution has created unprecendented opportuntities and wealth for Indians. But we are also seeing unprecendented levels of social and moral crises in India?Is all this development and progress at the cost of India’s soul? Jesus asked once – “What good is to gain the whole world and yet loose our soul?” (Lk 9:25)

But should we measure wealth of a nation only in economic terms only? Are people in richer nations happy? Has riches solved people’s eternal quests?

 

Leadership Summit August 16, 2006

Filed under: church,Events,Leadership,Youth — Sam George @ 4:58 am

Last week (thu – sat), I attended the Leadership Summit at the Willowcreek Community Church – an annual leadership training event attended by some 70,000 leaders (pastors, christian workers, marketplace etc) in some 130 cities around the world.

I got introduced to this event when I was majoring in Christian leadership at Fuller seminary. Over the last 7 years, I was able to attend this event every summer. I find this time to be immensely useful to reflect on my own leadership, to learn from other leaders, to pick up new resources on leadership and to meet many wonderful leaders. This year was no different!

It was great to meet Ashish Nanda (professor from Harvard Business School) and hear his reasearch finding on hiring stars. Bono‘s challenged us that our generation must do something about poverty and AIDS crisis in the world. Andy Stanley of NorthPoint Church spoke on not to cheat family for the sake of our leadership roles. Jim Collins spoke on his Good to Great concepts for the social sector. Wayne Cordeiro of new Hope Felllowship had some great advice on striking balance between life and work. Overall, a great event indeed.

What made this time really exciting was that my wife was able join me for the entire conference and we talked through many of the issues facing our own family and ministry. Many of our local ministries were also there. Great time of fellowship, sharing and renewed our own leadership commitments. We all must take time regularly to refuel our leadership tanks.

More next week.

 

At Risk Behaviors of Youth August 7, 2006

Filed under: Culture,Resources,Youth — Sam George @ 3:50 pm

CDC (Center of Disease Control) publishes a report on behavioral trends among youths in the US called 2005 At Risk Behavior Survey. It covers six major areas: a) Unintentional injuries and violence, b) Tobacco use, c) Alcohol and other drug use, d) Sexual behaviors, e) Unhealthy dietary behaviors and f) Inadequate physical activity.

Some of the finding are disturbing: 831,000 pregnancies that occur each year among persons aged 15 – 19 years; 9.1 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases that occur each year among persons aged 15 – 24 years; and An estimated 4,842 cases of HIV/AIDS that occur annually among persons aged 15– 24 years. Leading cause of death among 15 – 24 year olds: motor vehicle crashes accounted for 31% of deaths; homicide for 15%; 11% of deaths were the result of suicide etc.

What I did not find in this report is data on Asian Indian or Asian Americans. Ethnic and racial grouping only includes white, black and hispanic. Though Census tracks Indian Americans as “Asian Indians” in a separate categories since 1981, CDC is yet to include this growing ethnic groups in its surveys.

Check out the CDC report presentation and how does some of the trends impact kids in your church or community? Are these trends true of your community?

 

Book Tour – Dallas August 4, 2006

Filed under: News,Youth — Sam George @ 8:54 pm

I am in Dallas this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, I will be on a desi radio talking about coconut generation book. It is two different weekly christian live radio programs on station Hum Tum – AM 1600.

The radio interviews are a new experience for me. I was interviewed on radio station in Houston a month ago and one more is coming later next month. It is amazing to see the responses… Indian folks really do listen to radio and call up. And this weekend being a live call in show, let me see how many people call up. Pls do keep me in prayer.

More later. 

 

21st Century Teens

Filed under: church,Culture,Youth — Sam George @ 8:52 pm

If you counsel young people, try to look at July/August Psychotherapy Networker(www.psychotherapynetworker.org) The magazine notes that “media-saturated millennium kids live in a disconnected world that spawns intense inner fragmentation. If we are to help them heal these splits, we need to move beyond the constraints of traditional therapy.”

This is a generation engulfed in an electronic environment where boys especially cannot identify or express their emotions because many are engulfed by the “all-encompassing stimulation provided by video and computer games.” Despite connecting on Internet and phone, young people are still “hungry for connection!

The Networker is not Christian but it has the pulse of much contemporary culture. According to the editor, “we need to throw out the old guidebook about working with” young people. A restrained demeanor, listening with empathy, or encouraging young counselees to talk about their problems won’t work with “today’s impatient, overstimulated, easily bored kids.

Instead, counselors must recognize that “no matter how swallowed up by the pop culture kids seem to be, they still desperately yearn for the kind of authentic connection with adults that all too often they aren’t getting from either their overburdened teachers or stressed-out parents.” While counselors do not have the power to “detoxify the intrusive, often emotionally harmful, culture” in which the younger generation is coming of age, counselors have something vital to offer: the ability to step out of their traditional therapeutic manner and to offer engagement and relationship.