Presence Quotient Ministry Update 2015
For Presence, 2015 was a year full of God’s grace and abundance! We have left footprints all over Southern and Northern California, Nevada, Chicago, China, Macau and Hong Kong. Just like the miracles of changing water to wine and the five loaves and the two fishes, we have experienced what it means to go from nothing to something, from few to plenty! We are thankful that in the beginning of the year, we moved into a more spacious office with a training center that can hold more than 100 people, thus opening the door to connect with our community. Throughout the year, Presence’s Southern California and Northern California offices, together with Presence Hong Kong, have conducted and co-hosted 56 trainings in a variety of topics and ranging from big conferences to smaller workshops. These events included trainings to help school-aged children in new immigrant families adjust to American culture, workshops and personal coaching on employment and career choice, and co-hosting a “Same Sex Marriage Conference” in the Los Angeles area with the Great Commission Church International to discuss the impact of the legalization of same sex marriage and how can churches respond to it. All these activities had a total attendance of 8337. In response to the demand for our training services, we also increased the number of staff and volunteers to meet the urgent needs of an expanding ministry.
In October we held Presence’s 12th Anniversary Dinner, with the theme of “Equipping Ministry Workers for Mentorship with Coaching and Caring Skills”. Rev. Dr. Richard Chung, the special speaker, emphasized the importance of mentorship and shared about how to lead, coach and care for believers so that they can live out their faith and grow spiritually.
In the beginning of the year, together with Presence Possibilities and RE:NEW, Presence launched the “Forty-Day Impact Challenge.” We provided bilingual devotional material in English and Chinese for 40 days straight to encourage participants to refl ect more about their lives through the special 40-day devotionals. We also added a session for the participants to make a commitment to God during this period to take on three challenges, such as renewed time of prayer, Bible reading, etc. We are thankful that, through this exercise, many participants were able to renew their faith and grow spiritually.
Dr. Agnes Ip also provided parenting and couple workshops in Northern California. We were glad to have worked with different churches, especially Crosspoint church. Topics include “Understanding Sexual Identity,” “Parenting Without Scolding,” “16 personalities and Couple Relationships.” We feel grateful that many people were very interested and attended our workshops in different locations.
Presence Hong Kong partnered with Tien Dao Christian Media Association and Worldwide Bible Society to provide parenting and couples relationship workshops. Partnering with Christian Sheun Tao Church Hong Kong and Macau District, Dr. Agnes Ip provided her first training in Macau. It attracted many people to join as well.
Last year, we also published a bilingual Presence Family Magazine, which focused on the “Seasons of men’s lives”, Presence’s Newsletter, Presence Possibilities’ Newsletter, and RE:NEW’s English magazine titled “The Bride of Christ.” In order to give our readers the best, from content to aesthetic layout, it took at least four to six months to plan, research, create a theme, write, edit, design and compose before each issue was published.
Reminiscing the past year, in every training or activity we did, we relied on the guidance of our Lord in every aspect of discussion and planning, from deciding our target audience, creating the theme, deciding speakers and Annual Summary Newsletter Annual Summary Newsletter 活現簡訊 2016 March 11 venues, to the logistics and workers arrangement on the day of the event. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff and volunteers for putting in all their best to make it happen. As for 2015, the total revenue for Presence was $279,994, with an expenditure at $271,148 and a surplus of $8,846. We would like to humbly ask for your financial support for our ministry, so that we can continue to provide high-quality training services to our community. May God use Presence to continue our support services to churches, families and the younger generations.
Presence Possibilities Ministry Update
Expanding your potential, Enriching your life
Presence Possibilities aims to help individuals and families succeed through professional assessments and consultations identifying their personality, unique talents, culture, learning style, ideal college major and career. It is an initiative of Presence Quotient®.
This year, two new members joined Presence Possibilities: Christine Shen as Events & Marketing Coordinator andTom Tui as Development Consultant. Our team worked with 11 new clients in our assessment and consultation service. We held various workshops at our office training center that included a Resume Writing Workshop, two workshops geared towards parentsand children’s learning, and four communication workshops. Overall, we received positive feedback and high interest in future workshops from a total attendance of 218. For example, one person even commented, “This [workplace communication workshop#2] is a good workshop for me to start my first job.”
We filmed two promotional videos and published our fi rst newsletter. We also launched Presence Possibilities’ Education Outreach Project (PPEOP) to help children and youth from low-income families prepare foracademic success and hosted a press conference to announce this event to the community.
To sign up or learn more about our assessment and consultation service, as well as our career coaching sessions, call us at 626-810-5200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
RE:NEW Ministry Update
RE:NEW a Presence movement is a ministry of Presence Quotient, with a mission to inspire and challenge youth and young adults to live out their faith in their everyday lives.
