Meet Our Newest Implementer
In response to the unique needs of 2nd Generation Canadians, we have appointed Bernard Tam to serve as a New Ventures Implementer.
As a part of the Alliance movement across Canada, New Ventures aims to equip, empower and release new leaders into new places and to new people, developing new communities of faith. We have a team of Implementers who help realize this vision, by serving as a key initiator and point of contact for a specific region or people group, in this case 2nd Generation Canadians. We understand the 2nd Generation to represent the children of immigrants who have a substantially different church experience than their parents.
Bernard is uniquely suited to this role given his own identity as a 2nd Gen Canadian and experience as the pastor of The Living Room Church, which finds itself standing as the bridge between the numerous cultures and ethnicities. Bernard is a learner and is also committed to exploring topics related to mission regularly through the Canadian Asian Missional Podcast, which he helped to found.
Get to know Bernard through the following interview.
What is your role with New Ventures?
My role is one of the New Ventures Implementers supporting the journey of New Ventures in the city of Toronto, specifically. At the same time I am also working with the English Ministries of Chinese Churches with the hope of seeing how New Ventures can partner to cultivate healthy English ministries.
How would you describe “2nd Gen” to someone who hadn't heard of that idea before?
The 2nd Generation has been historically thought of as children (usually young) of immigrants to Canada. However the 2nd Generation definition is beginning to evolve as it is no longer a particular life stage but instead more akin to cultural affinity (one that reflects more of the host culture - i.e. Canadian culture). Another perspective to 2nd Generation is seeing it through the Christian lens. There are 2nd Generation Christians whose parents are Christians.
What are some things you've been doing over the past couple of months?
Over the past few months I have had many conversations exploring the situation and realities of the 2nd Generation English-speaking community in Chinese Churches in Toronto and the surrounding area. My hope is to understand further the situation of the English ministries. At the same time I am helping create a clear pathway for development for some potential New Ventures.
What are the biggest challenges?
One challenge that is central to the thought of many Chinese churches is what is known as the silent exodus of the younger generation (predominantly 2nd Generation). Many people in this generation left for other churches or became a part of the community of the Dones. The way forward involves discussion on how best to support, tend to and journey alongside the 2nd Generation not only as a response to this exodus, but also with anticipation for the future of Chinese Churches with English ministries.
How can we as an Alliance family be praying and supporting the 2nd Gen?
Please pray for wisdom for the leaders and pastors in English Ministries. At the same time please pray also for fresh opportunities and new ways to explore and practice church.