Thank God It's Friday: Weekend Roundup for September 6, 2019


AARON LEE     |     September 6, 2019     |    2 MIN READ

Labor Day has always marked the end of summer for me. Here is a hopeful look in the form of a summer road trip from Judd Birdsall, managing director of the Cambridge Institute on Religion & International Studies at Clare College, Cambridge, for the Washington Post: We are American evangelicals raising our family in England. Here’s what we saw when we drove across the U.S.

With school in session: Where Does Affirmative Action Leave Asian-Americans? This is a longform article by Jay Caspain Kang for The New York Times Magazine on how “a high-profile lawsuit against Harvard is forcing students and their families to choose sides.”

Today we launched our Thank God It’s Friday Newsletter so you can get our TGIF weekend roundups delivered straight to your inbox. Subscribe today to receive our second issue next Friday. And if you have any links or recommendations to share, please tweet me @musicgoon or email me at


1. Patti Withers: Once Abused by the Church, Now I Love the Church

The supremacy of Christ over sexual harassment, spiritual absue, a cult-like church, and an abusive pastor.

2. Thomas Hwang: What’s It Like to be a Lead Pastor?

SOLA editorial board member Thomas Hwang writes on his personal blog. “A few months ago, I transitioned from an associate ministry to begin a new chapter in the lead role. This was a crazy turn of events that will one day make for a fun, interesting story to write about. During this season, I’ve discovered that this transition is far more challenging than anything I’ve ever experienced. But like parenting, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of material out there explaining what this transition is like.”

3. Rebecca Sun: 'Crazy Rich Asians' Co-Writer Exits Sequel Amid Pay Disparity Dispute

Rebecca Sun is the senior reporter at The Hollywood Reporter. She tweets, “I worked very hard on this story because it gets to the heart of a deeper, more nuanced level of consideration about inclusion and equity in the industry, and how value is assigned to creative contributions. Getting into the room (i.e. hiring) is step one.”

4. Hannah Nation and EF Gregory: Love from the Margins: Lessons from 4 Pastors in China

The Gospel Coalition interviews four Chinese house church pastors and presents a compelling testimony of what we can learn from the Chinese church.


1. Hanley Liu: Salvation Is More Important Than Success

In this 6-minute sermon excerpt from FCBC Walnut, Pastor Hanley Liu explains how the most important thing is not the success of your children, but the salvation of your children. “It is never too late to call your kids and show them why the most important thing in life is Jesus Christ and him crucified. Because when you understand that, you understand everything.” Pastor Hanley serves as a member of the SOLA Council.

2. Trillia Newbell: Division Between Younger and Older Women asks Trillia Newbell, Director of Community Outreach at the ERLC, "What keeps younger and older women divided in the church?" Watch her respond in this less than 2-minute video clip.

3. Tabletalk: A Field Guide from the Abyss

“The September issue of Tabletalk considers the many ways that Satan attempts to tear down the church, and presents these attempts creatively in the form of a training manual for demons.”

4. Won Kwak: Throwing In The Towel As A Pastor

“We asked Won Kwak, ‘When are you most tempted to throw in the towel as a pastor?’”

5. Aaron Lee: Book Reviews

This week I reviewed Richard Dawkins, C. S. Lewis and the Meaning of Life and Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of Bearing God’s Image.


1. Oh Young Kwon: Opening the Gates Between Rich and Poor

“My Korean-immigrant church is in Lincoln Heights, a community once marred by gang violence and generational poverty. The church prides itself as one of the first Korean-immigrant churches in America. However, the church itself doesn’t reflect the surrounding community, which is predominantly Latinx and African-American. Needless to say, interactions between the church community and the surrounding neighborhood are minimal at best, non-existing to be fair.”

2. Joseph Lee: How to be an Authentic and Appealing Church for Gen Z

“Forging an authentic relationship with Gen Z-ers might seem like an uphill battle for many pastors. We fear to have this authentic relationship with our students because we are afraid that our students might ‘shoo’ us off or outright ignore us. While we may think that Gen Zers are completely alien, they are actually quite similar to the Millennials than we ever thought.”

3. P. J. Tibayan: I’ve Graduated, Now What? 3 Steps to Finding Your Place In the Church

“So how do we transition well from following Jesus as a college student to following Jesus post college? The difficulty of transitioning can be a confusing or paralyzing discouragement. We go to church gatherings on Sundays and feel out of place and confused on how to embrace the new normal. But college grads who had just been immersed in college ministry don't have to be paralyzed by this transition.”

4. Thank God It’s Friday: Weekend Roundup

In case you missed it, here are some headlines from last week: From Gay to Gospel: The Fascinating Story of Becket Cook, I Was a Violent Klansman Who Deserved to Die, An Uneven Playing Field: The Complex Educational Experiences of Asian Americans, and Won Kwak on What Others May Not Know About Asian Believers.

5. SOLA: TGIF Subscription

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Aaron Lee serves as the Social Media Officer of First Chinese Baptist Church of Walnut and is the assistant digital marketer at the SOLA Network. He is a Sunday School teacher and music leader. He works as a Registered Nurse Clinical Analyst. He and his wife, Jess, have one son, Linus, who is adopted. They live in California’s San Gabriel Valley, home to the largest concentration of Asian American communities in the United States. Aaron’s music, videos, podcasts, and articles about worship and art are on his website.