RE:NEW began last year with one of its biggest annual training initiatives. In partnership with Presence Quotient and Presence Possibilities, RE:NEW launched the 40-Day Impact Challenge, a devotional series that cultivated a time of renewed spiritual intimacy for families, small groups, and individuals seeking clarity for their unique life purpose. Devotionals were in English and Chinese with separate tracks for different age groups. The Impact Challenge concluded with a Praise Night at San Gabriel Presbyterian Church on February 27.
In March, we held a one-day training conference at Evangelical Formosan Church of Los Angeles for youth pastors and lay leaders. Focused on the topic of mentorship, the “Riding the Waves” Conference was the first large-scale event we hosted specifically geared towards youth and young adult ministry leaders.
In November, we said farewell to RE:NEW’s program manager Phoebe Ng. Phoebe was an integral team member at Presence since her start in 2011 as she helped Dr. Agnes develop RE:NEW as a ministry, served as the Editor-in-Chief of the magazine, launched the Campus Representatives Initiative (CRI) mentorship program, and expanded the ministry’s reach to local churches and the community. Dr. Agnes and the Presence staff, along with volunteers, celebrated Phoebe’s years in the ministry with a gathering in November.
“I have seen her extend love and care to the interns and volunteers who have come into Presence and dedicated their time and energy to work alongside her to build up RE:NEW,” said Dr. Agnes. During the interim, Joanna Wu served as the interim ministry coordinator. In early January, Presence hired Amy Sechang to serve as the new ministry coordinator. To learn more about our events and joining our team of volunteers, please visit www.renewtheresponse.org.
Youth Ministry Insight
In October 2015, Phoebe Ng, RE:NEW’s former project manager, shared with Presence’s staff what she has learned over the years about the needs of today’s younger generation, especially those within the church. Phoebe provided a report on RE:NEW’s ministry, including an overview on today’s youth and young adults. Her goal was to assess the community’s current needs, how to best meet these needs, and how Presence fits in the picture. Here is a summary of major needs among today’s youth, young adults, and youth workers.*
The younger generation is highly connected, but actually disengaged.
Technology and social media have allowed people to have the greatest “social connection” in the history of mankind, yet youth are increasingly disconnected and disengaged with their present, physical experiences. Many young adults are now combatting depression and loneliness. Youth workers are not only challenged with young people dealing with mental issues, but students who have developed little to no legitimate social skills, resulting in little sensitivity or awareness of social cues and norms.
The younger generation is busy and driven by achievements.
Students are increasingly engaged in more activities outside of church, and similarly encouraged not just by their schools, but by their parents, who value any and all opportunities for their child to improve their skills or resume. Church participation may be encouraged, but is viewed as another extracurricular activity. Many young adults have grown to value achievement and success over relationships, which has led to a consumerist attitude towards church. Youth workers are challenged by encouraging students to pursue and participate in activities that are counter to what parents may encourage; they are also busy with life and oftentimes, transitioning into new life stages (i.e. marriage, becoming parents).
The younger generation is under-and over-committed.
Youth students want to be involved. In fact, they want to take ownership in the ministries they are part of. Young adults, especially those who are highly involved in serving in the church, are experiencing burn-out, are over-
committed, and without a moment to pause or refl ect, continue serving out of obligation. Youth workers, who may be overworked themselves, are now met with the need to create safe spaces for youth to serve and practice leadership,while working with tired co-workers. There is a growing disparity between experienced leaders and those who are scared and or unwilling to serve.
The younger generation needs mentors and discipleship models.
Many parents expect youth workers to operate as parents, to “fi x” their kids, releasing them of the primary responsibility of being spiritual leaders for their children or disciplinarians. Young adults serving as youth workers often take up this responsibility, yet many of them lack mentors or models of how to live as Christ followers. Because of the lack of mentors and forced ideals of what a mentor should be, believers are missing opportunities to experience the call every believerhas received to give and receive wisdom in how to live as disciples of Christ.
The younger generation is living a prolonged childhood.
It is no surprise that many young people today appear juvenile or less ready to be on their own two feet. Parents tend to be overly protective and involved, trying their darndest to keep their children from experiencing certain challenges. Some of this parenting style has led to young adults who feel entitled to get everything they want and unable to cope with reality. They may find themselves in a season of life in which they should be independent and making wise decisions but are unequipped to do so. Youth workers are thus finding parents who are struggling to adjust their parenting style as their child reach different seasons of life.
How can we respond to these needs? We need to consider what can be done, what values to promote, the church’s role, the parent’s role, and the youth workers’ role. At RE:NEW, our mission is to partner with churches to mobilize a generation of youth and young adults to live with purpose, to pursue spiritual maturity, to realize their God-given gifts, and to bridge the cultural and generational gap. Will you join us?
*Thoughts here are gathered from years of experience in church youth ministry and research from You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church…and Rethinking Faith by David Kinnaman; Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations, by Alex & Brett Harris; and Fuller Youth Institute’s “Sticky Faith” research and resources.